My View on Latest Curb on Property Loan

With the latest curb in the property loans, the MAS has said it’s not measure to cool soaring prices. It’s said the rules will help strengthen credit underwriting practices of financial institutions and encourage financial prudence among borrowers. More information: Read ChannelNewsAsia.

Let us take a look at what it means:

1) Total debts obligations must not exceed 60% or his gross monthly income: This rules applies to properties only. .

2) Borrower need to declared as the owner of the property. This changes are to prevent borrowers from getting round tougher limits for second and subsequent housing loans.

The two main concern listed as above with the rest are minor changes (which I don’t intend to go into it) . Let us see what the changes will affect us as borrowers.

1)60% loan limits, it is applicable to the property loan only, all other debts that the debtors incurred, such as, renovation loan does not fall within the framework. In short, property owner-would-be should buy the property before getting other debt committment.

2) The borrowers need to declared as owners as property-would-be would try all means to bypass the LTV in order to secure higher loan amount when purchasing the property.

In short, the latest measures is a good start as MAS introduce the TDSR framework. It’s help to control our debts ratio before serious implication happens like retrenchment. But I would like to see more active MAS roles in other areas. Below are my suggestions to MAS to review and implement the followings:

1) TDSR should included in all loan applications not just property loan. The other applications like vehicle loan, short term loan, renovation loans. Although this can be review by MAS  in different TDSR limits.

2) Credit card debts should included in the TDSR as this tend to be the main source of debts people incurred ( sometimes more than their 3 times their monthly gross incomes. MAS should implement that the credit card a person have in total should no be more than 3 times of the monthly gross income.

3) Vehicle Loan curb should be review as well, the current curb on the vehicle loan of 50% to 60% loan amount is sometimes less desirable to some people in need of the vehicle. Using the TDSR will be more a productive ways to curb the ever-increasing of COE prices. This at the same time able lower-income to apply for higher loan amount in vehicle loan within their TDSR.

Overall, the TDSR is a good start and more can be done with the recommendations given above will ensure that people will not overspend their expenditure.


Debunking the official myths about HDB flats (Part 3): Rising prices of HDB flats generate wealth for Singaporeans


MYTH # 3: Rising prices of HDB flats will lead to wealth creation for Singaporeans.

TRUTH: It will have a negative wealth impact due to higher financial liabilities according to a NUS study done by Abeysinghe and Gu Jiaying

In a reply to question from a MP who asked if a cap should be imposed on rising HDB resale prices during a Parliamentary session in July, Senior Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu noted that HDB flats remained affordable to Singaporeans.

She said:

“‘HDB flat prices should be a reflection of Singaporean’s wealth and it is “not a bad idea” for prices to increase steadily, especially for those holding onto negative assets bought in the previous market peak in the mid 1990s.’”

The ruling party has never failed to remind Singaporeans that it has brought about high home ownership and rise in asset value under its rule.

During a speech given…

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Debunking the official myths about HDB flats (Part 2): HDB flats are affordable to the most Singaporeans


MYTH #2: HDB flats are affordable.

TRUTH: HDB flats are affordable only to a minority of Singaporeans and is increasingly priced out of the reach of the average worker.

In spite of the relentless rise in HDB prices lately, the government insists that HDB flats remain affordable to the masses.

Recent pronouncements by the Minister of National Development Mah Bow Tan and HDB officers in replies to concerned citizens in the Straits Times Forum have largely sticked to the official stance: that the government will not intervene in the market to bring the prices down.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Lim Hwee Hua maintained that HDB flats are affordable to ordinary Singaporeans as they cost no more than 30% of their monthly pay.

HDB’s deputy director Mr Ignatius Lourdesamy wrote to the Straits Times Forum lately that HDB flats remain affordable to eligible first-time households as they use between…

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Debunking the official myths about HDB flats (Part 1): Singaporeans are ‘owners’ of their HDB flats


MYTH #1: Singaporeans owns their HDB flats.

TRUTH: Singaporeans are merely renting these 99-year leasehold properties from HDB at exorbitant prices.

The Housing Development Board was set up in 1960 during a time when large numbers of people are living in squatter settlements and slums around the city centers.

Under the then indefatigable Minister for National Development Mr Lim Kim San, HDB began the task of solving Singapore’s housing crisis and resettling the squatters.

It built 21,000 flats in less than three years. By 1965 it had built 54,000 flats, exceeding the 50,000 target of its First Five-Year Building Programme.

Today, about 84 percent of Singaporeans live in HDB flats compared with only nine percent in 1960 when HDB was first established.

The ruling party has always prided itself for building homes to house the majority of the population. HDB has become its crowning achievement and the mainstream media never…

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A new Job portal for Singaporean

A new initiative by – A online Job Portal for Singaporean (Link)

It is created in the facebook group and all Singaporean and employers are encouraged to join. This FB Group is to offer a new platform where employees and employers comes together to match the jobs in the market at no extra costs to all parties.

