Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Singapore Property Set New Record Despite Looming Recession

A 3,003 square ft four-bedroom apartment off Orchard Road has been sold to an overseas buyer for S$19mn (US$15.7mn), setting a new record in property prices.

According to The Straits Times, the Marq on Paterson Hill already held the record of highest price per square foot at S$5,842 (US$4,847) when it was launched in 2007. With the newest sale, the price per square foot jumped to S$6,400 (US$5,310).

The Marq is a freehold condominium comprising 66 units ranging in sizes from around 3000 square ft to 15,000 square ft in two 24-storey buildings, one of which features private pools for all units.

The four-bedroom sale is believed not to include a private pool.

Despite a few high end sales, the luxury home market in Singapore is declining. According to real estate services firm, CB Richard Ellis, Singapore luxury home prices declined by 1.7 per cent in April-June from the preceding quarter. Average rents fell by 1.9 per cent as completed units came onto the market.

“Tightened mortgage lending and rising interest rates continued to impact on buyer demand in most Asian markets in the second quarter of 2011,” noted CBRE.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

PAP Got Kicked in Presidential Election

PRESIDENTIAL elections in Singapore rarely set pulses racing. The job is that of a well-paid but largely ceremonial head of state, who is not allowed to represent any particular party. The poll on August 27th was the fourth time the post has been directly elected, but the first time there has been any doubt at all about the outcome. Four candidates competed, all surnamed Tan. One, Tony Tan Keng Yam, was seen as the representative of the government and the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has ruled Singapore ever since it withdrew from the Malaysian Federation in 1965. As expected, he won. But he barely scraped home, with a shade over 35% of vaild votes cast, and just 7,000 more than his nearest challenger, Tan Cheng Bock, a former PAP MP, who campaigned against his former party colleague. Tan Jee Say, a former senior civil servant and banker who was an opposition candidate in the general election in May, won 25%, and the fourth candidate, Tan Kin Lian, just 5%. Voting is compulsory but nearly 2% of voters spoiled their ballots—more than 37,000, it was judged.

The PAP never endorsed Tony Tan formally. But he has held a number of cabinet jobs, and the prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, enthusiastically endorsed his candidacy. He also enjoyed the backing of party activists, trade unions, chambers of commerce and community groups. So, that he won not much more than a third of the vote is a remarkable slap in the face for the government. All the same PAP diehards protested that, since two former PAP MPs had garnered 70% of the vote, this was an endorsement for the party.

This follows the general election in May when the PAP did worse than in any election since 1965. It still won 60% of the vote, which left it, in Singapore’s first-past-the-post system, with 81 out of 87 elected seats in parliament. But the party acknowledged it as a setback, and Mr Lee promised to do some “soul-searching”. Voters seem to feel, however, that the government has still not got the message. The presidential election turned into a relatively low-risk chance to teach it a lesson.

A constitutional change in 1991 accorded the president some limited powers—including a veto over the government’s use of past financial reserves, and over senior appointments. The idea was to install a check over a putative future government that was spendthrift and populist, and stacked the civil service with its cronies. The eligibility criteria for presidential candidates are strict, ensuring that only pillars of the establishment need apply.

Until this year, only the first direct presidential election in 1993 had more than one candidate—in that case a virtual unknown who barely campaigned, but who still, in a foretaste of this year’s shock, won more than 40% of the votes.

In general elections opposition parties, which are small and fragmented, are at a disadvantage. Most parliamentary seats are in big “group” constituencies, where they struggle to field slates of credible candidates, and whose boundaries, they claim, are manipulated in the PAP’s favour. The presidential poll is the only one that is island-wide and not affected by these considerations. It gave voters the opportunity to install a different sort of check into the political system. The result is sobering for the PAP. As the country's biggest newspaper, the pro-government Straits Times, put it in reporting the result: "the voting patterns show a society more politically divided than ever before.”

They reflect a widespread sense that the government, blinded by Singapore’s astonishing economic progress, has lost touch with the grievances of ordinary citizens. This sense is in part about particular issues, such as the cost of housing or immigration, which some blame for depressing local wages. But it is as much a question of style—a resentment at what is seen as the government’s paternalistic belief that it knows best.

They also reflect the breakdown, thanks to the internet, and especially social-networking sites, of the government’s virtual monopoly over the media. In both general and presidential elections, the government’s opponents were able to change the terms of the debate by taking it online. For example, when one of the newly elected opposition MPs complained on his Facebook page that he was not allowed to attend constituency functions on a public-housing estate, the issue soon became a national one about the perception of a pro-PAP bias in public bodies.

The realisation that more than 60% of Singaporeans voted against the government’s favoured candidate will presumably provoke more soul-searching within the PAP. Some will take it as proof that the party must move further and faster in opening up to adjust to the “new normal” of a political system with a sizeable opposition. Others, however, may take the opposite view: that too much liberalisation has led to a fading of the fear of the unpleasant repercussions that used to deter critical commentary and opposition activism. In short, that Singaporeans are forgetting who knows best what's good for them. - The economist
Singapore's former deputy prime minister Tony Tan has won the country's presidential election by a narrow margin.

The result was announced after a recount between Tony Tan and fellow front-runner Tan Cheng Bock.

Tony Tan, 71, was seen as the preferred candidate of the governing People's Action Party, which has run Singapore since independence.

Singapore's presidency is a largely ceremonial position.

The election was the first of its kind for 18 years.

Election officials said Tony Tan won by just 7,269 votes out of just over two million valid votes cast in Saturday's four-way race.

The Elections Department ordered a recount after the first tally showed the two front-runners were less than two percentage points apart.

The four candidates all shared the same surname, Tan.

Tony Tan's slim margin is seen as a blow for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who had backed him in the run-up to the election.

In a general election three months ago, the People's Action Party won all but six seats, but the opposition made significant gains.

Voters expressed their anger over immigration, living costs and high government salaries.

Singapore - a former British colony with a Westminster-style parliamentary system - instituted the position of president in 1965 when it became a republic.

Presidential candidates run as individuals because Singapore's head of state is supposed to be non-partisan.
A change to Singapore's political landscape
Translated by Soong Phui Jee
Sin Chew Daily

Voices questioning the competence of the newly-elected Singapore president could be heard within the society right after the results of the country's presidential election was announced.

After a fierce contest, former Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan won a narrow victory by receiving 744,397 votes, or 35.19% of about 2.1 million votes.

Former member of parliament Tan Cheng Bock received 737,128 votes, or 34.85% and Tony defeated Cheng Bock by a narrow margin of 7,269, or 0.34%!

Tan Jee Say, seen as the biggest rival of Tony Tan before the election, earned 529,732 votes, or 25.04% while Tan Kin Lian got 103,931 votes, or 4.91%.

Some posted online after the result announcement that if Jee Say and Kin Lian did not contest this time, Tony would be the second George Yeo. Also, some "congratulated" Tony for being elected the President of Singapore by 737,128 voters out of the total population of about 5 million people, implying that Tony won because of votes from "immigrants".

Even though Tony was openly supported by dozens of unions and associations, as well as being secretly "blessed" by the People's Action Party (PAP), he was able to only won a narrow margin by less than 1%. It was indeed an embarrassing victory. It has not only set a blow to the personal prestige of "the people's President", but as well brought another shock after the general election in May.

The general election in May has been described as an important watershed for Singapore's political history as the PAP won only 60% of votes while losing a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) for the first time. Nevertheless, public opinion still believes that the PAP holds at least 40% of iron votes.

However, the presidential election results showed that the iron votes of the PAP might be only 35%. It is undoubtedly another political defeat for the PAP, but a great encouragement for the opposition.

In addition, there were as many as 37, 826 invalid votes, which were five times more than the 7,269 majority votes of Tony! This has further made the election of Tony less convincing. Why did so many Singaporeans give up the chance to create a history in Singapore this time? This is in fact another issue to be studied.

Although the Singapore government has deliberately kept a distance from the presidential election, the fierce election has apparently led to many surprising political changes. Among the most significant changes is that voters have become more strong-minded. They now dare to challenge the strongman's political authority, as well as oppose to the conservative political system.

These changes have led to the emergence of a new political landscape in Singapore, as well as a more competitive new era with more possibilities!
First-past-the-post system no longer viable for Singapore?
Letter from Kannan Balakrishnan 04:46 AM Aug 30, 2011

THE Presidential Election brought forth many debates over the powers of the office but, following the close results, perhaps the debate should now centre on the viability of the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system.

