SDP responds to Lee Kuan Yew on housing

November 7, 2012
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

Mr Lee KuanYew said on Sunday that public housing in Singapore “has to keepup with the rising aspirations of Singaporeans.” On this point,he is absolutely right.$CUT$

Unfortunately, the skyrocketing prices have left an entire generation ofyounger Singaporeans see their aspirations go up in smoke. This iswhy the SDP idea of NOM flats would better meet theaspirations of the people.

NOM flats are sold at cost and are a fraction compared to the prices currently sold by theHDB.

With capital freedup from heavy housing loans, Singaporeans have the financial capacityto do what they really want to do – start a business, save for thechildren’s education, make the much needed renovations to theirflats, and so on. They cannot do all these if all their money is tiedup in their HDB flat.

Singaporeans who bought their flats previously will get their money they overpaid to HDB returned totheir CPF if they convert them to the NOM scheme. This would leave themenough funds for retirement to lead secure and decent lives – surelya big aspiration for retirees.

Mr Leealso said that “I’ve seentheir property values going up, five times, 10 times, 15 times, 20times.”

Yes, and what for? To feel rich? Underthe SDP Plan, Singaporeans don’t just have to feel rich. They canhave their NOM flats and not be indebted for the rest of their lives.They can have financial security and lead fulfilling lives.

Can Mr Lee guarantee that priceswill increase ad infinitum? Is he asking HDB owners to be propertyspeculators? What if the property market undergoes a severecorrection? What will he say to all those HDB owners who will bepaying 30-year mortgages on houses which have lost their value. ThinkJapan’s Lost Decades.

Mr Lee must stop propagating the toxicmyth that our home – an item that fulfills a basic need – can betraded like a commodity for profit.

The former Minister Mentor needs torealise that Singaporeans aspire to live a high quality of life.Quality of life has nothing to do with sitting on a flat worth amillion dollars on paper while buried in a mortgage that you spend your life paying – and then end up withoutsavings for retirement.

Quality of life has everything to dowith financial security and independence – a roof over our heads, healthy work-leisure balance, the means to fund our retirement andhealthcare, the time and opportunity to pursue our dreams andpassions – even as we provide for our families and help themrealize their potential.

That’s what Singaporeans’ rising aspirations are and that’s what the SDP housing plan will help to achieve.