The SDP notes with deep concern the plight of Singaporeans living in the Dawson Estate which is affected by the Government's acquisition program.
Under the Land Acquisition Act (LAA), the Government is acquiring land from citizens at a cheap rate and then selling it for profit, leaving the residents saddled with financial burdens. These acquisitions are an abuse and misuse of the LAA. Land acquired by the Government must be justified on the grounds that it will be used for the public and in the public's interest, for example, the widening of roads.
But in the case of Dawson, it is understood that the land will be partially sold to private developers, presumably, at market rate. If this is the case, why can't the residents be left to negotiate directly with the developers and secure for themselves equitable deals. There is no necessity for the Government to play the "middle man" in order to buy low and sell high.
Not only will the Government make a profit from the land sales, the monetary compensation to the residents and owners have been exceedingly dismal leaving many of the affected Singaporeans in dire straits. It is only right that the authorities ensure that residents, already going through anguish and stress by having to uproot and relocate, should be adequately compensated and not have to suffer even more hardship by making financial losses.
The Government latest move to "appease" the residents by agreeing to review the situation on a case-by-case basis is nothing but a ploy to divide and conquer. The SDP urges the residents not to fall for this but to stand together firmly. Singaporeans in general must also voice their displeasure in unity with the Dawson Estate residents on this latest unreasonable acquisition.
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