Looking at the HDB issue in perspective

I will break down the analysis in a few sections.

1. What is the original intention of building HBD flats?

When we dig into the Singapore’s history, HDB flats were built for the purpose of providing Singaporeans with simple, no-fuss and affordable public housing at a time when many Singaporeans were living in slums. They were not assets and were not built for the purpose of investments or as nest eggs to pass onto descendants.

2. Why the need to impose the 99-year lease?

Singapore has limited land and there is no choice on this matter. Land needs to be recycled for to be used for future generations. Incidentally, it was made known to all Singaporeans buying new HBD flats at the time of purchase that the value of HBD flats will go to zero at the end of the 99-year lease.

Honestly, it does not matter whether we termed the process of paying to stay in a HDB flat as “ownership” or “rental” or “lease”. We can call this process “ABC” or “DEF” or “GHI” … it does not matter because it is just semantics. Regardless of what we call it, when the HDB contract is signed, it was already cast in stone that the government of the day has the rights to take back the HDB flat at zero costs at the end of the lease.

Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with this process by itself. In fact, it is a necessity. Otherwise there will not be enough land to build homes for future generations.

3. So what went wrong?

In the 90s, the government started singing a different tune and gave the false impression that the HBD flat is an investment vehicle. In hindsight, there are many problems with the proposal of asset enhancement, which had resulted in HDB prices go skyrocket high.

An investment asset, by its nature, is purchased with excess money and is optional. In other words, one need not invest if one does not have excess money and one’s life should not be adversely impacted. This criterion is obviously not applicable to public housing, which is a basic necessity. This is especially so for the poor who does not have enough money to purchase private housing.

In any case, it is fallacious to even consider properties to be an investment vehicle when a family owns only one property. There is no way to realise any monetary gains even if the flat appreciates by more than 1,000 times. One has to sell away one’s house to realise the monetary gains, but will need to choose between buying another equally expensive house or living on the streets.

In fact, the asset enhancement of HDB flats is detrimental to the well-being of Singaporeans as it drastically increases the cost of living for the poor and for future generations of Singaporeans.

4. In that case, why did the government wanted to go down this path of asset enhancement?

If we dig into the history of politics in Singapore, the PAP used the asset enhancement programme to increase their vote percentage during elections in the 90’s. My father informed me that in those days, PAP prioritised the upgrading of HDB flats according to the percentage of votes they received. Flats in constituencies with high PAP vote percentage would be prioritised in the HDB upgrading programme. The value of the flats would increase and those PAP supporters would receive a “windfall”, at least on paper. Conversely, the HDB upgrading programme would be delayed for constituencies with low PAP vote percentage and was basically non-existent in the opposition wards.

Of course, the government could also collect more property taxes along with the appreciation of values of the HBD flats.

5. Why would most Singaporeans buy into such a dangerous scheme?

Singaporeans, by-and-large, displayed the herd mentality and were afraid of losing out in the HDB upgrading programme. And to make matter worse, the government took steps to make the asset enhancement programme convincing.

There were many senior ministers, including the likes of Lee KY, Goh CT and Lee HL, who publicly proclaimed that HDB flats (a) were nest eggs for Singaporeans, (b) would only increase in value and (c) the wealth belong to the owners of the HDB flats. With all of them singing the same tune, it was not easy to discern that they were either wrong or lying.

Since the earliest flats were built in the 60’s and no flats reached the end of their 99-year lease at that time, there was nothing to jolt the public back to reality. On the other hand, the payouts for HDB SERS en-bloc were very generous and these gave false impressions that the government would pay for old HDB flats and that HDB flats would only appreciate in value.

Furthermore, the government allowed CPF monies to be used to finance the monthly instalments for HDB flats. While this eased the financial burden of Singaporeans, it also allowed HDB flat prices to spiral out of control since Singaporeans did not feel the pinch of needing to set aside money to pay the monthly instalments.

