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Thread: Singapore Also Can
08-20-2010, 10:12 AM #2636
The following article from today's Straits Times needs to be studied and considered very carefully lest Singapore ends up finding itself being sidelined, http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/...ry_568498.html.
Having a conversational level of Chinese is not enough. As a matter of fact Malaysian Chinese educated in Chinese are preferred over Singaporean Chinese by Chinese firms because of their better knowledge of Chinese. Many mainland Chinese businesses find it much easier to bond with businessmen of other countries who speak and write Chinese well.
08-20-2010, 07:20 PM #2637
Saturday August 21, 2010
Two sides of the same coin
Insight Down South by SEAH CHIANG NEE
Where Singaporeans grumbled, Malaysians were figuring how they could benefit from the launch of Singapore’s two casinos and, more crucially, its population expansion plans.
AMONG Singaporeans, life often evolves around one thing – property, especially private ones. For most people, it is a big factor that determines how well or badly they can live in this over-crowded city, so everyone strives to own one as early as possible.
The rationale is simple: This is a small and affluent city, where land is limited and cannot be expanded (beyond some reclamation).
Demand, however, will grow and continue to grow as long as there is economic prosperity and stability.
Singaporeans have regularly bought and sold their homes be cause of social mobility, or they flipped them for a quick profit. Often they talk property and breathe it.
A survey some years back found that 53% of Singaporeans had moved homes at least once in the previous 10 years.
Early bird Malaysians who were familiar with this and acted on it last year by buying into the depressed private property market have reason to be cheerful today.
From the bottom, their values have risen by 40%.
The buying spree began in mid-2009 when the city was still mired in recession, led initially by foreigners who made up 70% of the buyers.
Heading the foreign influx were Malaysians, who formed the largest group at 25.1%, followed by Indonesians (18.4%) and mainland Chinese (16%).
Foreign permanent residents (PRs) bought up 20% of public flats on the resale market, again with Malaysians leading the pack.
From early this year, Singaporeans moved in with larger numbers.
What propelled the foreigners to take the plunge during the depressing mid-2009 when locals were sitting on their hands?
“Foresight at a time when it was most needed,” replied a veteran housing agent, who has seen many past storms.
“They held a broader view of things, taking into consideration two things, the launch of the two casinos and more crucially, Singapore’s population expansion plans.”
He said the Malaysian buyers were calculating the future demand for property to house a proposed 6.5 million population.
“While Singaporeans were criticising both policies (the casinos and foreign intake), foreigners were busy calculating how to profit from them,” the agent said.
This is how the housing situation presently stands: With a 5 million population, the city has a total of 1.13 million residences – only a fifth of them being private properties.
The rest, some 885,000 were public apartments which are also in growing demand as more young Singaporeans and PRs jostle for the limited supply.
Singapore has gone from being one of the most depressed housing markets – in 2009, following the global crisis – to one of the fastest rising in the world.
A recent survey by The Economist showed that Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong as the world’s frothiest property market.
It pushed Hong Kong into second place, followed by Australia, South Africa and China, in that order.
The amount of froth is measured by comparing price-to-rent, which indicates its vulnerability; the wider the gap, the more dangerous the market is to a crash.
What it means is that too many properties are over-priced in relation to rent – or worse if they cannot be rented out, then it could signify a bubble is building.
In the Economist’s view, Singapore residential housing is some 20% over-valued after the recent run-up.
This has led some analysts to anticipate a real estate slowdown in the next six to twelve months, but no crash, barring a new global disaster.
People in the industry are, however, more worried about policy risks than they do about any bubble bursting, including the introduction of a capital gains tax or other measures to cool down prices.
In the 45 years since independence, Singapore has been transformed into one of Asia’s richest cities.
The Boston Consulting Group recently said that Singapore had the highest concentration of millionaire households (in US dollars) in the world.
Some 11.4% of families (about 125,000) owned more than US$1mil, and that doesn’t even include properties.
This rising domestic wealth has been steadily moving into the market from early this year. This momentum, helped by a strong economy and low mortgage rates, is keeping the market hot.
“The current demand is driven by Singaporeans upgrading from government housing to the more expensive private property,” one housing representative said.
Are the rising prices a blessing or a bane?
The answer is surprisingly mixed, given that 90% of Singaporeans are owners who benefit from high prices.
For those with investments in land-banks and private properties, these are boom times, turning out more millionaires than ever before.
Landlords can fetch high returns for their investments.
But for Singaporeans who live in their property, the escalating prices mean little except a higher cost of living.
The biggest sufferers are the lower-middle class and the poor, who own no property or have only a low-cost one-room public flat. They’ll have to settle for a further widening of the gap between them and the rich.
Nearly 80% of Singaporeans (and many PRs) live in public flats, whose values have also risen in line with the private sector – making it a major political threat to the government.
The shortage of cheap public housing is one reason why many young Singaporeans who have just started work are putting off marriage.
With more immigrants likely to arrive and over-crowdedness persisting, the prospect of expensive homes on this island will be around for a very long time.
© 1995-2010 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)
08-20-2010, 07:24 PM #2638
Saturday August 21, 2010
Jay Chou blows RM4.6mil in Singapore casino in two days
Other News & View
Compiled by ZUHRIN AZAM AHMAD, BEH YUEN HUI and A.RAMAN
TAIWANESE pop star Jay Chou lost nearly S$2mil (RM4.6mil) at a casino in Singapore, Nanyang Siang Pau reported.
The superstar had visited the Marina Bay Sands Casino during his con cert tour in the republic last month.
He gambled off between S$100,000 and S$200,000 (RM232,000 and RM463,000) per bet. In just two days, Chou lost almost S$2mil (RM4.6mil) playing bacarrat.
A customer of the casino said Chou was accompanied by his manager and male friends.
According to the customer, Chou had good etiquette on the gambling table and he only wanted to be served by “aunties”.
> China Press reported that a pedestrian who was allegedly knocked down by a former Roma nian diplomat to Singapore has won the civil suit.
The Singapore court, in default judgement, ruled that diplomat Dr Silviu lonescu has to pay Bong Hwee Haw for damages and the amount would be decided later.
Bong had earlier sought more than S$639,000 (RM1.5mil) in damages.
Ionescu was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident last December in Singapore that killed Malaysian Tong Kok Wai, 30, and injured Bong, 24, and another pedestrian.
The diplomat is currently being detained in Romania.
> The daily also reported that a coroner’s court in Singapore has ruled the death of Vernon Leong Jun Wei, 31, as misadventure.
Leong fell off the rooftop of the Hilton Singapore hotel on his wedding night in November last year.
A forensic report revealed that the alcohol level in Leong’s body was 161/100ml — double the legal limit.
Evidence and closed circuit television footage showed that the drunk and disoriented Leong had got lost in the hotel’s fire exit stairway.
He could have stumbled in the dark and accidentally fall to his death.
Thirty-five weeks later, his wife Kerin Peh, 27, leapt to her death from her flat.
> Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a sub-heading, it denotes a separate news item.
© 1995-2010 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)
08-20-2010, 07:55 PM #2639
Interesting to note that the Courts have passed judgment in private law ie.civil as against criminal on a diplomat.
Most laws allow diplomats immunity from tortious liabilty.
I don't know anything about the judicial system in Singapore, any lawyers out there,I mean real ones?
Courts do not act arbitrarily.
08-20-2010, 08:07 PM #2640
Ah,I will answer my own query:
From standard text-English Law by Dennis Keanan :
"Ambassadorial staffs - These persons have immunity from actions in both Contract and Tort.However, it should be noted that if they remain in this country after finishing their duties,they may become liable even if the tort was committed before".
08-21-2010, 01:10 AM #2641
About 85% Singaporeans live in HDB flats. But all HDB flats are not private property, only a 99 years lease on both flat and land. They are all owned by the government. Visit http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/02...lue-for-money/.
08-21-2010, 12:06 PM #2642
Almost every Singaporeans (and those living in Singapore) know about that fact. Nothing new really.
08-21-2010, 09:23 PM #2643
The Star Online </default.asp> > Nation
Sunday August 22, 2010
Malaysia the 37th best country in the world, says survey
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is ranked 37th in the “Best Countries in the
World” survey by /Newsweek /international magazine.
It is also among the top three Asian nations that are regarded as among
the best in the world. Japan is at ninth place and Singapore 20th.
