Uproar against rental housing is a joke

Posted: February 9, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

It appears there is a hot new issue going around kopitiams regarding our beleaguered Mah Bow Tan and his housing policies. This time, it is regarding the issue of sudden decisions to build blocks of rental flats in Tampines and Pasir Ris for housing the growing army of homeless families of Singapore.

[refer: Straits Times: Uproar over new rental flats]

Apparently, HDB owners of adjacent blocks in these selected sites have gone to their respective MPs and HDB to protest against 2 issues;
1) HDB did not consult the surrounding residents before beginning work on building these rental flats
2) They have several concerns about having a block of homeless Singaporeans living next to their homes

What kind of jokers do we have among our midst?
Do they know what it means to be living in a HDB flat? It is public, subsidized housing! (though these days I beg to differ on the definition of 'subsidized')

Can these people get real please? Do they know that they are also renting their flats from HDB, except they did so with a 99 year or less lease? The homeless are just like any of us, except their finances have been caught short and they are in a homeless, or rather, long-term-rental-less plight. Please do grow some empathy!

If they are concerned that their HDB prices will be adversely affected by having another block so near to theirs, I think that is another ridiculous claim. Almost 90% of flats are going to have no clear open space next to them eventually, in fact, it is so certain that you should never purchase a flat with a nice plot of empty land next to it. You can only be more assured of your existing open spaces if you own a private property, or else get a new government who doesn't intend to squeeze 85% of the 6.5 million citizens into HDB pockets.

And since when has HDB or our government  bodies ever consulted the citizens before? Why are these guys crying foul only now? Did PAP consult the citizens when they decided to hike their ministerial salaries to obscene levels in 2006? No. Did they consult you when they decided to build the casinos? No. Did they consult you when they decided to increase our population to 6.5 million? No. A big fat NO. So stop pretending to be so surprised. (Somehow I think the joke is really on these fellas since they were the ones who voted Mah Bow Tan into Tampines in the first place.)

One particular thought fleeted across my mind as I read about this piece of news - why are there so many homeless citizens all of a sudden? Where are they living right now as these blocks are being built? It can't be they are all from Angsana home in Buangkok or Sembawang park's tents....maybe they are preparing to evict the citizens who have been falling behind on their HDB mortgages in recent years? Who knows?

All in all, I think we need a new Minister for National Development to take over Mah. Somebody with fresh perspectives and not just fancy spectacles. Somebody with a vision to proactively create a better life for our citizens through his/her work and not just someone defensive and always in denial of real problems.


  1. Anonymous says:


  1. This is a source for concern. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence that there is a strong sense of class chavaunism in Singapore, but this is a little extreme. I hope we find out just how many people actually feel this way around that to-be-built rental block. If the percentage is high, it's pretty bad.

    The way I see it, if true, the PAP's two-edged sword has finally come back to strike its wielder. People have become so obsessed with the "value" of their homes they will not tolerate people they perceive to be the "lower classes" to be their neighbors. At this rate, the government will have a bigger problem on their hands than merely the "racial mix" of HDB estates.

  1. Fievel says:

    Chee Wai,isn't it amusing and ironic that the HDB dwellers at one of the worst locations in Singapore, Tampines being about as far as it gets from city center, think that they should not have a rental block next to their homes?

  1. keithyip says:

    Have the people raised objections ever think of that their closed one or even themselves may need to stay in the rental flats one day with the ever increase in house pricing? Nowadays people are too uptight with anything to do their housing since it is the only asset they have after spending all their life time saving to purchase one. However we need to be open minded to many matters. Afterall Singapore is just a small country, there isn't much negative things that we can avoid. Do you still remember that Bishan was detested by many since it was used to be a cemetery? Just take a look at the current sitiuation now.

  1. Clara says:

    The information that you are shared in your blog is very informative.
    You did great job for this concept. I appreciate you. Thanks for shared this with us!
    In case you need help regarding property. Please visit at: