Being Contented with What You Have

Singaporeans should be thankful for what they have

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It has been nearly four months since the protests against the proposed extradition laws in Hong Kong began. Many would be left thinking, why the people of Hong Kong would react so aggressively to a law which mainly affects persons suspected for criminal activities who are living or passing through Hong Kong.

In reality, many Hong Kong citizens are not involved in any such criminal activities, and should not be affected by this proposed bill. The real reason behind the protests is a culmination of frustrations towards limited employment opportunities, rising costs of housing and living, which are compounded by the fear of China impeaching on Hong Kong’s democracy (e.g. proposed amendments to the Hong Kong electoral system in 2014).

The average starting salary of a university graduate in Hong Kong is HKD$16,800 or SGD$2,900, while the average price of an apartment less than 400 sqft (about the size of a two-bedroom HDB flat) is around SGD$2,813 per sqft or SGD$1.1 million for a basic two-bedroom apartment.

It is obvious that the average university graduate in Hong Kong would find it extremely difficult to afford a home. Many who marry after graduating have to stay together with their parents/in-laws, cramping themselves in a small bedroom.

In comparison, Singaporean university graduates would find it a lot easier to afford their first home. In Singapore, the average starting salary of a local university graduate is around SGD$3,000. While this is not considered a huge jump compared to university graduates in Hong Kong, housing prices are heavily subsidised by the Singapore Government.

Prices for a HDB three-room flat (620 sqft) start from SGD$185,000, and SGD$275,000 for a four-room flat (1000 sqft). These prices exclude further housing grants that the Singapore Government give out. Depending on your income level, first time home buyers can expect between SGD$5,000 to SGD$30,000 of subsidies to offset the purchase price of their first home.

 

Singaporeans are already better off. We should feel extremely lucky that we are not in the same predicament as the people of Hong Kong. While we wish them the best in future, Singaporeans should continue to cherish what we have and not blindly listen to those who only know how to find fault and stir trouble.

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