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6/11/2011

The angry cries for housing

Read the comments in cyberspace and you can’t help hearing the cries of desperation for housing. Yes they cannot afford public housing. Families with little children, broken families, people who because of poor finances, bad luck, circumstances, some of their own foolishness or irresponsible acts, are out there looking for a roof over their heads. Is that not the duty and responsibility of the govt to provide them with a roof, any kind of roof? A temporary shelter, a small rental flat in place of a pitch tent in a vacant land. They may have mismanaged their lives, then what, leave them in the cold?

While these people are pleading, some have gone to the extent of cursing at the govt and HDB. When people are at wits end, and the govt is not there to help, you can’t blame them. And there is no reason for the govt not to help them. It is unacceptable and irresponsible as a govt to forsake its people in times of need.

Boon Wan is cautioning those who have bought or are buying private properties of a bubble bursting. Some may be burnt when it happens. But don’t worry, they can afford to be burnt. Pity the young professionals who were forced by his predecessors and his policies into the private market and with a huge mortgage to service. I dare say, it is no fault of theirs and the blame should be placed squarely on the govt for allowing it to happen, when the crash comes.

In the meantime, the govt must quickly rethink its policies and responsibilities to the people, to provide them with a really affordable roof. Even those who are disqualified for all the right and wrong reasons, the govt must take care of them as a govt is expected. The woes of the citizens will become the stress to the society and country.

Boon Wan has taken the right step to ramp up the building of rental flats. Not everyone is a super talent to be able to afford expensive housing. Not everyone can afford even to buy small affordable public housing. The govt has to cater to all the different levels and needs of the people. What is the use of a govt who shirks this responsibility and leaves the people in dire straights in the lurch?

The well being of the people is the govt’s responsibility. Remember, it is the people who elect the govt to look after them. The people do not elect the govt to tell them you mess up, just too bad, your problem.

Go back to basics and think of providing every citizen a roof over his head first. Stop the stupid policy of an artificial ceiling to disqualify young people and push them towards the cliff. Stop the ruthless mindset of punishing the less able, the losers or unfortunate. Look after the people.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

A compassionate article by Mr Chua, adding to the beauty of a blessed Saturday.

Anonymous said...

The government and HDB are just doing the less and simple work. Why should they crack their heads to think of better solutions? Perhaps, they are thinking that they are so smart that we already have the best solution and they even tried to market overseas. LOL.

The artificial ceiling of HDB eligibility is basically not good. For example, those have household income of $7,999 are able to buy subsidized HDB flat and those with $8,000 (just a dollar more) will be denied from buying one. Is it fair? Reform is therefore needed.

Why not have a correlation between household income and levels of subsidy instead of concrete artificial ceiling? No doubt, it is mathematically more complex but it is not difficult to implement. The correction can be negative exponential so that very little subsidy at high income and very heavy subsidy at low income. If income tax structure can be done, why not HDB flat subsidy level so that it gives people a choice. If those earning $100,000 a year would like to live in HDB (can only own HDB to live in and not for investment), by all means why not give them a choice? In this way, there is no ceiling and everyone is eligible. Better still, formulate the correction in such a way that those with high income who choose to buy HDB flat should have 'negative subsidy', i.e pay higher price to help subsidize those HDB owners with low income.

Anonymous said...

Not right to punish those who happened to earn a little more. It is not a crime for that. We are talking about the first home and every citizen must be given this right. After that, they can upgrade or downgrade, up to them.

The price of HDB is not cheap and not subsidised!

Anonymous said...

What is a good Government?

Is it a Government that prides itself in looking after all sectors of the population, rich and poor?

Or is it a Government that prides itself on growing the GDP to benefit the rich and leaves the bottom sector of the population behind? And treat them as garbage and a hindrance to progress?

I think most Singaporeans have awakened to the realisation that not all in life is about GDP growth and upgradings and asset enhancements.

There must be a certain balance of a reasonable rate of progress tempered with a less hurried lifestyle and a more human side of being able to choose when to stop running the rat race, instead of just plodding with no end in sight.

Life is very short. It makes little sense to make it overly complicated and painful to grow old.

Anonymous said...

Why would a government want to help its own citizens?

That is why you need to vote wisely in 2016.

Anonymous said...

Every citizen should be eligible to buy public housing property.
The ceiling is a unreasonable and nonsensical ruling.
Why can't high income citizens be frugal and simple in their livings, including being austere with his/her abode?
The Ruling to discriminate the high income citizens from Public Housing is just simply discriminatory and unjustifiable.

Anonymous said...

The wicked part is that young people are just starting to save their first few dollars and they insisted that they must cough out every cent they have. And of course not enough. So they forced them to take a few hundred thousand dollars of loan.

Wicked bastards!