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HDB capping sublets to foreigners ...

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Postby ariyo » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:11 pm

To be honest, I feel that SMS is alluding to racism while Andrew is leaning towards nationalism/protectionism. While they are similar in nature, it should be wise to view them separately or things will get even messier.

Andrew...what you are seeing is a rather open secret and the government has already taken baby steps to level the playing field. Whether or not they will carry through or just humor the electorate is another issue altogether.

However we should not be too eager to press this issue, especially in such a forum. A disadvantage (race, nationality, village etc) to the locals may be a source of much needed income opportunity to many foreigners who come here. Touching on their livelyhoods will undoubtedly provoke a strong reaction. That said, genuine talents like the many who contribute here should have less to fear as they are confident and secured enough to compete without an unfair advantage. Going forward, the removal of economic refugees will also improve the expatriate community's image considerably. It is a win-win scenario if carefully implemented and a disaster if carried out hastily.

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Postby Wd40 » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:27 pm

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/ ... 83/1/.html

The JTC scheme for foreigners is going to be phased out.

One striking thing I noticed from the article. Until 2003, HDB owners were not allowed to rent out their whole flat to foreigners or locals .Only rooms could be rented out. I didnt know this. Quite shocking actually, but then again those days rents for condos were dirt cheap. I believe condos came at 1.2-1.5k and hence it was ok. When they allowed HDB whole flat to be rented out I think you could have had a flat for like 700-800$.

The rents have not gone up like crazy and salaries are still the same. No wonder most of Indian colleagues who have been here for quite long time are also going back.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:40 pm

ariyo wrote:That said, genuine talents like the many who contribute here should have less to fear as they are confident and secured enough to compete without an unfair advantage. Going forward, the removal of economic refugees will also improve the expatriate community's image considerably. It is a win-win scenario if carefully implemented and a disaster if carried out hastily.

The problem is that what's going on so far (including the HDB regulations behind this particular thread) mostly scares away the genuine talents as the economic refugees are much more determined to stay. You may end-up with hardly any genuine talents to chose from and a lose-lose situation. Your victory will be Pyrrhic.

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Postby ariyo » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 1:05 pm

Yes that is a pretty big problem...

It is just like gardening right? The weeds will always be numerous and a much bigger hassle to pull out. If the weeds are not pulled out early enough, our precious plants will die. Pull too hard and everything dies too. Not pulling is an equally bad option as the weeds overgrow and our plants still die.

As Wd40 has pointed out in his link, what most foreigners recognize as particular friendly regulations to them has not always been the case here. For a period of time of time when the Gardener was asleep, everyone has been getting free beer. Now we have to pay the price of a hangover :/

I have met some pretty wealthy investors in my time here and it is very safe to assume that when things are corrected in the next cycle, the smart money will rush back in to make their killing, sentiments or not. Real money investors in the future may not necessarily be from the same countries as most expats in this forum ;) [/quote]

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 1:40 pm

That's a pretty big assumption don't you think. What countries do you think the majority of members are from? Hopefully, you don't think Yanks, Aus, or Brits, as we are a minority here. But we are the majority only on this particular forum on this board, Have a read of some of the other forums here (Singapore Expats is the board, this forum is "Latest News". Just in case, like the vast majority of folks, you think Singapore Expats is the "Forum". We are actually a rather small minority here if you look at the whole board. But we are more prone to discuss "issues" than not.

But, yes, you are right, most of the money is going to be coming from other Asian countries, no doubt about it. But Singapore must be careful that it doesn't get purchased as it sucks up to the power in Asia.

With regard to racism/nationalism, do the vast majority of Singaporean actually know the difference? The Chinese don't speak to new PRCs, citizens or otherwise, but they don't speak to their Singaporean Indian neighbours that much either. (not all of course, but enough). So are they nationalistic or closet racists? You do, but based on your occupation and education, you would or your working life would be rather miserable wouldn't it.

I like you analogy though, regarding weeds. Unfortunately, the present government tends to use the heavy handed approach, and will even more so with the threat of losing their own precious positions of political power and incomes at the next GE. So, I don't see a good ending as one is going to go heavy in order to save their own skins in the short term, and the other is going to go heavy in order to win voters approval. Sadly, I see Singapore losing on both counts because if the downward spiral starts, well, we don't have ANY track records to go by as to where it will end.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 6:31 pm

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
Wd40 wrote:This was only possible because you had a great visionary leader who didnt listen to masses and did his own thing


Just like North Korea eh? :roll:

No JR8, just opposite. That's the whole point :) Why go with democracy by the book if under the circumstances something else is better?


But you don't know whether it's 'better' or 'worse' until you're well down the tracks, when it's too late to rectify any 'worse'. Don't forget that Hitler had popular support, and even then, he was democratically elected and re-elected.

x9200 wrote:If you were an average SG Joe, where would you be more happy, here or in Hong Kong? :) I think this is what Singapore would look like adopting a different ruling model. And HK has more land.


I wonder if the average SGn will ever attain 'happiness'. In that I sense that a lot of them lack a vision of having arrived at ones' goals in life. Or is it 'must win' until the end? Peering over the wall at the neighbours new Mercedes. 80 year olds still fastidiously and pointlessly picking 0.1 grams of leaves off a broccoli stem at NTUC.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 6:43 pm

ariyo wrote:I have met some pretty wealthy investors in my time here and it is very safe to assume that when things are corrected in the next cycle, the smart money will rush back in to make their killing, sentiments or not. Real money investors in the future may not necessarily be from the same countries as most expats in this forum ;)

I believe any real money investors regardless their country of origin will look for the profit and its security. Lack of appropriate resources (here manpower) should not sound too good for them. What country the FT will come from is here IMO secondary. What matters is the performance.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 6:57 pm

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
Wd40 wrote:This was only possible because you had a great visionary leader who didnt listen to masses and did his own thing


Just like North Korea eh? :roll:

No JR8, just opposite. That's the whole point :) Why go with democracy by the book if under the circumstances something else is better?