It is undeniable that under this system, Dr Tony Tan garnered the most votes and won. But 64.8 percent of the electorate also did not vote for him.

The FPTP system has provided for strong governments and clear winners in past General Elections (GE) and Presidential Elections here.

However, given that Dr Tan himself has described the political post-GE climate as a "new normal", perhaps it is time to reconsider the system for something that can accommodate a larger pool of candidates, without diluting the votes that each can garner.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock, in conceding defeat, said: "Even though I lost by only 0.34 per cent ... we have to follow our British system, first past the post."

However, the British, who have been the proponents of this electoral system for years, have themselves considered change.

Recently, a referendum was held in the United Kingdom for a change in the electoral system, and although the results seemed to show that the electorate was against a change, there was a low voter turnout of 42.2 per cent.

More importantly, counting districts such as those in London, Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh Central, cities comparable to Singapore, recorded "Yes" votes above 50 per cent.

There are several alternative electoral systems out there under the system of preferential voting, a type of ballot structure in which voters rank candidates in order of relative preference.

These include the single transferable vote and the instant runoff voting, which are used in America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Take for example the instant runoff voting, where voters' ballots are first counted as one vote for their first-choice candidate. If a candidate secures a majority of votes cast, he/she wins.

Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and a new round of counting takes place, with the second choice from each ballot for the eliminated candidate counted as one vote for the remaining candidates.

This process continues until a candidate receives a majority of the vote against the remaining candidates.

If such a system had been used for the recently concluded Presidential Elections, it would have resulted in a winner with a larger majority of the votes.
Why Tan Jee Say Did Not Win
By Benita Aw Yeong and Zul Othman

The 40 per cent opposition vote in the May General Election (GE) did not translate into support for losing presidential candidate Tan Jee Say yesterday.

He got 25.04 per cent of the votes, coming in third.

The winner, Dr Tony Tan got 35.19 per cent. Dr Tan Cheng Bock who came in second got 34.85 per cent. MrTan Kin Lian came in last with 4.91 per cent.

Speaking to reporters at Bedok Stadium around 1.30am today before the results were announced, MrTan Jee Say, a former senior civil servant, said that if there was to be a winner other than him, he preferred Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Mr Tan said it had been a "good fight" and that the trust gained from his supporters will "never be misplaced".

He also believed that his seemingly confrontational image had indeed cost him votes.

Mr Tan added he wished he had three months to campaign for his presidential bid.

"You can scrutinise candidates better. I am not confrontational. That's an image that has been created. I had not gone on the streets to throw stones."

People who voted for the Opposition in the GE would not simply vote for a former opposition man in the Presidential Election (PE), said Dr Reuben Wong, an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore.

"With the media blitz and debates that have been taking place, Singaporeans have been made to think more about the role of the Elected President," Dr Wong said.

Sensible voters

"Singaporeans know that you don't vote for a president for the purpose of performing checks on the Government, which was a platform Tan Jee Say campaigned very much upon," Dr Wong said.

Associate Professor Cherian George at the Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information said Mr Tan's candidacy probably worked to rival Dr Tan Cheng Bock's advantage.

"Mr Tan Jee Say might have directed votes which did not favour Dr Tony Tan towards Dr Tan Cheng Bock, because he came across as too confrontational or too young," said Dr George.

Dr Wong added that Mr Tan also lost because of his inability to convince voters that he was above party politics.

The 57-year-old stressed throughout his campaign that he did not have "emotional ties" to the People's Action Party (PAP), having never been a member of it.

But this might not have worked to his advantage, Dr Wong asserted.

"In addition to the enduring image that he is confrontational, he couldn't convincingly answer to the charge that presidents should not be partisan and be above party politics.

"In my opinion, he wasn't able to assure voters that he would not discriminate against the PAP," he said.

But Dr George said Singaporeans should not forget who Mr Tan was up against.

"Dr Tony Tan is a household name, and Dr Tan Cheng Bock relatively well-known.

"To even get a single percentage point away from these candidates is something that is extremely difficult," he said.

The father of four had been optimistic about his chances throughout Polling Day.

Earlier, after casting his vote at St Stephen's School at Siglap View, Mr Tan felt that his views had "resonated with the people".

The intermittent downpour yesterday did little to dampen the spirits of Mr Tan, who commented that he saw the showers as a blessing.

He added that his wife was his lucky charm.

The Oxford University graduate studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics on a government scholarship before joining the civil service for 11 years.

He later joined the private finance sector, and is currently an investment advisor. He stood in this year's GE as a candidate with the opposition Singapore Democratic Party. So will we see him in the next election?

Said Mr Tan: "I will have to talk to my supporters and see what role I can play."

Tan Jee Say told the press last night on what he believes are four factors that contributed to his loss in the Presidential Election.

Tan won 25.04% of the votes on Polling Day, or 529,732 of the valid votes. He said that he is satisfied with the results of the election but expressed that there is room for improvement.

He attributes his loss to four factors.

Insufficient time for his campaign

Tan feels that a longer campaign period of three months would have let him connect better with the electorate. There will be more time to communicate his ideas and allow the voters to know him better.

Lack of political background

Tan states that his political career is far shorter than the other candidates. He has never been a member of parliament nor a deputy prime minister. He is not well known to many Singaporeans and lacks a political track record.

Lack of contact with the elderly

Tan said that he connected with younger voters through the internet and this has won him many votes. But he did not get through to the older generation of Singaporeans as they do not get on the internet as much.

A perceived confrontational attitude

Tan emphasised that many misunderstand and thinks that he will be confrontational towards the government. This has lost him some votes.
A Bruising Presidential Election
By Santha Oorjitham

KUALA LUMPUR - Voter discontent and a contest that was too close to call were the hallmarks of Singapore's presidential election last weekend -- much like the general election in May.

Former deputy prime minister Dr Tony Tan won 35.2 per cent of the 2.1 million votes on Saturday, closely followed by former People's Action Party (PAP) member of parliament Dr Tan Cheng Bock with 34.8 per cent.

In the May 7 polls, the opposition Workers' Party (WP) team had wrested the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency from the PAP team with a 9.4 per cent majority.

"Coming so close after the general election, the presidential election was a continuation of the voters' reaction -- to deliver a more concrete message that they are still not satisfied," said a former grassroots leader.

After the general election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reshuffled his cabinet, set up a committee to review ministerial salaries and began to tackle concerns about the cost of housing and the impact of the large number of foreigners on public infrastructure.

"Addressing housing and transport will take time," said former administrative officer Donald Low.

A more structural issue, he noted, was the question of fairness, "which was made very salient by the WP dispute with the People's Association over the use of community facilities".

Back in June, WP chairman Sylvia Lim said the Housing Development Board had informed the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (combining the two constituencies that WP won in the general election) in an email that it had leased 26 public sites that the council had managed to the People's Association, a statutory board administering a network of grassroots organisations.

On Aug 15, Lim said, the People's Association informed the party that "booking by WP will not be allowed".

The sites -- mainly fields and hard courts often used for community events -- were "strategically located and convenient to residents", she said, adding that the move would prevent the party's MPs from organising activities and curtail their "ground presence".

Desmond Choo, the PAP candidate who lost to WP's Yaw Shing Leong in May, is now Hougang's grassroots adviser. He responded in a media statement that grassroots activities had been curtailed by town councils run by the WP.

During the presidential campaign period, Tan called for an investigation into the dispute.

"It is important that justice and fairness should be done, and not only that; the public should see that justice and fairness have been done," he told reporters during a walkabout.

"But grassroots organisations under the People's Association umbrella serve the PAP-appointed adviser, whether or not he or she is the elected MP," Low pointed out.

Although he had hoped for political and institutional reform after the May polls, he wrote, "As the Aljunied debacle shows, things are depressingly similar."

Election observers agree that Tan, the PAP's preferred candidate, drew his support from the party's traditional vote bank. But they're divided on how to interpret the rest of the votes.

"The combined votes of Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock are actually the PAP voters," said the former grassroots leader. "The people decided the two candidates who talked about keeping to the constitutional and institutional role of the president got 70 per cent of the votes."

Assoc Prof Dr Alan Chong of the Nanyang Technological University's School of International Studies, disagreed.

"Tan Cheng Bock made it clear his supporters were an amalgamation of opposition and ruling party supporters," he argued. "He was the ultimate centrist candidate, with the tendencies and independent streak of an opposition member."

For Chong, the presidential election continued a healthy trend.

"The spirit of democratic competition has come back, beginning with the general election.