It had gathered more than 2000 members within 28 hours of operation. More noticeable members in the group are:

1) Gilbert Goh

2) Leong Sze Hian

3) Benny Se Teo

4) Vivian Pan

5) Lawrence Chong

Also, HR Personal are in the group to offer jobs to Singaporean locally or overseas.

More member are expected to join as this job portal truly served the needs of the Singaporean.

It doesn’t matter you are whether you are white collar or blue collar, employee or employer, you are welcome to join this new initiative.

Fallen cases of Ministry denying help to the needy

Yesterday, I was at the HLP to attend a speech by Vivian Pan to pledge for Mercy for the 31 year old women who had killed her son.

What keeps me thinking after the speech by Leong Sze Hian. In his speech, he had met with countless of single parent, be it unwed, divorced or the other partner run off with other party. What strike me the most when he shared, is the policy in Singapore are so rigid to sometime that these category of people falls into the trap.

Like Mr Leong had share, when the a couple divorced, in his case study, a single Mum had the option to buy over the HDB used to share with her ex-husband. But the HDB rules stated that she had to pay back the amount that her ex-husband had paid using his CPF. Thus she was forced to sell her flat.

She couldn’t afford to buy another new HDB flat as she had to wait for 30 months before she can apply for one again. If she want to buy a resale flat, given the current high COV, she couldn’t afford to buy it. Even if she wants to get a rental flat from HDB, she have to wait for another 30 months.

This single mum is one of the person that had fallen into the crack of the government policy. There are many more cases that are happening everyday in Singapore. So what can the Government do to help those cases that had fallen through the policy crack?

Here are my humble view towards all fallen cases:

1) Policies are in place to safe guard others from gaining unfair advantage while trying to help Singaporean.

2) In exercising the policy, the policy maker should be flexible enough to see special case like the one mentioned above on the case by case basis. They shouldn’t outright reject the cases when it doesn’t falls into the category.

3) In the above mentioned case, the HDB should apply the human touch and let the single mum keep the HDB while letting her to work out the installment plan to pay back her ex-husband CPF contribution to the flat.

The policies had both side of the situation they faced and I don’t deny that to safe guard the policy, standard rules must be strictly follow. But in the light of the fallen case, I feel human touch should be applicable as well.

Civil Servant who carry out the policy should not be so rigged not to help the fallen case. If civil servant can’t help those fallen cases should help to expedite up to the ministry for review and see how best the ministry can help. So do not stop those fallen cases at the front desk of the ministry. Help each other as we are Singaporean!!!

Which Singapore Petrol Station have the best toilet?

Let me give a little write-up that is away from the Singapore affair. As you had known, I had been a taxi driver for nearly two years. My gosh, time flies… I’m two years older. Now I will touch on the little topic some drivers might be interested in. Toilets!!!!

When we are driving halfway, be it taxi driver or driving your own car, there is a sudden urgent need to use the toilet. I will write something about it although it’s grouse….

I will take my personal experience and write about it.

My 1st choice will be the hotel. When I am in need to use the toilet, my mind will instantly will think, where is the nearest hotel available for me to pee? Toilet in the hotel is always in top of the class for driver like me to go to use…

But sometime going to hotel not be best available option, the next most common place is Petrol Station. There are four main petrol station all over the Singapore, namely, Shell, Caltex, Esso and SPC. Below I will rate them to the choice of petrol Station accordingly to my reference.

My 1st choice will always be Caltex. They had over past two years upgrading their toilets and most now house inside the air-condition Mart. you can use the toilet in the air-conditioning environment. The plus point is, due to house the toilet inside the mart, they had to keep the toilet clean at all times. They can’t afford to have foul smell coming out from the toilet, in other word, their toilet is always heavily “perfume”. Thus their toilets are always a present place to go to.


The picture of the toilet station in Caltex

My second choice is the ESSO station. They are about the same as Caltex but most located outside the Mart. Although some of them located in the Mart like the station off Durearn Road (beside BMW showroom). This become my second choice just because it’s located outside the mart (due to no Air-conditioning of the toilet).

My Third Choice will be Shell Station.

They had upgrade their station few years ago and their toilets are clean at least three times a day. They might not in tip-top condition but it is useable. But be prepared to standby some tissue paper as most of the time, the toilet paper is always not available.

My Last choice will be SPC.

This is the petrol station which I will be avoiding as it’s smell in the toilet and the toilet is always dirty. It might due to lack of upgrading and prolong usage of the toilet. Also Tissue paper is always a “Must Have” thing when using their toilets. The toilet paper is almost non-existence.

This is the choice based on the toilet I have visited so far and it only represent the male toilet (of course I can’t use the female toilet right?) Maybe some female driver can update us their choice of toilet in my comment column to share with other drivers.