News and views from an unique perspective

Can I use my CPF or secure a bank loan to buy a 70 year old HDB flat

Posted by temasektimes on October 22, 2018

Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said recently at a dialogue session with young people that Singaporeans who buy a 50-year-old Housing Board (HDB) flat today can expect prices to continue to appreciate over the next 10 years.

“If you buy a 70-year-old flat, there is still appreciation potential especially because this Government is prepared to continue to invest in it through Home Improvement Programme (HIP) II and the Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (Vers),” Mr Khaw said.

While it is difficult to ascertain if his statement is true as no HDB flats have reached the 70 year mark yet, we can examine if it is possible to secure a bank loan and to use CPF to purchase the flat.

Read rest of article here.


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Singaporean received deceased mother’s CPF after 31 years with $2 interest

Posted by temasektimes on October 21, 2018

When Singaporeans passed away, the monies remaining in their CPF accounts will be given to their children or nominees in cash within a few months. However for one Singaporean Rahayu Binte Mazlan, she received her deceased mother’s CPF savings only 31 years later.

Source: Facebook

In a post on her Facebook, she shared a letter from the CPF Board and wrote:

“My mum passed away in 1987. She nominated me as her beneficiary. Last wed, I received a letter from CPF that there is money in her CPF after CPF review”.

When Singaporeans buy properties using their CPF monies, they have to pay back the interest accrued back to the CPF board after they sell them. However, it appears that the same rule does not apply to CPF board holding on to the monies of deceased Singaporeans as Ms Rahayu found out herself after she called CPF board to demand for the interest owed:

“I went to CPF yesterday. I said that since they had kept my late mum’s money, they should pay interest. They say that that her case was after review so no interest. What I don’t understand is that why after 31 yrs then they review? What is going on with our CPF?”

She ended her post feeling humiliated by CPF’s “kind” gesture:

“CPF are you trying to fool me or mock me after 31 years? Before I got kids till now I have grandkids. Don’t know if I should be happy or angry”.

In response to queries from the state media, a CPF spokesman said all of the deceased’s CPF monies were disbursed within two months in 1987 – except for a “small residual amount” which had been retained for a specific housing-related transaction.

“This amount continued to attract interest until it was deducted several months later for the transaction. The interest accrued – which amounted to less than $2 – remained unclaimed.”

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NUS: PRC Prof Henry Yeung charged for reckless driving to continue teaching “as usual”

Posted by temasektimes on October 17, 2018

Despite pleading guilty after being charged in court today for dangerous driving, NUS appears to be standing by PRC Professor in Geography and Acting Head of Department Henry Yeung Wai Chung.

In a shocking video posted online on September 7, Henry Yeung was seen driving a black Maserati recklessly by overtaking a lorry against the flow of traffic along Lorong Chuan.


His car eventually mounted a kerb and then continued driving fast against the oncoming traffic, narrowly crashing into a taxi and a car that were on the road.

According to his profile posted on the NUS website, Henry Yeung was born in Guangzhou and came to Singapore in 1988. He is currently the Acting Head of Department of Geography.

When asked by the state media, a NUS spokesperson declined to comment on that case except that Prof Henry Yeung is continuing teaching “as usual” at the campus.

NUS’ lenient approach to Henry Yeung was lambasted by netizens who queried if Yeung is suitable to continue in his capacity as a university lecturer and tutor mentoring young students after he was charged in court.

First-time offenders convicted of dangerous driving may be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both. Repeat offenders may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

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PAP minister slams Oxfam report: More important to see the “outcome” we have achieved

Posted by temasektimes on October 10, 2018

After having an egg thrown at his face by international charity Oxfam which whacked Singapore mercilessly for its poor efforts to reduce inequality, PAP minister in charge of Family and Social Development Desmond Lee has lashed out at the report for its “inaccuracies”.



Mr Lee claimed that almost half of Singapore’s population do not pay any income tax and that Singaporeans “benefit more than proportionately from the high quality of infrastructure and social support that the state provides”.

“The report assumes that high taxation and high public expenditure reflects commitment to combatting inequality. We think it is more important to look at the outcomes achieved, instead. The report itself recognises this limitation,” he added.

Mr Lee then rattled off a series of international rankings which put Singapore in good light such as being ranked second and sixth in the world for its healthcare outcomes and system by the Economist Intelligence Unit and World Health Organisation respectively.

He also boasted that 90 percent of Singaporeans “own” their homes though they are merely leasing them at exorbitant prices from the Housing and Development Board which will be returned to the state with zero compensation when their lease ends.

Despite putting up a brave front, Mr Lee still not answer the disturbing facts in the report such as its low investment in education and lack of efforts to implement a minimum wage.

