Sunday, 17 February 2019

A little bit of crystal ball gazing

What's going to happen next?

Well, Heng Swee Keat will be the next PM of Singapore.

And Tan Cheng Bock has announced that he is coming out of political retirement.

But that's all just the near future. And these are just small local details that will not change the BIG PICTURE.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Singapore and Switzerland - a comparison

[This post was first drafted in 2015. So the figures are a little outdated, but updating them may simply be redundant for the argument. At least I assume so. Feel free to prove me wrong.]

You may recall at one point our former PM Goh Chok Tong promised/claimed that Singapore will reach Swiss Standard of Living. I checked. He made the "prediction" in 1984 that we would reach Swiss 1984 Standard of living by 1999. We made in in 2000. Just off by a year.

But there are still... sceptics.

Who are able to provide anecdotal or cherry-picked data to make their point.

This is not a rebuttal of their point, or points. This is a presentation of... the wider picture.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

"We're not destroying the Earth..."

"... The Earth is Destroying us!"

A different perspective.


The video provides an interesting perspective.

In the long, no, SHORT history of humans on Earth, we were mostly in an Ice Age.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Lease Decay Solutions (HDB 99 year lease problem solved!)

The Lease Decay issue is the problem of HDB flat owners in flats built more than 40 years ago, and now face falling prices for their flats.

As the original lease on their flat is 99-years, after 40 years or more, there is less than 60 years of lease on the flat and with the short lease there are constraints on buyers to get mortgages and to use their CPF to pay for the flat.
First, at less than 35 years of lease left when banks are unwilling to extend loans to finance their purchase. That applies to flats that are at least 64 years old.
Second, at under 30 years' lease remaining when CPF money cannot be used for down payment or to service the monthly mortgage (flats that are 69 years old). And third, when leases go under 20 years (flats that are 79 years old).
"When leases drop to 20 years and below, the prospective buyers will not be able to get HDB loans, bank loans or use CPF for the purchase. Everything has to be paid in cash in one go," Mr Ku noted.
The amount of CPF money that can be used to finance the flat purchase is also lower for units with a remaining lease of at least 30 but under 60 years.
So that in a nutshell, is the lease decay issue. How does the government intend to solve it?

Here are some solutions. First, let's look at what the government has suggested (PM Lee at NDR 2018):

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Water woes and stupid ways to solve it.

[Note: This was first written in mid-2017, but by the time I was satisfied, it was no longer current - water price was not being discussed anymore. But now we are again providing Johor with extra water at their request. So this topic is current again.]

I should tell the story of my suggestion for eliminating smoking from our society.

Not to show how smart I am. But to remind myself (and to inform the reader) that I have made some stupid dumb uninformed suggestions as well.

But while I was naive once (and I might still be), I do pride myself on having learned my lesson from that episode. The point is, we all jump to dumb conclusions or make dumb suggestions. I recognise that and accept that as part of the human experience. The humbling human experience. Then you find people so enamoured with their (dumb) pet solution that they are are unable to see the greater truth.

I will tell the story of my suggestion to eliminate smoking and share the lessons learnt, one day. But the issue today is Water.

Friday, 18 January 2019

VERS vs SERS

The details for VERS has not been announced. They will announce it closer to its implementation. That is, in about 20 years time.

For SERS, flat owners will be given compensation for their flat, and given priority to choose a replacement flat if that is what they want. There is also something like a "moving and renovation grant".

We will keep this comparison simple and just focus on the compensation for the flat, and what that will costs the government for SERS, and project or speculate what it might be for VERS.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Responding to Malaysia's provocation with Furious Anger...

... or at least Vengeance.

This was a comment on FaceBook regarding Minister for Foreign Affairs reply to MPs who wanted to know what was Singapore's response to the continued and escalating provocation from Malaysia intruding into our waters and claiming it.
From Pulp Fiction:
"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers."