The Online Citizen

High living costs, low wages & purchasing power?

September 30
17:51 2011

~by: Leong Sze Hian~

I refer to the latest issue of the UBS Price and Earnings report, which is a study of purchasing power around the world (see HERE).

Out of 73 cities ranked, Singapore comes in at 10, 42 and 47, for Price Level, Wage Levels and Domestic Purchasing Power, respectively.

Triple whammy?

What this may mean is that Singaporeans may in a sense, be squeezed in a triple whammy – high cost of living, low wages and low purchasing power.

Another world first?

Singapore comes in at number 10 among the top-10 cities ranked according to Price Levels.  The other cities ranked better than Singapore are Oslo, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tokyo, Sydney, Helsinki and Toronto.

What is perhaps ‘Uniquely Singapore’, may be that Singapore has the distinction of having the worse Wage Levels and Domestic Purchasing Power rankings, amongst the top 10 Price Level cities.  In other words, none of the top nine above Singapore at number 10, have lower wages or domestic purchasing power rankings than Singapore.

In fact, the worse Wage Levels amongst the top nine, was Tokyo, at 19, which is 23 places above Singapore.  Similarly, for Domestic Purchasing Power, the worse was Oslo, at 26, which is 21 places above Singapore.

Therefore, on a relative basis, Singapore may be much worse off than many cities in the world.

Perhaps we should do some serious soul-searching, as to whether and to what extent our policies may have contributed to Singaporeans’ current predicament of what I would call the “Triple Whammy Squeeze”?

  • chou Ah Lian

    Give me a country with low living costs, high wages & purchasing power. Is it Malaysia?

  • A response

    LSH, thank you for this very concise summary of figures. Very helpful. clearly the tried and tested methods with regards to the economy are no longer working for the majority of Singaporeans. Many years ago, an aunt who emigrated to another country told me. Singapore is great in many ways but it persists in creating an elite class such that the divide between the rich and poor will continue to grow to the point where people will become fed up with it. She said this 20 years ago. I was a young man in his first job at that time. Didn’t really think too much about what she said. But it is true isn’t it? What’s the point of a country being rich on paper if so many people do not benefit from it?

  • To Chou Ah Lian

    Its about a balance of all three Chou Ah Lian. Singapore seems to be moving in the direction where we have the worst balance of all three factors. We should not be aiming to go there.

  • alf

    Tldr version: govt should count its blessings how loyal the population is despite all that

  • Annoyed

    @ the first commenter, read the chart my dear, Miami ranks 4th in PP and 41st in price level, and there are multiple other countries with high purchasing power with a relatively low price level rank. and you miss the point of the article totally, Singapore has NONE of the three, with high living costs, and relatively low wages and purchasing power, so stop trying to obfuscate and misdirect things with typical PAP illogic.

  • Titiana Ann Xavier

    When greedy ministers are in power, they guard their own interests and ignore the masses. The GE and the PE have aroused the awareness of the electorate that the PAP policies are helping the rich to become richer and making the poor very much poorer. The PAP’s popularity is at an all low with its ultra liberal policy on imported cheap labour. The standard of living for the average Singapore is getting worse instead of better in the last 10 years.

  • popcorn

    As long as the Elites have high pay, high purchasing power, high living costs are peanuts to them. Just duck behind their ivory towers and make believe pretending.
    As for the rest of the peasants, what do they care if they have high costs to meet with low wages and purchasing power.

    The Hongkies call it “sai hei”.

  • Eugene

    First world standards huh? Papigs and their running dogs do not care because their wage review is only after christmas.
    We want a stop to immigraton. We demand MHA to publicise the cause of the famous 16 detention. We demand HDB to return back the flats confiscated from Singaporeans to be handed over to New Sinaporeans. We demand a minimum wage level.

  • KTK

    Whatare those reports we read about Singapore having one of the highest
    per capita income in the world; highest millionair income household in the world;
    one of the highest GDP in the world.
    Are all these just to pull the wool over our eyes? They do not benefit the ordinary Singaporean. These statistics just give a false impression that we are having “the good life” here.

  • lky

    Singapore is a clear outlier in the Price vs net wage chart, far distance away from the advanced western economies, and also far from some of our Asian competitors Seoul, Taipei, HK, Shanghai.
    One interesting point from the chart is that though similar costly, cities such as Oslo, Stockholm, London and Zurich were able to enjoy much higher PP, yet remain amongst the top ranked competitive economies…

  • rooster

    LKY once boasted that $ingapore will provide first world services and goods at third world prices. So the workers are compelled to accept low wages.

    But the PAP ministers are paid way above First World wages and in return they gave the citizens third world services.

    The Hokkiens call it “Cho Boh Lan”.

  • Disparity

    It is the income disparity. The growing “haves” and “have nots” that is a cause for concern.

    Ministerial salaries need to be cut. No ifs no buts

  • Chicharito

    @ chou Ah Lian30 September 2011
    Give me a country with low living costs, high wages & purchasing power. Is it Malaysia?

    You are either blind or you r dumb.. Just pick one from the table above..

  • Tracy Tan

    Singapore’s present model is unsustainable.

    As in most PAP policies, it will come back to haunt Singapore in the future

  • red_dot

    How come this PAP ruling party keeps on saying they are the FIRST WORLD GOVERNMENT?
    How ridiculous is it? It is all fraud!

    Singaporeans must have been cheated left and right for almost 50 years!