6. Why VERS would not work?

Let us first do some simple estimation.

In 20 years time, when the VERS takes into effect, the population would easily be 6,000,000. As of today, about 80% of the population lives in HDB flats. If this ratio continues, it means that there will be about 0.8 x 6,000,000 = 4,800,000 people living in HDB flats.

Using an average of 4 persons living in a family, this translates to 4,800,000 ÷ 4 = 1,200,000 families living in HDB flats, that is, 1,200,000 flats. Even if VERS is extended to only 5% of the HDB flats, it means that the government will buy back 5% x 1,200,000 = 60,000 HDB flats.

No information is given on how much the government will compensate the HDB flat dwellers. But even if each flat is compensated merely $100,000 (so the old HDB flat dwellers need to top up to buy a new flat), then the government will have to fork out 60,000 x $100,000 = $6,000,000,000. Yes, you read that correctly. The government needed 6 billion dollars to buy back only 5% of all the HDB flats! How sustainable is this VERS project as more and more flats reach the end of their 99-year lease?

We have seen how much it costs Singaporeans to receive the Pioneer Packages and GST rebate vouchers in the past. Increases in water prices, electricity prices, gas prices, public transportation charges, car park charges, airport taxes, property stamp duties, service and conservancy charges, university fees, compulsory Careshield payments, ERP gantries and ERP charges … with GST coming soon after the next election. Honestly, I would rather Singaporeans not have the Pioneer Packages or GST rebate vouchers.

However, the cost of the Pioneer Packages or GST rebate vouchers is mere peanuts and is not anywhere close to $6,000,000,000. How is the government going to fund $6,000,000,000? More taxes and price increases?

Furthermore, VERS is not a one-time payment. Since HDB flats have 99-year lease, approximately 5% of flats will need to retire every 5 years. This means that 5 years after the first batch of flats got VERS, the next 5% batch of HDB flats will be ripe for VERS and the government will have to fund another $6,000,000,000. Where will the money come from?

Now can you see why no further details are given for the VERS, other than just an indication that the government will buy back old HDB flats at less generous payouts than SERS? In simple terms, Lee HL and his million dollar ministers probably already realised that this is not a workable solution. (I would be really worried if they could not see this.) But they still push it out in an attempt to buy votes, pretty much like how they buy votes with the asset enhancement programme in the 90’s.

Anybody who thinks a bit deeper would realise that this VERS is a desperate attempt for PAP to buy votes and the entire scheme has no chances of working. (Of course, Lee HL is probably not the Prime Minister 20 years down the road and the government of the day will need to bear the burden at that time.)

7. So what should be done now?

There are a few things that need to be urgently addressed. First, it is clear that HDB flats should not and could not be considered as investment vehicles and they should not be used to influence election preferences in future. The first immediate task is the need to ease HDB flat prices to what they were meant to be in the first place … to provide Singaporeans with simple, no-fuss and affordable public housing. There should be total clarity that HDB flats were meant to ensure that all Singaporeans can afford a comfortable home and not meant to be investment vehicles. If we used the income of average Singaporean families, take into account of the general affordability and bear in mind that HBD values would go down to zero at the end of the lease, HDB flats should be prices within the $100,000 to $200,000 range. Indeed, there are countries who define housing affordability as being able to pay off the entire mortgage within 5 years and it is no surprise that Singapore ranked to be the one of the most expensive country for residential properties.

Next, we also need to draft out some plans for Singaporeans residing in aged HDB flats. This would be a very tough problem as some of them had dumped their entire savings and CPF monies to purchase their HDB flats, only to realise that the values of their flats would go down to zero and that there are no buyers now. Incidentally, while I support Dr Tan Cheng Bock and I hope he would lead an Opposition Coalition to victory, I also realise that the new government would inherit a massive problem.
 

