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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Daily Lessons from Life 03 January 2016 - HDB Flats Affordability and Obama's Last Hurrah on Gun Control!

1. "New HDB flats have remained affordable: HDB - CNA 03 Jan 2016

SINGAPORE: To keep flats affordable for Singaporeans, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has disbursed S$1.6 billion in Additional CPF Housing Grants (AHG) to close to 83,000 households since 2006. It has also given out S$297.61 million in Special CPF Housing Grants (SHG) since 2011 to almost 20,000 households, as of November 2015.

HDB gave this update in a media statement on Sunday (Jan 3). Eligible first-time buyers currently enjoy up to S$80,000 in housing grants, comprising the AHG of up to S$40,000 and the SHG, also up to S$40,000.

A round of enhancements to the SHG announced during last year's National Day Rally took effect from November's Build-To-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats exercises. The SHG has now been extended to about 6,500 households earning up to S$8,500 - up from the previous income ceiling of S$6,500 - to buy new flats in non-mature estates.
All eligible families also receive a higher SHG amount, in some cases up to S$20,000 more, HDB said. The income ceiling for singles as well as the maximum SHG amount they receive are half of those of households.

Overall, new HDB flats have remained affordable, the housing board said. In 2014, first-time home buyers used less than a quarter of their monthly income on average to pay for their housing loans, below international affordability benchmarks of 30 to 35 per cent, HDB said.
It added that about 80 per cent of the first-time new flat buyers also service their monthly installment using only their CPF savings, with no cash outlay required."

This is GREAT!

Points to note though are:

1. is this 'grant given' that KEEP the HDB flat prices 'AFFORDABLE' REALLY affordable? i.e. are the grants given actually artificially 'prop up' the prices of HDB flats?;

2. if they DO, I can understand WHY too as the government REALLY does not want to upset those who HAD BOUGHT HDB flats at 'lower propped up' prices in the earlier 5- or 10- or 15-year ago to SUFFER a 'drop in the Resale PRICE of their HDB flats'. Yes?;

3. well, maybe the truth is; these households CANNOT really afford the HDB flat IF no government grants are given to them! This is worrying as the 'government's grants' come from somewhere. When the sources of these 'government grants' dry up, the HDB flat prices will or SHOULD at least drop by the SUBSIDISED Grants amounts. Yes?

Anyway, let's just be happy that the Government is giving out grants to 1st time eligible HDB flat owners! May they NOT be burdened with back-breaking mortgages such that they CANNOT or DARE NOT to form a 3-kid Singaporean family that the government has been exhorting them to do so!!

2. "Obama to hold public meeting on gun control - AFP 03 Jan 2016

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama will take part on Thursday in a town hall-style meeting to discuss new efforts to stem what he has called an epidemic of gun violence across America.

Obama, who recently singled out gun violence as one of the most urgent pieces of "unfinished business" facing him, will take questions from the audience during the event, to be aired on CNN at 8.00pm. (7.00am Singapore time Monday).

The programme is to be held at George Mason University in Fairfax, in northern Virginia.

The President has frequently expressed frustration at Congress's failure to pass tougher gun-control measures, even after some of the worst mass shootings in the nation's history.

Beginning his final year in office, he is set to meet Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss possible new actions he can take.

According to CNN and The New York Times, Obama is expected to announce executive action to expand background checks on gun sales before his State of the Union address on Jan 12.

Guns claim more than 30,000 lives in America each year, over half of them suicides."

Well, will he or won't he? Will the 'lame duck' President of USA do something that he will be REMEMBERED for, besides that MANY 1sts that he HAD already scored?

1. will he make GUN CONTROL REAL! Against the strong gun-lobby? I hope he will as he has NOTHING to lose since he WILL be FOREVER be remembered for the many 1sts he had achieved: the 1st African American President of the USA! The 1st African American President to win consecutive Presidential Election. The 1st outsider to win the USA Presidential election! The 1st Nobel Peace Prize winner who has not done any worthy before being awarded the prize! OK. This one is a bit below the belt but then many past Nobel Peace Prize winners are controversial also;

2. can he HELP to REDUCE the 'deaths by unprovoked gun attacks' in his LAST year of Presidency? I hope the RECORDs will show that he DID if he goes it alone with the 'stringent background check before gun ownership'. Amen. Or in whichever prayers that work for your religion!;

3. if President Obama did what I have just described, he CAN leave his Presidency with ANOTHER 1st. The 1st President who DOES NOT care about 'politics' but just DO THE RIGHT THING! Even if the NEW President that comes in after him go back to 'gun friendly' policy again, he would HAVE MADE his POINT! That with the power vested in the President of USA, HE CAN change the law when the law makes SENSE and save lives!!

May 2016 be a glorious year for President Obama as he closes his unique Presidency of USA journey! May he rides into the sunset a true 'Hero'!

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