The first-ever survey by the magazine on best countries in the world
also listed Malaysia as the eighth best in education among the upper
Singapore emerged tops in the economic dynamism category. The magazine
attributed it to the island nation’s “manageable” size. /Newsweek /also
noted that although the Singapore government had control over more than
half of its economy through state-run sovereign wealth funds and
corporations, it was extremely pro-free trade and pro-business.
Education is also tops in Singapore. It was listed as having the world’s
fourth best education quality.
The other Asian countries listed in the overall best countries survey
were Thailand (58th), China (59th), Philippines (63rd), Sri Lanka
(66th), Indonesia (73rd), India (78th), Vietnam (81st), Bangla**desh
(88th), and Pakistan (89th).
/Newsweek /said that overall, the top three best countries in the world
are Finland, Switzerland, and Sweden.
The survey was aided by an advisory board whose members comprised, among
others, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Brookings-Tsinghua Center for
Public Policy director Geng Xiao.
© 1995-2010 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)
Check out Singapore?
08-21-2010, 09:26 PM #2644
Check out Gallup polls on migration for full report
08-21-2010, 11:58 PM #2645
In an increasingly crowded place like Singapore and even Hong Kong, housing is a big problem. Each country deals with it in their own way, Singapore with more government involvement and Hong Kong with private sector and government. However, both places are relatively very small with an open economy. With an open economy housing costs can shoot up when foreign buyers, especially from China, start buying properties.
In Singapore all HDB flats and the land they sit on are government property on a 99-year lease. The CPF plays an important role in the buyers plans to buy an HDB flat. The government also uses its monopoly role in the CPF to finance the construction of HDB flats.
Not so in Hong Kong which has a mix of private and government involvement. Land in Hong Kong is either on a 99-year lease or owned by the government. Flats or apartments are either private, government owned but rented out to lower wage earners or built and sold by the government to a higher wage group than the low wage earners but still below middle class. The CPF which is called the MPF plays no role in flat purchases. Hong Kong's MPF is a free for all with many MPF providers instead of being a sole government monopoly.
Unlike Hong Kong, Singapore cannot expand or create more land for an increasing population. Hong Kong population can just go over the border and settle there. The Pearl River Delta includes Hong Kong and will have the world's greatest concentration of mega cities but with land to grow.
08-22-2010, 07:01 AM #2646
During my last two visits to Singapore I did notice that the place is pretty crowded as it can be, with very little land to expand outwards, so they go vertical. It's hard to imagine having another 2 million people squeezing in - as world class as the facilities are, the eventual problem would probably be more of a housing vs socio-economic considerations. Would it make sense to build a large park to help contribute to the greater well-being of the citizens or use it for more flats so that everybody have a roof to sleep under?
I did watch a programme on Discovery about Singapore's reclamation of land using landfill, I wonder how is that going along now.
08-23-2010, 02:31 AM #2647
YOG: Singapore's paddler Isabelle into singles final
I have spent the last few hectic days visiting the competition venues and watching the games and had not much time posting in BC. Just this morning I was at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to watch our own Isabelle Li triumphing over ther Thai opponent in the table-tennis semi finals and I will support her again this evening in her most important match against China's Gu Yuting who beat her Korean rival. Win or lose Isabelle will do us proud by giving Singapore at least a silver medal.
23 August 2010 1047 hrs
By Raj Kumar
Photos 1 of 1
Singapore's Isabelle Li Siyun (Photo: XINHUA/SYOGOC-Pool/Fan Jun)
SINGAPORE: Singapore's up-and-coming table tennis star Isabelle Li will battle for the YOG gold medal in the Girls' singles final, after defeating her Thai opponent 4-0 in the best-of-seven games in the semi-final clash.
The 15-year-old triumphed 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 over Suthasini Sawettabut in the semi-final encounter on Monday morning.
Isabelle will meet China's Gu Yuting in the final at 6.30pm Monday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Gu defeated her Korean opponent 4-1 in the semi-finals to qualify.
If Isabelle wins, Singapore will clinch its first gold in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
Singapore's current medal tally comprises one silver and three bronze medals.
Organisers have decided to release more tickets for the final match to allow more people to catch Isabelle in action.
You can also catch the match live on MediaCorp's Channel 5.