  • georgia tong

    Thanks Mr Leong for putting it simply for us to understand. MSM never clarify for us but confuse us with skewed reporting and statistic.

  • Thanks To PAP, We Are ALL Dead

    SPH will not highlight this. I hope we can survive till election 2016 and hope there are some remnants for the opposition to work on to ensure our survival.

    I do not see a future for Singapore if ruling party stays in power. They are nothing more than a bunch of lost sheep whose only interests are holding F1 events, keeping HDB prices high, employ more and more unskilled foreign workers, keeping the ISA, etc, etc.

    We are doom, doom, and doom.

  • To :Leong Sze Hian

    Dear Sze Hian,

    Just a thank you note to express how much we, the readers of TOC, appreciate your contributions here. Through your many well written and truthful articles, we have been educated on the true performances or failings of the ruling party. The truth is slowly but surely coming to light. You have done your duty as a citizen well and for which we are truly grateful.

    A true blue Singaporean,

  • yeoman

    most of the world’s economic problems stem from sheer ‘IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE’ of extreme GREED.

    THE rich ARE hoarding by ‘squeezing’ more and more from the POOR and this does not bode well for ECONOMIC CONSUMPTION.

    the general economy is like a machine,it needs real effective consumption’ to grease it to run smoothly.

    by cutting salaries and replacing already humbly paid workers with ‘CHEAPER IS BETTER’ ones,the emplpoyers and elites are in fact killing the goose that lay the golden eggs.

    it is not economic wisdom for the WORLD’rich and ours here in this little red dot to SQUEEZE MORE OUT OF THE HAVE-NOTs in order to get more for themselves to HOARD?

  • js

    Sorry to say this but this is a terrible analysis by the author. There are so many flaws. I’ll just name a few…

    First, price level is calculated by CPI, i.e. daily consumers’ goods. But many Singaporeans are complaining about property and transport prices, so its not representative of our concerns.

    Second, the wage level does not take into account income tax. If you know what the Scandinavians pay in taxes, you will definitely envy them less.

    Third, local purchasing power is calculated using figures from the first two sets of results, so if they are flawed, then this results will be useless as well.


    Steven kho
    For someone earning $5k (which is very much the norm), he can spend $2.50 for lunch (0.05%)
    you earned 5k/month..great..
    what make you assumed everybody ere earned 5ks/month..let alone findin a tarpau lunch @ $2.50?


    chou Ah Lian30 September 2011
    Give me a country with low living costs, high wages & purchasing power. Is it Malaysia?
    yes highly lived in johore
    you come to singapoor to work daily..

  • Jy

    The UBS study looks at 73 countries, all of whom are very different. In order to make meaningful comparisons, UBS had to make many simplifying assumptions; and they note so as much in their report. This UBS study have been taken time and time again as rock solid evidence of how Singapore is failing, we are fallen behind, wages are falling, prices are rising etc.

    It would be good if people take a step back and think for themselves first what these figures actually mean.

    As an alternative view, the folks at NUS have examined the paper and came out with a different answer.

  • anti-dictator

    singapore is the rich live in another class of the society where they manipulate, psycho and control the majority low class

    like master and slave in the 18th and 19th century.

  • Robert Teh

    This is what happen when people lost their freedom to speak up under a one-man autocracy disguised as democracy with legalistic tweaking of laws and regulations under the ISA.

    People have been taken for a ride with all kinds of self-glorified claims of one-man’s leadership, talent, meritocracy using all kinds of fear tactics like the threats to security, danger of welfarism to rule by hypocrisy and window dressing to justify stay in power and claims of success.

    Citizens are being made not only to pay all sorts of taxes but also additionally all kinds of indirect taxes through GLCs to allow ministers/CEOs to live off people’s monies enjoying millions of salaries at the expense of the people.

    This is the reason why 200,000 families are living below poverty being forced to pay the ever-rising government charges for essential services like heathcare, education and housing.

    Many are suffering in silence prefering to keep sob stories like these to themselves having to put up with divorces, suicides, bankruptcies and loss of retirements of the people.

    UBS’s report that our actual standard of living said to be the first world is lower than that of third world is not a fabrication.

    Just image our leaders simply dismiss such problems while people have to be made to suffer from such unjust system of governance. They have the cheek to write books and speak to foreigners telling lies like we are a first-world country.

    who are the liars? UBS or our leaders? Sadly after 46 years of self-praise about leadership, and despite paying millions of salaries to our ministers this is what we get – we are not even near the living standards of some of the third world countries.

    But guess what the leaders will say. They will conveniently dismiss all these root causes of people’s problems with more slanted statistics and worse-case scenarios to sweep all problems under the carpet.

  • Haha

    Sure or not low wages in sg? the last time i check Minimum credit card eligibility 30k annual income is at the bottom 11.5% of all tax payers.

  • gerald

    Sze Hian

    U should be applauded for your talent in manuevering througn the data articles in which u have managed to pull and put
    out true data objectively in showing the
    fraud and fabrication of deceit and lies put out by over paid clowns. These should not be the nature of things where Singaporeans are treated as a mere digit number.

  • Robert Teh

    See, this is so typical of our system of government. Just read the purchasing-power statistics provided by UBS and now by Mr. Leong Sze Hian. Do not compare with Johore or some non-apple-to-apple worse case scenario to avoid answring to problems or providing better service to people.

  • Ong Bing Seng aka fuxswan

    Better raise u concerns soonest. They may retire in a few years n live in there elsewhere mansion with swiss bank account for retirement .

    Why think too far?

    Let someone inherit the future.

    Kuku washhands niathan

  • Slumberland

    Wonder why papies still in power?
    Because too many chou ah lian.
    All these figures means nothing to the blind,however,they will regret when they and their descendants should one day fall between the cracks of society.
    Leong Sze Hian has undoubtedly did a good job for presenting the figures but I would like to add that the real situation is much worst as there are other unseen factors like high penalties and late interests imposed by HDB on arrears of flats installments,traffic and parking fines of up to 80 times of original amount etc. would come as multi-whammy.
    We have too many out-of-this-world syndrome.
    1. Out-of-this-world ministers salary
    2. Out-of-this-world fines/penalties for any late payment.
    3. Out-of-this-world logic for many issues,e.g.deferment of CPF withdrawal,to achieve highest population density,biggest income disparity etc……….

  • 40%

    Change must take place in ge 2016. If not sporeans can continue to suffer till they die of point talking . Actions speaks louder than words.

  • F-pap

    Yes, thank you. We want more of these articles, to help us see beneath lines and not to be deceived by the local pap-controlled press.

  • Chicharito

    @steven ‘idiot’ kho aka alvin chua aka whatever stupid names you give yourself,

    I have said it a hundred times, the more you talk the more stupid you sounded. Do you need some form of education?

    In 2008, the entire USA was hit by the subprime crisis. Every damn bank was in trouble, let alone UBS.

    “1) Given the stong Sing$, it is not possible for Singapore to rank 10 out of 73 cities for price level. Inflation in Singapore is among the lowest in the world, whcih is why we can also keep our interest rates at vey low levels, making mortgage loans very affordable to everyone.”

    Why not possible? It has already been said a dozen times that Singaproe is one of the most expensive city if not the most expensive city to live in in the region. Even our bootlicking mainstream media didn’t hide that. So what are you farting about? What not possible? So what if inflation is low? In many countries whereby inflation is higher, so is bank saving rates! In the end, the inflation adjusted rate of return is +ve!. That includes countries like India! In Singapore it is -ve! Mortgage interest rate may be higher but than property prices is lower, except for prime district where nobody buys except the super rich..

    “2) The strong Sing$ also caused Singapore to be unfairly rank 42 out of 73 for wage level, because when converted to US$, it will seem lower. This is not accurate. If adjusted for exchange rate differences, I believe Singapore will rank in top 5 for wage levels.”

    This one is plain moronic, because of strong
    Sing dollar, when converted should then course us to rank higher instead!!. I will just flush your 2nd point down the toilet. No need to waste time. Top 5.. siao..

    “3) Domestic purchasing power is not computed correctly, leading Singapore to be ranked 47 out of 73. In line with some of the most affluent wage levels, Singapore should be ranked in top 5 for domestic purchasing power. Just think about it. For someone earning $5k (which is very much the norm), he can spend $2.50 for lunch (0.05%). But in France, for someone who earns Euro5k, he has to spend at least Euro 15 for lunch (0.3%). So there’s no way Singapore can be ranked below Paris in terms of domestic purchasing power.”

    All you said is “should be should be”, why dont you collect you own data, do a detail study and present it with a full article? Don’t thing you have the guts (or the capability)
    You wanna talk about France, ok lets talk about France, the point is they do not have hocker centres like we do, their culture mean that they treat dining as an art. So eating out will naturally be expensive. Therefore of all examples you gave the most inaccurate one., Most locals buy their staffs and cook at home, which makes it alot cheaper than here!! Not to forget, over there, cars and houses cost a fraction as compared to here (except Paris where few people buy but rent instead) Therefore mortgage and car loan will by a fraction of what people are paying here. Also no COE ERP and parking at suburb are FREE!! That would in fact be a main bout of people’s expense!! Can you undestand that? Or you need me to speak Freach??

    And before you condemn UBS credibilty, not sure if they will even hire you to wash the toilet!

    Also when Mr Leong post the stats, you think he won’t know the reliabily? Do you know Leong Sze Hien’s financial creditial? He knows at least a hundred times more than you do!! You know what is small bird don’t know elastic??


    At the end of the day, i may be wasting my time afterall, talking to a moron..

  • Sarah Van Jacobs

    @ Chicharito

    Hello there, you are so funny.

    I love to read your comments whenever you attack Steven Kho & company. Haha…

  • Poper@SG

    Hello, Steven Kho boy !! *roof*roof*

    Come to master here and lick lick!!!

  • Rodolfo

    Govt wants to keep business costs affordable to attract investments. Keep office rents affordable. Keep wages affordable. Open the gates if there are not enough locals.

    But at the same time, govt also wants asset price appreciation. They squeeze supply so much for so long in a way so disproportionate to the immigration numbers that it pushes up labour costs. And now we have all this talk of increasing productivity to justify the higher wages.

    We don’t have to be in this situation. We could have greater supply of properties which would relieve the upward pressure on labour costs. Somehow this doesn’t seem to be an option on the table for reasons known only to policy makers. Maybe they feel the govt will forgo too much money selling land to local peasants.

    The govt seems to think it can have its cake and eat it on all fronts. I don’t know how long more they can keep this up.

  • You Fools!

    by 2016, do you know how many more new citizens from People’s Republic of China and India would have influxed and given citizenship?


