Supply and demand of HDB flats to be raised in Parliament
Several MPs will be raising questions on the supply and demand of HDB flats in Parliament. And their key concerns are young couples, first timers being forced out of the public housing markets. Some have tried several times and had to give up when their salaries exceeded the $8k ceiling and forced to buy private flats that are beyond their reach or stretching their incomes. And there is also the issue of profits which Chiam See Tong wants to know, and what is meant by affordability. First question that came to mind is why is it necessary to raise such questions in Parliament when Mah Bow Tan and the HDB had painstakingly explained that the problem of shortages in public housing was only a perceived problems, or due to the choosiness of the applicants? Data were given to prove beyond any doubt that there are enough public flats to meet the demand, and first timers, more than 90% will get their flats in the first try or at most second try. And many media professionals also chipped in to confirm with their brilliant articles that there is no real public housing problem. Would the questions to be raised in Parliament superfluous or a waste of time? Why raised when there is no problem, or is it that the MPs do not agree with the public explanations, that there is a real problem, not simply perceived and to be swept under the carpet? Why, when Chok Tong had also came out to assure the people that the govt would ensure that the flats would be there and affordable? The other question is, what do the MPs expect to achieve? To get a few explanations from Mah Bow Tan and close the case, duty done for speaking out in Parliament? Would it be more meaningful and constructive for the MPs to not just raise questions but come out with ALTERNATIVES of what they want the minister and HDB to do? Wasn't it a common reply that if anyone is not happy they should come out and offer a better solution, not such criticise the policies? I would like to hear the MPs saying why they are unhappy, and what alternative solutions they are proposing instead of simply asking questions. Tell Mah Bow Tan what they want done, that they don't agree with the HDB policy of selling at market price subsidy, that public housing is for the people, the core pillar of our country, to keep the people housed and rooted here. It is not a commercial enterprise to make huge profits and should not be one. Without a good and decent home, what is there to defend this country for? How would people living in expensive mickey mouse flats and shoe boxes feel about the affluence around them, that they are a part of the affluence and well being? The bulk of the country's population are housed in public flats. When these are no longer affordable and no longer comfortable, according to the hardlanders definitions, not defined by people who do not live in them, what is there to hold them to this piece of rock and call it home? Would the raising of this issue in Parliament just another of those question and answer sessions and nothing comes out of it?