"Now the supposedly tranquil presidential election has turned into something far feistier. Singaporean democracy is definitely alive and well. The PAP can no longer take Singaporean votes for granted, as they have done in the past."
Analysis of Vote Counts by Regions
Voting patterns in different areas

Although the Elections Department did not release the breakdown of votes by electoral divisions, unofficial indications obtained from various sources showed a disparity in voting patterns.

In a report in The Straits Times, the final tally showed that support was spread unevenly across the island.

Although Dr Tony Tan won by a slight margin of 0.34 percentage point, the gap in favour was much larger in many areas.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock had a clear lead in certain parts - he won handsomely in large parts of the west like Ayer Rajah, Jurong and Choa Chu Kang.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock was MP for Ayer Rajah for 25 years and runs a clinic in Jurong West.

He also won a large number of votes in north-eastern new towns like Punggol and Sengkang.

As for Dr Tony Tan, who was MP for Sembawang for 27 years, won consistently in areas in the north, centre and east like Sembawang, Nee Soon and East Coast.

In many of these areas, the front-runner was often a clear three to six percentage points ahead of the second- placed candidate, according to sources.

The Straits Times reported that sources on both sides attribute the geographic disparity to the fact that both Dr Tans have established good reputations in the area. They also have local grassroots workers there.

There could also be an element of demographic reasons for the differences across the island.

In areas such as Punggol and Sengkang where there is a dispportionate number of young residents, Dr Tan Cheng Bock was seen to have led the count there and in parts of Hougang new town and Hougang single-member constituency (SMC).

In Aljunied GRC, both Dr Tans are said to have obtained around 30 per cent of valid votes, similar to that obtained by Mr Tan Jee Say there.

As for Dr Tony Tan, he did well in older estates like Bedok and Pasir Ris - estates that have traditionally been supportive of the People's Action Party (PAP).

However, he had a greater lead in areas like East Coast GRC's Siglap ward and Joo Chiat SMC, where 85 per cent and 99 per cent of voters respectively live in private housing.

Dr Tony Tan received 30 per cent of the vote in Siglap and 41 per cent in Joo Chiat.

It also seems that Dr Tony Tan's strong financial and economics background have likely drawn the more upper-middle-class residents to back him.

He also led by several percentage points in many landed housing areas such as Tanglin in Tanjong Pagar GRC.

It also happened that the votes separating the two Dr Tans at many counting centres were in the double or triple digits, one way or the other.

In response to the vote margin, Dr Tan Cheng Bock's response early Sunday morning was: "It is fewer than the number of votes in the smallest SMC. But it made all the difference in deciding who gets the keys to the Istana."

Monday, July 18, 2011

$918k for a HDB apartment in Pasir Ris?

$100k-plus cash premiums offered for Tampines flat
By property_guru

Following our breaking story on the asking price of $900,000 for an executive apartment in Pasir Ris, PropertyGuru received an exclusive tip-off from a property agent representing Knight Frank.

The agent, who only wants to be identified as Ravin, said he sold an executive mansionette flat at Block 151 Tampines Street 12 in March this year for $772,500.
According to the valuation report, the flat had a market value of $625,000 in December last year.

It was sold above valuation at $147,500 in March this year. "We were marketing this property over two Sundays and had about 50 plus buyers come for the viewing. Almost half were able to offer COV of more than $100,000," said Ravin.

According to Ravin, the profiles of the potential buyers were Singaporeans in their late 30s to late 50s.

About five were able to offer a COV of more than $125,000.

"These buyers had the cash as most had sold off their landed property, private apartments, or HDB flats with good profits. Most were business owners," said Ravin.
Record COV?

Despite the high COV the mansionette achieved, it will soon be overshadowed by the executive apartment in Pasir Ris should it be able to command the asking price of $900,000, which had shot up to $918,000 after the story broke.

Taking recent transactions as a benchmark valuation price in Pasir Ris, executive apartments in the area are about $600,000.

The new asking price of $918,000 will translate to a record COV of $318,000.
COVs unlikely to go down

Despite the cooling measures, experts say COVs are unlikely to go down.
"The average COV now is about $30,000 to about $40,000 (or) to $50,000 in better and prime locations. I believe that's because of the demand in the market, which comes from newlyweds as well as new PRs and new immigrants coming to Singapore. Although there's a lot of BTO coming up, COV unfortunately will still be going up in the near future," Mark Teo, senior group division director at ERA was reported as saying to Channel NewsAsia.

Others say the new Build-to-Order announcement will ease pressure from the resale market.

"COV prices are bottoming out at around $21,000 and many first-time buyers will still be priced out of the resale market for this reason. Hence, they will definitely find great relief in this bumper crop of BTO flats," said Adam Tan, PropNex corporate communications manager.

New BTO flats eases pressure from resale market
The new HDB flats wil comprise seven BTO projects spread across five estates, namely Sengkang, Tampines, Jurong West, Bukit Panjang and Yishun.
Most of the flats on offer are four and five-room units priced at $217,000 and $274,000 respectively.

According to HDB, it is on track to deliver 25,000 BTO flats in 2011.
The supply of new flats is expected to ease pressure from the resale market which could see their prices falling in the next six months.

This is partly due to economists' recent revision of weaker economic growth in the second quarter and a 25 percent drop in private property transactions in June.
The Resale Price Index (RPI) was 179.9 points in the second quarter, an increase of 2.9 percent over the first quarter.
Priciest flat in Pasir Ris goes on sale for S$900000

Following Sim Lian Group’s highly controversial Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project in Tampines, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is once again under fire after an eye-popping listing was posted on PropertyGuru.

The listing shows a 1,528 sq ft HDB executive flat in Block 780, Pasir Ris Street 71, with a selling price of S$900,000.

The unit’s asking price is higher than the average selling price in the area, considering that it is a public housing project situated in a non-prime area and has no facilities.

It is also not within walking distance to White Sands mall or Pasir Ris MRT station.

Roza Sure Bagus, Managing Director of Sure Bagus (Asia) Pte Ltd, said, “The asking price of S$900,000 is definitely way beyond the market price. It is certainly a one-off case which if the agent is able to get, it will be a record price for Pasir Ris.”

Roza sold a flat in Pasir Ris recently for S$696,000, which is S$96,000 above valuation.

“The S$96,000 (in) above valuation is still okay, provided the house has a good view, high floor and good interior. Nevertheless, if they are buying at S$96,000 above valuation, the buyer’s taste in the décor may not be the same. They may renovate everything.”

Caveat data reveals that the average psf pricing of similar properties sold in the area this year is between S$400 psf and S$500 psf.

The asking price for the executive flat translates to S$589.01 psf, which is well above the market price.

However, Roza believes there might still be a willing buyer.

“For a person who buys such a flat, he might buy it for sentimental value. Perhaps, it has a breathtaking view which he may not be able to get elsewhere.”

“The buyers are likely to be from the private property market who have already sold their properties or who were en bloc owners who made a huge profit. It is unlikely they will take any loan. They would buy this unit in cash, full settlement,” said Roza.

Elderly Singaporeans dying away from home

By Andrew Loh | SingaporeScene – Sun, Jul 17, 2011

It doesn't hit home until you're standing there, eyes fixed on the old man of 87-years old. He is no longer cognisant of his surroundings, I am told. His ability to register familiar faces and places is no longer as keen as before. He can barely recognise his own son who is standing beside me at the side of his bed on the day we paid him a visit.

First a boat-builder — during the Japanese occupation — and later a plumber, his hands were the only means by which he made a living and raised a family. Now, with children all grown up with families of their own, he is bedridden, immobile and has to be cared for in a nursing home. Alzheimer's has set in, along with Parkinson's and coronary heart problems.

His son and daughters, in their 30s and 40s, try their best to provide the care he needs. They had him at home in the beginning but as his needs grew, they had no choice but to put him in a nursing home. It was no longer viable or practical for the siblings to provide the special care he required.
The costs of caring for the elderly

So in 2007, they decided to seek the services of a nursing home.
Several months ago, they were told that their father had had a fall in the home. On further probing they realised that the home had not been totally truthful about how this had happened. They were initially told that the incident took place at about 6 or 7pm. The family was informed at 8pm. However, they later discovered that it had actually happened at 2pm. They were upset that it took the home 6 hours to inform them.

In the meantime, the family was having problems paying for their father's stay in the home. It came to more than S$2,000 a month. Further enquiries with other homes revealed that they were all fully booked. In any case, they were not much cheaper either. In addition, the siblings too had to provide care for their mother who is wheelchair-bound and suffers from various ailments as well. The family was at its wits' end.

