“….Singapore has some of the lowest taxes in the world, including none on capital gains and most foreign dividends. But it also has relatively secretive private banking laws and zero harassment from paparazzi or protesters, whose activities are narrowly proscribed by Singaporean authorities, further creating an aura of order and stability.”
– WSJ [Link]
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“Singapore’s “Gini coefficient”—the best-known economic measure of income disparity—is the second highest in the developed world. Wealth-X, a private consultancy that provides intelligence on the world’s uber-rich, estimates some 1,400 ultra-high-net-worth individuals now hold more than $ 160 billion of wealth in Singapore. Even upper-middle-class natives find themselves unable to afford houses in some parts of the city-state, such as Sentosa Cove, where more than 60 percent of the houses are owned by foreigners. Some are put off by flashy displays of wealth, particularly when it is the wealth of foreign nationals.”– WSJ [Link]
While ordinary Singaporeans find life getting tougher and tougher with every passing year, Singapore has become a favorite destination for the ultra-rich. The movement of wealth to Singapore did not benefit Singaporeans at all except for the lucky few involved in wealth management and property. The income gap ballooned so did the cost of living causing Singaporeans to feel that the quality of life has deteriorated over the years.
In the past we attracted entrepreneurs who came to start businesses that created jobs for Singaporeans. These days Singapore has become a playground for the rich…the rich that are here because they see Singapore as a haven that protects their wealth from taxes and protects them from scrutiny. The excessive conspicuous consumption in the form of Ferraris, nightclubs with thousand dollar cocktails, and the expensive brands dominating shops along Orchard Road have become painful reminders of the large polarising income gap in our society, The PAP has pursued policies that turned Singapore into a magnet for the rich. Policies often have to favor one section of the society over another …and Singapore becoming a haven for the rich shows which segment of society PAP policies have leaned towards and all this is the outcome of the choices the PAP govt has made.
“Public expressions of anger or dissatisfaction with Singapore’s transformations are limited, since protests for the most part are prohibited. Yet signs of unhappiness are multiplying. The city-state’s ruling party retained power with its lowest percentage of votes in Singaporean history in 2011, and a thriving blog culture is prodding officials to consider some changes to the country’s economic model, including the creation of a bigger social safety net for the poor, which likely would require higher taxes.”– WSJ [Link]
As Singapore becomes a favored playground for the rich, life here has become a much harder struggle for the middle class and below.
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