Not a word uttered on Job Security

This year National Day Rally was conducted in Ang Mo Kio ITE, with the focus on the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) which just started more than a year ago. I believe everyone was looking forward to it. For me, I was looking forward to announcements on what the government will do to help Singaporean.

In summary of the rally speech, the government is looking to enhance three areas which are Health Care, Education and Housing. These three enhancement would probably bring cheer across the board. Although PM Lee admit that there is no fool proof to enhance the three shifts, but the government is still trying to get the best out of it. I felt that this is a step forward to change the way the things are going.

Although much cheers have been given to the rally,  I am very disappointed about the one shift of government policy which is missing in action – Job Security!

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had just clarified that the government is not decreasing the number of foreign workers but they are just slowing down the increment of the foreign workers. That is to say, more foreign workers are expected to land on our shore amid slower increment. PM Lee also highlight that the government will do its best to help SMEs to tackle the labour crunch.

PM Lee had stopped short on how the government are going to do to help workers in the following problems that we as employees are facing:

  1. Low wage workers – how are the government going to support this group of workers? How the government going to increase the wages of these workers?
  2. PMET – How can the government do to prevent job replacement by foreigners? What can the government do to help those jobless PMET regain employment?
  3. Work-Life Balance – Not mention a single word by PM Lee during the rally. Is he still trying to fix the issue or do not know the to fix the issue? This is everybody’s guess.

Job Security remains as one of the main concerns of every Singaporean yet nothing is mentioned at all on this issue in this rally. Without job security, all other things are just lips services including paying for your HDB flat for 25 years.

I feel quite disappointed with this National Day Rally. This Rally is all about one word: Image of Singapore. Government want to get rid of the Kiasuism of Singaporeans, become a logistic hub that everyone goes to (International airport & ports), and how to beautify Singapore. But it seems that the most important message hidden in this rally speech is: Preparing for the increase of population to 6.9M.

Note: Special Thanks to ” The Online Citizen” editor, Terry Xu, to edit my languages and make the post more interesting.


Creative Motor Traders In Singapore


In the Strait Times published today in the Home section, there are two articles written on the Motor traders coming out creative ways to beat the Vehicle Loan Curb.

1) New car dealer using leasing program to lease their car instead of putting large down payment to buy them.

2) Used car traders using overtrade to ease the high down-payment.

Let us look at the first case: Leasing Program!

No doubt this will transfer the ownership to the car dealers with the following benefits:

1) Low deposit

2) No insurance / maintenance worries ( excluding no frill Leasing deals)

3) Keeping of Non Claim Discount (Insurance) for up to 5 years

4) No Vehicle Depreciation Risk

The downside of the leasing program is as follows:

1) Higher monthly payments compare to car ownership

2) Leasing program is for 5 years. Any early termination of contracts might be sued for termination of contracts

3) Maintenance/ accident repair must be done in their workshop, this is a concern for people going for no frill leasing deals. Typically, authorized dealers workshop charges higher fee which I would not go into details. Accident repair must be done in the their workshop as the car ownership is still theirs, more likely that it will cost a bomb if no insurance claim is made.

4) Higher Insurance Premium (for no frill deals), typically insurance for leasing car are higher compare to private car. On top of that no other drivers are allowed to drive that lease car unless included in the insurance policy (again this will cost a bomb in the insurance premium)

5) Mileage – depends on the deals, some deals that only allows a certain mileage to be clock in the lease vehicle, any excess of mileage will be penalised.

6) Can’t do any decoration in the leased vehicle – vehicle not owned by you.

7) At the end of the lease, some deals might need you to return the vehicle in the original conditions, thus extra cash upfront to repair to return the vehicle (check this out before you sign on the dotted line).

Basically, car leasing is not a bad deal after all, just that the leasing period which I felt is a little long, maybe one to two-year leasing period should be ideal for the drivers. Any drivers who want to lease the vehicle from the dealers must read all the fine prints carefully, questions them if in doubts before signing. Get the normal leasing deals (excluding no frill deals), although you are paying a little higher, but you do not need to worry about maintenance/ breakdown of the vehicle.

Next we look at the used car dealers using overtrade to ease the down-payment.

For every $10,000 overtrade, the buyers will come out less $6,000 down-payment. In order to close the deal, the used car dealers will try the higher possible overtrade for buyers to lower down the down-payment. Typically, the banks will inform the dealers what is the maximum loan allowed for the loan and the dealers would work backwards from that (basically all about paperwork).

The bank will not strictly follow the market value of the used car as there is no fixed price on each car (of course not for those ridicules high price), they will close one eye on that so long the paperwork are done properly. The loan will only approved if the buyer meet other MAS requirements.

In short, be it leasing or overtrade, with the expected increase in COE quota in the next coming one to two years, financial prudent is the most important thing to consider before signing on the dotted line. If you had existing car, hold onto it till the COE drops before deciding your next course of actions.

COV drops to the Lowest level in 2.5 years

COV, Cash over valuation had dropped to the lowest level in 2.5 years. It’s heartening to hear that, but the truth is only half told.

As I mention before, the valuation of the HDB is consider with a few factors including the recent selling price of the similar flat in the estate.

Thus with the ever-increasing valuation, couple with the COV, the price of a flat is actually increasing.

Let look at an example,

A 4-room flat sold in Apr 2013, valuation of $400k with COV of $25K. Total price is $425K.

In July, similar Flat in the vicinity with a valuation of $410K with COV of $20K. Total Price is $430K.

According to HDB website, In Apr 2013, Blk 183 of Bedok North Road, 06-10 Level, sold at $575K, in July 2013, Blk 180, 06-10 level, sold at $590K.

With the ever-increasing price of the HDB flat, I urge the government to relook into revamping how the valuation of the flat is done. With the ever positive COV, the valuation of the HDB flat will be ever-increasing.

One suggestion that I would give is: The COV should not factor into the valuation process of the flat.

Think before you drink and drive

Last Sunday, a BMW crash into a lorry injuring nine people in PIE. Read the full story here.

Here, I ‘m not going to write about the incident, but about the accident that affect the 25-year-old BMW driver.

1) countless of sleepless night

2) pending court case with a possible jail term and ban from driving

3) May be declared a bankrupt, due to loss of his vehicle, the compensation to the injured people etc.

4) Career Gone if going to jail.

With the above affecting the BMW driver, I urge people to want to drink and drive to think twice. Take public transport and don’t endanger yourself or others. Be a responsible driver.

Philippines to stop deploying maid to Singapore from Sept 2013

The Philippines is going to stop deployment of her citizen to Singapore as maid from Sept 2013 due to disagreement to the placement fee.

Over the years, Employers had been spoilt for choices to foreign workers without incurring extra cost to hire them (Be it maid or otherwise). All the placement fee has been borne by the employee in other to get work in Singapore.

Singaporean are complaining that PMET being displaced by the foreigners, but why Employers choose to continue employing foreigners?

Most companies in Singapore do not have the HR overseeing the hiring process but handled by the recruitment agent. Thus searching of good hiring requires money for the recruitment agent, either by the hiring company or the job seekers.

Generally, Singaporean do not pay for placement fee but the companies will foot the bail for the recruitment process.

Thus if you are the employer and wish to recruit a new staff, you would be more interested in hiring the foreign job seekers as you do not need to pay for the placement fee. On top of that, you would be able to change/reject the job seekers if they do not perform up to mark.

Thus I urge the Manpower Ministry to look into this issue. I would suggest that legalisation of all employers to borne the placement fee to the recruitment agent. This will in fact help to create a better playing field for the Singaporean seeking jobs.