Singapore Expats Forum

The Expats Will Rule Singapore!

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

Jeppo
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 365
Joined: Wed, 14 Mar 2007
Contact:

Postby Jeppo » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 10:52 am

nakatago wrote:
JR8 wrote:Anyway, I get a feeling this is going nowehere...


At least, it's not getting deleted. 8-)


And it's cured my insomnia :lol:

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Sun, 04 Apr 2010 5:39 pm

Jeppo wrote:
nakatago wrote:
JR8 wrote:Anyway, I get a feeling this is going nowehere...


At least, it's not getting deleted. 8-)


And it's cured my insomnia :lol:


--- This reads like a solidly serious discussion with no frills. Why should anyone want to delete it?

The issues you raised here are all relevant to Singapore. Just a few points I mgiht be able to contribute to which is to do with the cost and standard of living in terms of a country's GNP and what makes a utopian society perhaps.

It might be that expats who need to rent expensive condos are not aware that for Singaporeans, the HDB provide some very excellent flats at a fraction of the market price. I also learned that when the economy suffered a downturn, the government actually paid every householder a welfare subsidy in conjunction with the levels of their earning!

However, the main concern raised by Adam Khoo might be about the younger generations. I would agree that a climate of striving only for success in terms of material gains and academic achievement sounds extremely hollow and is bound to churn out merely smugness, contempt for others and a false sense of pride.

Singapore has struck me as a highly competitive place which has both positive and negative consequences, like everything else. One of the most frustrating example I recall, is that good quality communication is forgotten as people talk to score rather than empathize for instance. Well ,that was particularly more said for the hoi polloi. The higher ups Singaporeans do communicate better but one can't help noticing that they do talk inside a box. Take this article by Adam Khoo for example.

Singapore will be more exciting if she goes into free speech and improve the quality of people speak. In fact, I would like to dedicate a verse from the Tao that advocates that usefulness comes out of uselessness.

I am not suggesting the pursuit of Singaputra rights, just that the world is a much more complex world.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 04 Apr 2010 9:18 pm

AnneTeoh...

Yeah I've been in some HDB flats that are like bloody mansions! Crikey O'Reilly!

But I would question your comment 'the HDB provide some very excellent flats at a fraction of the market price'.

After all the price they sell at IS the market price. Plus remember the price they sell at is controlled by the government who have been run by one family for 40+ years. Plus: people who feel they are getting richer every year as their home is worth more, even when it is a chimera, (catching my drift) don't tend to reach for their rifles and take to the barricades.

All so happy in our concrete units eh?

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34269
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 04 Apr 2010 10:16 pm

JR8 wrote:AnneTeoh...

Yeah I've been in some HDB flats that are like bloody mansions! Crikey O'Reilly!

But I would question your comment 'the HDB provide some very excellent flats at a fraction of the market price'.

After all the price they sell at IS the market price. Plus remember the price they sell at is controlled by the government who have been run by one family for 40+ years. Plus: people who feel they are getting richer every year as their home is worth more, even when it is a chimera, (catching my drift) don't tend to reach for their rifles and take to the barricades.

All so happy in our concrete units eh?


HDB flats are excellent flats at a fraction of the market price. This is a true statement. You, apparently are referring the HDB flats that are being "resold" on the open market. THEY are the ones that are being sold at market value. New HDB flats are heavily subsidized by the Government AND the gahmen offer a number of additional grants to allow citizens to buy at very affordable costs. As far as it being a pipe dream, lots of homes in major cities around the world are not actually "owned" but are long term leases (in the HDB's case, 99 year leases - unless the government decided it needs to buy back the units. Even then, the post is suitably sweetened with alternative locations thrown in as well.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 04 Apr 2010 10:53 pm

Yahok. In our case we are not double graduates with twelve children so we don't get special price lor.

Seriously though. Entering the open market is not a lot of fun. I maintain what I said about controlled prices and the sense of getting richer anaesthetising the populace into passivity.


p.s. In England even freehold property is not owned, you simply have a right to occupy it. Aunt Betty owns the lot at the end of the day.
Refer, Quia Emptores anno 1290
and Crown Private Estate Act 1800 (c.88)

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 04 Apr 2010 10:59 pm

P.s. Anne... thank you.

Why indeed can friends not have a robust, informed, intelligent discussion?


Heartened you noted that point! Thot I was in bimbo-land for a bit there....

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Sun, 04 Apr 2010 11:54 pm

JR8 wrote:P.s. Anne... thank you.

Why indeed can friends not have a robust, informed, intelligent discussion?


Heartened you noted that point! Thot I was in bimbo-land for a bit there....