  • MichaelLim’sAss

    I can’t find my head… Steven Kho stole it.

    Steven, can you apply to be the Chief Economist of Singapore? Your knowledge is so tok gong. Better than UBS and some say Lee Kuan Yew! I really don’t know what to say!

  • Life Is Good

    in Singapore. I’m a FT, and I know for certain that cost of living vs post tax wage level + retirement benefits is much much better than anywhere in the USA, where I worked for a few years. I do not own a car, a semi old HDB is reasonable for family with 2 kids and my disposable income is significantly larger (not having to buy a car every few years, no auto insurance, cheap health insurance, little to no property tax).

    One thing to note that the stats above are pitching Singapore as a nation vs individual cities all over the world. So it isn’t fair because some cities like Miami attracts the obscenely rich folks and their average PP, wage level naturally are boosted.

    I know I do not have rights and is despised here like a rat, but I’ll take what I can get until the day that I am forcibly expunged from this country.

  • Phony Tan

    SG will continue to deteriorate even further in the future because absolute power had already corrupted the PAP.

    We are done for as long as PAP continues to think they are God’s gift to SG and that they can never be wrong and all their actions and policies are good for SG.

    WAKE UP PAP ! ! !

  • doppelganger

    The PAP will really cause the demise of the average Singaporean within a decade at most by its policy of pumping outside people into Singapore continuously. Today foreigners are almost equal in numbers to the indigenous Singaporean. You can bring in such massive numbers of foreign workers in Brunei, Saudi Arabia and Dubai for instance because the locals are completely financed by their Governments from cradle to grave by Oil money. In Singapore , we get the miserable workfare which is supposed to shut us up while our demographics is ravaged and ruined by the Tsunami of the world’s hungry workers.

    The situation is so plain to anyone living in Singapore, that all employment niches are competed and won by the foreign workers.For instance our manual work is outcompeted by Bangladeshis. Our white collar professional jobs which require a degree are outcompeted by People from India. This leaves our street walkers. Even here the China girls beat us hands down, look around in Geylang and Joo Chiat.

    I recall an MP triumphantly explaining this problem why our people are so useless in every level of work. I feel too angry to repeat his explanation here. I might smash my laptop for sheer frustration. You must have heard that explanation often. The ministers who bring in those foreigners have the temerity to make fun of us as we stumble among their foreigners.

  • Zen

    This is terrible. The income inequality gets bigger, people become more unhappy due to increasing job demands and stress, yet their pay does not increase as quickly as cost of living.

    Singaporean male have to serve NS and reservist. Both spouses have to work to attain a decent standard of living, and leave little time for having more children or spending time with family. Maids become substitutes for parents and guardians. This is the reality of Singapore.

    The rich buy nice big European cars and invest in multiple properties, whereas the rest look at them with envy. This is a RAT RACE. Remember this. Even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat. Better to look for some other meaning in life besides work, money and career.

  • Tracy Tan

    The pap’s policy of high cost of living and low wage for Singaporeans will result in a generation of poor singaporeans left with not much savings in their old age in 20years time.

    They will be a social burden, not of their own doing but the result of present bad pap policies.

    Many unskilled migrant workers taking up Singapore citizenship now will fall into this poor and helpless category in 20yrs.

    The pap is intoxicated with present GDP growth at all cost, including the input of cheap foreign labour. This is a vary bad policy which will have devastating future effects on Singapore. The pap leadership is very unwise

  • Raz

    Steven kho

    The last time I understand, p8p which u supports believe in ubs wor as they are the manor shareholder in it

    If as per your saying no1 believes their crap .. What is your love p8p owning so much of their shares? Kind to explain ?

  • JohnJohn

    We are in a high sutuation for a simple reason: we hv a very expensive govt.

    Every year they bleed the economy by collecting huge taxes in various forms : gst, coe, erp, levy, . . And lots of these not reflected inannual budget, but hidden away by using the Consolidated funds.

    These money is then quickly converted into reserves and invested overseas !! And when these investments pay dividends, what they do with that – yes, also invested overseas.

    Just think abt it, he has given up all his appointmrnts except for advisor to GIC. Why?

    As such I urge the honorable people running TOC to investigate the financial situation and in particular the Consolidated Fund.

    This will truly show the govt never ran a ‘deficit’ budget even in the worst of the recession.
    John John

  • Chicharito

    @Sarah van Jacobs,

    Thank you. I just wanted to do my 5 cent worth as Singaporean, to bash up some pests..

    If only you have seen what this moron steven kho has posted in the past.

    1. Insulted the family of a very sick baby by saying that they are trying to get handouts..

    2. Insulting rape victim by saying that she probably enjoys it.. (As Michael Lim PL)

    3. Making remarks about the mentally ill which are worse than those said by Glenn Ong (As Michael Lim PL)

    4. Making degrating comments about the dead mother and child, implying that they conteminate the water in the reservoir..

    Plus many more in which some i must have missed..
    He could well be a representation of what the PAP is, heartless and inhuman.. That gave me so much more conviction of what I did on May 7, not that I was unsure to begin with..

    Then again, I am still not discounting the possibility that steven kho is indeed opposition trying to incite anger toward the PAP, and at the same time destroy the reputation of their supporters. If that is true, then I must say that he is succeeding big time.

    Still, the end does to justify the mean. Insulting the less fortunate is not acceptable..

  • John John

    High cost – very easy to understand based on our govt’s land policy.