What the Oxfam report did not mention is fact that Singaporeans unable to change the government through the ballot box as all the major institutions of the state including the media and the so-called “elected opposition” are under the control of the ruling PAP.

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Oxfam: Singapore ranked among bottom 10 countries in effort to reduce inequality

Posted by temasektimes on October 10, 2018

Singapore is used to being ranked in the top ten in the world by international surveys, but one international aid agency has the temerity to rank it in the bottom ten, sullying the reputation carefully crafted by the ruling PAP.

File pic: An elderly woman selling passport covers outside Lavender MRT station


The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2018 conducted by Oxfam showed that Singapore is ranked 149 out of 157 countries, below Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

According to the report, Singapore’s low ranking is due to a number of its “harmful tax practices”. Singapore’s maximum tax rate for high income earners is only 22 percent, one of the lowest in the world.

Oxfam also ticked Singapore off for its for its “relatively low level of public social spending”.

Only 39 percent of Singapore’s budget goes towards education, health and social protection, which is “way behind” countries such as South Korea and Thailand, where half of their budget are directed towards those areas.

Though Singapore has one of the highest income inequality in the world, its leaders are the HIGHEST PAID in the world.

It was revealed in Parliament recently that Singapore’s ministers earn, on average, an astonishingly high bonus of four months in the past 5 years.

Singapore’s Prime Minister takes home more than $2 million dollars a year while a junior minister is expected to earn at least $1 million dollars, excluding bonuses.


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10 Access Medical Clinics suspended by MOH for making severe “non-compliant” claims

Posted by temasektimes on October 9, 2018

According to a press release by the Ministry of Health (MOH), it has served notices of suspension of the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) participation of 10 Access Medical clinics. Their suspension from the scheme will take effect from 23 October 2018.

The clinics are: Access (Bedok South), Access (Circuit Road), Access (East Coast), Access (Kim Keat), Access (Marine Terrace), Access (Toa Payoh), Access (Whampoa), Access (Jurong West), Access (Redhill Close), Access (Bukit Batok). (Please refer to the Annex for the addresses of these clinics.)


Source: Access Medical Facebook Page


The clinics, which are all under the Access Medical group, had made numerous non-compliant Chas claims such as claims for patient visits or chronic conditions with no relevant supporting documentation. These were revealed following audits by the MOH on the Chas claims.

MOH added it has referred this case to the Police, and will also be referring specific doctors involved to the Singapore Medical Council for further investigation.

Access Medical is a private medical group which is reportedly founded by Dr Lim Yong Chin in 2012.

Source: Lim Yong Chin’s Facebook


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Split within WP? Chen Show Mao a “no show” at WP trio trial

Posted by temasektimes on October 8, 2018

In a sign of a possible internal rift within the Workers’ Party, Aljunied MP Chen Show Mao was conspicuous by his absence at the trial of three WP MPs Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh on Friday.

The trio were sued by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) for mismanaging the Town Council funds. They were accompanied to the Supreme Court by fellow Aljunied MP Muhammad Faisal Manap as well as NCMPs Leon Perera, Daniel Goh and Dennis Tan.

While the other WP MPs and NCMPs have been most vocal in support of their three leaders put on trial, Mr Chen was noticeably silent when being an experienced lawyer, he is the best person to comment on the ongoing case.

His latest Facebook post was on 2 October 2018:

Source: Chen Show Mao’s Facebook

According to reliable sources from WP, Mr Chen does not agree with WP’s strategy of launching a PR offensive to gain public support by insisting that its MPs have done nothing “wrong” in the case and feels they should have remained silent till everything is concluded.

By distancing himself from the trio, Mr Chen appears to be sending a subtle message that he has been kept in the dark on how Aljunied-Hougang Town Council was being run and he was not involved in the fiasco which erupted subsequently.

Mr Chen did not respond to our requests for comment on his Facebook.

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Tan Kin Lian: Bringing in “Tongkat Ali” was a joke which never happened!

Posted by temasektimes on October 8, 2018

Former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian has clarified on his Facebook page that his earlier post about being “busted” at Changi Airport by a customs officer who wanted to know if he was carrying any Tongkat Ali through Singapore checkpoint never happened.

Tongkat Ali is a famous herbal medicine from Malaysia commonly used as an aphrodisiac. The root is boiled in water, and the water is consumed as a health tonic for post-partum recovery, as an aphrodisiac, as well as the relief of fever, intestinal worms, dysentery, diarrhoea, indigestion, and jaundice.

His post was widely reported by online news sites and Facebook pages run by the PAP such as “Fabrications against the PAP”:

Source: Snapshot of The Independent

The earlier posts appeared to be taken down after Mr Tan issued a simple clarification:

Source: Tan Kin Lian’s Facebook

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Types of Land Ownership in Singapore

Posted by temasektimes on October 7, 2018

Freehold, 999 leasehold or 99 year leasehold? These are the common terms you may have heard of when buying a property in Singapore. So what do they mean exactly and what are the implications for you?


