A reader commented on my latest article about Iskandar as crap. Haha. It’s okay, we must accept all comments as constructive. He said that if given a choice, he would use S$400,000 to buy in many other international countries, for example a landed property in Australia or even in Lisbon which comes with automatic citizenship. First of all, I know a tiny bit about buying properties in Australia. As a foreigner, we are not allowed to buy from the secondary market. Ever wondered why all the projects being marketed in this part of ASIA are mostly small units at around AUD400,000? Yes, reason is pretty clear, the Australians themselves are not great fans of these small units. I know NOTHING about Lisbon and I have never been there before. Thus, perhaps it’s truly attractive to buy a S$400,000 property there and obtain a new citizenship. Perhaps the added advantage of watching Portugal football league would be indeed a plus too. I would certainly not be buying Lisbon if I am still working in Singapore though.
The reader mentioned that as soon as High Speed Rail (HSR) completes, it would be more attractive for him to buy in Muar or Malacca instead. It’s much cheaper! In terms of cheaper, I could not agree more. In fact, maybe even less than half the usual price. However, attractive to buy in Melaka and Muar? I love Melaka, so let’s assume I agree that it’s more attractive. Reason being I can start a business in Melaka and do well due to it’s huge tourism industry. However, Muar? Sorry, I seriously doubt the attractiveness of Muar versus Iskandar. Then again, I have visited Muar just once and thus may not be qualified to comment versus the reader. Again, if I am working in Singapore, I would not buy both Melaka or Muar.
Reader said that in Singapore it’s everything about integrated entertainment, transportation, education, medical and thus it is live, work and play. It’s funny because some of my developer friends in Iskandar is telling me that the same can be done in Iskandar today, except for the public transport. For that, it’s best to get a car instead. I do not even wish to argue about what would happen in future for Iskandar. As for Singapore, of course if the middle income Singaporeans are already able to have all these, I really do not think any of them would want to move out. Besides the above few, Singapore is also safer, definitely. I feel safe too when I walk back to my hotel at night there. In Malaysia, I would prefer to drive and not walk, no matter how near.
I think the reader was also very angry with some projects in Iskandar for some reason. He said that those who chose to buy in Austin Hill would be living in isolation and have just the TV set in the evening. Actually, when I travelled to JB, despite all the safety warnings, I did go out for happy hours in the evening and perhaps I am just lucky, it went well thus far. Plus, he said that one has to waste time to crossover daily and he also said that Malaysia has a frequent changes of policy of can do today but cannot tomorrow. He further said that what if you buy foreigner price today and later have to sell to local? I assume it’s for lower price. As for policies, I think Singapore, Hong Kong and many other countries’ cooling measures were also ‘sudden’ and none were done with a long waiting time……..
Seriously, I love to accept his views as I am sure no one should force anyone to accept his opinion as the only opinion. However, please read my article again, here: No way that Singaporeans / Malaysians in Singapore staying in Iskandar. My sole, only and most important point remain to be this. To me, HSR is way later. 2020? 2022? Whatever. For any real catalyst to happen before then, it has to be more LINKS. In other words, reduce the time that one has to waste when crossing over from one side to the other. If that link enables one to commute within 45 minutes or even one hour, then the reality of staying in condo versus a HDB flat is definitely on the table as a choice. Otherwise, even if I work in Singapore, I am also not that crazy to use 4 hours daily to cross to the other side and back. I would rather pay rental and stay in a small room instead.
written on 10 Juen 2015
Next suggested article: Australian property? Take note of ‘what if’ 2017 bubble bursting