    The govt hoard land unneceassrily. So much of our land in SG in un-utilised, and remains there for “future” use.

    And look at the number of golf courses we have in SG!! And these courses do not pay full rent. We spend huge amounts of money to reclaim land, and then convert then to golf courses!!! Marina, Laguna, NSRCC, TMCC all built on reclaimed land.

    OK, if you cant build towers on reclaim land due to settlement issues, surely low rise houses, offices can be done on a 20 or 30 year lease?

    We have gardens that are hardly visited (Kent Ridge park), and such a large area in the nature reserve.
    And when we got back the land from KTM, we want to turn into in gardens and greens when Sporean desperate for housing.

    One solution for this is to take away onwership of all unused land from the govt, and perhaps give in to the President, who will manage in as part of the country’s reserve.

    Govt or private sector will buy the land as and when necessary paying market prices.

  • Steven Kho


    Before you think you so smart, one simple question: do you see homeless/poverty in Singapore? The answer is NO. Every Singaporean earns a decent income, has a good flat to live in, does not have to worry about food, gets equal access to education & healthcare. In Paris, homeless, gypsies, criminals roam the streets at every corner. They are starving, no clean drinking water, ridden with disease, poor, uneducated – all these leading to the extremely high crime rates in Paris. Government policy in France has clearly failed, while in Singapore, public policy continues to be the envy of the world.

  • Taulumpah

    Come on you poor singkies,dont get jealous of the upper class nova rich.Stop borrowing from the ah longs,stop hopping getting rich from 4Ds,totos,football bettings and stop defaulting your credit cards.Learn to save whatever little you earn and lead a quiter life.Dont do what the jones does.Dont even dream of buying the cheapest chery car.Take mrt,buses or even walk like your grandfather did 50 years ago.Then you will lead a happier life.

  • Richard

    Do a similar study for Singapore Ministers and senior civil servants and what do you get? Wages so obscenely high that cost of living and purchasing power become irrelevant.

  • For our Future’s sake

    Still they want us mere mortals to work harder and cheaper!
    Is there any wonder why we are having less babies??
    Is there any wonder why some are sandwiched between children and elderly parents?
    Healthcare cost,housing etc…..

  • cleaner

    Steven Khor,
    Idiot. Shut up. Don’t you know we already scoop the homeless off the streets. Keep them out of sight out of mind you imbecile.

  • Hougang unable book or flag down a taxi

    I tried all cab companies and all have no cabs for booking at this moment, saturday morning 11:30am.

    Try calling any n u will know.

    For the record.


    Steven Kho1 October 2011

    Before you think you so smart, one simple question: do you see homeless/poverty in Singapore? The answer is NO
    you meant there is NO homeless in singapoor..not even eastcoast/changi/sembanwang beach?
    than what the hell is the envoiroment officers been doin? swappin flies?

  • Utterly Disappointed

    @ Steven Kho,

    Be prepared to back up what you say that UBS is not trust-able. You are setting yourself for a libel lawsuit. And you must be one of the PAP elites that earns up to at least a few million dollars each year, that’s why you assume everyone can afford to dine at expensive restaurant, buy 3 condos in a year and buy new clothes daily.

  • Chanel

    It is an open secret that the high GDP growth went mostly to our ministers and their crony private sector bosses

  • Bullshit

    Steven Kho,

    You said UBS stock was “once worth buying”!!!!! Check the historical stock price first. UBS stock price went down and down after GIC bought it!? Which planet are u from?

  • Crap

    Steven Kho,

    The only thing here that is “flawed and has no credibility” is YOU!!

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    @ iVOTEahMENG

    “what make you assumed everybody ere earned 5ks/month..let alone findin a tarpau lunch @ $2.50?”

    he buy 1 loaf of bread ma, settle 3 meals including supper at under $2.50 a day.

    weekends more extravagant a little, plain porridge with ketchup.

    why ketchup? ketchup free ma, take from fast food counter.

  • Stevenkhorfather

    Ya ,agree, do a similar comparison, but this time using Minister Salary ,even those top Civil Servants.

    You did be surprised, they will probably be the “Best” in all 3 areas.

  • Stevenkhorfather

    Public Service is not Private Service.

    But One “Oldman” “twisted” the facts.

    Die! Die! insist “must be willing toPay to attract ?”.

    This argument is by itself an act of “corruption” ..”courruption of ones mind & intergrity to truly serve the public ,country out of love and community spirit.

    So, where got “No Corruption” ?

    It is “staring straight at us “

  • joker

    money no enough…


  • 40%

    Ge2016 if 2/3 parliament not filled by oppositions, sporeans u can pack ur bags. By than u will hv citizen frm other trash country to ditute the vote. Just like ep , put 4 Tans , and pap managed to dilute the vote. Sporeans never learn their lessons

  • liberte

    what the above never mentioned is the housing of singapore is 99 years whereas in others are freehold. no one in sane mind except singaporeans and the coomunists will pay half a million to buy a 99 years hdb flat.

  • liberte

    lots of swiss are staying in french borders so they are actually enjoying high wages and low costs of living and high standard of living.

  • Chicharito

    @steven kho aka whatever shit..

