Hear the people

Posted: September 12, 2009 by fievel in Labels: , ,

Confession: I have been checking Singapore's very own Online Petition for Affordable Housing almost a hundred times a day, waiting to see it hit the 1000 mark and finally proclaim to our millionaire ministers, "The people have spoken !". Eat this! But alas, the numbers for the petition has been rather disappointing up till now, although the poor turnout till now does not diminish the vindication I have for this issue and it is continually fired by the comments I read in the petition. Maybe you'd like to hear some of them...so here you go....

9:53 am PDT, Sep 11, Cyrus Yeo, Singapore
It's so expensive untill it amazed me... Lost faith totally. i see with my own eyes people around me Suffer big time...it's beyond description...all i can do is shut up...oh ya shut up... It's for the sake of buidling a family out of love i'm gonna SUFFER this expensive hdb unwillingly no choice. Bondage...this is madness! 5 years ago my friend bought a 4rm for $148k in punggol , 5 years later now i apply a 4rm for $320k. Who can understand this ? Who cares if 5 years later the selling prices are good or not..now and 2moro i need money to feed my family.

8:03 am PDT, Sep 11, Name not displayed, Singapore

We have been hunting for flats for nearly 2 years but till now had not found one. Main problem is that the flat valuations are already high and yet greedy sellers are still asking for sky high COVs.. We're only in middle class and with 2 young schooling children, coughing out $30K - $50K for COVs is something we definitely can't afford.

1:16 am PDT, Sep 11, Raymond Ang, Singapore

I feel that housing prices are truly beyond my reach. The system discriminates against singles... as if the only ciizens with rights are those who get married. I am a citizen but i feel marginalised. I feel and know that new citizens have greater priority than me. I am disheartened and disillusioned. I hate to admit it, but perhaps i can't afford to live her. Is the only way to live in the 21st century in singapore, is to have a 30 year mortgage and be in constant fear about losing my job? what then happens when i lose my job? I lose.... everything?

9:06 pm PDT, Sep 9, Ordinary Middle Class Singaporean, Singapore

I am living with my hubby, both my parents and two young kids in a small 5-rm HDB flat. There are a total 6 persons living in this small unit and we really wish to upgrade. However, our combined salary exceeds $8K and we are not entitled to new HDB flat nor excecutive condo. Both my parents are retired so we have to support 4 family members. Thus, our combined income of $8k plus is not a lot really. We treasure family ties and advocate 3-generation living together. Please consider family like us and be flexible in your income ceiling based on case-by-case situations. Thank you.

7:28 pm PDT, Sep 9, Name not displayed, Singapore

Dear Mr Mah Bow Tan, What is HDB's role in Singapore? If we look at the HDB's website we can find that HDB's role is to provide "Affordable, Quality Homes" It is an organisation run by our Government, to be exact Ministry of National Development. But looking at the recent HDB launches there is not enough supply to meet the Demand. Recently I applied for a 5 room flat at Punggol 21, there are only 154 units offered but 1666 people had applied for it. My Q number is 13XX and I had been trying since last year. For my last application for HDB's resale flat the Q number was an insane 99XX. I will not give up, I will try for the next project at Punggol spectra I told myself. But when I look at the application received for 4 room flat the number of applicants stands at 1712 for 556 units. It shows that there are not enough supply since 2008. We were urged to apply for BTO units, but the fact is that we cannot get a decent Q number to even select a flat. That makes me wonder what can be done about it? I shall not blame on the recent influx of immigrants as reported by many write ups. After all they did their part to contribute to our nation. Now we have a bigger population. Is it time to provide even more Affordable housing? We know that in order to keep our country attractive to investors, We need to keep wages low. And when we keep wages low, we have to make housing prices low. If not public housing will be a huge burden to our citizens. The recent prices already reflect that inbalance. We know that our government cares for us, it is the most basic fundamental of any elected government. I hope that the government will step in to stop the recent bubble. Wealth is pouring in, but how long will this sustain? When the new immigrants go out of job, our citizens in debt. Then we will see a crisis not seen before. I am not speculating, it is a fact that might happen few years down the road. It is like sweeping the dirt under the carpet, when you flip the carpet over the dirt will still be there. What we are doing now is just sweeping more dirt under the carpet. It is not a lasting solution, but a potential snowball effect in the making.

1:25 am PDT, Sep 9, Mingji Lim, Singapore

HDB should be making housing easier to get for Singaporeans, and not acting like a private real estate company by pushing the prices higher and profiteering~

12:32 am PDT, Sep 9, Lim Chee Keong, Singapore

Me and my financee has failed to clinch the new Punggol residence BTO again. This is the 4th time that we have failed at the ballot draw even we are 1st timer. We also cannot afford the 30k COV since we need to reserve the cash for our wedding and any unexpected circumstances. I sincerely urge Mr Mah Bow Tan to build more BTO flats as soon as possible. We are already 30+ yrs old and would like to have a house of our own before we can be ready for baby.