Hi JR8
Cheers, let's say, all round, and to you JR8 for your hospitality.

Though I didn't get what you meant by concrete units. I was invited into several HDB flats and they were all diff. The executive ones are a dream compared to the boxes people get in London nowadays; at exorbitant prices to boot. But the government is encouraging the building of more spacious flats, esp for first time buyers.

Take it from SMS, HDB flats are sold at affordable local prices. Sorry, expats have to pay more for private condos but then, these are more luxurious. I guess one can regard the HDB flats as social housing, though I wouldn't mind one in any size. I think that is alright and preferable, that a government should prioritize to serve the needs of its disadvantaged citizens.

On the whole, I toast to a Singapore government that is caring and work at long term plans for its citizens. I did a stint out there and was very impressed with the whole administration but I realised that even with the best intention, people will will moan, and worse, I had an experience with a minority group that sought to take advantage and abuse the system. At such times, I felt sorry for most of its people who work so hard.

But I agree with you that there is a need to open discussions and the encourage free speech. However, I am not sure at all who's to blame for the lack of open discussions. When I was working out there, I initiated a lot of critical talk and I knew that there were encouragement from the ministry to engage students in topics as heated as SE Asian and Singaporean politics! That instruction was issued even at the critical time of 7/11!

Perhaps expats can lead the way. The Singaporeans do like humour too. When I returned for a holiday and asked the taxi uncle how's everything development wise, he said with a dead pan face, "Fine... fine, You know it's all one way traffic."

But as someone pointed out, it might be a waste of time and resources to have discussions that lead nowhere. The BBC presented a documentary reporting the battle of wills between the Treasury and the Prime Minister from 1964 to the present time, with interviews etc. It remains a mess today. I had sat with Unions discussing various important issues which became so divergent that it was obvoius no one will come to any clear conclusion, least of all the Union.

Of course, the whole idea is that open discussions lead to a pool of options perceived by the best intellects in the country, but democracy is not a simple and clear cut process one can deliver on a silver plate. I look at Britain today, and it seems obvious that we need change.

Perhaps you guys might have some ideas what changes Britain need to have a more stable government ( in the sense of continuing policies adoptede.g. in the education system) and to recharge the economy and pay its debts.

I am tempted too, that Brown should either step down or invite a Singaporean team to discuss short and long term plans. You won't believe it but nobody ever mention the word 'plan' inspite of the dire need for a direction!

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 05 Apr 2010 12:22 am

Concrete units. Oh well. I don't know where you are from... but in Europe most homes are old, homes maybe 100-200 year old ah [I grew up in a 500 year old house with a 5 hectare garden]? So to live in 10 year old condo.... yeah it is just a concrete box...

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 05 Apr 2010 12:24 am

I'll come back to your long and thoughtful post in due course, if I might

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Mon, 05 Apr 2010 2:08 am

JR8 wrote:I'll come back to your long and thoughtful post in due course, if I might


--- JRB - Yes you may, most welcome, I'd say.
Thanks for sharing info about your house, There are some gorgeous old Straits homes - Chinese mansions and tall terrace houses - Malay/Baba n Nyonya type houses and of course, kampong houses. If you work for any of the ministries, you can rent a huge bungalow for a week near the seaside or mountain - Singapore Hill. I knew a Chinese professor with his own Zen architect-designed house in Bukit Timah, there are rather large detached houses there too. Oh yes, I used to visit my exbest friend's mansion in Katong, Meyer Road, 10 bedroms, marble floor, staff of proper Chinese servants, tennis courts lots of ground - just across the dashing waves and the sea in the East Coast.

There are still lots of houses around. I also visited several in Serangoon. The low terrace houses are surprisingly roomy and one, built by a retired head teacher, was quite humoungous. Hop on a few different buses and you can look around.

But with a growing population, there's much of a vertical rush. I used to
get claustrophobic in the first few months of my time out there!

Your house sounds fab - landed gentry? One of my friend's husband's family have a cluster of large manor type houses with cottages on a huge farm with a 5 acre lake. There'd be croquet on the lawn with iced punch, strawberry cakes and lamb on the spit every summer.

For me , I have a rather large house on 3.2 acres in France but it constantly needs a lot of attention and tenants are a problem. I am putting it on the market. I dream of having just any 2 bedroom flat in Singapore where I need not cook at all unless I've invited guests for dinner! That's what I really miss most of Singapore - food, saftey and convenience.

But I'm not entirely sure how much of a culture and quality of literature there is around to stimulate me. I used to miss my London papers so much!

