Has anything really changed under Boon Wan?

The latest cry of resale prices of HDB flat still soaring and that supply is shrinking, or demand is rising, tells of a picture that nothing has changed. Whatever that have changed were merely cosmetic or stop gap measures. The fundamental position of the govt on housing has remained intact.

From providing cheap and good housing, today it is housing for profit, and maximum profit if possible. Housing is also an instrument for speculation, for fictitious wealth creation when the gains are quickly swallowed by higher cost of living and inflation, and for fattening the state coffer.

Under normal circumstances there is nothing wrong with such policies and economic enterprise. Housing becomes an economic good for trading, for people to make money and lose money, for the govt to generate revenue to feed the high salary of the system. Housing is a cash cow that must keep on churning out cash that is badly needed in the system, like all other sources of revenue. When the expenditure is so high, it must be matched by an equally high income.

Unless there is a structural change, the huge growing population and the reliance on housing as a major source of govt revenue, nothing will change in the property market. Like the Stop At Two policy, the No Casino policy, the restriction on foreigners buying landed properties, $90 NS allowance, etc, they were good and relevant at one time but no longer relevant today.

Housing, as a speculative economic good, needs to be reviewed in view of the changing socio economic and infrastructural limitations of the country. The govt needs to house the people well and cheaply. The runaway cost of living, the high cost of housing, cannot go on and on without breaking the social fabric of our society.

Would there be any fundamental changes to how housing is to serve the people’s need, to provide the people with good homes that are really affordable, to give the people a better quality of life? To continue squeezing the limited finances of the people for 30 years, to empty their wallets when the money could be used for many other more important things in life, and for retirement, is harming the welfare and well being of the people in the long run.

Would the govt relook at housing as a basic core item for the people’s good, without killing them in the process, without compromising the quality of their lifestyle? Would govt see housing as an essential item, not for speculation, and its responsibility to ensure that there is an abundance of housing to keep the price down at least in public housing, where every citizen who wants a flat will have his flat minus the pain and anguish?

Would all the silly terms and conditions be removed once and for all? Singles, married, unmarried, broken family, big income, small income, all will be eligible and can afford housing at their own discretion by virtue of being a citizen of the country? The issue is supply, in building enough to meet the needs of the citizens, with wise policies, and managing the demands from the reckless influx of foreigners and a population that is too big for the people’s good.

Let the pain and anxiety of acquiring a home be removed and no longer be a daily frustration in the life of the average citizen. When housing is no longer a bugging emotional and financial issue, the people can move on to indulge in other pursuits of living, to live an excellent life. Removing housing from the equation of life’s struggle will be a major positive change in the life of all Singaporeans. It will save a lot of time and financial resources for a better quality of life.


Anonymous said...

Yr rhetoric of the housing issue will not gain any traction so long as Singaporeans find more bigger capacity continental cars crowding and jamming the roads.
The coe s of these cars run into tens and near hundreds of thousand SGD Bruther. Plus the cost of the vehicle itself, Singaporeans can easily own at least a four room flat. So, please do not cry wolf, Singaporeans got eyes to see.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans should be happy with a 4 rm flat. What more do they want? Furnish it nicely and it will look like a posh penthouse.

Anonymous said...

Dear Red Bean
The old PAP brought your from 3rd World to 1st World.

The new PAP is going from 1st world to "managing your expectations"
See Straits Times, Friday, 28 Oct 2011, page A36, the last 7 paragraphs which contains PAP's new vision for Singaporeans. From the article "A chance to move up in life."

I think Singaporeans also need to manage our politicians' expectations about their forever higher salaries by voting in more Opposition parties into parliament in 2016.

Anonymous said...

BW had done a good job but still said nothing change...give u $10m to take charge this appt,see u can made everyone happy or not.
Got $1,spent $0.50 pls,save the rest,noone forcing u to buy bigger property.keen on blaming other for thing u can't get is the worst.
Live within u mean!

Anonymous said...

