The Singapore way


These “Council Flats” in Tiong Bahru are among the oldest in Singapore… They were built between 1936 and1954, but modernized several times since.
Have a look around in the neighbourhood:

They are popular among the “trendy” and certain expats:
https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-for-sale/p/tiong-bahru
PS> Mostly 99-yr leasehold

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Who did it best?

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Redneck mansion, aka “Singapore by the Mississippi”?

Holiday Trav-L-Park 2018 Weekend Events
Hot Dang! Comb your mullet, shine up your tooth and paint the campground REDNECK! White trash DJ pool party, Red Neck site decorating contest, Bubba’s hayride, “Git ur Dun” bingo, road kill hunt, best decorated golf cart parade, Best Redneck outfit contest, toilet seat toss, contests and more. Enter in the “Ms Holiday Trailer Park Trash” Contest! … Access Doc

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Singapore 50 years ago:

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Sorry about the inflation so we printed more money to give it away to reduce the inflation problem…
https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/singapore/all-adult-singaporeans-receive-assurance-package-cash-payments-december

More nostalgia from Singapore of my youth:

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Singapore students did it again:

The Red Dot has moved back to its first-place position in all three subjects covered in the study – reading, science and mathematics – after being ranked second behind China in 2018

Official PISA 2022 results:
https://www.oecd.org/publication/pisa-2022-results/

Singapore Crosses Record Three Billion Gross Tonnage in Annual Vessel Arrival Tonnage

Former Sembcorp Marine Brazil unit president Martin Cheah acquitted

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/former-sembcorp-marine-brazil-unit-president-martin-cheah-acquitted

Singapore’s position as a shipping hub is further strengthen:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/singapore/kpmg-sbf-call-budget-2024-enhance-singapores-tax-competitiveness-promote-esg?ref=top-stories

Are they saying we need a way around the new global agreement we are signatories to?
Plus how to get more cheap foreign workers

From the article:

Singapore is not the only country that is considering ways to “mitigate the impact of Pillar 2”:

For the hobby economists on the forum:

PS> Nothing is said about “cheap foreign workers” (??)

this part
"Instead, productivity improvements are key, Kok noted. This is why SBF and KPMG also call for government help for investments into human capital.

As for dealing with the continued labour crunch, SBF and KPMG suggested a review of the Complementarity Assessment Framework for Employment Pass (EP) hires, to allow “a possible short-term relaxation on the diversity quota criteria”.

Under this criteria, EP applications fare better if the intended hire’s nationality forms a small share of the employer’s current pool of employees who are professionals, managers, executives or technicians. But companies have found it increasingly difficult to meet this criteria in light of the tight labour market, said SBF and KPMG.

They also called for flexibility in quotas under the Manpower for Strategic Economic Priorities Scheme, which lets approved companies hire S Pass and Work Permit Holders above the quota for a limited time.

“The government could also review the current foreign worker quota to allow them to be pegged to job roles, instead of the current classification, which includes white and blue-collar roles,” they added."

If the countries that are the losers ( all the large western ones) finally implement their DMT’s it will scupper the foreign dots that have low taxation as there wont be the money to launder.
They all have this problem ( transfer pricing and for many its the profit, not paying tax)

Singapore is a small place with few people in working age, with low birth rate and a rapidly aging population. This add to the problem of finding people to fill the vacancies in a thriving economy.
It has not always been like this. At the time of independence (1965) and the first decade after the problem was the opposite, too many people and too few jobs.
The Government under PM Lee Kuan Yew implemented laws, rules and regulations that western media found “draconian”, but they worked. By the mid-1970s Singapore had to pay incentive to labour intensive industries (like the garment industry) to move out to free up workers for more “value added” industries that moved in because of the attractive tax breaks etc.

Today Singapore need to attract “foreign talents” to fill the many high skilled and management jobs available. Those are offered attractive salaries, good living conditions, ample cultural and other activities. With no natural resources this is necessary to attract the kind of people Singapore need to go on thriving in a competitive world.
From the linked article:

EP = Employment Pass: Eligibility for Employment Pass

There are also a need for other categories of staff and workers. The industry are asking the Government to ease some of the rules and quotas:

What Singapore need less of are expats with an attitude of superiority who think they are entitle to some sort of “special treatment” because of their race, or nationality.
Those days are over and will never return. Those who can’t hack it should get out and free up space for those who have accepted that fact.

Expats are leaving now and so are the businesses that employ them.
Singapore has priced itself out of the market for many industries.
The greed for rent rises is both in the private sector and the gov is doing it.
GST just went up
Many shipping related companies are also moving the majority of the people.
A group of shipping guys mentioned to me the other day the gov is panicking even as they they are moving people out but we get a permit issued asap at the moment.
Driving around industrial parts in Singapore today you see more and more empty buildings.
Its not looking good.
Several countries in the middle east want the business and use all the tricks Singapore used in the past to attract them.
Many dont care about employment of locals so they issue permits to everyone in your company.That’s a huge current and ongoing bonus for expats and their companies.
Taxation is lower or zero, its a large pull. Factory space is way cheaper and if your doing government business they do very cheap deals.
Singapore retains its geographical position so it will be a port an airport and a casino and even those are more than 50% staffed by foreign employees

As LKY pointed out years ago every skilled expat brings business so they relaxed all the tough rules they had in the past about leaving several days after your permit was cancelled, wife couldnt work etc.
Its certainly a fact that when Singapore is full of expats the economy is doing well.

I thought during my time in Vietnam that that is where manufacturing would move to. Singapore will hold on to banking and insurance because of its legacy of British common law. Shipping and aviation owe their importance due to Singapores geographical position. The latter industry is under pressure.
My last flights to Europe I have used an 18 hour flight direct to Dubai where as previously I used to fly via HongKong where I was able to use cheap accommodation.

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Such is world reality, everything changes over time.
Those who understand and accept that fact will adjust to the changes and thrive.
Those who try to stop the development and fight new ideas will fail in the long run.
I happen to think that Singapore will find ways and means to survive any temporary downturn and come back stronger for it.

The problem Singapore face today is nothing compared to what it faced when thrown out of Malaysia in 1965 and the British withdrawn in 1971.
Few thought Singapore would survive more than a few years as an independent country, incl. “the Tunku” [Abdul Rahman, Tunku — Brill] who expected LKY to come begging to re-join Malaysia within a couple of years.

Singapore is already a banking and finance hub, which is likely to be the case in the foreseeable future.
It is also a shipping hub, with more ship management companies moving in than out.

I have seen Singapore changing with my own eyes these last 60 years. I wouldn’t write it off as a “has been” just yet. (As long as they keep having good governance)