Economic growth in S’pore: At what cost?

Dear everyone,

I refer to the 4 Nov 2010 Straits Times report of the NUS Students’ Political Association Forum.

Dear Ms Straughan,

It is silly to fear the day when no Filipino nurses or construction workers will wait at our doorstep because they are already in the US or Australia when you do not similarly fear those who are already here will leave for the same reasons. In other words, if the US and Australia are indeed better than Singapore and they choose to open their doors, Filipino nurses or construction workers will still leave us whether we open or close ours.

Dear Straits Times,

The German student Rudiger Hesse finds cost of living here low because he is using the Euros he owns to pay for Singapore goods. Naturally things appear cheaper to him. It is silly of him to compare Singapore with third world countries like Russia and India. Quite often, third world countries are used to compare Singapore against as though it is the only way for us to appear better. Mr Hesse also compared Singapore to Europe. But Europe is so big. Where exactly did he refer to? Would he compare Singapore with Germany or Switzerland?

The Chinese student Huang Bin feels that Singapore housing is not that high compared to places like Shanghai and Beijing, some of the most expensive places in the world. Again, quite often, Singapore must be compared with the priciest of places in order not to seem so expensive. Furthermore, according to the Numbeo property markets index, property affordability is much better in Boston than in Singapore. This shows the limitations of anecdotal evidence. Perhaps Huang Bin, only 22 and still a student, is better taken care of in Singapore by the Singapore government compared to his days in Boston?

Dear Ms Rajah,

Let us please acknowledge the fact that government policies to cool the property market came three years late despite constant pleas from the people.


2 Responses to “Economic growth in S’pore: At what cost?”

  1. bin Says:

    hi, i am huang bin…

    It’s funny to see my life being speculated upon and all sorts of assumption around my life experience are brought up without my knowledge.

    if u compare sg now with sg 10 years ago, u’ll certainly get frustrated. That applies to everyone everywhere.

    I dont even need to look into the price and do calculation. U can sense the attitude when u hear ppl talking about housing. Americans dont really start thinking about buying a place until they are like 35. (This is a very general statement.) Its partly because of their culture, but also the widely accepted fact that you wont be able to buy a place until u have 10 years of savings. Asians(more specifically, Chinese by race) just cant wait to buy their own place.

    I can only say, be happy to be a Singaporean. Sg is one of the very few countries that plan housing for all its citizens, which is indeed a remarkable thing. In most developed countries, housing market is free market.

    • trulysingapore Says:

      speculation is necessary for otherwise, how do we know if there are no special circumstances that slant a person’s attitudes and beliefs?

      not true. countries like finland or norway are just as good if not better than they were 10 years ago.

      it’s not about americans buying a place only when they are 35. even for singaporeans buying at 35, the fact that housing is so much more expensive now sinks in just as hard.

      isn’t it a mockery of housing planning when housing planning leads to much more expensive houses compared to unplanned housing in most developed countries? in that case, what is there to be happy about housing in singapore?

      we are all proud and happy to be singaporeans, not because it is first world or because it is prosperous. we are happy and proud to be singaporeans simply because we are singaporeans. our pride and happiness cannot be bought by money.

      nevertheless, being happy and proud singaporeans doesn’t mean that we ought to be happy and proud with the ruling party.

      ask any myanmar citizen. is he proud of his country? he will say yes. ask if he is proud of the ruling military junta. he will say no. learn to differentiate the two.

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