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8 pragmatic reasons to be Singaporeans.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A reader, JK, shared his perspective and he has graciously allowed me to publish it here after some editing.




Why a Singapore citizenship?

1. Pay less in HDB Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC)
 Most of the town councils have increased the rates for S&CC. Singaporeans don't have to pay the higher rates. Our 4-room HDB flat pays a monthly rate of S$51.60 instead of S$61.50 which means an annual savings of S$118.80.

2. Plan to have children? You will get a cash gift called Baby Bonus from the Singapore government. You get S$4,000 for your 1st child. It is free money for you to use as you like. It was raised to S$6,000 for the 1st child starting from end of August 2012.



3. More money for your child? Sure, you could get an additional $6,000 from the Singapore government if you save $6,000 in a Child Development Account (CDA). It is a dollar for dollar matching program by the government.  There are only two banks offering the CDA, Standard Chartered Bank and OCBC Bank.

OCBC CDA gives 0.5% interest, if you keep a $20,000 balance in the CDA account, the interest rate is 0.8%. I upgraded my OCBC CDA to OCBC CDA Extra, agreeing to a contribution by GIRO of S$50 per month. This option will pay an interest rate of 0.8% per annum too. 



Money in the CDA may be used by all your children for fees at Approved Institutions (AIs) which have registered with MCYS under the Baby Bonus Scheme. These include child care centres, kindergartens, medical clinics, licensed pharmacies and optical shops.

4.  Parenthood Tax Rebate. Get a one time tax rebate of S$5,000 for your first child. Second child?  S$10,000. 3rd child? S$20,000. For some, it is like not having to pay any income tax for the next 20 years. Why don't Singaporeans want to have more kids ?

5.  Working Mother's Child Relief (WMCR). For the first child, a mother can claim 15% of her earned income. There is a lot of savings come from here. Do the maths and you would be shocked too. For those who have 3 children or more, they could claim up to 25% of the mother's earned income which translates to huge savings!


6. Qualifying Child Relief (QCR). Either the father or mother of a child can claim QCR which is S$4,000 per child. With WMCR and QCR, there will be huge savings in taxes paid per year. 


7. Only Singaporean households can keep their HDB flats if they should purchase private residential properties. Singapore PR households MUST sell their HDB flats 6 months after the purchase of private residential properties or 6 months after the T.O.P. date of the private residential properties.

8. Singaporean households are also allowed to rent out their entire HDB flats after obtaining the relevant approvals. Singapore PR households are NOT allowed to rent out their HDB flats.


For the pre-edited articles, follow the links below:
"Singaporean Benefits (Part 1) and (Part 2)."

In the past, I would wonder why some people want to be Singaporeans. After all, our homes and cars are notoriously expensive. However, I do know that the Singapore passport is well respected and that we have a good and safe environment to bring up children.

Now, after this blog post, I have a better appreciation of why some PRs would like to become Singaporeans. For sure, there are many benefits which are for Singaporeans and Singaporeans only which I did not appreciate before.

Related posts:
1. Why I don't feel proud to be Singaporean?
2. CPF-HDB scheme to trick Singaporeans!
3. Take the good with the bad retiring to Malaysia.
4. Something only Singaporean males know.

11 comments:

sillyinvestor said...

Hi AK,

I worried about people calling me xenophobic. But I am not.

I know the conditions listed are true, but if we are talking about tangible benefits, some welfare states will
Make Singapore tax and monetary benefits look like miser.

My Singapore pitch to PR:

1) a place u can make a difference.

U believed in a cause? Charity? NGO? Gather like- minded people, there is lesser red tape compare to many countries and go ahead to make a difference. It will not be smooth sailing navigating the civil service but it is highly likely you will make progress and see impact.

2) live and play without worrying about your children.

We provide good education in terms of all the hardware skills you need.

Leave your son to play in the playground as you sip coffee with your friend

3) pragmatism as the social fabric of the nation

Btw... I have something OT to ask you.

Regarding Marco Polo rig, I understand it is not chartered yet. You are confident that it will be I due time.

Why?

It's is management track record? No such record as it is new venture.

Or is it the reading of the demand?
How do you read the demand and competition?

I ask to learn to fish. Hope it doesn't give you the creeps about talking about companies.

Cheers Hi AK,

I worried about people calling me xenophobic. But I am not.

I know the conditions listed are true, but if we are talking about tangible benefits, some welfare states will
Make Singapore tax and monetary benefits look like miser.

