MND to SDP: Housing system only needs “fine-tuning”

November 15, 2012
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The Ministry of National Development (MND) declined the SDP’s invitation to discuss our proposals to resolve the problems that plague public housing in Singapore, saying that the system only needs “fine-tuning”. (See reply below)$CUT$

With prices escalating to alarming levels, the situation requires more than “fine-tuning”. The fact that the National Development Minister Mr Khaw Boon Wan adopts such an outlook shows just how out of touch the PAP Government is with the housing problems Singaporeans face.

What is needed are urgent reforms to the housing system and the SDP has proposed alternative ideas such as decoupling public housing from the vagaries of the open-market where flat prices are at the mercy of speculators and affluent buyers, many of whom are foreigners.

We have proposed the Non-Open Market (NOM) scheme where HDB flats are sold at cost (without land cost being factored in) and therefore significantly cheaper than flats under the current system. NOM flats will, however, not be allowed to be sold on the open market. 

We sent our Housing A Nation: Holistic Policies For Affordable Homes (read the paper here) to Mr Khaw, inviting him to discuss the matter. Sadly, however, his Ministry sees the matter as needing only “fine-tuning”.

9 November 2012

Dear Mr Jufrie,

Thank you for sharing SDP’s housingplan with us.

MND has also received suggestions fromother Singaporeans regularly. We welcome all feedback andsuggestions, as they help us fine tune our policies.

Yours sincerely,

Tan Pei Shan (Ms)
Deputy Director / Housing
for Permanent Secretary
Ministry of National Development

15 November 2012

Khaw Boon Wan
Minister
Ministry of National Development
Singapore

Dear Sir,

I thank you for your reply dated 9 November 2012through your Permanent Secretary.

It is incomprehensible that you wouldconsider the public housing in need of only “fine-tuning”.You seem not to understand the anger and frustration that Singaporeans have with the public housing system.

When the HDB markets a three-room flatfor nearly $800,000 the situation calls for drastic action, not “fine-tuning”. When Singaporeans are retiring without CPF savingsbecause they have sunk their funds into over-priced HDB flatsthe situation calls for an overhaul, not “fine-tuning”. When, ouryounger generation put off having children because they cannot affordbuying their own homes the situation calls for reform, not”fine-tuning”.

I hope that you will be able to seethat the problems Singaporeans face over housing are real and significant.

I invite you to give the housing situation in Singapore a full and publicairing by debating the SDP so that Singaporeans can compare and contrast the PAP’s systemwith the SDP’s plan. This will allow the people to see which policyis better for them and choose accordingly at the next elections.

Thank you.

Jufrie Mahmood
Chairman
Singapore Democratic Party