Archive for June, 2011

What happens when you tried to outsource a high demand product – Property

June 18, 2011 2 comments

I can never understand why would the government want to outsource a PUBLIC housing to a PRIVATE company that would later price the public housing to PRIVATE market prices. So instead of a ‘market rate’ for only resale flats, we now have market rate for NEW public housing. What’s the point of offering ‘better fitted furnishings’ when it comes at such a high price?



$880,000: Priciest HDB flats launched in Tampines

THE priciest-ever new HDB flats went up for sale yesterday under a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) development launched in Tampines.

The most expensive five-room flats at Centrale 8 by developer Sim Lian will set buyers back a cool $880,000.

That works out to a whopping $750 per square foot – a price tag more often seen on suburban condominiums.

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail said he did a double take when he first heard about the prices.

‘No doubt it’s in Tampines, which is a mature estate with many good things going for it, but it is still extremely high for a public housing flat,’ he said.

DBSS flats are public housing units designed and built by private-sector developers and they typically come with more luxurious fittings.


Just because you add in a few ‘luxurious fittings’ doesn’t substantial the $880,000 price tag on a PUBLIC housing that is essentially owned by HDB! This is what happen when you naively think that that it’s fine to let a private company handle a public project and let it charge whatever price it deemed necessary to get some ‘reasonable’ return. A 5-room BTO in Yishun doesn’t cost more than $450-500,000. The nearby DBSS in the exact same area as Centrale 8 cost somewhere from $3-550,000 for a new 5-room flat a few years ago. And here you have a DBSS in Tampines costing almost twice of that. If even a PropNex chief executive couldn’t believe his ears and eyes upon knowing the price tag, there MUST be something wrong with such pricing.

Ultimately, the ones who gains are Sim Lian and the government. Those who end up buying the most expensive units in Centrale 8 (what a stupid name anyway, like Tampines Central or Junction 8 or something) end up paying excessive consumer surplus and saddled in more debts. Not for a private property. But for a public flat. While the location is attractive, the ROI is not. You are better off buying some $300-400,000 5-room flat in some other places and sell it at the market rate of $5-600,000 a few years down the road. Saying that, I must reiterate that most people who stay in public housing do not usually speculate on their property for investment and would stay for a long time.

Even Pinnacle at Duxton, the mother of all DBSS and a much better location than Centrale 8, wasn’t priced at that range when it was first built. The danger is with the impending raise in income ceiling for flats, demand will increase. The current supply crunch will also almost guarantee the Centrale 8 would be snapped up regardless of the crazy prices. The real danger, however, is the price point would be increased for future DBSS projects.

Once again, you have the most ridiculous project undergone under the Minister of National Development’s ward.


George Yeo not running for President

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Why am I not surprised to hear this news. For one, that’s an older bird called Tony Tan who might be running for presidency. For another, being a minister means George Yeo fully understands what a symbolic presidency status means in this country and the limitations to his freedom if he ever jumped into this highly lucrative job.

Categories: PAP candidates

EZ Singapore…loose, in fact

June 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Singapore must be the easiest place on earth to get permanent residency:



Singapore Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC)

What is the EPEC?

Have good educational background and professional working experience? Looking for a job in Singapore? If you are a foreigner and would like to work in Singapore, you:

  1. Have to first secure a job offer in Singapore;
  2. Once you have a job offer, you need to apply for an Employment Pass;
  3. Only upon approval of the employment pass you can start employment in Singapore.

The main problem with the above steps is that many Singapore companies are often reluctant to make job offers because they don’t know if the employment pass will be approved or not. In order to address the above problem, Singapore government has introduced so called employment pass eligibility certificate (EPEC). This certificate from Singapore government will make it lot easier for you to find a job in Singapore for the following two reasons:

  • You will be issued a 6-12 months visa to stay in Singapore and look for a job.
  • Your prospective employer will have the high confidence that you will be issued an employment pass if they decide to hire you.

The processing time for an employment pass eligibility certificate (epec) application is about 3-4 weeks from the date of submission.

EPEC Requirements: The following documents are required for application of employment eligibility certificate:

  • Copies of your educational certificates and transcripts
  • Passport copy
  • 2 passport size photos
  • A copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

All documents must be in English or official English translation is required.

After you have found a job in Singapore and have obtained your employment pass, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Singapore.


Such ease of getting a visa (up to 12 months!!!) and getting PR status must be, once again, uniquely Singapore. If the ruling party is not rethinking this policy, we will again see great population growth, transportation problem, and housing problem getting worse for the next 5 years.

Flash floods….AGAIN!

June 5, 2011 Leave a comment

While I was too busy in recent times to update this blog (and also due to lack of ‘boomz’ news), God decided to test the ‘new anti-flood’ system the government had put in place.

The pictures are amazing, going by TR’s facebook page:

Wow, waterfall!!

Bukit Timah, the kid that loves to submerge in water

People are blaming the construction going on

So what happened to the 'anti-flood' barrier?? The Godzilla is a prank on this pic, lolz. But I love it.

Luckily for the ruling party, election is over. But the citizens will remember this episode. At least, it’ll remain in my blog as archive. I have no doubt this will once again appear on the front page of tomorrow’s paper. The Straits Times website ( innocuously show a less severe picture near the main headline although the picture insinuate flood occurring due to the nearby construction site.

Shops in Orchard are once again hit hard. I wonder whether Hermes and Wendy’s are affected again. Once upon a time, the PUB and PAP gave excuses that flash floods are rare occurrences that happened once every 50 years, and it doesn’t make any economical sense to undertake major alterations to the canal and road system to solve the problem. Well, obviously God doesn’t seem to agree. With global warming and ever changing climate across the entire world, the PAP has to rethink how to solve these problems as heavy rain becomes a norm rather than the exception. As a country deriving most of it’s GDP growth from the service industry, Orchard Road flooding is a huge dent on our economic competitiveness, especially with Singapore receiving rain throughout the year.

The ever-elitism mentality of the ruling party has once again clouted their decision backed with the usual ‘cost and benefit economic analysis’. Apparently the economists and statisticians don’t communicate with the meteorologists (from probably NEA?). In econometrics speech, it’s called omitted variable bias. I’m not surprise, such studies are usually conducted in the ivory towers of the government offices.

I look forward to what the new minister of Environment and Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan has to say. Mr Vivian seems to be cursed by water. First we have the dead maid in the water tanks and now we have flooding again. Probably after all that analysis and decision among the elites they’ll suggest longer, bigger barriers as a solution?