    First of all, I’ve never thought that I am so smart, but at least I know that I am not a moron like you!! Don’t you realize that my rebuttal is not so much against the pap, it is more against YOU!! You who tried to undermine UBS analyst and Leong Sze Hian with your crap knowledge.. You asked if I see poverty/homeless… Before I even answer you, since when do u even care about the poverty/ homeless??! You are one viper who will even ask a handicap 7 yr old to GET LOST!! Because you will not give him any HANDOUT!! Don’t think that by hijacking Godwin’s name we don’t know it is YOU! Dream on!! (yes, Sarah, I forgot that one) and you even have the cheek to boast about that.. And in another post, under the name of Michael Lim Peng Liang, you even dare say that it is right for the Nazis to kill thousands of Jews!! Once again TOC did the sensible thing by deleting your post. Can’t believe that bast**d like you even exist.. By calling you a beast is too kind. In Chinese, we call that ‘ren zha’..

    And now, to answer your question, “do I see homeless/poverty in Singapore? Get ready for this, my answer is YES.. A BIG FAT YES!! In fact I want to ask you why didn’t you see? You don’t know? I tell you why, because you are blinded to them, that’s why!! You refuse to acknowledge their existence. You probably never spent a single minute of you entire life doing any social work, never will you give a single cent to charity, because to you any form of charity is HANDOUT!! Fare enough, they may be the minority here, but still there are plenty!!
    Every Singaporean earns a decent income, that’s BULLSHIT!! In your blindness, you failed to see many who struggle to have 3 decent meal, nor afford to have ‘good flat to live in’.. Because you are living in a world of your own..

    ‘In Paris, homeless, gypsies, criminals roam the streets at every corner. They are starving, no clean drinking water, ridden with disease, poor, uneducated – all these leading to the extremely high crime rates in Paris’

    Hello!! Are you talking about Afghanistan or Columbia? Sure enough their crime rate is indeed higher than ours, but criminals roam streets at every corner? You got that info from where? Hollywood? You think moi has never been to France before? I can walk alone at night in Nice or Marseille just as I do in Singapore!!

    ‘. They are starving, no clean drinking water, ridden with disease, poor, uneducated – all these leading to the extremely high crime rates in Paris. Government policy in France has clearly failed, while in Singapore, public policy continues to be the envy of the world.’

    Once again, which planet are you from?? You might as well boast that Monte Carlo is a slump when compared to Toa Payoh!!

    Now, back to you, steven kho aka Alvin Chua aka Michael Lim Peng Liang aka cancer spread to aljunied plus all the other hijacked names..
    You have still yet to answer my question in the other post.. How many children have you got?!
    My parents have don’t what LKY has called for in the 70/80s. To stop and 2, I have don’t what LKY has called for now, to have more.. How about you!!?! None??
    Why? Because you are impotent? Gay? Or unwanted, which I am not surprise looking at your a*hole personality. Or are you like what you said.. Didn’t want to have children because of irresponsible?
    So you are ignoring lky’s call? You defy LKY? Anyone who defy LKY ought to be hanged!! You said that right? So when are you hanging yourself??!!


    for the eyes of steven kho

    credit to the new paper

  • BK

    The results of the government’s FT policy are depressed wages and increased costs of livings for Singaporeans. We have to send very strong signals to the government of our stress and unhappiness.

  • See

    Go c the public Uni, u b pissed by how many ppl seating there doing minimum yet claiming maximum.
    Worst, some are great at accusing others for their wrong doing. We having 900 millions each year allocated for each Uni, yet has anyone ever question why NOTHING was being produced by the Uni?
    Check someone please kindly let me know how many PRs, New Citizens are working in the Uni.
    I overheard there are 15K employees and 40k students each year. So each undergrad need half a staff to serve? If yes, what services are we receiving?
    We can keep on bragging how great we are but IS IT true? I will like Professors in Art, Science, Engineering, Law and Business to answer this cause we need to justify their pay.

  • Chicharito

    My parent have done, and I have done…

  • foreign “talent” my ass…

    “Go c the public Uni, u b pissed by how many ppl seating there doing minimum yet claiming maximum.”

    This is true. I know that there are many foreigners as profs in local univs who earn big bucks, but they are not contributing their fair share. They do not groom the locals. They do the bare minimum, act blur and claim fat pay checks.

    Why? Because the system allows it to happen.

    Meanwhile, locals because they are less well known, do all the donkey work that the profs claim credit for, and the locals are paid peanuts.

    I wish the freaking civil servants who put these policies in place, know what the fark is happening on the ground. But they don’t. Or they do and don’t care.

    This is your meritocracy? This is your foreign “talent”? Pui!!!

  • are u being tricked into thinking sg is affordable

    People, I lived in HK.

    You will be quite surprised that HK is much much cheaper to live in than SG.

    Diet coke, pepsi light cost 80ct in SG, in HK 40cents. That is 1/2 price.

    Carlsberg and Japanese brand beer etc cost $1 per can (6 can pack) in the supermarkets. In SG Changi custom duty free, $2.

    Egg tart at neighbourhood store cost 30cents, same size and also tasty, in SG $1.50?

    Yakult in SG 2.85. In HK, $1.40.

    In their tea house, prices are similar to SG but quantity is much more.

    And this is not because of strong S$. The prices have remained consistent over for since 2 years ago when exchange rate was at HK$5 to S$1.