But you don't know whether it's 'better' or 'worse' until you're well down the tracks, when it's too late to rectify any 'worse'. Don't forget that Hitler had popular support, and even then, he was democratically elected and re-elected.

True, but I am not advocating here for dictatorship to replace democracy, I just second to what WD40 wrote elsewhere: if it is good, don't fix it. Of course if it is bad than the next best choice is democracy.


x9200 wrote:If you were an average SG Joe, where would you be more happy, here or in Hong Kong? :) I think this is what Singapore would look like adopting a different ruling model. And HK has more land.


I wonder if the average SGn will ever attain 'happiness'. In that I sense that a lot of them lack a vision of having arrived at ones' goals in life. Or is it 'must win' until the end? Peering over the wall at the neighbours new Mercedes. 80 year olds still fastidiously and pointlessly picking 0.1 grams of leaves off a broccoli stem at NTUC.

Maybe this makes them happy indeed? Happiness is always very relative and sometimes I wonder if I were more happy if my only aspiration was a new TV set, car or something over this line? :)

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Postby movingtospore » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 9:14 pm

ariyo wrote: That said, genuine talents like the many who contribute here should have less to fear as they are confident and secured enough to compete without an unfair advantage. Going forward, the removal of economic refugees will also improve the expatriate community's image considerably. It is a win-win scenario if carefully implemented and a disaster if carried out hastily.


You know - I think that's really naive. I do appreciate where you're coming from, but the thing is, Singapore is just not that important to the world. The days of making money by investing in Singapore are long since done. I think, it is now just a place to base a few people while you make money elsewhere. There is simply nothing to draw people here other than that anymore.

Global capitalism is cruel but it is what it is. Masses of Chinese companies are not going to show up here begging to invest. Why on earth would would they, over investing in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mongolia, Australia...on and on? Singapore got around this the last ten years by deciding to double the population and stimulate a lot of related development, and a handful of very interesting companies along the way. Without that, in the global context, what have you got? I fully appreciate the mayhem that's been created by growing so quickly - but before you pull the plug on this, think very hard about what you actually have to be competitive in a global context.

Here is what I am seeing, in my work - companies are moving senior roles to HK because it's just better for business - though they will leave people here if they insist for family, schools etc. or if the role has regional significance. They are moving mid tier roles to HK because they get much better quality employees from the local population. They often get paid more than they would here but they are better. Low end, back office roles go to India, Philippines etc etc. What does that leave for SP? Not much. Other industries may be different but that's what I see. Even for roles covering SE Asia out of Singapore- nobody is making money in Singapore proper these days - revenue comes from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar...so though the company may be based here - the people they hire that cover those markets need to be able to easily work in those cultures. More often than not - that means someone from there not here.

It's a bit like saying, for example - San Francisco. From here forward, only people who've lived in San Francisco for six generations are allowed to be here. And only if they're white. All you chinese interlopers who've done so well, challenged the status quo, and helped build this city, out! It's not fair! Out! Even though you helped connect this city to world and make it global? Out! How far do you think San Francisco would get with that approach? Or New York, or Sydney, or Vancouver, or London, or even Hong Kong?

You have to remember that Singers is competing in a global economy. Why do companies prefer to absorb the expense of moving mid tier roles to Hong Kong and hiring Hong Kong Chinese over Singaporeans? When it costs them more? Answer that question honestly and you'll be on the right track...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 13 Mar 2013 11:16 pm

:-k

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 12:03 am

+1

An eloquent and thought provoking post 'M2S'!

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Postby ariyo » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 12:18 am

Its been a long day and i can see all the concerns by our expat friends. Personally I feel that everyone should be welcome here as long as there is sufficient resources to support. In the middle of so much mayhem flying around, most people tend to think in extremes, black or white, pulling the plug or culling the non singaporeans.

Discounting the crazies, what we are really seeing in terms of policy making is the tuning and moderation of influx in synthetic population and it is probably more sustainable. I really really want to emphasize that just because kids and teens who don't know any better, call for a pure Singaporean Singapore, doesn't mean that much more mature people like us take the opposing stand.

Anyway there is no pure Singaporean, by the time the kids start dividing everyone and segregating, they will quickly come to the conclusion it is too much trouble. Honestly I have no idea where you guys are absorbing proper information from...but I guess the credibility of the MSM probably contributes to extracting information from unreliable sources.

Re: the global investment cities on the other hand, I have differing views from you but we will chat about it another day ;)

Thanks for all the discussion guys.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 12:40 am

ariyo wrote:Honestly I have no idea where you guys are absorbing proper information from...but I guess the credibility of the MSM probably contributes to extracting information from unreliable sources.


You just about blew any street cred you had built up here with that silly throwaway line. :roll:

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 8:06 am

Unfortunately and unfortunately classic.

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Postby ariyo » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 10:18 am

I have been meaning to ask whether there has been any outright racist behaviours in your normal life that has contributed to your perception of Singapore.

Seeing that most experiences have been secondary in nature "my neighbour said that....my colleague told me that..."and propagates into life by itself, I wonder if anyone has bore the brunt of any racist attack that made you contemplate leaving singapore.

No...I am not concern with any street cred, this is the internet, having street cred here doesnt grant me any super powers. I am more curious on specifics and exchange of knowledge without condescending posts. As far as I know, the chasm in mentality is pretty wide and deep between us and I am making good progress in good faith.


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