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Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby dolphinsiah » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:46 pm


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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby dolphinsiah » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:47 pm


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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby sushi88 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:42 pm

One of my kids asked me recently how much bigger is HK than SG?

I replied 62% bigger.

Next question was what was the population in HK?

I replied about 7 million.

Then the face looked shocked to know that we are 62% smaller and targeting to be 7 million.

When travelling in HK, the public transport and streets are overcrowded at any time of the day.....so do we really need to grow to such a size of population and live in 50 floors high apartments like in HK?

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby jetsetter » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:25 pm

You need to provide your kid with the full picture lah...

Basically, you need to understand a few things:

1. Geography
What's the % of usuable/buildable/livable land in HK vs Singapore? HK is bigger in size, but do you know it's mountainous, so building buildings will be economically costly to developers?

Besides, the total land area includes many outlying islands, which has poor sea transport connections/ltd power supply/amenities, making it unfavourable and costly to develop. Arable land is even more pathetic.

On the other hand, SG's buildable/livable land area is greater and can realistically accommodate up to 7mil.

2) Laws
Did you know in 1966 Singapore enacted the Land Acquisition Act? The G bought many lands below mkt prices and now owns 87% of SG land.

In contrast, HK lands are privately owned or mostly by property magnates like LKS. My HK relatives own several pieces of lands since the Qing dynasty and no developer wants to buy them cos they are in the mountainous region, hence they are unutilised till today.

Further, HK has this peculiar law--"Country Parks Ordinance" which has included around 66% of Hong Kong's land, meaning once a piece of land is classified as a country park, it cannot be developed freely, or rather it is almost impossible to develop country park land. Given 66% of land cannot be developed and 30% currently developed, HK only have <30% usable land left--which like I mentioned, are mostly owned by pte landlords.

That is to say, SG govt has the leeway to (autocratically!) optimise land use, but HK (though bigger in size) can't, as many lands are in the hands of the landlords :=)

3) History
Why so dense on that 30% small plot of land? I'm sure HK govt wanted to develop northwards too.

Remember HK island 香港岛 and Kowloon Peninsula 九龙 were the 1st to be ceded to the Brits after the 1st Opium War in 1841 and Treaty of Nanking was signed. It was for posterity i.e. freehold, which explained why many immigrants placed their trust and investment on this tiny island, in lieu of the vast New Territories 新界 that border communist China. It became super populous (and exorbitant) as a freak result.

In 1898, Brit was granted another 99 yrs lease for New Territories under the Second Convention of Peking. 99 yrs only, so the future was uncertain for investors. As a result, more ghettoes and squatters were built by illegal immigrants and refugees in NT, turning away savvy property developers. Hence, the vast unutilised and non-marketable <30% lands up there...owned by villagers.

P.S: In 1984, Thatcher and Deng signed agreement approving the '97 turnover of HK island in exchange to preserve 一国两制 for 50 yrs? So therefore, HK island lost its freehold status. Unfortunately, by 1997, HK developers had already cluttered and built so many pte condos on HK island & Kowloon, out of fear of communism.

*********
Since HK & Kowloon so congested, can they utilise the balance <30% land in the far flung regions like Yuen Loong, Lamma, Lantau, etc? I suppose they can, but they need to pay the villagers a tidy sum to acquire the lands. However, HK govt now wants to lease lands from neighbouring Guangdong to build public housing!

Sad right? So what if they hv an extra 300 sq km (55% not 62% more) if they are out of reach from the territory's govt? Worse, investors are deserting NT for the hinterland in Guangdong!

*******
What's my point after my long winded post? Singapore is in a better position to develop unused land and we, as a sovereign Republic, are far more efficient compared to HK SAR which is constrained politically, socially and economically.

HK govt has been held hostage by those few property tycoons, meaning even if it has over 1,100sqkm area, the buildable <30% is technically beyond the clutches of Mr Lufsig Leung. :slapshead: The overcrowding was due to poor planning by the colonial masters, and residents' fear of investing in the 99-yr leasehold NT.

SG govt needs a lot of buy in. Many locals still not convinced, cos MRT keeps breaking down and Paya Lebar airbase, Tg Pagar Shipyard and golf courses not released yet.

I wasn't convinced either, until I read ST Li Xueying's article in 17 Feb 13. Do go to URA centre with your kids to check out the 2013 masterplan; you'll see which lands in SG which can still be optimised.

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby sushi88 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:14 am

Maybe it is easier to understand in terms of population density

as at 2013, SG - 7540 people per sq km (population of 5.4M people, 716 sqkm)


as at mid 2012, HK - 6620 people per sq km (population of 7.1M people, land space 1104 sqkm and to develop into buildings 25%~270sqkm, so they packed more people into their buildings and have higher rise apts up to 50 floors)

And they are currently living like that because of the limited land space that is being developed into housing as mentioned by jetsetter. Of course when they are outdoors, they have much more space in the open than us if it is not in the city area, not so suffocating. So the point is still applicable to us that when we grow to 7M, our population density in the common areas would also be affected...as it becomes 9776 people per sqkm

Image

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby pirate » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:31 am

sushi88 wrote:Maybe it is easier to understand in terms of population density

as at 2013, SG - 7540 people per sq km (population of 5.4M people, 716 sqkm)


as at mid 2012, HK - 6620 people per sq km (population of 7.1M people, land space 1104 sqkm and to develop into buildings 25%~270sqkm, so they packed more people into their buildings and have higher rise apts up to 50 floors)

And they are currently living like that because of the limited land space that is being developed into housing as mentioned by jetsetter. Of course when they are outdoors, they have much more space in the open than us if it is not in the city area, not so suffocating. So the point is still applicable to us that when we grow to 7M, our population density in the common areas would also be affected...as it becomes 9776 people per sqkm

Image

What does it matter? The favourite past-time of the majority of Singaporeans (other than surfing the internet) is hanging out in an air-conditioned shopping mall anyway. All we need are more mega malls. :razz:

The bigger problem is where to find enough chefs, cooks and people who can wield a spatula to cater to all those true blue Singaporeans for whom eating out is a 'need not a want'. :siam:

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby sushi88 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:32 am

It matters...there are still outdoors like USS, Garden by the Bay, cycling at ECP, pasar malam etc....

Anyway, got statistics to show that majority like to surf the net, walk in malls and eat out all the time or not? :evil:

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby pirate » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:49 am

sushi88 wrote:It matters...there are still outdoors like USS, Garden by the Bay, cycling at ECP, pasar malam etc....

Anyway, got statistics to show that majority like to surf the net, walk in malls and eat out all the time or not? :evil:

Garden by the Bay and ECP not crowded at all compared to shopping malls leh. Sorri, cannot afford to go USS. Legoland maybe can. :wink:

I never say majority of Singaporeans like to eat out whorr. I only say all those true blue Singaporeans. You can find them at Yahoo!, Hardware Zone, Talking Bread etc etc. :razz:

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby sushi88 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:20 pm

Now not crowded...but with 7m people plus tourists, can be tough lor.

Legoland can afford but considering my friend's experience, I will think twice.

Not majority but ALL true blue Singaporeans...like that maybe better ask my kids to think about being chefs and cooks based on your projection.... heck the PSLE. :wink:

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Re: Are you ready for 7 million people on tiny Singapore?

Postby pirate » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:12 pm

sushi88 wrote:Not majority but ALL true blue Singaporeans...like that maybe better ask my kids to think about being chefs and cooks based on your projection.... heck the PSLE. :wink:

:hi5:

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