  • We the Citizens

    well we had come to power and stayed in power for a very long time by some unsrupulous methods , ISA, newspaper control acts, control of judiciary.

    unfortunately the people have started thinking and many are voting in opposition members – ungrateful peasants. Well, only 1 way to aviod the risk of being voted out of office – get rid of the people.
    Take their jobs away and give it to foreigners – foreigners do not have the vote, so no danger here.
    Make education tough, make life expensive, keep university education limited – and these will get to stop reproducing naturally!! TRF <1.2, means another generation, and they will be no more a threat.
    For these we need to lock away the reserves, its like parents telling their kids, sorry we cannot afford to send you to school as we have to save for the future. And my golly, we have all the laws to freeze reserves, and nobody needs to know.

    and we get in many new citizens, who will be so grateful, that they will vote for us the next 2 generations.

    So long live us!

  • Home Rentalship

    ‘HDB recently announced it would build some 7,000 rental flats for low income Singaporeans.’

    Singapore is now encouraging Home Rentalship, deviating from its original purpose of Home Ownership because the new administration has made Home Ownership unattainable for many of its Own People.

    Such schemes were unnecessary in the past, when the island was still home to its Own People.

    Now that it has allowed economic refugees from other nations to come seek fortunes in its limit land space, there is nowhere else for its Own People to go, but into the relatively lower rungs of society, into Home Rentalship.

  • Mas Karamat Wong

    We are LEASING from hdb only.
    With this Renting, feel like foreigner .

    From Leasing to Renting.

    Result of 60%.
    more good fookie years.

  • We must sacrifice our salaries to feed the rich

    We must accept lower salaries.

    The world economy is fuxxed.

    Businesses cannot survive without resorting to lowering your salaries.

    We must sacrifice for them.

    We owe them their happiness.

    We must accept to be replaced by any foreigner who wants to come here and take away our jobs.

    We must help them settle in.

    We must be kind and nice to them.

    We are nothing. We owe them their happiness.

    We must work longer hours and keep quiet and not form unions.

    We must not expect bonus and accept contract positions.

    No one owes us a living but we owe everyone a living.

  • Rodolfo

    Govt policy is a large influence on the price of goods and services in Singapore.

    The govt is so effective in keeping commercial expenses low and flooding the market with labour to keep labour rates low. Apart from rectifying their big flop of a HDB policy in recent years, what else is the govt doing to lower cost of living? Have they asked govt agencies to hold off their exorbitant asking rents? Have they stopped selling public properties into “private” REITs so they can have a free hand with rent rates?

  • Need Evidences

    I call for all Malay who are now working in all stat board to gather necessary information on how budget was spent UNNECESSARY.


  • pek cek

    To keep costs of living low, Sg govt should consider bringing in less foreigners. I do not mind foreign talents (aka top tier talent that can pass on knowledge to us Singaporeans), but what the govt is doing is bringing in middle level and lower tier foreigners to compete against the citizens. Even in SG stat boards and ministries I see so many foreigners. A govt should never ever hire a foreigner, as state secrets are at stake. If I was the HR, I would have to think twice before even hiring a converted citizen who may be a spy from our neighboring countries. We were a “migrant country” considering most of our grand parents came from overseas. Those migrants sent $$$ back to their home countries (i.e. Philippines). So, that is exactly what the foreigners are going to do now. Make as much money and send home. Moreover, the foreigners are bossing us in our own country. Not trying to be xenophobic, but SG need to limit the foreigners and start to tell them to respect our culture and habits. The onus is not with SG citizens to bend over accommodate them. I joined the public service with hopes of serving ppl, but seeing how the govt is treating the ppl makes me feel disgusted the way things are done sometimes, thus, i left for the pte sector. I just pray that SG govt starts helping ppl and stop giving excuses and doing propaganda on how well SG are really doing. God bless us all.

  • Alienated

    I wanted to give expression to my disgust and disdain over the sorry predicament of singaporeans cos of poor and ”disconnectedness” amongst the incuments when goverance is concerned.
    However, the Stockholm syndrome seems to have eclipsed all that matters.

    I have merely skimmed the surface and left out innumerable instances and issues as I cannot help feeling cynical and hoping against hope that things would change.

    I am utterly convinced that there is a dearth of ”quality” leadership amongst the current PAP so-called leaders who self-praise themselves as talents.

    To assume or equate academic credentials with credibility is utter folly. That is an necessary UNLEARNING that would awaken the sleep-walking amongst us lah. The fallout from the increased .. or rather unchecked influx of foreigners has exacerbated the problem(s) and is placing a strain of the limited resources.

  • yeoman

    in recent years,our govt has be so enthusiastic about ‘SUBSIDSING’ FROEIGNERS’those who come here and steal our jobs n livelihoods and thsoe who are abroad?

    we try so hard at ‘taxing’ our own ordinary citizens and stinge on granting welfare to our own needy n poor but we do not even blink an eye when dishing out ‘taxpayers money’ to some foreigners.

    strange country we have become…

  • alfretztay

    I sincerely believe that a genuinely caring government would do its utmost to alleviate the hardship suffered by its own people who faces the consequences of the ‘triple whammy’ daily.

    What is the use of being a first class city/country when its own citizens could not afford to enjoy the various facilities built? I truly wonder. Worse still, some of them are indeed living below subsistence level!

  • HDB prices continue to skyrocket

    In last 3 months alone, HDB prices rocketed by 3.8%, and private property prices continue to climb yet another 1.3%

    HDB’s flash estimate of the 3rd Quarter 2011 Resale Price Index (RPI)

    The failure of our government is stark.

  • Rodolfo

    Recently the govt announced its intention to start building hawkers centres once again. Wonder what took them so long. Wonder if they really thought people can just pay for higher and higher prices when wages for many do not increase proportionately.

