In Goh Keng Swee's time

Those were hard times. People lived in tiny cubicles, many people inside a room, one room for a family and often more than a family, with share common kitchens and toilets. Goh Keng Swee went out to move these people to HDB flats, where a family or maybe an extended family could live in a flat of 3 rm or 4rm. The strange thing then was that no one ever mumbled or complained that the flats were expensive or not affordable. That was a non issue. The flats were simply affordable. No argument, no need to put one's foot down to insist anyway. Today, the flats are affordable, still. Because the govt said so. But the people don't think so. And the argument is pissing off a lot of buyers who could not afford the flats. But they have to accept the govt's argument that the flats are indeed affordable. That settles the argument though deep inside the people's heart they knew that the flats are very expensive and very unaffordable to some. And it is still an outstanding issue that is going round and round. This is the real difference between the govt of Goh Keng Swee's time and the govt of today. They did what was necessary and what was right, and the people believed and were grateful to the govt. And no need to argument until the face turns green, with statistics, when deep down the people knew what is and what is not affordable. Housing was a success story. Can't really say of the present as the consequences of high prices will only tell some way down the road. Buying a flat then was a happy thing, a roof over the head. Today, buying a flat comes with a big debt and big worries. PS. I am talking about buying a HDB flat. Buying private or landed property is a happy thing. The buyer will simply plonked down his millions in cash. No need to worry about big mortgages to pay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Redbean Sir;

me likes to say that moving from small cubicle dwellings and abodes into HDB was not always as positive to the feelings of those resettled by force.

Those early day community livings thrived on clansmanships and camaraderies. The shortfalls in living spaces resulted in closer and friendlier relationships amongst the dwellers. Tolerance and forgiveness on top of cares and shares resulted in wonderful interactions that are non-existent today.

The GREATEST WONDER of all was that despite the shortage of spaces, procreations were high. Relatives, clansmen and neighbours were always around to help out to take care of every issue from money to looking after babies, kids and the sicks.

My family and neighbours were resettled from the villages and until today, many of us are still not use to highrise pigeonhole livings.

With regards the cost of HDB, of course, most Singaporeans are awared of their RIDICULOUS PRICINGS. BUT, what can Singaporeans do???