 
Cheryl Gupta

 

 

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33 Responses to “Looking at the HDB issue in perspective”

  • consensus by manipulation:

    Then why ddi u pay hundreds of ks for a lease if it is not investment vehicle?

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  • Malaysia boleh Singapore bodoh:

    Straits Times: Why HDB flat dwellers have the best of both worlds – Chua Mui Hoon

    “They own the flats and can profit from them, but HDB as lessor remains super landlord to provide subsidised upgrading throughout the 99-year lease.”

    Chua Mui Hoon is playing “fast-and-loose” with the facts(again) for the following reasons:

    1) What HDB “owners” “own” is just the right to stay (and resell) “air space” between two concrete slabs for 99-years. Unlike in a 99-year private condo, they do not own the land.

    2) The price of the “air-space” has gone up 30x over the last 5 decades, doubling in price since LHL became PM while wages were stagnant.

    3) Only the upgrading is subsidized, not the selling price of the flat. The former is insignificant compared to the latter. Even PM LHL (and PAP MPs) no longer say HDB flats are “subsidized”. They only say it is “affordable”. The fact is HDB makes so much profit selling new HDB flats it should not actually charge for the upgrading. But it does so it can “spin” that it is providing “subsidised upgrading”.

    4) HDB owners can profit from their HDB flat because PAP created an UNSUSTAINABLE property bubble. But this is really “funny money”. To realise the profit the flat has to be sold or at least use HDB Lease Buy Back Scheme. Where would the owner stay if he sells the entire remaining lease of the flat? Rent? Rental is expensive. Buy another flat? Then the profit made is given to the seller of the flat bought because this has also gone up in price together with the HDB flat sold.

    5) The fact is HDB owners needs to sell their flat BEFORE the end of the lease. Otherwise, they get NOTHING. Lawrence Wong told the TRUTH – HDB FLAT ARE WORTH ZERO AT THE END OF THE LEASE. THIS IS A FACT WHICH HIP1 AND HIP2 CANNOT CHANGE.

    6) If $100k is kept in CPF account earning 2.5% pa it would amount to $1.15M after 99-years with the compounding of interest earned. A similar amount kept in HDB flat would be worth ZERO at the end of the lease. A smart move by HDB owners is to get as much cash out of their flat asap by using the HDB Lease Buy Back Scheme with the sales proceed is put back in their CPF to earn interest and they still have a place to say.

    7) HDB flat is BASICALLY a depreciating asset. The proof is HDB Lease Buy Back Scheme. Not convinced? Check out the details of the scheme on the HDB website. It has a detailed example of how it works.

    8) The over-priced HDB resale market most likely will crash soon now that it has been clarified that there will be no lease extension, no conversion to freehold.

    MSM is going all-out with “spin” to placate HDB owners after it became clear after PM LHL Speech National Day Rally Speech that HDB flats will be…

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  • Malaysia boleh Singapore bodoh:

    True, a NEW REGIME would inherit a massive problem. But the Government also has massive reserves which can be used to solve the problem. In any case, REGIME CHANGE IS NEEDED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

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  • oxygen:

    I STOPPED READING AFTER SECTION 2 – no need to proceed any further. It is DISPLAY of MORONIC thinking. If ownership/leasing is a matter of “SEMANTIC” differentiation, why would PAPpys Shakespeares speak the language of “factually and legally” speak BUT WAS VERY VERY VERY CAREFUL NOT TO STIR THE HORNET’S NEST FURTHER by actually citing just ONE CASE LAW PRECIDENT and its compelling law rationale?

    Why would a law genius like M. Ravi invite a law debate and all PAPpy Shakespeare switched on their reset button to MUTE and SILENCE including MINLAW, maybe an OFFICIAL STATEMENT from HDB CEO (who already told peasants that she reserved the rights NOT to answer any question or specific questions in public forum) or the HEAD OF HDB LEGAL on the law or otherwise of this ownership/leasing controversy?