  • doppelganger

    Hamish McRae writes an article in the Straits Times today entitled, “Asia shows a vigour lacking in the West.” In this article he especially lauds the resilience of Singapore noting that it is enjoying a population explosion ( while the West is suffering population decline) and is growing by 5 to 6% to boot ( while the West is in deep economic trouble. Of course, if you pump people into any economic system you boost the GDP. But how much of the GDP rubs off the indigenous population? Very little, as the intake of foreign bodies is indiscriminate. Anybody who wish to work at a lower pay is accepted into Singapore. These are no talents. These types of workers simply take the place of Singaporeans who would have been able to do those jobs. This leads to a rise of GDP which bypasses the indigenous population. Thus a lot Singaporeans are earning less across the board and more are jobless while the GDP stays up in contrast with the West and other parts of the world. The writer praises the Singapore Government skyhigh. This is the sort of propaganda propagated by the Straits Times, to the point that while we suffer more and more we are less and less able to recognize the situation. Of course the PAP elites in Parliament are very happy for their pay is pegged to the GDP specifically to the top earners who are themselves buoyed up by the GDP. What a devilish scheme to rob a whole people.

  • Bang Sai Wee

    Lets Close Ranks,
    Come together,
    Keep our fingers crossed,
    Brace ourselves
    For possibly double dip economic depression next year

    We must continue to sacrifice ourselves so that the rich can have more happine$$.

    We are digits, replaceable by foreigners.

    We are proud to be 1st world citizen influxed by 3rd.

    We accepted, ad we always have and always shall.
    We r hum.

  • Daft R Us

    You work like a dog in Singapore, just to struggle to pay for an unaffordable hdb flat. What Swiss standard are we talking about? All the money goes to the flat and there is nothing to spend. The wealth is not spread to singaporeans except during elections, suddenly Singaporeans become important.

    Quality of living has dropped. Only onge group of people are enjoying unjustifiably high wages and extraordinarily strong purchasing power. Guess who? It’s definitely not the SIngaporean.

  • aSingaporean
  • singaporeson

    Blame it on our bastards pap ministers and famiLEE

  • P Ape P’s Bolster

    I left Singapore to run my business elsewhere. One main reason: biz and living costs way too high. I just started out here in another country, and will study how much different it is living here compared to Singapore. One thing remains: I am so sick of the P Ape P’s rules on the workers and people, while they enrich themselves through super-high wages. Atrocious and outrageous.

  • AnimalFarm

    conclusion : the rich gets richer. The poor gets poorer.

  • Correct Angle

    Mr Leong, a Harvard alumnus, I implore you to check out this fine print in the UBS report – which explains why your analysis is flawed.

    The UBS report normalizes all prices to the Euro, which the Sing$ has strengthened against.

    The report must be read from perspective of someone earning in Euro. Picture can be quite different for someone remunerated in a different currency say S$.

  • Aborigines

    Who will fight for the rights of us the true aborigines of this land? Someone needs to write a book called “The Singapore Aborigines’ Dilemma” and we’ll all flood our votes and affections to him/her.

  • Lee See Hoh

    Our elders are the main reason for pap success, imho.

    Because of aging population, more are still voting .

    Give them 10more years.

    The post 65ers and younger are >50 against , imho guestimation.

    The top 30% populace are mostly tony supporters, based on my guestimation.

    The 64kmillionaires mostly too.

    The gm, management ppl too. These suckers survival is based on their sponsor’s support.
    They either cannot do the job of their staff or have forgotten. So, guess how they keep their ricebowls? Orhui politics. As dirty as it can get.

    The higher these employees go the less employable they become. So as kia si citizens with huge loans to make them look like business boss, they will suck up, vote wisely and extra kia si.

    Scums of society!

  • Anthony

    Aiyo! Argue so much online also like this.Price will continue to rise.Government will continue to milk u. If u do not take it to the streets, just live with it. ITs not as if PAP going to listen to you suddenly and help you. They cant wait for you to die man!

  • rockabyebaby

    Dear Anthony 4 October 2011,

    You rightly said the following. Because this PAP is a government that is most NOT about “Use the people’s money for the people”! So aren’t they MOST ABOUT “USE the people FOR their money”!

    You wrote:
    “Aiyo! Argue so much online also like this.Price will continue to rise.Government will continue to milk u.”

    And so with 60.1%, they have majority to EVEN MILK them 60.1% self-centred egoists or dfat ones like LKY said!

  • Meow

    Now prepare for the rebuttal from the home-grown think tank, the IPS.

  • doppelganger

    The mass migration of two million workers from China, India into Singapore in 5 years has not caused jobs to be created even for the lowest category of workers in the indigenous population. Anecdotal evidence has it that every Singaporean worker at every level of occupation has found it more difficult to be employed. More and more University graduates find it impossible to get jobs they are trained for. Because these are the very jobs much sought after by the foreign talent who are willing to work for much less pay in the multinational firms established in Singapore.The Singaporean is bypassed in the process. The only result of the mass immigration into Singapore is that the GDP is kept well up and there seems to be no recession in Singapore, on paper. But for the people who are named Singaporeans there is an ongoing recession year on year as Lee Hsien Loong carries on his mad scheme to enrich himself and his colleagues through their recession proof GDP linked salaries. Every year this Government throws money at us as workfare and get the ISD to shut us up in case we fidget and ask questions.

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