Sep 8, 2009, Paul Ananth Tambyah, Singapore

Everyone is hurt by inflationary property pricing - not just young couples starting out

Sep 8, 2009, Ordinary Sing A Pore An Slave, Singapore

Gahrment very funny... they are looking towards a living standard comparable to HK and Japan butfail to realise we the ordinary "slaves" are only drawing 3rd world salaries (by asking us to take pay cuts and companies to control costs)... how in the world can you maintain living in a 1st class environment on 3rd world salary??

Sep 8, 2009, Anonymous, Singapore

One word....The RICH gets richer and the POOR gets POORER. No wonder so many of us are disillusioned by these men in white.

Sep 8, 2009, Truly Singapore, Singapore

The government controls nearly all available land and therefore controls the price of housing by determining the supply of land to build housing.

Sep 7, 2009, J Sim, Singapore

I feel my dreams crumbling right before my eyes

Sep 7, 2009, J L, Singapore

Valuation is crazy! COV is insane! We are robbed of our every single cent and will retire in poverty. Govt provides no help in controlling the prices. Statistics are selectively presented for false front. Common people with average income cannot afford housing. Divorced families have the hell of a time when they have to separate and buy a house just to live in. Amongst the torture of the divorce case, they have to endure the ridiculous prices and government rules hanging over their heads as they are not so lovely dovey couples buying and waiting for a first-time house while living with their parents. They have incentives to give birth to a litter. For people like us, no grants, no incentives, no house, no life, no nothing!

Sep 6, 2009, Anonymous, Singapore

The policies by MND is meant to CREATE asset inflation. It pushes the overall property prices as HDB new flats, resale flats and private property prices are very closely inter-twined. The policy makers know this and yet continue to push up prices. This will allow the rich, elites and ruling class to get richer as they own private properties as well as multiple properties. It increases their wealth substantially as their property and land banks increase in value with every asset inflation exercise by the government. The HDB heart-landers only get paper gains and spend their whole lives paying for these unaffordable homes. They have to go on reverse mortgage and have nothing to leave behind for their children. So, the cycle repeats with their children and grand children. The people who benefit are the rich, elites and ruling class ... They continue to sell-stock up-sell ... and they accumulate profits from these and more properties to give to their next generations ... This is getting too ridiculous ...

Sep 6, 2009, Ong CY, Singapore

Let all foreigners have this island. I am leaving Singapore within the next 5 years. I grew up a proud citizen and proud of our ministers but now I am totally disappointed. If I stay, I'll go bankrupt or have my flat repossessed. And all my hard-earned savings will forever remain in CPF, and ends up in thin air with our sovereign funds losses. CPF and extremely expensive public housing are tools used by the government to force you to stay in this island and suffocate to death.

Sep 6, 2009, HDB Officer, Singapore

I am a civil servant working in HDB. Like most of my colleagues, I feel that HDB has lost its direction in providing affordable housing to Singapore Citizens. The thick bureaucracy within MND has stifled staff input on the policies that the ministry implements. Why are foreigners eligible for public housing? Why do we have to expend our effort serving foreigners when we can better dedicate ourselves to serving the citizens? We meet the public everyday and we know their plight. But there is not much we can do because you most often are the one directly approving all these policies, and you are simply out of touch with what's happening. Please be less concerned about face-saving and show some genuine care for the citizens.

Sep 5, 2009, Danny Lim, Singapore

This issue will determine the young voters votes in the next election


  1. Anonymous says:

    The system is here to stay. Most people are quite willing to play the game of paying for HDB flat in anticipation of rising prices. With tight supply and ever increasing number of buyers, it is not easy for the system to crash. I believe the dissenters are in the minority.

  1. Fievel says:

    Yeah, I do think so too. I've spoken to too many friends who are apathetic towards the conditions of which they are put to live up with. It's not as if they are happy with it. It's just that many are almost behaving as if they are critically thinking about certain issues for the first time in their lives when I talk about it.

    There's also a very strong sense that we can't really change anything in Singapore, so why care?

  1. What struck me most about the petition is not so much the number of people who signed, but the number of people who left meaningful comments.

  1. By the way, you're almost at 20%. I do not think you should feel discouraged (correct me if I'm wrong), cos here are the number of new signatures over the days:

    Day 1 - 36
    Day 2 - 32
    Day 3 - 17
    Day 4 - 25
    Day 5 - 15
    Day 6 - 28
    Day 7 - 14

    Which is pretty impressive, imho.

  1. Fievel says:

    Ha, you have been monitoring eh. Well I was still of the idea that this petition might not make it to the 1000 mark, until this morning when LianHeZaoBao featured it.