They finally had to consider the one thing they never thought they would have to — to place their father in a nursing home abroad as it would relieve the financial burden in caring for both parents.

After a search of the Internet for nursing homes in Johor Baru (JB) in Malaysia, they shortlisted several and finally decided on one. The siblings paid a visit to the home earlier this year and made the decision to place their father there.
It would cut their financial obligations by some 60 percent, not an insignificant amount for the siblings who aren't financially well-off.
Children have to make a hard choice
"No one wants to have their father in a nursing home abroad," the son tells me, his voice quivering. "But we have no choice. The costs in Singapore are just too much for us."
The consolation he and his sisters take from this is that the home is set in a quiet neighbourhood, in landed properties which are converted to homes, giving a certain familial warmth to the elderly residents. It is located about 40 minutes by taxi from central JB. The staff there too are friendly and compassionate.

When the son enquired about making bank transfers so that payments could be made on time, the person in charge, Ms Suraya (not her real name), of the home repeatedly tells him not to worry. "It doesn't mean that you have to pay on the date we agreed on. It is okay if you are one or two weeks late. It is okay," she tells him. Such compassion gives the family some peace of mind.

We were told that in recent months, more Singaporeans have made enquiries with the home. "The main reason is the cost," Ms Suraya says. "But also the recent case of abuse in a nursing home in Singapore has raised concerns among Singaporeans." She was referring to the Nightingale nursing home at Braddell Road where the staff were discovered mistreating a resident there. The JB home currently has 20 Singaporean residents. Demand has been so strong that it is planning to open a new center in the coming months.

As we took our leave of the home, another elderly resident waves at us. "Young people like you, good," he said, pointing his finger at us. "Old people like us, no good anymore." It was something he keeps repeating during the next few minutes we conversed with him.

On the next bed beside his was a Malaysian, who is no older than 55. "I am Malaysian but I had been working many years in Singapore," he said. "My children all were born in Singapore and are still there." He recently had an accident which broke several of his hip bones. When we asked why he was there and not with his children in Singapore, he said they could not afford the cost of putting him in a nursing home in Singapore.
The government should help ease the burden

As we left them and the home, I wonder how many Singaporeans — after having served and contributed to the country — would end up in homes such as this one abroad simply because they would not be able to afford to stay in nursing homes in their own country.

It is just not right that our elderly, in what should be their golden years, are subjected to this indignity, to be cast aside or forced out of the land they were born in, grew up in and worked for and contributed to, through no fault of their own or their families' — with the prospect of returning home only when they have breathed their last.

With almost a million Singaporeans projected to be above 65-years old in 2030, it is incumbent upon the government to seriously look into this matter and not let our elderly be subject to such unconscionable indignity when they are no longer "economically active."

There is a responsibility for a government to care for those who no longer can, and to extend help to families who are burdened in such circumstances.
Our elderly should not have to seek shelter in a foreign land.

They are as much a part of us as those who are rich, economically active or young. Our country should not and must not abandon them to another country. It is our responsibility and we must not shirk this.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Philip Yeo - LKY's failed genetic monster

Egomaniac and full of crap:
Philip Yeo is the biggest egomaniac (full of himself) in Singapore. He does not want to be called a “civil servant” even though he has been in the public sector for decades.

PY was the one who started shaming “bond breakers” (about 70% of Government scholars break their bond) but made sure his own son (also a scholar) got special treatment.He was allowed to “serve” his bond in the US. What a hypocrite!

PY’s business acumen is similar to Ho Ching – almost nil.When he became Chairman of Sembawang Corporation he used the company’s surplus cash to acquire Delifrance from its French owner for over $400m.It turned out a disaster and had to be sold to PAMA for only $70m, a loss of over $300m. Sembcorp also almost went bust and had to be merged into the Singapore Technologies Group. PY was also Chairman of some companies in the Singapore Technology that made large losses. After Ho Ching he must the the second biggest loser of taxpayers’ money.

The only reason PY is still around is because LKY (another egomaniac) likes him. This guy is full of crap.
Philip Yeo: My greatest fear now is that the Government is terrified of the people

The late former US President Thomas Jefferson once said: “When the people are afraid of the government, there is tyranny. When the government is afraid of the people, there is democracy.” However, former EDB Chairman and Special Adviser for Economic Development in the Prime Minister’s Office Philip Yeo is afraid that the PAP regime will become ‘terrified’ of the people after losing a GRC in the recent general election.

In an interview with the state media, Mr Yeo said:

“After the last elections, the ruling People’s Action Party realises that it’s no longer infallible. My greatest fear now is that the Government is terrified of the people. You cannot have a system where the people are pampered.”

He added that the repressive regime has run Singapore ‘very rationally’ for the last 45 years though it has imposed draconian laws along the way to suppress the civil rights of Singaporeans and to entrench its political hegemony:

‘The intentions have always been good but we forget that some people were hurt along the way. We need to work with our heads and our hearts. The key is not to swing totally the other way.’

Mr Yeo also reiterate his earlier stance to name and shame Singaporean bond-breakers:

“That’s why I say bond-breakers squander the people’s money. You break your bond, you break the future of someone else who was on the reserve list.”

However he was quick to give scholarships to foreigners and admit readily that a ‘good percentage’ of his EDB and A*Star scholars and staff were from Malaysia, China, India and Vietnam.

“Many were given secondary scholarships at age 15. They grew up here. Many became new Singaporeans. They have become indistinguishable from his Singaporean scholars.”

The number of foreign scholars who break their bonds and leave Singapore for good yearly is not revealed to this very day.
Wiki-Leak on Philip Yeo:
Philip Yeo
From Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia.
Philip Yeo, or Mr. Invincible, has a vision for the future of Singapore that is highly reliant upon gratuitous amounts of Cheez-Whiz and the world's largest traffic pylon.

Philip Yeo (born 1950) is one of the first Singaporean superhumans as well as the current chairman of the A*Star programme, whose aim is to create an elite force of super soldiers for the purposes of homeland security. Although he currently goes by the moniker of "Mr. Invincible", he is affectionally known to his critics as being an "A*Star douchebag".

Yeo was born in Singapore in 1950 to a poor family. The oldest of thirty-six children and the only boy among his siblings, he was constantly a victim of bullying and domination by his significantly stronger and more intelligent sisters. Due to his family's lack of funds, Yeo was forced to study the basics by himself, discovering in himself a love of the pseudosciences, especially phrenology.

In 1968, Philip Yeo enlisted under the newly enacted National Slavery act, approved by former Uber Minister Lee Kwan Yew just two years prior to Yeo's entry. Yeo proved to be a strong, capable, diligent, and intelligent soldier, and was watched carefully by government officials for this very reason.

Philip Yeo NEVER enlist under the National Slavery Act.

Philip Yeo, as Captain Singapore, goes into Super Saiyan mode in order to defeat Dr. Madhatter.

Unknown to Yeo and, in fact, to most Singaporeans, Lee Kuan Yew had been working on a secret project that was known only as A*Star. In 1963, Lee jumpstarted the A*Star programme with the intent of creating super soldiers for the sake of defending Singapore in case of any attacks from enemies that sought to end the island city's pitiable existence. Impressed by the Swiss guard of the Vatican City, Lee sought to create a similar programme through selecting the most "genetically superior" Singaporeans and enhancing them through artificial means. Although Lee has no access to Catholic-related Power Ups, he believed in the scientific prowess of his wise men and believed he could create a strong defensive force of just a few superpowered soldiers.

However, five years later, the A*Star programme had made frustratingly little progress, and the bizarre deaths of several high-profile volunteers made the programme increasingly unpopular. Although disappointed, Lee Kwan Yew did not close the programme completely, but introduced National Slavery instead as a means of pumping up Singapore's hypothetical military might.

Keen to give the programme one final shot, several of Lee's top aides recommended that Philip Yeo be drafted into the A*Star programme, confident that his DNA was harmonic with the enhancements that had failed on every previous volunteer. Yeo, eager to serve his country and lured with the added promise of a bounty of scholarship funds, agreed to undergo testing, which was successful. His physiology enhanced far beyond that of normal humans, Yeo was given the codename Captain Singapore, and was charged with leading the Singapore Armed Forces both strategically and as a rallying icon.

From 1969 to 1998, Captain Singapore fought dozens of foreign superhumans including The Sultan and even the dreaded Captain Cambodia, who, at one point, was considered to be one of the strongest Asian superhumans in existence. Eventually, Philip Yeo gave up the title of Captain Singapore to other aspiring young products of the A*Star programme, choosing the name "Mr. Invincible" instead.

