Khaw Boon Wan at his brilliant best
While Ignatious Lourdesamy replied to a letter by a Tan Siow Teng, repeating that HDB flats are sold at subsidized prices, which is HDB’s version of the subsidised truth, Boon Wan was holding court to take questions in a public forum on housing matters. And he was simply brilliant in his answers.
To a point raised by the audience that HDB flats have shrunk in size, which is a truth that no one needs to bring a measuring tape to confirm, Boon Wan’s answer was that HDB flat had not shrunk in size in recent years. And of course he was correct. He was referring to flats built now and those built in the 1990s. How to beat such clever answer? It would be even easier if he said that HDB flats had never shrunk in size since he took over.
And he confirmed that the space available to a flat dweller was getting bigger as there were lesser people in a flat due to shrinking family size. This is a way Sinkies can improve the quality of their lives, by ensuring that they keep their family small. Don’t worry about having more babies if one wants more spaces and a better quality of life.
Boon Wan also agreed that the quality of life will be affected if we go the Hongkong way of mickey mouse flats. He said public housing will not go that way. So Singaporeans have two ways to improve the quality of lives, by finding a job that pays more or by reducing family size. Maybe a third way is still possible. Take more weight reducing pills or size reducing pills to avoid growing too big, then the flat will definitely look bigger.
And more flats will be built over the next 5 years, even up to 100,000 units if needed. I hope his computation takes into consideration the 20k or 25k new migrants on the way here every year. If not, then there will be shortage of flats again and his assurance that flat prices will not shoot up again will not hold water. The new immigrants are adults, families and would need housing unlike the babies that will be produced by the locals.