Singapore Media Watch

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Your views: Is S'pore's immigration policy aimed at giving a filp to the property market?"

I refer to the attached article on "Private home prices accelerate in Q3".

Unfortunately, not many Singaporeans are benefiting from the price rise because the segment benefiting from this recent increase concerns those homwowners in the high-end private properties.

Therefore, the bulk of the citizens, the HDB homeowners and the majority of private homeowners in the non-high end segment are not benefiting from it.

It is interesting to ask if the government's recent frentic push for immigrants (including the "rich" immigrants who have been buying up these high end properties) has anything to do with trying to give the property sector a huge push in the arm, having been languishing for the last 10 years or so after the boom of the mid 90s came to a halt in 1996 or so.

The only set back is that only the top 5 to 10% of the citizens are benefiting from the rise in their high end properties.

I remember Mr Low Thia Kiang (correct me if I am wrong) once questioned in Parliament during the last property boom in the 90s if any of the ministers and senior civil servants/officers in stat boards or their family members had bought and sold properties during that boom.

Perhaps it's time for the Opposition MPs and NCMP to re-visit this issue again with this recent "mini boom" in high end property prices?

KAYE POH

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