Date: Fri, 09 Oct 2009 02:07:10 GMT
Local: Fri, Oct 9 2009 10:07 am
Subject: Mah Bow Tan is so stupid
Mah Bow Tan: Make meaningful comparisons
October 9, 2009 A Forum letter from Mr Ng Kok Lim
I refer to the report "Mah: Make meaningful comparisons" dated 2 Oct 2009.
(read article here)
Mr Mah reportedly said that it is "not meaningful" to compare prices of
flats today with those 20 years ago because that would mean going back 20
But MM Lee said in a speech on 12 Sept 1965: "Over 100 years ago, this was a
mud flat, swamp. Today, this is a modern city". Is Mr Mah going to tell MM
Lee that his comparison is "not meaningful" and that he is trying to bring
Singapore back 100 years?
In his 2006 National Day message, PM Lee said that "many years ago,
Singapore was just a fishing village ." Is Mr Mah going to tell PM Lee that
his comparison is "not meaningful" and that he is trying to bring Singapore
back to a fishing village?
In the Straits Times report "How much is a burger worth" dated 26 Sept 2009,
MP Seah Kian Peng was reported to have said that the key consideration in
deciding how affordable or less affordable goods have become in Singapore is
to see if life is better now compared to that in the past. Is Mr Mah going
to tell MP Seah that his comparison is "not meaningful" and that he is
trying to bring Singapore back to life in the past?
So Mr Mah is not being very meaningful when he says that it is "not
meaningful" to compare with the past. Because everyone compares with the
past, even our leaders do so. While our leaders readily compare with the
past to show progress and achievement, comparisons that show price increases
or deteriorating levels of affordability is deemed "not meaningful".
Mr Mah brushes off "all sorts of arguments" about prices being too high
today, not with sound counter arguments, but by simply saying that this is
part and parcel of our system. In that case, he and the HDB might as well
not give any explanations to the public. They can just answer any query
from citizens with the phrase "this is part of our system". No further
explanations needed. Wouldn't that be eaiser?
Mr Mah says that our HDB can be monetised by selling it or leasing it back
to the HDB for retirement funds. But what is the point of paying for an HDB
all our lives only to give it up at the end of the day?
Mr Mah says that our HDB remains affordable because it does not exceed the
30% international benchmark. But he and the HDB always insist on saying
that our HDB is heavily subsidised. How can the HDB flat be simultaneously
heavily subsidised and priced according to the international benchmark?
That would mean that everywhere in the world that adopts the international
benchmark enjoys heavily subsidised housing.
Ng Kok Lim