When u made these statement,u got any proof?? If have,share pls,as we all need to answer for what we had written,think many will support u if u got evidence to proof what u write is true.
However if no proof,And u are a Singaporean? We feel this country really something wrong with ppl like u,where got citizens give all the false infor & create bad imagine to own country? But other nation will be happy,as this just show the ppl here want it to fall back to 3rd world standard again.
U write---"""Housing becomes an economic good for trading, for people to make money and lose money, for the govt to generate revenue to feed the high salary of the system"""

Anonymous said...

Empty vessels makes the most noise!

Anonymous said...

Yes, there were really changes - from a horse to a cow.

The HDB under the horse was horsing around with buyers. Now the HDB under the cow is mooing around with buyers as well.

Can you see the change? I guess not with both having four legs, a tail, a big body and everything. In a word, animals don't have conscience.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON 4.24pm

Your comment;
"Live within u mean!"

I would say the same thing about PAP.
"Govern within your own limited capability"

If don't have vision, talent, leadership and courage, please get out of Singaporeans' way.
Please stop gerrymandering with electoral boundaries.

And make way for people and political parties with talent and courage.

Anonymous said...

Another anti PAP reader : )
Whom ask other to do everything with limit resources but refuse to contribute. Do we need a "supervising" without putting effort but just know how to comment?
While I don't agree with "live within u mean" stentence,as i feel the rising cost is bit high too,BUT,compare to other country,my family is fortunate to be here,no street protest,no dirty government who take illegal amt but tell the world their salary only $200K per mth. Most important,safety for our kids are here,without worry they been taken away by strenger. I think not live within u mean,but be appreciate what we got now.

Anonymous said...


If Pink IC,good,as too many ugly Sporen asking for Sky and did not know how to appreciate...
But if u are not,be caution...some Ugly Sporen will target u no matter how true the situation u mention are.
They will scold government,blame other non-Singaporean,give all dirty words but will never admit their own mistake....

tkw said...

Hi RedBean...I suppose your blog is under wider scrutiny now...but as you put upfront that you may be outrageous...so I guess you will remain calm and non-debative..

Housing is still Affordable.But pro-govt commentators insistence that critics should come up with creative solutions or keep a tight lip is barking up the wrong tree. How can the average critic/housing specialist/academic have access to housing data ( with the HDB/Ministry ) before digesting the data to come up with practical solutions to meet the segments of the population that need housing. Without the relevant data, the average "outsider" will never be able to understand the varied issues of housing ( evolved dynamically over these years ) and then outlined practical solutions.

Housing should be "tasked force" akin to the ministerial salary review but inclusive of opposition MPs/non-NMPs and other public-minded representatives...so that if they conclude that all has been done and nothing more can be done to address the housing issues...then this outcome that the market forces are the most suitable to address the housing issues...will be more acceptable to the population.

Light is needed but the night still lingers on...and a new dawn is yet to be.

Anonymous said...

Me am a netizen that had interacted with many others over the years and has been a regular commenter at various blogsites. Met up with some of them at activities as well as for social gatherings.

Redbean, a few others and me meet up once a while. These few of us and some bloggers are born before the Fifties, we were British Subjects, some were under the Jeps for two, three years and all our parents and elder siblings came under the rules of both and the present local government.

All of us have personally experienced the development of Sin over the years. Living in the early years was tough simply because machineries and electronics were almost unheard off, utilities and amenities were few and far in between. BUT, then, we live happily with kampong spirit(camaraderie), concern and care for fellow villagers, love from kins and clans, co-operations and helps from fellow workers etc.

The colonial masters were generous during their heydays and they administered their colonies efficiently and ruled their subjects fairly. The British allowed free play and practice in religious beliefs, education was in all major languages spoken by the local land were allocated to settlers with minimum charges. It was usually only a few dollars a year.

Most of us were financially and materially poor, those in the villages had got plenty of fresh produces from their land and from the sea. Food was plentiful for most villagers and seaside settlers. There was hardly any hunger problem except during the Japanese Occupation.