    OI OI OI, WE TAXPAYERS PAY THE MILLION-DOLLARS SALARIES OF THIS LOT OF PRIVILEGED ARISTOCRATS and we peasants have no right to be heard of our property (or fiction) rights we paid for with life-time savings and even our future retirement monkey which could and promised to be dwindled to evaporated ZERO?

    LEE-jiapore is NOT a fiack-shop where so-called natural aristocratic customers come in “fiack”, no pay and forget, then depart after their enjoyment ride of dumbfarked (yes, literally dumbfarked 70%) peasants!

    Is there no ownership rights to any purchase you paid for this amount of money?

    THE WRITER IN THIS THREAD IS A MORON unlimited. I didn’t read any further.

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  • Singapore Fooled Again n Again:

    QUOTE “When we dig into the Singapore’s history, HDB flats were built for the purpose of providing Singaporeans with simple, no-fuss and affordable public housing” UNQUOTE

    But now that government agencies have plenty of top decision makers earning top of the world salaries and unparalleled perks, their mindset changed.

    From serving the nation and its citizens, they feel the right to serve their paymasters and that’s why nearly all agencies will find ways, in any ways to make money for its masters so as to collect even better salaries and perks and the vicious cycle continue.

    The population at large will suffer as a result. Not just in HDB but in a wide number of other government services

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  • Boh Kia See:

    This is a problem all right. Everyone seems to be stirring from their sleep to realise that there is a problem.

    However, there is no point in letting the current PAP rulers decide on solving this problem that they have created. It would be better to let other parties like the Opposition Coalition or SDP reform this scheme and re-plan from the ground up. There is a better probability of success that let the PAP resolve it–they will not be able to do so.

    It seems to me that whatever schemes the PAP comes up with the citizens will end up poorer. Just take the Social Enterprise scheme operated through the Fairpice group as an example. It is a party that preys on the poor.

    I believe the appointed Milo President’s primary task is not to sign-off
    election results that are detrimental to the PAP. Then the mask will drop and we will be in a true blue dictatorship.

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  • More Important History:

    One very important point which was omitted is that when HDB was first conceived and sold, it was meant to be affordable public housing for masses.
    At that point in time, everyone has the trust in PAP government that when the issue of lease expiry comes, it is implicitly implied that somehow it would be renewed without fanfare without issue or suitable relocation by government, taking into account of the original intent of housing for masses, after all it was also the PAP good intention to provide affordable housing for the people.

    Down the road in the late 80s, things began to change, the costs of land was slowly creeped in and factored into the selling price the for HDB making it no more “an affordable housing” for the masses. This also tied in to the benchmarking of state land to that of CBD, artificially inflated land costs, fueling the selling prices of HDBs.

    The discussion of current issues cannot ignore the context of which HDB gradually deviating from it’s original goal and entered into the state of “profiteering” where state land, which the PAP claimed as scarce resources, cannot be sold “cheaply”.

    The changes to the housing policies and historical events cannot be ignored in the discussion of current issue of HDB lease, where the author failed to address appropriately.

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  • Enron Scandal:

    If the 70% who do not wake up, and if they still think that this G will lead our Nation into a wealthy Nation then you will be in a very sorry stage as your future generation will curse you.

    He is a mathematician and he tries to do some magic to the GDP – the Carbonaro Effect? Read the Enron Scandal and comment if we will be in the same situation.

    We have to bite the bullet now and kick all of them out ASAP

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  • Dr. Chan:

    @Cheryl Gupta
    First thing the Opposition Coalition (if they win GE – pray hard they do win) should do is to open up PAP’s books e.g in Temesek, GIC, GLC etc. Freeze all assets of PAP ministers, confiscate all ill gotten gains, detain, convict and send them to jail. Return everything to the ordinary hard working true blue Singaporeans. Let the corrupt PAP government get a taste of their own medicine and get what they deserve (payback).

