THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Archive for September 10th, 2018

Mahathir interfering in Singapore politics: Singapore should sent formal protest note to Malaysian government

Posted by temasektimes on September 10, 2018

In an interview with the Financial Times shortly after the May 9 General Election, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir said rather caustically that his shocking electoral win may have a ripple effect in Singapore:

“I think the people of Singapore, like the people in Malaysia, must be tired of having the same government, the same party since independence.”

A few days later, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took the effort to visit Dr Mahathir to congratulate him, he received a lukewarm reception lasting only 30 minutes.

 

Source: Malay Mail

In contrast, Dr Mahathir spent 80 minutes meeting a Singapore fugitive Tan Wah Piow and four Singapore activists who are known to harbor anti-establishment views.

It is unfriendly and undiplomatic to say the least for the Prime Minister of Malaysia to so blatantly interfere in Singapore politics by making wild baseless insinuations that Singaporeans are not happy with the PAP and meeting with the Singapore opposition.

Imagine if PM Lee were to make similar comments about the Malaysian ruling coalition and to meet up with opposition activists from across the Causeway, would Dr Mahathir not recall the Singapore ambassador and slammed our government publicly demanding an apology?

Home Affairs and Law Minister Shanmugam had publicly attacking the four Singaporeans for meeting Dr Mahathir, lambasting them as “unpatriotic”, but stopped short of criticizing Dr Mahathir:

“And you know, we are not saying anything about Dr Mahathir but I think one needs to be careful about these things. And now to try and explain away what is so obvious, that doesn’t do them much credit either.”

Isn’t it pretty obvious that the four Singaporeans have been unwittingly made use of by Dr Mahathir to take a jibe at the Singapore government?

It is time the Singapore government sent a formal protest note to the Malaysian government to protest against Dr Mahathir’s blatant interfering in Singapore’s internal affairs. Continued silence over the matter may send the wrong signal to Dr Mahathir that we are afraid of him and encourage him to indulge in more sabre-rattling against Singapore.

Instead of bullying and intimidating its own citizens, the Singapore government should stand up to the real bully up north who has been making insensitive, irresponsible and incomprehensible comments about Singapore and jeopardizing cross-straits relationship.

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Posted in Commentary, Opinion | 1 Comment »

Chua Mui Hoong: HDB flats are leased from a “superior landlord”

Posted by temasektimes on September 10, 2018

After many years of propagating and perpetuating the myth that Singaporeans are “owners” of their HDB flats, the state media finally admits the brutal truth: Singaporeans are merely leasing their flats from HDB.

In a stunning reversal, the Sunday Times carried an article by columnist Chua Mui Hoong sugar-coating the harsh reality as a “best of both worlds” for HDB flat dwellers as they are entitled to “subsidized” upgrading from HDB.

 

Source: Singapore Property Update

 

Ms Chua also coined a new term “superior landlord” to describe HDB:

“To restate the obvious: HDB flat buyers have secure ownership rights, so they can live in them peaceably, sell them and profit from them. But the flats are also leased from the Government for 99 years, and the HDB remains as superior landlord, stepping in to help maintain the value of the flats as they age,” she added.

Ms Chua also expressed hopes that she can retire in an HDB flat:

“This dual identity of HDB flats and assurance that the government will take care of HDB flat buyers, is one reason why I hope to retire in an HDB flat.”

While it is admirable for Ms Chua to want to retire in an HDB flat, not all Singaporeans will want to spend their entire lives and savings on a depreciating liability which will return to the state at zero cost when the lease ends.

And all the hype about HIP 2 maintaining the “value” of aging flats raises more questions on why lessees have to pay for upgrading carried out by the “superior landlord” which ultimately owns the flats.

Posted in News | 2 Comments »