In 1999, Philip Yeo took over the leadership of the A*Star programme, promising an army of 300 Singaporean superhumans by 2020. The A*Star programme has since been successful in churning out Singaporean superhumans, including Mr. Kiasu, Whizz-Kid, Ah Tan the Destroyer, and Smogger. In 2002, the United States and Singapore jointly worked on a superhuman known to the world as Captain Obvious. Philip Yeo and A*Star were also partly responsible for the construction of Lee Hsien Loong.
Edit Controversy sectionEdit Controversy

For the religious among us who choose to believe lies, the self-proclaimed experts at Wikipedia have an article about Philip Yeo.

Since Philip Yeo's ascension as chairman of A*Star, murmurs of what actually goes on behind the closed doors of the genetic enhancement programme frequently pop up from time to time. Most famously, A*Star was accused by the Far Eastern Economic Review of producing foot soldiers for the League of Evil, a claim that Yeo has personally denied multiple times. He was once questioned for calling his own slaves "wimps", and also ordered a few bloggers shot to silence those who questioned him.

Subjects for the A*Star programme are frequently taken from servicemen partaking in National Slavery, often against their will and without the knowledge of their families. Although Yeo asserts that all test subjects are "willing volunteers", the ratio of successes to failures is still much too high for the public to feel comfortable with.

Recently, Johns Hopkins University cut funding to the A*Star programme to the tune of several million dollars, citing creative disagreements and referring to Philip Yeo as a "fairy". Philip Yeo responded by referring to the American superhuman team, the Revengers, as "a group of overweight assholes with terrible style".

Philip Yeo's physiology has been artificially enhanced through the A*Star programme. A product of breakthrough bioengineering, Yeo is a master of martial arts and possesses superhuman strength, invulnerability, and the powers of flight. In Super Saiyan mode, Yeo is able to generate radioactive fields and cause explosions by manipulating matter at the sub-atomic level. Additionally, Yeo has genius-level intellect and is a master tactician. A little know fact, his 'trouser snake' is so stong and powerful it is reported that he fought chuck norris' 'trouser snake' and only just lost shooting 'venum' 300m compared to chuck norris' 500m
From: http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Philip_Yeo

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tan Jee Say vs Tan Kin Lian vs Tan Cheng Bok vs Tan Tony

Yet another Tan wants to be the President. Now we have 4 Tan's who want to vie for just one President post. Certainly making things very interesting for this coming Presidential election. Once thought to be useless and time-wasting, now the President position is going to become a symbol of the opposition making dramatic in-road into PAP's financial stronghold?

Tan Kin Lian on Tan Jee Say's Presidential bid

I like to wish Tan Jee Say all the best in getting the Certificate of Eligibility and in contesting the Presidential Election. With more candidates entering the contest, the voters of Singapore will have a wider choice of selecting the next President of Singapore. A larger pool of candidates should help to make more citizens aware of the importance of this position and educate more people on the need to make a wise choice.

I will not change my campaign, as set out in my campaign website: www.tkl2011.com.

I offer to the voters to serve the country in the following areas:

-Be a voice of the people to carry their views, concerns and aspirations to the Government.

-Be independent of the PAP government but to work with the government to find solutions that are best for the people.

-Apply my knowledge and expertise to safeguard their CPF savings and the reserves of Singapore.

I also pledge to donate at least half of the President's salary towards charity and other causes.
TiTANic Presidential Elections ahead?
SINGAPORE: Another candidate has stepped forward ahead of the Presidential Election, which is due by August 31.

Tan Jee Say, who was last in the public eye during this year's General Election for the opposition SDP, picked up the Certificate of Eligibility forms at the Elections Department on Friday morning.

He said on his blog that he wants to be "the conscience of the nation".

"I am applying for a Certificate of Eligibility to contest the election of the
President of Singapore under the special clause that allows a person to do so," he said in a statement released before appearing at the Elections Department.

"The specific position I held that satisfies the condition (special clause), is that of chief executive officer with the title of regional managing director of John Govett (Asia) Private Limited and its successor company AIB Govett (Asia) Private Limited," the statment went on to add.

As for Dr Tan Cheng Bock who was one of the first to signal his intention to run for the post of elected president, he said in a Friday entry on Facebook, "I will be submitting my COE application next week with friends and supporters."

Netizens are now buzzing over the four Presidential hopefuls who share the surname Tan.

In addition to Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Tan Jee Say, there's also former deputy prime minister Dr Tony Tan and former CEO of NTUC Income Mr Tan Kin Lian, both of whom submitted their applications for a Certificate of Eligibility on July 7.

Apart from the four, former JTC Corporation group chief financial officer Andrew Kuan who was disqualified in 2005 from running for the presidency, told MediaCorp recently that he is keen to throw his hat into the ring again.

70-year-old Mr Ooi Boon Ewe, who failed in his bid to contest the recent General Election as an independent candidate, has also collected forms for the Presidential Election.

In early June, 50-year-old Mohamed Raffi Bashir Ahmed also turned up at the Elections Department to collect forms to contest the Presidential Election.
“I have not been asked by any party to come out and contest” – Presidential hopeful Tan Jee Say
Posted by theonlinecitizen
Joshua Chiang

Mr Tan showed up at the Elections Department at 10.15am with his wife Patricia

Even though Mr Tan Jee Say has contested Holland-Bukit Timah GRC under the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) banner in the recent General Elections, he is confident that the public will not see him as partisan if he were elected President as he had only been with the SDP for 3 months.

On the other hand, the three other presidential hopefuls – Dr Tony Tan, Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Tan Kin Lian had been with the People’s Action Party for 10 to 20 years.

“The PAP DNA is still very strong in them,” the former principal private secretary to then DPM Goh Chok Tong told the press outside the Elections Department when he went to collect the forms for the presidential eligibility certificate on Friday morning.

In his press release, Mr Tan wrote that many Singaporeans want a non-PAP President whose independence of the PAP is clear, obvious and cannot be in doubt: “Only such a person can have the moral authority to fulfill the mission of Elected President which is to provide checks and balances on the PAP Government.”

Mr Tan formally resigned from the SDP this morning. He told the press that Sec Gen Dr Chee Soon Juan was ‘supportive’ of his decision but clarified that he had not been asked by any party to come out and contest the Presidential Elections.

“I just made the decision in the quietness of my bedroom in my house, and with my wife of course, “ he said. Mr Tan further revealed that he only arrived at the decision on Thursday night.

Among the handful of supporters who turned up, two – Ms Michelle Lee and Mr Fazlur Yusof were members of SDP. Another, Mr Bentley Tan was the Master of Ceremony for the SDP rallies during the General Elections.

President the ‘moral conscience of the nation’

On what he would do as President if elected, Mr Tan said that he would want to know how much there are in the reserves and if they had been put to good use, and if more money is needed to invest in the people, to use the second key to open up the reserves.

“I have a national regeneration plan that required 60 billion dollars – 12 billion every year for five years – so if they (the government) wants to invest in it, why not?”

He also stressed that he won’t make the Presidency is not another centre of power, instead, it will be the ‘moral conscience of the nation’. If elected, he will work with the government because he has to honor the wishes of the people who elected the government, but at the same time, the government cannot be right all the time. Mr Tan mentioned the building of the two casinos as an example where the government got it wrong.

“Why do you compromise your morals just to create jobs and then cry over it?” he asked rhetorically.

As such, even though it is up to the government to decide on which policies to implement at the end of the day, the President can nonetheless speak up on those issues.

“They will be moral pressure,” he emphasized.
President must act independently: Dr Tony Tan
Singapore's president has to be above politics, needs to work with all government parties and must also act independently, said presidential hopeful Dr Tony Tan.

Dr Tan, 71, was addressing questions on his affiliation with the People's Action Party (PAP) and whether it would help or hurt his chances in the upcoming Presidential Election, which will be held before August 31.

Earlier today, former civil servant and opposition politician Tan Jee Say showed his interest in running for President and said in a press statement that he believed many Singaporeans wanted "a non-PAP President whose independence of the PAP is clear, obvious and cannot be in doubt".

Dr Tan, who was a member of PAP since 1979 before retiring from politics in 2006, reiterated that "whoever he is, (the President) has a distinct role as set out in the Constitution".

"I think we have to be quite clear about this. He is not a separate power centre in Singapore; there can only be one - the government," said Dr Tan to reporters while speaking at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series held at Ritz Carlton Hotel today.

