Friday, April 22, 2011

Response to Minister Mah's twisted logic

I have made the following rebuttals to Minister Mah Bow Tan's assertions:

1) Asset Enhancement Scheme

As an undergraduate in early 1990s, I was pretty upset when the Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong announced his plan for "Asset Enhancement Scheme". It would mean that my generation as well as future generations will have to pay MORE for HDB flats in future. Indeed, I have to pay 10 times more than my parents for a similar 4 room HDB flat. There is a COST of this Asset Enhancement Scheme to next and future generations.

Every Singaporean can only own ONE HDB flat as their HOME. HDB flat is a HOME, NOT an investment tool.

Furthermore, can the value of HDB value keep going up forever when it has only a 99 year lease? Obviously not! When our HDB flat is 50 year old or more, banks will be very reluctant to provide loans for potential buyers. It would mean that the demand for our old flats will drop drastically and the value will definitely drop.

To ask Singaporeans to depend on their HDB flats for retirement financing because we have this Asset Enhancement Scheme is totally flawed.

2) Lower Land Cost is Raiding Reserves

The PAP government has "raided" our forefathers by using Land Acquisition Act to acquire their land while paying peanuts in compensation! While our forefathers made sacrifices for the sake of our Nation's development needs, it is the social obligation of the PAP government to take care of our people by providing cheap public housing. At the very least, they should provide such cheap public housing for their FIRST matrimonial home.

Even with lower land price, the government of the day will still GAIN from such land sales due to the fact that they have acquired such land at dirt cheap prices.

We have accumulated more than $300Billion reserves basically due to the hefty profits gained via land sales. We could afford to slow down the growth of our reserves by making more concessions to our young Singaporeans.

3) Will we crash the market?

Resale market and first hand new HDB flat market are totally different market segments.

Resale market is a free market with many buyers and sellers. The demand in this market segment consists of Permanent Residents, Upgraders as well as some First time buyers.

For the first hand new HDB flat market, HDB is the MONOPOLY of supply with many Singaporean buyers. But the demand of this first hand HDB market consists only FIRST time buyers.

Thus, only Singaporeans who are first time buyers of these NEW HDB flats will benefit from this Cost-Plus scheme which NSP is advocating. Even if those first hand buyers in the resale market start to consider buying New HDB flats directly from HDB, there is no risk of total collapse of the resale market at all! This is basically because PRs and upgraders would not benefit from this scheme at all. PRs cannot buy direct from HDB and upgraders cannot benefit from this scheme. There is no incentive for them to switch to buy new HDB flat.

If the PAP government is sincere and serious about solving the low fertility rate problem, it should fulfill its social obligation by giving our young Singaporeans a big Ang Pao in terms of cheap HDB flats. This will allow them to have a head start in owning their first home when they get married.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

MBT is such a coward for refusing to debate you. Instead he hides behind his office and use tax payer monies to try and throw smoke. A good exampe is his Reflections which is one long winded piece of crap. The more he refuses to step forward and debate, the more he looks weak and frightened of you. Keep up the good work !

Anonymous said...

Bravo GMS. You are absolute right to point out that a "home" is not an "investment". When PAP makes every home an investment, it create the social disability. This could be the reason why PAP has problem in building a nation. PAP is proud to run Singapore like a company. So sad. Agree?

Kelly said...

Only the rich and foreigner can benefit from asset enhancement. The ordinary Singaporean who can only afford one home will end up paying higher property tax

Ian said...

Good piece! MBT goes fly kites. He only out to make profits for the PAP!!

Anonymous said...

on pt #3 "will we crash the market?"

look at the total resales tx in 2010, it's 32,257 (according to hdb website), or roughly 3% of approx 1M hdb units.

given that most hdb owners are home owners, just like they don't get any real benefits during the bull run i dont think they'll be significantly affected in a crash, even if there one.

In fact if market crash 30% down, i think it's a good overdue correction and most of us may even get to enjoy the benefits of low inflation in the long term.

James Tan said...

Hi Mr Goh,

Besides housing, there are other issues that anger Singaporeans. I have been jobless for more than 6 months. There are 2 main reasons;

1. Hiring managers discriminate against Singaporeans in favor of foreigners because of our reservist liabilities. How can foreigners gain an edge over Singaporeans in the job market because of our sacrifice to the defence of this country? How can you expect us to swallow this unfairness?

2. If the hiring manager is a foreigner, he will favor people of his own nationality. I suspect this was how I lost my job!!! My replacement had the same nationality as my boss. Singaporeans are getting replaced by foreigners in the job market. Please ask around. I am sure there are other Singaporeans who are victims like me.

Please speak up for our plight. Please!!

James Tan said...

I suggest that taxes should be raised on PRs and new citizens to compensate native Singaporeans for their sacrifice in National Service. This is the only way we can accept the presence of these foreigners.

There is no way we can accept them when these PRs, new citizens can free-ride at our expense.

Anonymous said...

Majority of voters (many of them are housewives) are passive and ignorant.

E.g. they have no idea about:
1) how much are our ministers’ pay and our national median pay?
2) HDB prices increase versus our national median pay increase from 2006 to 2010
3) ministers’ pay increase versus our national median pay increase from 2006 to 2010
4) number of months of bonus our ministers received versus the average Singaporean workers received from 2006 to 2010
5) our GDP increase versus our national median pay increase from 2006 to 2010
6) …….

To win, oppositions must find ways to reach these voters (they will likely not attend any election rally held at remote places such as stadium).

Some suggestions:

1) Find out all the issues and concerns that make these voters unhappy
2) high light these issues and concerns in the election pamphlet
3) high light the concerns of lack of opportunity to reach this group of voters in the election pamphlet
4) do more house to house visit and distribute the list of issues and concerns to each household
5) let them know that the election rallies will address these issues and concerns
6) Do more walk-about at hawker centers and markets.

Anonymous said...

PAP are talking about a freak result in this coming election.

If they really believe that they have improved the quality of Singaporean life since the last election then they should not be talking about freak election.

LKY had said alot of things that I cannot agree but there is one thing that he has predicted correctly and that is.....

"When one day the government is out of touch with the people then you will see doctors, lawyers, accountant and engineers come out to be counted."

This has show in this election.

I urge my fellow Singaporean to be counted and vote for CHANGE in this election.

truth said...

@James Tan: Taxes should be raised on women who don't serve National Service as well!!