An inclusive society was broached as a national policy only quite recently, perhaps during the last election or the one earlier. When inclusiveness became a national policy, it was like an acknowledgement that exclusiveness was being practised before. So there is a change now, to include all Sinkies as one people, no alienation, no one is left behind.
For how long and how many people were excluded by govt policies and in what areas are difficult to account for. This morning’s paper confirmed that 4 groups of citizens have been excluded and fell victims to govt policies in public housing. But only 3 groups were mentioned and the fourth group is conveniently not spoken of and would probably be left out again, excluded in an inclusive society when no one is left behind, except this group.
For the mismanagement of the public housing policies that victimised many citizens financially and in a way also the fate of baby making and TFR, 4 groups of people were not eligible to buy HDB flats on the false justification that the supply was not enough. The real reason for the shortage is not building enough. But the daft Sinkies ended up fighting against each other for priority and seeing other groups joining the queue as their enemies. They are so daft that they would not think or could not think, and would not see that the real culprit for not building enough public flats for the people is not the demand but the supply. And they blamed themselves, the buyers, and accused each other, and to exclude others from the queue to protect their own interests and priority.
The 3 groups identified as victims of systemic discrimination are, ‘those who have never married, single parents and those married to foreigners’. The fourth group is silent and would remain as the victims of a system that bragged about inclusiveness but excluded them. The pain is greater when foreigners turned new citizens are favoured against them. Who make up this group?
How could a govt policy exclude single parents from buying HDB flats and did not think it is nasty? It really describes the kind of people formulating such policy, totally devoid of compassion. Are the single parent families not human beans and need a place to stay as well? Do they have any alternative if they could not buy HDB flats? Imagine how long this group has been leading their lives like lepers? They have been written off, no one wants to know of their plight till now. Can our caring govt be so uncaring?
The same kind of inhuman touch applies to those who are married to foreigners. They too need a place to stay. For the family to be half citizen, there could always be a formula to differentiate the level of subsidies and this need not be the same as citizens, but they must have a chance to buy a flat to stay. They can’t camp at the beach or Vivian will come visiting.
The singles may see a reprieve. But it may not be much of a reprieve at the end of the day. Don’t forget that there is a $10k income ceiling in place for households. Would this mean singles can qualify if his/her income is $5k? And quite a big number of these singles are professionals and high income earners, due partly because of their jobs and partly because they cannot buy when younger when income was lower. Many could still be excluded by the income ceiling like those newly married couples who married late and ended with higher income that kicked them out of the system.
Nobody, single or married couples, started work with income exceeding the $10k limit. They have to work their way up. So if they married earlier, or buy their flats earlier, they would all be eligible. But for one reason or another, definitely not their faults, they ended up with higher incomes and become victims of an inclusive myth. It was a systemic failure that would not be admitted and would likely not be put right.
Out of the 4 groups, one is forgotten, the singles will hardly be a solution, those married to foreigners who are high income earners too may still be excluded. The solutions may still be found wanting with many still excluded from the public housing scheme.
Did someone say every young married couple, first timer, will be able to buy a flat? The inclusive cry is mainly for foreigners who have become new citizens. They are the ones that benefited most at the expense of original citizens.