Onto 3-on-3 Boys' Basketball at *Scape Youth Park, Team Singapore wrapped up their YOG campaign by finishing 17th out of 20 countries.
The boys beat India 31-20 for their 3rd straight win.
As for the Singapore girls, they finished in 19th place after going down to Chile 15-16.
08-23-2010, 02:43 AM #2648
Record monthly passenger traffic for Changi Airport
23 August 2010 1224 hrs
By Mustafa Shafawi
SINGAPORE: Changi Airport recorded its highest monthly traffic so far this year in July.
Changi Airport Group said the month saw about 3.7 million passengers passing through the airport, an increase of 16 per cent compared to the same month a year ago.
Year-to-date, Changi Airport handled some 24 million passengers, up 17 per cent compared to the first seven months of last year.
The group said growth in July was led by increases in passenger traffic to Northeast and Southeast Asia, which rose 25 per cent and 21 .5 per cent respectively.
Long-haul traffic to the Americas grew 15 per cent.
For the January-July period, budget airlines carried one in five passengers at Changi Airport and accounted for one in four aircraft movements.
On the cargo front, 158,000 tonnes were moved in July, a year-on-year growth of almost 12 per cent.
For the first seven months of the year, 1.04 million tonnes were handled, representing an increase of almost 16 per cent.
Aircraft movements for July grew 11.5 per cent to 22,600, bringing the seven-month total to 150,600, an increase of some 11 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Changi serves some 90 airlines operating 5,100 weekly scheduled flights, connecting Singapore to 200 cities in 60 countries and territories.
Changi is also set to welcome another airline, Hainan Airlines.
Travellers walk past departure schedule board at the Changi Airport in Singapore.
08-23-2010, 07:02 AM #2649
08-23-2010, 11:06 PM #2650
Youth olympic games: Singapore 2010
Aug 24, 2010
Isabelle defies the odds
Seventh seed lands the silver despite struggling for form
By Lin Xinyi
Isabelle Li (above left) put up a good fight before losing to Gu Yuting. -- ST PHOTOS: CHEW SENG KIM
View more photos
THE colour of the medal that hung around Isabelle Li's neck last night was silver.
But the achievement was worth its weight in gold, for few had expected the Singaporean to reach the latter stages of the Youth Olympics' table tennis competition - not even Isabelle herself.
Leading up to the Games, the Singapore Sports School (SSP) student had struggled to find her form.
Last month, she was knocked out in the opening round of the Asian Junior Championships Under-18 girls' singles. She knew she had to turn things around quickly for the Games - the tournament she has spent the last two years preparing for.
Yet, not even her No. 1 fan, mum Sim Kwang Hung, 49, was certain if she could recover in time.
'After the Asian Junior Championships, I knew she was disappointed,' she said. 'She's someone who picks herself up quickly, but I wasn't sure if she could do it before the Games.'
Five days before her 16th birthday, Isabelle provided the answer.
Roared on by a 5,000-strong crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium that included Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the seventh seed put up a good fight before succumbing to Chinese top seed Gu Yuting 8-11, 5-11, 8-11, 9-11 in the final.
Said a gracious Isabelle after the match: 'I played my best but she was the better player.'
Earlier, the defensive specialist had swept aside Thailand's Suthasini Sawettabut 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 in the morning semi-final. It was a key moment in her campaign.
'I knew it was a make-or-break situation,' she said. 'If I'd lost in the morning, it would have been very hard for me to win a medal (in the play-off for bronze because the Korean Yang Ha Eun is a tough opponent). I was determined to play well because I knew how important this was.'
Her achievement was one to savour after making table tennis her priority over the last two years - a period that has seen her spend more time training and competing overseas than in Singapore.
Recently, the Secondary 4 student decided not to sit for the O levels this year. Instead, she will pursue the Republic Polytechnic-SSP Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management under a through-train programme.
Few are prouder of her achievements than her father Lee Say Hee, 54.
'I feel lucky just to be alive,' said Lee, a semi-retired businessman who has suffered three heart attacks. 'Being able to watch her play in the final is very gratifying.'
In the boys' singles final, Japan's top seed Koki Niwa beat Chinese Taipei's Hung Tzu-hsiang 9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 13-15, 11-7, 15-13.
08-23-2010, 11:24 PM #2651
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