death by paper cut

{February 19, 2011}   no shit einstein

oh and the powers that be wonder and wonder why singaporeans are marrying later (if at all) and not keen on kids.

doesn’t one article answer the questions in the other?

17 February 2011

by Ong Dai Lin

SINGAPORE – The official word is that the average waiting time for a build-to-order (BTO) flat is three years.

But a check on the completion dates of the 21 BTO projects launched last year showed that 17 of them are expected to take longer than that. It is estimated that these projects will be completed only in 2014 or 2015.

Responding to queries by MediaCorp, a Housing Development Board (HDB) spokesperson said the estimated completion dates take into account factors such as the size of the project and complexity of design.

For the BTO projects launched last year, the dates also took into account the time needed to call the tender for construction, which is six to eight months.

According to the HDB, the estimated completion date is provided at the launch of projects to help buyers plan ahead and make an informed decision.

Once the construction starts, the HDB will monitor and update the construction progress on its website, providing buyers with a more accurate projection of when their flats will be completed.

The spokesperson added that the HDB had streamlined the BTO processes to allow flat buyers to collect the keys to their new homes about six months earlier.

Applicants of these BTO projects told MediaCorp that, despite the inconveniences caused by the long waiting time, they are not considering other housing options such as resale flats because of high prices.

An applicant who wanted to be known only as Miss Chong, 24, said she had obtained a queue number for the Punggol Topaz BTO project launched last December. It is estimated that it will be completed in the second quarter of 2015.

She said she will be staying apart from her fiance after they get married next December. They are unable to move into each other’s homes as they share rooms with siblings.

The marketing executive said: “I’m worried about making plans on having babies as my fiance and I will want to have our own home for the kids. I will be almost hitting 30 when I get the flat and already married for four years.”

Another applicant who wanted to be known as Ms Tan, 28, has selected a five-room flat in the Corporation Tiara BTO project launched last July. She is waiting for her flat to be completed in the second quarter of 2014.

The business excellence executive, who started balloting for a flat in 2008, has been married for two years and is staying with her in-laws.

She said having children might affect her in-laws due to space constraints.

Last August, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan announced that the average waiting time for BTO flats launched after the middle of this year would be two-and-a-half years.

This will be done by tweaking HDB practices such as bringing forward the preparation of building designs for tender so that construction can start soon after the flats have been launched and streamlining work processes.

16 February 2011

Having children not top priority: Survey

By Monica Kotwani

SINGAPORE – While many young adults here indicated that they want to have children, most did not see it as their top priority, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 21 to 39 years.

The survey was conducted by advocacy group I love Children between last October and December, via face-to-face interviews. It found that 3 per cent of the respondents saw having children as a top priority.

In contrast, 28 per cent of the respondents said having a successful career was their top goal while 25 per cent cited financial independence. However, of the 780-odd respondents who were childless, 72 per cent said they intended to have children.

All the respondents were asked whether they intend to have children, or more kids if they are already parents. Sixty-four per cent replied in the affirmative while the remaining 36 per cent said they did not intend to or were not sure.

Of the latter group, more than one-third said they would change their mind if finances were not an issue while almost half said they would do so if they had a more supportive spouse.

On the survey findings, Mrs Joni Ong, the president of I Love Children, noted that the bulk of the respondents were single or newlyweds.

Said Mrs Ong: “At that life stage, I’m not surprised that having children is not a top priority. and that carving a career and being financially independent would come out (as) higher (priorities).”

She added that the results also showed that “having a supportive spouse is important”.

Said Mrs Ong: “Having children is very much a personal decision, and we’re not here to say you must have children … I think we want to be a conduit to share that if one half of you is not interested, both of you will never experience that joy.”

Last month, the latest official statistics showed that Singapore’s fertility rate had dropped to a low of 1.16 last year – a far cry from the recommended replacement rate of 2.1.


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