The Straits Times
Published on Dec 29, 2012

HDB-style priority system not suitable for cars


CERTIFICATE of entitlement (COE) premium prices are likely to remain high, given the low interest rate, small down payments, the easy availability of loans as well as the many sales gimmicks and creative practices of car agents to entice potential car owners.

We must distinguish between "needs" and "wants". A car is still considered a luxury item and not something that is essential. While some argue that a car is necessary to ferry their children and family members, run errands and so on, there are many others are able to do just that without a car.

Adjusting the COE allotment system to give priority to first-time car owners may be opening a Pandora's box as more will clamour for a similar priority in other areas.

COE allotment is not and can never be like HDB's priority allotment of flats as having a roof over one's head is an essential.

Francis Cheng