13th March 2013
announcement by Boon Wan on the back to basics public housing policy is
a move in the right direction and will be most welcomed by the people.
The objectives of public housing have been altered through the years by
shallow thinking people that have forgotten why it was called public
housing in the first place that it is best forgotten. Let’s get the
Public housing is for the citizens,
the majority of whom that needs a roof over their heads, a place to rest
and bring up children, a place to go home to. When getting a place to
sleep is getting so expensive, it is going to make life very difficult
to many people as not everyone is so bless to have so much money to pay
Boon Wan is calling for more feedbacks
given the complexities of housing as a home, as an asset, as a fall
back to be liquidated to release some funds for retirement, and a host
of other purposes. What I would suggest is to go back to basics and
simplicity. The priority is to make housing affordable, I mean really
and reasonably affordable to the average citizens, and make the right to
ownership simple. Some rules are still necessary but need not be so
exclusive and demanding.
First principle, all Singaporeans must
be allowed to buy a public flat. Everyone needs a place to stay,
especially when you are a citizen.
Second principle, build to ensure the
supply is enough to meet the demand and not like those thoughtless
people who created the demand supply problem that led to the big angst
among the people and a property bubble.
Third principle, provide a buffet
spread and let the people decide what they want or can afford to buy.
Let the people make their own choice and not dictate the choice on the
Fourth principle, when supply is
adequate to meet demand, there is no need for all the exclusivity
clauses to give impression that the higher income buyers are depriving
the lower income earners of their chances. This wicked divisive idea to
pitch the people against one another must be removed. Every citizen,
regardless of income level, is entitled to buy his public flat within a
simpler framework of rules and regulations.
Fifth principle, PRs are not eligible
to buy public housing. However, they can rent from the citizens or HDB
can build rental flats for them. PRs can go to the private property
market if they can afford it. But to prevent a big bubble in private
property prices, foreigners, including PRs, can only buy to stay and not
for speculation. Given the limited space available, it is necessary to
have sound regulations to prevent non citizens from churning the
property market to raise the cost of living here. Many of the
restrictions on foreign ownership of properties should stay and more be
introduced to keep the property market under control.
Sixth principle, the speculative
element in public housing should be minimised. When there is adequate
supply, public housing prices should be stable.
But, as they all said, how real is
Boon Wan and his return to basics? Wait for the fine prints. Hopefully
cheaper public housing would not compromise on the size and quality of
the flats. Please, no reduction in the lease period or things like can
see back to HDB or any profits must return to HDB.
Source: Chua Chin Leng aka RedBean on My Singapore News.