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 05 Apr 2010 6:21 am

anneteoh wrote:
JR8 wrote:I'll come back to your long and thoughtful post in due course, if I might


Your house sounds fab - landed gentry? One of my friend's husband's family have a cluster of large manor type houses with cottages on a huge farm with a 5 acre lake. There'd be croquet on the lawn with iced punch, strawberry cakes and lamb on the spit every summer.

For me , I have a rather large house on 3.2 acres in France but it constantly needs a lot of attention and tenants are a problem. I am putting it on the market. I dream of having just any 2 bedroom flat in Singapore where I need not cook at all unless I've invited guests for dinner! That's what I really miss most of Singapore - food, saftey and convenience.

But I'm not entirely sure how much of a culture and quality of literature there is around to stimulate me. I used to miss my London papers so much!


Landed gentry!? I wish. No it was just a damned old house. It had been a coaching inn - i.e. on the route from London to Cambridge where people would stop for the night and rest their horses. When we bought it my father changed it's name as it was still called 'The Hen and Chickens' and he got tired of being asked if we lived in a pub, something it hadn't been for many hundreds of years lol. Some of the ceilings in that place (all the ground floor hallways) were no more than about 5'9" or so... as a result I have a very very hard head :0 Walking around with my head bent to the side is also not a problem LOL ...

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 05 Apr 2010 6:29 am

p.s. Just read the end of your post. Nice bit of property in France, 3 acres is a pretty damned nice garden:)... so are you 'moving home'?

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Mon, 05 Apr 2010 2:49 pm

JR8 wrote:p.s. Just read the end of your post. Nice bit of property in France, 3 acres is a pretty damned nice garden:)... so are you 'moving home'?


---Hi. Yes, old houses take all one's time. It was funny... is your head straightened up now? lol My daughter has a house in Sweden with a sloping attic. I constantly bumped my head into the wall when I was drowsy after watching a great programme.

But it'll be worthwhile if you have family who want to own it and commit themselves to making it a lovely home. I like that - you know, horses, trees, gradens and veggie plot, the self -sufficient life. I love nature and the touch of the earth. And France is an incredibly beautiful country.
Well, I have that dream house and land but noone in the family wants to have anything to do with it , except for the short visits.

I have 5 options - Sweden, France, London, KL or Singapore. I nearly bought a small condo in Ampang KL but withdrew when the agent told me how small it would be for family visits. It's difficult to choose - and I would happily live in Singapore or KL - great weather, food and lifestyle. But family's rather rooted in UK at least for some time. I reckon it'll be better just to rent and live between countries? Besides, long distant properties stand empty mostly if no one lives in them and tenants are a pretty lousy lot in that distance. So, yes, I've decided to sell the property, somewhat reluctantly. What do you think?

Is it difficult, from what I'd read here, to find a place to rent in Singapore in the present time?

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 05 Apr 2010 3:21 pm

anneteoh wrote:
JR8 wrote:p.s. Just read the end of your post. Nice bit of property in France, 3 acres is a pretty damned nice garden:)... so are you 'moving home'?


---Hi. Yes, old houses take all one's time. It was funny... is your head straightened up now? lol My daughter has a house in Sweden with a sloping attic. I constantly bumped my head into the wall when I was drowsy after watching a great programme.

But it'll be worthwhile if you have family who want to own it and commit themselves to making it a lovely home. I like that - you know, horses, trees, gradens and veggie plot, the self -sufficient life. I love nature and the touch of the earth. And France is an incredibly beautiful country.
Well, I have that dream house and land but noone in the family wants to have anything to do with it , except for the short visits.

I have 5 options - Sweden, France, London, KL or Singapore. I nearly bought a small condo in Ampang KL but withdrew when the agent told me how small it would be for family visits. It's difficult to choose - and I would happily live in Singapore or KL - great weather, food and lifestyle. But family's rather rooted in UK at least for some time. I reckon it'll be better just to rent and live between countries? Besides, long distant properties stand empty mostly if no one lives in them and tenants are a pretty lousy lot in that distance. So, yes, I've decided to sell the property, somewhat reluctantly. What do you think?

Is it difficult, from what I'd read here, to find a place to rent in Singapore in the present time?




I don't think it difficult to rent here, but I don't consider it cheap, especially since the £ tanked 1/3rd since we arrived :cry:

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Wed, 07 Apr 2010 4:02 pm

[quote="JR8


I don't think it difficult to rent here, but I don't consider it cheap, especially since the £ tanked 1/3rd since we arrived :cry:[/quote]

--- so much lower than 3 months ago? Unimaginable.
What should the Brits do - Invest in Far East or save the sinking pound?
For myself - I want a rebounce!


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest