atans1

To lose one Hard Truth may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose three in two months looks like carelessness

In Political governance on 09/09/2013 at 4:50 am

(“Mah & Yaacob disprove PAP’s Hard Truth on ministerial salaries”)

The implicit disowning of the Malay minister’s claims when he was Water minister that once-in-50-yrs floods were causing problems, not his ministry’s disfunctionality, has been implicitly disowned by the govt when the present Water minister said an expressway flood is unacceptable. Yaacob, talked of several floods that occurred several months apart as very exceptional events that could not be reasonably foreseen. VivianB’s comments imply that very heavy rain should be foreseen and planned for.

This reminded of another recent occasion when another Hard Truth was disowned.

On  26 August 2013, new rules were imposed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB). The one that caught the headlines and public attention was that households with permanent residency, or PR, status can only buy previously owned state-built homes if they have held PR status for at least three years. Permanent residents, who made up 10% of Singapore’s population of 5.3 million people in 2012, could previously buy a HDB flat from the resale market immediately after getting PR status.

But what S’poreans seemed to ignore was the rule change that would also offer public-housing loans with a reduced maximum tenure of 25 years, down from 30 years. Public-housing mortgage payments would be capped at 30% of borrowers’ gross monthly income, down from 35%. Prudent leh, we are told.

In 2011, one Mah Bow Tan argued that HDB flats were afforable because : It only took 30 years, 2 incomes and 30% of the 2 incomes to pay for the HDB flat.

As one blogger said qat the time: How many of you agree that this affordable formula is fair? This formula means that for the first 30 years of one’s working life, there could be very little saving for retirement. Most could only start to save after repaying their 30 year loan. So don’t ask why you don’t have enough savings for retirement. The other point which this formula dictates is that both husband and wife must be working to be able to afford the HDB flat. One income, forget it. And there are families that have to live on one income, by choice or by circumstances beyond their control, or by tragedies.

He went on: The people must denounce this formula as unaffordable. 30% of one income for 30 years is already too much. It was 20% of one income for 20 years for a 5 rm flat for a fresh graduate. But the goal posts have been shifted during the last decade that people have come to accept 2 incomes and 30 years as the norm. It is not, and it should not be the case.

Well the PAP govt has now dropped the 30-yr part of the formula. And by implication, condemned the man who said it. The PAP should also be asking itself, “Was it worth it to change to a GRC system, so that this clown chap could be made a minister? Maybe better if we never had him as a minister? Why did we let him remain a minister for so many yrs?”.

What next PAP? Ditch his point that selling HDB flats at cheapish prices was tantamount to raiding the reserves?

And while I’m at it, how come our ex-ministers can’t earn this kind of serious money? Players on the int’l stage in business deal-making

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/us-glencore-blair-idUSBRE88915920120910

Instead they

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/sph-another-home-for-ex-ministers/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/retired-ministers-no-megabucks-from-private-sector/

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  1. To be frank, the only hard truth I got from the Old Man’s book was that he is painfully human and due to his experiences and age, has plenty of biases and false conclusions to work from.

    • Could add that his intellectual thuggery meant that he went unchallenged once he got the old guard retired. Reminds me of story. I served with a PAP MP once. He decided that we old timers shld retire for new blood. Of course he would remain for the transition. The Old Guard was happy to step down as we served because no-one else wanted to and we had benefited from the social club in its golden yrs. The MP and us had turned it round after a few bad yrs. Couldn’t have done it without him. But the new mgt committee kept committing gaffe after gaffe. It’s the team that matters, not an individual.

  2. re it’s the team that matters. now if only the old team leader and all those who have come after him realise and admit this. of cos then, we wouldn’t have turned a fishing village and an arid dentist into this booming place we now live in. we would have only built up, rather astutely, a thriving city with loads of potential, which is what we actually started with in 1959/1965 (choose your start date).

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