Yes, people were poor, living was tough, BUT there was plenty of joy and happiness. SAD TO SAY, they have all gone ALTHOUGH most Singaporeans are well educated and WORK VERY HARD.


Anonymous said...

Ref: "Another anti PAP reader"
ANON at 7.24pm

We are not anti-PAP.
We are pro-Singapore.
And we believe PAP is standing in the way of "happiness, prosperity & progress for our nation".

What type of political leadership says they will lead by "managing Singaporeans' expectations."???

How about PAP managing their own Ministers' expectations of their salary?

If you can't lead, get out of the way.
Stop gerrymandering with the electoral boundaries.
Fight an election like the honourable Confucian gentleman that LKY says he is.
Stand on your own merits

Anonymous said...

Oh...just like reader expected,those made the most noise but no good solution had target attack on other.
ask ppl don't lead? Then can u? Want to become those country in debt?
Better don't bet future on those party like to do street protest,shouting at other with no solid ground

Anonymous said...

Why must we have constructive solutions?

You mean you are unable to come up with your own solutions to justify your million dollar salaries?

Such people are called parasites you know. Living off the income tax money of Singaporeans.

Everything want to control. But no brains to come up with a plan.
What a useless parasite. Utterly shameless.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi jan, welcome to the blog. I am glad to see more discussion in the blog. But I am not glad when some chose to be blind and refused to see.

I am one of those that believed and practised living within my means. My lunch is only $3. And I want to buy a 4 rm flat but the fuckers said no because my household income exceeds $12k. For those who have eyes but cannot see, please read this carefully and try to understand what is being forced to empty your wallet when you refused to, and got blame by the same idiots who pounched on your CPF savings claiming that they need to keep it for you because it is not enough, because they forced you to buy more expensive housing.

Now who suggested that paying me $10 m and I can't solve the housing problem? I take on such a challenge with my eyes closed. The housing problem is a self created problem for misplaced objectives. It is the easiest problem to be solved. You don't need a nuclear scientist to solve it.

The only people that will not be happy will be those that depend on the public coffer for their welfare. Solving the housing problem is not even a challenge. It is elementary.

agongkia said...

Whoever run the show,resale properties will still goes up.And it should be the case.
Only those TingTong will want their property value to go down.
You can ask for a lower prices for new BTO flat,but not ask for a cheap resale flat.
They CheongKong my AhKong's harmless suateng house with little compensation and resettle us into 10 pigeon holes.
We are already in the losing end and it is only fair for my pigeon hole to cost ten time more now.
I am not demanding for maximum profit if I have to sell,but how to explain to my late AhKong and parent if I will to sell it cheap.
They will really be disappointed for having a real gongkia like me.

Anonymous said...

Not happy just vote Opposition lah!
Talk so much for what.
HDB flat price too high - Vote Opposition
COE price too high - Vote Opposition
Food price too high - Vote Opposition

You think we scared of you or what?

Anonymous said...

Ah,is there a need to use "F" words...? Fucker?? Who specific u refer to? By name pls,just hope this don't turn up be another low class forum like TRM(anyway,he had been arrested??)

Anonymous said...

@ 9.58am.

Running Dog.

Anonymous said...

U income is $12K? Of course don't fight with us these $2K -$3K income for 3rm HDB Flat lah!! Please..it is limited,so reserve for us these low income pls

Anonymous said...

Just heard from a new friend on Friday evening that when he and his wife, they have no child, applied for a HDB Flat in the Eighties, they were 'asked' to get a 5 Rm Unit. Reason was that that both have much in their CPF Savings. Their incomes were also considered high though it was only around 5 thousands a month. They were also told that they could only pay up to a maximun of 50% although they can afford to pay up in full. More ridiculously, the Friend said they were not even allowed to pay up within 5 years and he opted for 15 although he said he was told to take his time to pay. If me am not mistaken, longest repayment period was 20 or 25 years then.

See how ridiculous it was with regard housing. Childless couple with no others in their family, 'asked' to buy 5Rm Flat, disallowed to pay up fully and to choose the 'choice' of shortest repayment scheme.

