Singapore is the world's most expensive place to buy a Toyota

It's no surprise Singapore is still the most expensive place to buy a Toyota Corolla, after all we've been the subject of other stories on our huge car prices. It's enough to buy you a lovely Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG 4MATIC, or half of an SLS AMG Coupe, in the cheapest market, the USA. Even the strongest contender, Cuba, which according to this Reuters report sees taxes of up to 400 percent on some goods, doesn't come close.

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REFORM PARTY: 10 REAL DIRTY TRICKS BY HDB AND CPF

Roy Ngerng of Heart Truths, today published an article to expose the raw deal Singaporeans get from HDB and CPF. He makes many valid points, most of which I have made before on www.sonofadud.com. Unfortunately in his overeagerness to convict the PAP of fraud he makes an elementary error and simply gets it quite wrong. Whilst the error does not invalidate the fundamental point about the raw deal it does allow the PAP IB Brigade to seize on it and draw us away from valid criticisms. Roy’s fundamental error also distracts from the fact that CPF amounts to a regressive tax on lower-income Singaporeans and that the government uses its control over land to ensure that we overpay for a wasting asset which should belong to us rather than them, once we’ve paid for it.

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GRASSROOT MEMBER JAILED FOR SEX WITH 15-YEARS OLD

Chee, who was a grassroots volunteer at Punggol 21 community centre, is the fourth man to have been convicted and jailed for having sex with the girl. His sentence is the stiffest to date. The court heard that Chee came to know the girl in mid-2012 when she created an account on OkCupid, a dating and social networking website. In the course of texting, she told him she was only 15 years old. He told her that he had a girlfriend and practised polyamory - the philosophy of being romantically involved with multiple individuals at the same time.

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Mini Lee receives warm welcome from KL public

Singapore prime minister's arrival at the shopping centre was welcomed by Bangsar Sdn Bhd head of operations David Wong, and this caught many shoppers by surprise. Many took the opportunity to pose for photographs with Lee who exuded warmth as he obliged their requests. Prior to this, Lee, wearing a casual pink shirt and Ho Ching spent time visiting the renowned Bukit Bintang shopping malls, including the Pavillion.

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MAN OFFERED $1,700 TO REGISTER SHAM MARRIAGE

The court heard that Norizuan had done it because he was in need of money in 2012. He met an acquaintance and was offered $1,700 to register a sham marriage with a foreigner. On July 16 that year, he provided his personal particulars and applied for a civil marriage with a foreign woman. About a month later, he met the acquaintance and a Ms Chauhan Swaran Lata to register his marriage to her at the Registry of Marriages.

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FORMER NMP CALVIN CHENG: THE EFFECTIVE INTEREST RATE FOR HDB LOAN IS ONLY 0.1%

The point is to ensure that you have enough funds for retirement. Also, there is no double interest charged! The Government pays you 2.5% if you leave the money in CPF but charges you only 2.6% if you borrow from HDB. Thus the effective interest rate is only 0.1%. Try saving and borrowing from a bank and see what the difference is.

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SEPARATING THE REALITIES OF THE CPF-HDB SCHEME FROM THE MYTHS

However in Singapore, we have an alternative. We can borrow against our own “pension fund” and use the money contributed towards it for monthly repayment instead. And because we are so materialistic in Singapore, we much rather use our monthly salary instead to purchase an overpriced car, an end-of-year holiday every year, drinks at Zouk, a new smartphone ever year, the most expensive childcare education we can afford for our children, and whatever else we think is more important than repaying the mortgage we took when we first got married.

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FRAUD EXPOSED: THE DIRTY ROY NGERNG SCHEME TO TRICK SINGAPOREANS

This is going to be lengthy but this needs a rebuttal because there are things that the author intentionally excluded which makes it malicious. I’m referring to the article “Truth Exposed: The Dirty CPF-HDB Scheme To Trick Singaporeans“. I am not a fan of the CPF because I eschew the fact that it is only a good tool for people who are actually earning enough but does not compensate for the low income earners. I question the economic efficiency of having a large reserve in the form of CPF and the risk of it been siphoned off without the necessary safeguards. But I’m not going to spread lies about it and then weave it into some conspiracy theory. I don’t believe that the provident fund is the best model for Singapore at this point but given the political economic structures in place, it might be the only appropriate model in the foreseeable future. So let me take apart Mr Roy Ngerng malicious article

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Inaccurate 2013 growth estimates unsettling

In 2013, three out of four GDP estimates (Q1, Q3 and Q4) were off the mark in directional terms - the economy was projected to contract, when it actually expanded quarter-on-quarter. Some even referred to the changes as "massive revisions" - not because the differentials were huge, but because the estimates and actual figures bounced in different directions.

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Education system should prepare students to handle emotions

Schools have counsellors to help students deal with such issues. But perhaps we could schedule weekly or monthly half- or one-hour sessions on dealing with emotions and responding appropriately in writing or verbally. During these sessions, students could be taught the significance of emotions in daily life and, in particular, the possible adverse effects of responding inappropriately to someone who is already experiencing intense emotions.

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