He continued to explain that the President has very limited executive authority, but has an important role in representing Singapore overseas, as "people judge the country by the calibre of the President".

"You need somebody in the Presidency who is steady, experienced, who knows the issues and limits of what the President can do and most importantly, he has to be fair and neutral.

"He has to be above politics and needs to work with all government parties, civic and social organisations, and he cannot take a partisan view," reiterated the former chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, or GIC.

Dr Tan concluded that the President must act independently, make up his own mind and exercise authority accordingly.

Recent GE a 'win-win-win result'

Dr Tan also gave his personal opinion on the recent General Election that was held in May, and described it as giving rise to a 'win-win-win result'.

He gave three reasons as to why he called it a triple win situation.

First, it was a strong mandate for the PAP to frame policies and continue Singapore's progress and improve the life of Singaporeans.

Second, the oppposition now has a base to build on, further their credibility and possibly gain more votes in the next election, and finally, it demonstrated another stage of the country's political development.

Dr Tan explained: "The situation where you have one overwhelming party which has almost all the seats, with little effective opposition - and I stress this is my personal view - is a matter of the past.

"There could be a new normal in Singapore politics now, which is a strong party in government that frames policies and implements them, and is matched by an effective opposition in Parliament, which will debate these policies, with different perspectives and views, and suggest alternatives.

"Through the process of debate, discussion and challege, we will end up with better results and progress for Singapore," said Dr Tan.

Friday, July 8, 2011

President S.R. Nathan Announced His Own Retirement

IT'S age - the main reason President S.R. Nathan is not seeking a third term. Two days before his 87th birthday, President Nathan announced that he would step down when his second term runs out on Aug 31.

"At this stage of my life, I do not believe that I can undertake indefinitely the heavy responsibilities and physical demands of the position of Head of State," he said in a statement on July 1.

His 12 years in office make him the longest-serving President in Singapore's history. Those years cap a 55-year career in public service, which saw him take on roles such as ambassador to the United States and permanent secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He also served as director of Singapore's external intelligence arm, the Security and Intelligence Division of the Defence Ministry.

In his statement, the President acknowledged both the Singaporeans who had criticised him and those who had shown him "affection and kindness".

During his years in office, he had given his best in the performance of all his duties, whether constitutional, ceremonial or community-related, he said.

Observers have paid tribute to the President for his contributions in diplomacy and charity work, and for his personal touch and closeness to the people.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said: "He always had a special place in his heart for people who are vulnerable, for children, for the disabled."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tony Tan's Relation With Lee Kuan Yew

A bunch of relatives and lackies
PAP is one of most corrupt party in the world. One sees many elected officers of PAP as well as top civil servant are relative of one another.

Family of Shylock
Kwa Siew Tee is Lee Kuan Yew's father-in-law. Lee Kuan Yew's mother-in-law, Wee Yew Neo and Bankster Tan Chin Tuan 's wife, Helen Wee are sisters. So Tan Chin Tuan is LKY's uncle-in-law. Tony Tan is Tan Chin Tuan's nephew.

Both Kwa Siew Tee and Tan Chin Tuan were top banksters of OCBC. The financialization of Singapore's economy whereby banksters parasite feed on the productive citizen can easily be understood -- if one is aware how deeply Lee Kuan Yew is connected with shylock.

Tony Tan the best actor
In public, Tony Tan shows himself as a humble and wise man. Unfortunately nothing is further from truth. Nothing good can be expected from scion of bankster. While Singaporean focus on Ho Ching and her Temasek fiasco, few people knew that GIC under the charge of Tony Tan has lost its pants in 2008 crisis.

In short, Tony Tan has blown up Singapore's pension aka the corrupt CPF. He is responsible for condemning Singaporean to work till death because CPF is effectively being wipe out in real terms. (PAP is going to stealth default CPF)

The patriarch: Kwa Geok Choo's father


Powerful and Influencial Figure
Little known Kwa Siew Tee (柯守智), Kwa Geok Choo's (LKY wife) father was immensely rich and one of the most powerful man in Singapore. He had been appointed the Municipal Commissioner in 1947, and Public Service Commissioner in 1953. Both are extremely powerful position and in theory, held the power to appoint and dismiss top civil servants.

Forex Trader
Kwa was a senior bankster in OCBC doing things related to forex trading. Banksters do not produce anything, they simply feed on productive host economy. Wonder PAP's perpetual policy to increase asset price screwing the working class, is due to all these bankster relative.

Inter-marriage between powerful families
Kwa Siew Tee's wife Wee Yew Neo, is daughter of Wee Theam Seng, a senior OCBC Bankster.

Kwa Siew Tee's brother-in-law is Tan Chin Tuan, who married Helen Wee, another daughter of Wee Theam Seng.

[BBC definition: banker+gangster = bankster]
OCBC Alumni
OCBC influences on Singapore are comparable to Goldman Sachs on USA. A large disproportional number of powerful office holders are connected to OCBC. To name a few below.

Lee Kuan Yew PM
- father-in-law OCBC senior bankster

Yong Pung How Chief Justice
- 1976-1982 work in OCBC

Teo Chee Hean Deputy PM
- father Teo Cheng Guan OCBC chairman 1989-1991

Tony Tan Deputy PM
- family is one of OCBC founders

2nd Generation Kwa, many illustrious figures
2 out of 3 survivng sons of Kwa Siew Tee hold perm sec position and many of important appointments. One of the son-in-law was made minister in LKY's cabinet. The 3rd generation are less prominent in public office but do not under-estimate their hidden wealth and influences.

Kwa Soon Hock 柯顺福
-Died Young

Kwa Soon Lock 柯顺禄
-Killed by Japanese

- no info

Kwa Soon Chuan 柯顺全
-Perm Sec and many other top appointments

Kwa Soon Bee 柯顺美
-Perm Sec and many other top appointments

Kwa Geok Neo 柯玉娘
- no info (found almost no data, need help to confirm the existence of this person)

Kwa Geok Lan 柯玉兰
- married Yong Nyuk Lin 杨玉麟 who later became minister of various ministries

Kwa Geok Choo 柯玉芝
- married LKY, PM of Singapore

Kwa Geok Lian 柯玉莲
- married Earnest Lau, a school principal

Kwa Geok Eng 柯玉英
- no info

Kwa's family and LKY road to power
Without the Kwa family network of powerful families, it is questionable whether LKY can emerge as the leader of PAP in 1950s given then, there are many other extremely capable and charismatic leaders in the party. The nexus of Kwa family probably also helped LKY to win the trust of British, which handed over to him the control of security apparatus. That is the key LKY is able arrest his political opponents.
Acknowledgement: Articles above were copied from http://veritas-lux.blogspot.com/ for ease of referencing.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Developer Sim Lian's link to the PAP

Documented from CNA forum:
Blk16A wrote:
Sim Lian majority owned by Kuik Family - Fact
Diana Kuik is the wife of Ong Ye Kung - Fact

Diana Kuik is the ED of Sim Lian - ?
Who can verify whether is fact or rumour?

sibehsianz wrote:
Also fact. Go to simlian website look investment relation-> for board of directors-> Kuik Sin leng(aka Diana Kuik):


Btw Sim Lian independence director Asst Prof Sim Loo Lee is a member of HDB Audit Committee. Wow, what kind of independency we expect during contract awarding????

Blk16A wrote:
Only says Kuik Sin Leng. It doesn't say Diana Kuik.

Wow this is your first post.

sibehsianz wrote:
IR Contact: Kuik Sin Leng, Diana
|diana.kuik@simlian.com.sg | +65-6303-6200

I gana banned some month ago arguing with pap dogs here lah.

pisspisspiss wrote:
GNN eh, the most obvious something is very wrong is that a director of Sim Lian, Sim Loo Lee can be part of HDB audit committee ??!! As a auditor, Sim will have in procession of all tenders specs, past minimun quotes etc wouldn't he? This will obviously favour Sim Lian during tender for DBSS isn't it?

Even say Mah has great firewall to prevent this auditor seeing tender process it is against civil service standard for a bidder to sit on its highest level comittee who will then can wield great influence on those deciding who to award the bid to isn't it, especially when million of dollars are at stake ?

justrade wrote:
You think all these LHL don't know ?
Just wonder if PAP dare to ask their MPs to declare their association - family & spouses business.

Btw - Ng Eng Heng is nephew of Far East Organisation - FEO go round snapping sg land; now one of the biggest landlord in sg
Quoted from facebook comment page of toc...(names changed to protect freedom of speech)

"AmyL: VTan, apparently Ong Ye Kung, the Secretary-General of PAP and the highly touted ministerial material in the PAP Aljunied Team, is married to the ED of Sim Lian Mdm Kuik. So the next question is, what made Sim Lian so confident to bid for the site some years ago? Ong Ye Kung was the PPS to PMO in 2002/2004."

73% jump of prices from first DBSS project

In 2005, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) launched the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS), which allowed the private sector to design, build, and sell HDB flats.

By 2006, it had introduced the first public housing project developed and sold by a private developer. Developed by the Sim Lian Group, The Premiere@Tampines had air-conditioning units installed, floor-to-ceiling wardrobes, and teak parquet flooring. Kitchens had cabinets and Italian hobs, while bathrooms had glass shower screens and fancy shower heads. It was launched in 2009, with the biggest 5-room flat costing $450,000.

Now, fast forward to six years later, and Sim Lian Group is again the developer for the eighth DBSS site, Centrale 8 located in Tampines.

The developer announced the 'indicative prices' of the newest flats last Thursday, causing much uproar, as Singaporeans reacted to what was widely seen as grossly expensive HDB flats. It said then that the biggest 5-room flats for the units in Tampines could cost as much as $880,000.

It has since slashed down the prices by $102,000, with the maximum price for the biggest flats costing $$778,000 instead.

This shows a 73 per cent jump from The Premiere's 2009 price.

We take a look at the other DBSS projects, and how much they cost.

Tin Pei Ling shares views on DBSS saga

Tin Pei Ling, Member of Parliament for Marine Parade -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

MEMBER of Parliament for Marine Parade Tin Pei Ling shared her thoughts on Facebook on Friday morning about the recent news regarding the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project in Tampines.

The flats at the 708-unit Centrale 8 raised an uproar last week over the $880,000 price tag for its largest units, as the price was nearly that of executive condominiums.

Project developer Sim Lian later said quoted price ranges were only 'indicative', before releasing a 'confirmed price range' for the flats, which showed a $100,000 price drop to $778,000 for the top-end units. Ms Tin posted this note on her Facebook account at 9.50am on Friday, titled 'Short note on housing 3: HDB land - a matter of principle'.

She wrote (as is carried here): 'The recent high profile sale of DBSS flats at Centrale 8 stunned many Singaporeans, including myself. Questions were raised by many members of the public. Some asked why HDB flats built on HDB lands and eventually to be managed by the Town Councils (i.e. like normal HDB flats) should be priced by private developers. I understand and sympathise with these views.

'Allowing private developers who had successfully acquired HDB lands to independently price DBSS units may be in line with 'free market' principles, but it also means HDB losing control over precious lands that could be better utilized for BTO flats or community facilities.

'DBSS was meant to offer an additional housing option to Singaporeans - premium but less expensive than private condominiums. It is right to offer tiered options to address the different aspirations of Singaporeans. But the 'devil is in the details', and what might have been a useful housing option in 2005 may no longer be as suitable today.'

'Some have pointed out that Singaporeans can choose not to purchase over-priced DBSS flats. But I think the issue is one of principle - given the land scarcity in Singapore, HDB land should be reserved for building affordable public housing, and not apartments that HDB has little influence over. As part of MND's overall review of housing policies, perhaps it should either let HDB take back the right to price DBSS units, or include a clause to compel price negotiations between HDB and the private developers.'
Not-so-premium flat
Letter from Michele Goh
04:47 AM Jun 24, 2011
I PURCHASED a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat in 2009 despite the high premium compared to a Build-to-Order (BTO) flat, based on the assumption that its management by an established private developer would result in intelligent, functional design and professional workmanship. In addition, the well-finished product would likely require little or no renovation, thus justifying the high price tag.

However when I received my flat keys in March this year, I found out otherwise. While the estate's façade appears condominium-worthy, the workmanship at my flat was worse compared to a BTO flat at Sengkang which costs almost half as much.

Defects were only patched over. Design flaws included insufficient clearance above the safety window grilles to install a roller blind and the lack of a TV point (required for StarHub broadband connectivity) or OpenNet point in the study room.

The showroom on which I based my half-a-million-dollar public housing purchase differed from the actual product in some ways, such as the implied location of TV points and type of tile finishes in the bathrooms. It is interesting to note that all final decisions regarding electrical wiring and finishes are at the sole discretion of the architect, according to a clause in the sales brochure.

Given that DBSS projects have been and presumably will continue to be well-received for their perceived premium quality in design and workmanship, I am concerned for current and future buyers.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) protects consumers of retail products. Who protects consumers of products from our public housing agency, in a project managed by a private developer?

DBSS projects are sought after by young couples buying their first home due to their location in mature estates where their parents live. The HDB currently does not inspect DBSS flats and flat owners are told to seek redress with the developers instead.

This clearly disadvantages first-timers who are likely to be less savvy in surveying the quality and workmanship of a new flat.

The recent prices sought by private developers for DBSS flats clearly highlights the disparate goals of private developers and Singapore's public housing authority in this scheme. I urge the HDB to revisit its aim to "ensure that cost-effectiveness and quality standards are maintained and continually improved upon" in public housing towns.

Since DBSS flats are indeed HDB flats, I urge the HDB to exercise its authority in imposing strict regulations on pricing and quality of flats upon private developers seeking involvement in DBSS projects, so as to preserve its founding aims.

I also hope that, while the HDB and private developers iron out regulations to make the scheme fairer for future buyers, residents of current projects will not be left to fend for themselves.

Had I known all this earlier, I might not have decided to pay premium prices for a flat that turned out to be not-so-premium.
Sim Lian tops bid for Tampiness DBSS site
HDB received a total of five bids yesterday for the 227,460 sqft DBSS site in Tampines at the junction of Tampines Ave 5 and Tampines Central 8, right beside Tampines Premier.

Sim Lian came out tops in their bid for the site at the junction of Tampines Ave 10 and Ave 1 in March, and have done it again.

The contenders for the DBSS site are:

Sim Lian Pte Ltd- $178 million
Qingdao Construction (Singapore) - $145 million
Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd And Sunway Developments Pte Ltd - $139 million
Realty Consortium Pte. Ltd. -$137 million
Ho Lee Group Pte Ltd- $110 million

The obvious winner here should be Sim Lian, yes? HDB will announce the final tender results within the next two weeks.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

PAP Need To Change Mindset Towards Marriage

PAP Need To Change Mindset Towards Marriage and giving birth, before they lose another GRC in the next election.

Its a question of what the government should not have done rather what
it could do, the current education system puts a lot of stress on the
children and the parents. Housing prices are too high and the cost of
living is ever increasing. The government should first remove the
forced learning of a 2nd language making it a optional subject
many parents will be happy not teaching their children a alien
language which they dont use it themselves.
The cost of living should be brought under control through real
government subsidy in health care and housing.
What we really need is the government to change its mindset.
S'poreans need to change mindset towards marriage: Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE: A change in mindset may be needed in the attitude of
Singaporeans towards marriage, said Acting Minister for Community
Development, Youth and Sports Major General (NS) Chan Chun Sing.

He added that while the government can drive a pro-family environment,
it is up to the people to believe in the "intangible ideals" of

He was speaking at the Family Day Out Carnival on Saturday at this
year's National Family Celebrations, which saw more youth

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was also at the event, said
employers should also play a part by putting in place pro-family
policies at the workplace. He also highlighted the role of community
and commercial providers in offering family support services.

Lim Soon Hock, Co-Chairperson of the National Family Celebrations
organising committee, said: "We are seeing a lot of youths
participating in this family day out. And they're here with their
families, with their grandparents. Some of them are even with their
younger siblings.

"So I think in terms of getting our youth engaged in the family scene
and as key stakeholders for future families, I'm particularly

It is a sign of hope amidst a recent gloomy statistic that fewer
people are getting married. While the government promises to play its
part in helping more Singaporeans settle down, it also boils down to

MG Chan said: "There are some other things that are less tangible that
we have to encourage - the attitude that we look at families,
children, what are the conditions required for us to start a family,
so on and so forth.

"Personally, I would say that when I got married, it wasn't like all
the stars, moon and sun were aligned and then, 'This is the day we get
married'. It's a commitment between me and my wife to say, regardless
of what happens in the future, we want to work things through

As the month-long celebrations draw to a close, the National Family
Celebrations organising committee hopes the younger generation will
continue to recognise the roles they play in their families

PRC Got Bashed by S'porean Chinese for Beating a Malay

It’s Singaporean vs others

By Seah Chiang Nee
THE current wave of migrant workers from China and India has had an unintended side benefit for Singapore, blurring differences between local Chinese and Malays.

The new competition they introduced into the workforce has helped to get these once quarrelling races to put aside old discords and jointly face the common challenge.

In the 60s and 70s, ethnic conflicts were a daily story in Singapore generally over who should get a bigger piece of the economic pie. Every issue seemed to revolve around race.

The impact of globalisation and the mass inflow of foreigners are helping the Chinese and Malays achieve commonality faster than anything else.

It has promoted a common bond – as well as a sense of nationalism – which would have been a lot slower without the 2,000,000 foreigners.

In the latest example, Singapore’s Chinese majority rallied to condemn a Chinese migrant worker after he roughed up a Malay citizen and boasted about it online.

Zhou Hou, a 24-year-old delivery worker, bragged in Facebook how he knocked down a Singaporean “because he saw me coming and did not give way” and calling Singa-poreans “retards”.

It probably showed his cocky dislike for Singaporeans in general, rather than any particular race.

Zhou has since deleted the post (with his photo) and made several apologies to Singaporeans, claiming it was done on the spur of his “frustrations”.

With a history of ethnic riots, racial harmony has always been Singapore’s priority objective, something that not many new migrants from China and India are aware of.

“Those retards who want to act ‘garang’ step forward. I come here not to be bullied or insulted – from a true noble Chinese with 5,000 years of cultural baptism,” Zhou wrote, with a tinge of ethnic superiority.

If he thought he would be supported by the Chinese here he was wrong. Several Singaporeans immediately filed police reports against his remarks. Police are now investigating the case.

Since independence, a new generation of Singaporeans – especially Chi-nese and Malays – have grown up and had gone to schools, lived and served national service together.

The integration has stabilised things but race differences have never completely disappeared.

In the early days, it was normal to see Chinese Singaporeans cheering football teams from China when they played here against Singapore which comprised mostly of Malay players.

Once as a teenager, I watched some 8,000 local Indians rooting for a visiting Indian team against our state side. Singapore was then far from being a nation despite military service and years of National Day Parades.

To the Malays, Chinese and Indians were taking their jobs away – and vice versa. Language, social norms and even food became contentious issues.

But as foreigners flocked to our shores, Malays along with other races gradually became more preoccupied with the “foreign threat” to their jobs and earnings.

Instead of viewing each other with suspicion as their parents once did, the Chinese and Malays have become more concerned about losing out to the foreigners.

The Government had apparently opened the doors to so many mainland Chinese and Indians because it believed that they would be more culturally acceptable to the locals.

The major question was whether the minority Malays would object to the inflow from India and China.

As history turned out, the racial dimension to the immigration did not materialise because the policy was widely opposed by the vast majority of Singaporeans.

When the Malays saw their fellow Singaporeans – particularly Chinese – were staunch critics, they were somewhat reassured that it was not a racial issue, said a polytechnic lecturer.

“A race conflict could have happened had the local Chinese rooted for more immigrants from China and Singaporean Indians wanted more mainland Indians,” the academician said. But that never occured.

On the contrary, the angriest condemnation of the influx of Chinese and Indian workers were the local Chinese and Indians respectively.

It removed a potential racial sting when the minority Malays and In-dians found that they were not opposing the policy by themselves.

I had noticed over the years that Singaporean Chinese were more vo-cal in condemning the policy than the Malays. The same applies to the local Indians against the inflow of job-seeking professionals from India.

The Zhou Hou incident, sensitive because it touched on race, has shown how well Singaporeans have integrated.

An online discussion on whether the Chinese here would help a Malay if he was assaulted by a Chinese mainlander produced a largely “yes” answer and the following sample comments.

> “I feel closer to my Malay and Indian Singaporean brothers whom I grew up with, whom I served national service (NS) with, than some mainland Chinese.”

> “I am a Singaporean Chinese. Any Chinese foreigner who dares to assault my Malay Singaporean bro-ther will have to answer to my fist. We Singaporean Chinese and Malays did NS together. Chinese or not Chinese, the fact is we are Singa-poreans.”

> “I am not a racist but I am most certainly a nationalist. In the event of a dispute between a foreigner and a Singaporean, whether he is Chinese, Malay, Indian or Eurasian, I will take the side of the Singaporean 99% of the time.”

> “It is heartening to see so many brothers standing up for our local ‘Mats’ (Malays) against bullying foreigners including from China and India. Life with our local ‘Mats’ went a long way from kampung days.”

At one stage the minorities were fearful that immigration could turn Singapore into a “province of China”. Nevertheless, Singaporeans seem to say: “No way – not now, not ever.” – The Star

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tony Tan vs Tan Cheng Bok vs Tan Kin Lian

Tan Cheng Bock and Tan Kin Lian question Tony Tan's independence
Dr Tony Tan's likely opponents in coming election point out his links to PAP, GIC
by Satish Cheney Updated 06:11 PM Jun 24, 2011

SINGAPORE - Dr Tony Tan's two likely opponents in the coming Presidential Election have questioned the former Deputy Prime Minister's independence.

Yesterday, former PAP Member of Parliament Tan Cheng Bock wrote on his Facebook page that he welcomed Dr Tony Tan's decision to put himself forward. He wrote: "Now Singaporeans have a chance to vote. Whoever gets voted must have the full confidence of Singaporeans in terms of integrity, fairplay and unquestionable independence."

When contacted, he told Today: "When you talk about safeguarding reserves, you must have an independent mind ... (Dr Tony Tan) is currently the vice-chairman and executive director of GIC, surely you put two-and-two together ... how independent can he be?"

Adding that Singaporeans are "smart voters", he said: "They want to make sure things are in proper order ... any evidence there is a big question mark on the independence of that individual, they would carefully examine that individual, be it Tony or whoever. They want fairness."

Ex-NTUC Income CEO Tan Kin Lian noted that Dr Tony Tan "has been closely connected with the PAP Government for about 20 years".

He said: "He had served as a Cabinet Minister in many ministries during his illustrious political career and had been closely associated with many of the policies that were implemented by the Government. He would represent a good choice for Singaporeans who prefer to see stability and continuity in the past and current policies of the Government."

The candidacies of all three presidential hopefuls are subject to the approval of the Presidential Elections Committee.

Mr Tan Kin Lian reiterated that his participation in the election offers "a different choice to the people". He said: "I have never served as a Member of Parliament or a Cabinet Minister in the Government. Over the past years, I have expressed my views on many occasions in the media and through other channels on issues concerning the livelihood and welfare of the people."

Attempting to frame the coming contest, Mr Tan Kin Lian told Channel NewsAsia: "This will be the contest: Whether you want someone to continue the policies of the establishment or if you want someone who brings ... a new view, reflecting the aspirations of large numbers of Singaporeans."
Tony Tan resigns from GIC, SPH
Thu, Jun 23, 2011
Former deputy prime minister Tony Tan, 71, executive director at Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, said on Thursday he has resigned and will run for president in an election that must be held before end-August.

Dr Tan has also resigned as chairman of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

"There is no legal requirement for me to resign from GIC or SPH. However, to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, I have decided to resign from GIC with effect from July 1," Dr Tan said in a statement.

"I will also resign from SPH with effect from July 1 to remove any doubts about SPH's media independence," he added.

Although mostly ceremonial, Singapore's president has powers to veto senior appointments to the civil service and government-linked firms such as GIC, which manages around $309 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

The election comes after the People's Action Party (PAP) swept back to power in May general elections but with a reduced percentage of votes.

Dr Tan will likely face former ruling party parliamentarian Tan Cheng Bock, 71, who is also chairman of Chuan Hup Holdings.

Mr Tan Kin Lian, 63, the former chief executive of NTUC Income has also announced his candidacy.

Mr Tan has been endorsed by members of Singapore's opposition. The PAP has yet to back any particular candidate.

Dr Tan said at a news conference: "I've made it clear that I'm not seeking the backing of any political party but obviously as a candidate I welcome support from all quarters."

Singapore's president is directly elected but the post has only been contested once - the first time it became an elected post in 1993 - mainly because potential candidates must meet several tough requirements.

For example, prospective candidates must either be a former minister or top government servant. If the person comes from the private sector, he or she must have been chairman or CEO of a Singapore-based firm with a minimum paid-up capital of $100 million.

All candidates are then screened by a government committee before the election is held.

Incumbent president SR Nathan, 86, a former senior civil servant, has been in office for two six-year terms and was elected unopposed both times. He has not announced if he would retire or run for another term.