My Singapore pitch to PR:

1) a place u can make a difference.

U believed in a cause? Charity? NGO? Gather like- minded people, there is lesser red tape and go ahead to make a difference. It will not be smooth sailing navigating the Hi AK,

I worried about people calling me xenophobic. But I am not.

I know the conditions listed are true, but if we are talking about tangible benefits, some welfare states will
Make Singapore tax and monetary benefits look like miser.

My Singapore pitch to PR:

1) a place u can make a difference.

U believed in a cause? Charity? NGO? No one will stop you, Singapore is small and efficiency crazy state. Not that it is without problems,but go ahead and see progress.

2) play and work without worries

Discrimination? You say the latest unhappiness is discrimination? Think again in Japan and US and even Australia.

3) your child

Education a child in terms of hard skills is excellent, one of the world best. What more, it is safe to leave him to play alone at the playground as you sip coffee

3) pragmatism as social fabric

Can do, get done.

Btw Ak, OT a bit.

Was reading about offshore, Marco Polo rig is not chartered yet.

Why are u so confident it will be chartered?

What analysis you did? How did u do it? Demand analysis?

Personally, there is no track records, while demand is good, how to ward off competition?

Hoping to learn how to fish, hope it doesn't give u the creep about company analysis or blogging about it.

Cheers

pf said...

A very real reason why some foreigners want to be sg citizen. Identity laundering. The Singapore passport.

I hv met prcs who upon receiving sg citizenship (in 1 week), packed their bags and relocate to the US.

CSCCC said...

Hi ak,
Singapore household can keep their hdb flats after buying a private property? Thought rule has been changed that need to sell hdb within 6 mths of receiving pvt property?

AK71 said...

Hi CSCCC,

I checked HDB's website. This was what I found:

"Singapore Citizen flat owners and occupiers must continue to stay in their HDB flat after the purchase of the private residential property unless prior approval from HDB is obtained to sublet the whole flat."
HDB InfoWEB.

I know that there are people who rent out their flats but stay in condos. I think they should take note of this.

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

There are all sorts of people in this world, aren't there?

Tsk, tsk... -.-"

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

The rig business is new stuff to Marco Polo Marine. Certainly, it has no track record here to speak of.

However, Marco Polo Marine has the contacts (both prospective clients and business partners) since it is providing support in the offshore oil and gas industry.

I know that there is a shortage of such rigs in Indonesia and this is likely to get worse once the Cabotage law comes into effect in 2016. So, it is a case of having the right assets and we will not have trouble finding suitors. :)

To bring this thought process a step further, look at what is making a big dent in Marco Polo Marine's performance now. The tugs and barges business segment is bleeding. Own the wrong assets and we are in trouble but these are legacy assets. Takes time to shave off.

It is thanks to the current visionary CEO that Marco Polo Marine has transformed itself into an OSV builder and owner. Without this transformation, Marco Polo Marine with only its original assets of tugs and barges would really be sinking now.

So, although Marco Polo Marine does not have any track record when it comes to owning and chartering rigs, I think its track record at transforming itself to stay relevant is not in question. :)

sillyinvestor said...

Hi AK,

Thanks. Guess I need to read up more on the demand and supply of offshore industry.

Thanks

JK Holdings said...

Singaporean can rent out HDB units and stay at the private condo . You need to "get approval" from HDB . Basically "get approval" means you inform HDB about that . Many Singaporean household did that , you can just call your HDB branch to confirm that if you have doubt .

CSCCC said...

Thanks much for clarifying!

JK Holdings said...

TO benefit all the readers here, I once again just called HDB Branch Customer Service Line: 1800-2255432. It is double, tripple confirmed that Singapore household HDB (either 2x are Singaporean or 1x Singaporean + 1x Singapore PR), you CAN sublet the whole HDB unit while you move in and stay at Private property in Singapore. No questions asked , what you need to fulfill is the MOP of 5 years, meaning to say you must stay in your flat for more than 5 years, and also take note on your tenants profile, there is a quota of tenants races/ citizenship in your HDB block, it is just the same for HDB purchase, if the quota is filled, you cannot rent to foreigner but only rent to Singaporean or Singapore PR like Malaysia, it is the same quota like HDB selling to a certain ethnic group.

So, in other words, for Singaporean, HDB unit is very good for your side income and I hope Singapoer government does not curb this rule, please.

JK Holdings said...

I have updated my blog based on this topic . We follow rules & regulations in Singapore .

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/07/singapoerean-benefits-private.html?m=1

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