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Bertha HarianBertha Harian


I am not landing a punch…serious

What kind of headline is this leh? Land dose to quench thirst for cheaper homes on BT’s page 1. I guess there’s some kind of medicine to make you less thirsty? Thought Coke (the drink, not drug) was it. Thank goodness it was rescued by the sub-head: More ECs and sites at suburban areas aimed at sandwich class.

ST opted for a straight headline: Sites for 14,185 homes up for sale. Which makes me wonder whether that number is so significant that people should go buy 4-D. Is this a lot of homes or not? This too was rescued somewhat by the sub-head: Exec condos feature strongly in residential plots to be released.

Makes me wonder why both newspapers didn’t just go straight to the EC angle in the first place…Or focus on suburban sites.

Anyway, there I was trying to figure out if the numbers in ST are significant. It actually concedes the G was just keeping pace.  Which actually wouldn’t make it news-worthy since it’s not out of the ordinary. (Is that why Today dismissed the whole thing in just a couple of pars?)

But property being such a big deal among Singaporeans, it does merit some space. Except readers need to be told what’s so significant about the G’s news on land release. In this instance, BT did slightly better to turn the spot light on ECs in its front page story. I had to go read ST’s inside stories because the page 1 story was far, far too general. Unless I play 4-D. In fact, I found this par really odd in ST: MND said yesterday that despite 86,000 private homes in the pipeline – of which 38,000 remain unsold – demand for private housing remains strong. That’s a claim that wasn’t backed up? So DESPITE… it REMAINS strong??? I guess one intepretation is that its demand for CHEAPER private housing that remains strong, hence ECs? Rather than private, private housing? If so, I see no statistics to back this up. Not in BT either. In fact, I recall a report last week or so which said ECs aren’t always taken up…

Sigh. Maybe I’m nit-picking but I do so like reports to be clearly written, significance explained and stats which back up assertions…Oh…both newspapers talked about sites “up for grabs” – bringing to life that corpse which I thought should rest in peace in the cemetery…. If the sites AREN’T grabbed…I am going to so laugh…

There’s another piece in the papers which had me wondering – on the growth forecast of economists. So they saying it will be better than expected – the median among 21 economists is 3 per cent up from 2.5 per cent. A closer reading of BT will tell you that the 21 came up with wide, wide range – from 0.5 to 4 per cent. So taking the word of the fellow in the middle, I suppose, is the acceptable way to come up with an economic forecast…Hmm.

What’s interesting is their take on inflation – which ST ignored. Apparently, it’s 4.2 per cent, up from their earlier projection of 3.5 per cent, reported BT. I don’t know whether we should cheer at the growth figures – or weep at the inflation one.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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