As an senior citizen myself, me was and am aware how mercenary our political leaders have always been. BUT, no matter how, i did not expect them to get from bad to worse and from worse to sinful. BUT why are about 60% Singaporeans with the System all these years?


Anonymous said...

"BUT why are about 60% Singaporeans with the System all these years?" The answer is they still have food on their table.- Managing Hoi Polloi's "Expectations" can work wonder for the elites.

Anonymous said...

Dear 11.40am.

"BUT why are about 60% Singaporeans with the System all these years?"

How many Singaporeans does it take to change a light bulb?

Zero. Singaporeans do not believe in changing light bulbs. When the old light bulb starts to flicker and dim with old age, we emigrate to another room with a brighter light bulb.

Anonymous said...

" U income is $12K? Of course don't fight with us these $2K -$3K income for 3rm HDB Flat lah!! "

Wah lauu eh!!
A PAP running dog gets only $2-3K in salary and lives in a 3rm HDB flat.
Your millionaire masters really under-paying you.
Lee (really) Conned You.

Anonymous said...

Pls lah,this type of untrue case study dare to write here,HDB first one to show u all the rules that does not required $5K salary to buy so big house,also they don't set the compulsory period loan need to pay finish, u got some common sense -refer to ""Just heard from a new friend on Friday evening that when he and his wife"..."

Anyway,u "hear" right?then don't add in untrue thing inside

Anonymous said...

Insult those low income sungaporean as dog? Sad...as u kids will become dog too..

Anonymous said...

The internet brigade is attacking this forum.

Anonymous said...

@ 1.37pm.

It is extremely insulting and unfair to use the phrase "PAP running dog"

It's extremely insulting & unfair to the dog.

Anonymous said...

He told his ah kong that he is paid to attack people in the internet. His ah kong ask him if he thinks he is doing an honourable job. If he thinks so, then continue. Do not do something one is shameful of and would not dare even to tell friends, even girlfriend about it.

During the Japs occupation, some people did things like this and felt shameful for the rest of their lives. But some don't and are proud of it.

Anonymous said...

Who let the dogs out? Lots of strays are barking around now.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:43 PM,

Totally agree with you!

Anonymous said...

@ Redbean,

Agree with you that "Solving the housing problem is not even a challenge. It is elementary."

In fact, if MIWs don't practice selective listening and seeing, they'll see hundreds of constructive simple solution to housing problem. Just that they are choosing to avoid the issue since they are enjoying their lifetime pension, free healthcare and bonuses all funded by our CPF, taxes etc.

Anonymous said...


Shut your trap if you are just a PR. If you want to comment, then become a full fledge Singaporean. Stop being a bloody hypocrite while using this place as a springboard to benefit from the inflated housing problem.

Anonymous said...

Agree too that 'solving the housing problem is not even a problem. It is elementary'

Also agree that what the MIW is doing is selective listening and seeing, with the paramount objective of ripping off Singaporean's CPF.

Their ears and eyes are fixated on how to help the haves, how to ensure employers get the best deal at the expense of workers and how best these people can help them accumulate more reserves to serve their agenda.

Their ears and eyes are not attuned to helping the lower end of the income group, not with the incessant influx of dubious talents hijacking jobs at the bottom end of the income strata.

Anonymous said...

Just watched the concluding episode of 'hwa pi' on Ch U.
Feels very good now because of it's(hwa pi) good ending.
When demons regain conscience, they make the World blissful, not just for lovers, everyone feels good.
Me going to have good sound sleep tonight and hopefully wake up tomorrow to see a better future.

Good Night!


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Housing is basic needs, like rice, water. It should not be priced by the market. Imagine if the price of rice is determined by market forces.

For those who have many properties, who can afford $20m or $30m properties, housing is not a basic needs and they can speculate to their content, like fine dining.

For the bulk of the people, owning one flat, the million dollar flat cuts both ways. But more important, it is not sustainable.

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