A Historical Perspective

Before we delve into the legal intricacies, let’s take a step back into the past and see how land in Singapore was acquired and passed on through the generations.

Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819 when he negotiated with the  Sultan of  Johor and the Temenggong (governor) of Singapore to establish a permanent

On 7 June 1823, Raffles arranged for another agreement with the Sultan and Temenggong to buy out their judicial power and rights to the lands except for the areas reserved for the Sultan and Temenggong.  From then on, most of the land in Singapore was acquired by the British and belonged to the British Crown.

In order to raise funds for the fledgling settlement, the British colonial government started to sell the land to private developers and settlers. Some of the prized land in the Central Business District (CBD) today such as the strip along Boat Quay was sold to wealthy Chinese “towkays” on a 999 year lease where they were turned into warehouses and factories.

Other parcels of land further from the CBD were soon sold to settlers from other countries. For example, large tracts of eastern part of Singapore which comprises of the present Siglap and Frankel estate were sold to a Jewish family from Lithuania in the 1900s.

Read rest of article here.

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Two-faced WP making use of opposition to advance its own selfish interests

Posted by temasektimes on October 6, 2018

In July 2018, former PAP MP Dr Tan Cheng Bock met up with leaders from various opposition parties in Singapore to discuss the prospects of forming an united opposition coalition to challenge the PAP in the next General Election.

The Workers Party, with 6 MPs and 3 NCMPs in Parliament, was conspicuous by its absence though an invitation was sent to them.

How can the opposition in Singapore be united without the Workers Party? It can only be possible once the opposition face the brutal hard truth that WP is NOT part of the opposition, but part of the PAP whose sole purpose is to keep and entrench the PAP in power forever.

WP is shamelessly making use of the opposition to further its own selfish interests and political agenda. It refuses to work with other opposition parties and yet it demands other parties keep away from its “stronghold” in the eastern part of Singapore to avoid third party contests in the name of opposition “unity”.


Photo: WP Chief Pritam Singh


Based on results of previous elections, the eastern constituencies of Singapore generally enjoy higher opposition support compared to the east. Because WP has “booked” all the good winnable seats, the other opposition parties have no choice but to contest in seats which are more difficult to win. This explains why WP appears to garner more votes compared to SDP and other parties.

Why not WP contest in Jurong GRC led by popular DPM Tharman and see how many votes it can win? If SDP fields an “A” team in East Coast GRC, it will stand a much higher chance of winning it compared to Bukit Timah GRC.

By giving way to WP to allow it contest as and where it wanted to while staying out of a united opposition front, the real opposition parties are restricting their own development and indirectly furthering the narrow political interests of WP instead.

Since Low Thia Khiang took over WP in 2001, WP has never expressed any interest to work with other opposition parties. Low himself admitted as much by saying that WP will “forge its own path.” The present WP Chief Pritam Singh has scoffed at the idea of “opposition unity” too. In fact, he appears more interested to work with the PAP.

During a forum held at the Institute of Policy Studies in the aftermath of the 2011 General Election, Pritam Singh shocked the audience by proclaiming that WP will form a coalition government with the PAP if the latter fails to win a majority in future elections.

The opposition should not regard WP as part of the opposition any more and “give face” to it. The real opposition parties led by SDP should considering contesting in ALL the WP seats in the eastern part of Singapore and gives voters more choice.

Do Singaporeans want a weak, feeble and useless opposition which dare not voice their concerns in Parliament or do they want brave, selfless and principled opposition MPs who dare to speak up and hold the PAP to its words and actions?

WP is now the single biggest stumbling block to real political progress and reform in Singapore. Do we want to continue with the status quo with 10, 20 or even 30 useless WP MPs “wayanging” in Parliament or do we want ONE SINGLE real opposition leader like SDP’s Dr Chee Soon Juan to challenge the PAP?

It is time we wipe the slate clean and start afresh in the next General Election. With 12 NCMPs guaranteed to enter Parliament, Singaporeans should not be afraid to vote out the fake opposition WP and replaced them with real opposition leaders in Parliament. Let us give them five years to see how they perform in Parliament and we can decide whether to continue lending support to them in the next General Election.

After witnessing so many cringe-worthy performance by WP MPs who are worse off even than the PAP backbenchers themselves, we can safely conclude that they are largely ineffectual and make no difference at all in Parliament.

Time is running short. A vote for WP is a vote for PAP! As the late opposition scion Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam said at the inauguration of the Reform Party: Singaporeans should vote for WP and Low Thia Khiang if they want to maintain the status quo. The question for you is: Do you still want the status quo for the next decade?

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