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  • clown pap + gang are S$m liars:

    clown pap sang the tune, asset enhancement of HDB, adding, if you vote clown pap your HDB value goes up.

    since paper cannot cover fire, clown pap clan member laulan wong told 70% sheep the truth last year 2017, that HDB is consumption and its value goes to zero at end of lease.

    like the 9% GST trial balloon, the HDB zero value at end of lease, and not an asset holding value, caused clown pap and gang S$m liars sleepless nights.

    because clown pap and gang S$m liars know as soon as 70% sheep turns against clown pap, they, clown pap S$m gang members, must run road.

    so what to do?

    aha.

    CONverse with 70% sheep some more.

    out comes VERs and HIP2.

    but this time, pap clown was very cautious. pap clown says, with VERs and HIP2, HDB value after 60+ years can still go up, BUT, this time, with a truthful but, the HDB value still goes to zero at end of lease.

    of course 70% sheep cannot agree with pap clown about zero value HDB.

    so, since NDR2018, one clown clan member after another, come out strongly to continue the CONverse with 70% sheep. just a few days ago, the malaysian khaw boon hwan even said HDB after 50+ years still value can go up.

    what a bunch of S$m liars.

    we declare we have no hand in the lies. because we have known pap to be liars since independence. we have never voted pap. never will.

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  • Housing Affordability:

    Now that the ASSET ENHANCEMENT play has officially fizzled out, and given the increasingly dreary economic realities faced by the younger generation (in terms of jobs, wages and costs of living and doing business), it is time to come out of the induced delusion of building wealth through property.

    It would be good enough if the younger generation can:
    (1) buy their (first) home (likely a HDB flat for at least 90% of our young) to start their families; and
    (2) reserve as much of their CPF savings (Ordinary Account) as possible for their eventual retirement years.

    They should not be enticed into DEBT SLAVERY for the rest of their working lives (servicing 30-year mortgage loans) in the false hope of their HDB flats serving as stores of value or accumulating wealth. Such DEBTs can only serve to feed the banks and developers, and show up as GDP growth.

    It is time to break out of the strangulation by the government-developer-banker nexus. There must be more productive ways of driving up the GDP than by hyper-inflating home prices.

    It may become necessary to consider bringing (A) all HDB flats under a Housing Cooperative – which would be more transparent in matters of costs and pricing, unlike the opaque and politicised HDB and the Town Councils – and (B) financing through a truly public (cooperative) bank, to break the stranglehold of private bankers and developers. It would be a powerful cooperative representing and fully accountable to more than 80% of householders in Singapore.

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  • Gary Wan:

    Cheryl Gupta, that’s a good analysis on the Singapore public housing problem. I don’t think the PAP government is not aware of it! They are not sure of the majority vote down the road, so create the problem for the next government to handle while they wash their hand of it. Vote PAP again, lah!! You ask for it, so…….!!

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  • John Richards:

    You are right Cheryl. Especially the part about the next Government. I believe PM is having a tough time convincing his preferred choice to step up and become the next PM. Those who are in the running are aware that whoever is chosen will be accepting a poisoned chalice. Those close to the PM know how deep the problems run. If they don’t already know it, he has to tell them the real state of our reserves. There is no getting around it!

    Once the next stooge accepts the appointment, technically PM is off the hook. Somebody else will be left holding the can. If the PAP wins the next couple of elections, they can probably keep pulling the wool over the people’s eyes. By that time PM will probably be dead and gone. So the next PM will become the bad guy and accused of mismanaging the Government.

    The average Singaporean will not be able to figure out that policies put in place solely by LKY, after the retirement of the 1G leaders, will be responsible for the chaos that must follow. Those of you who are regular visitors of this site know what those policies are. The looming HDB problem is just one of them.

    Maybe that is the reason for all the talk about Ministers not being paid enough. Perhaps the next PM feels he deserves a lot more if he is to drink from this poisoned chalice and bear the full brunt of the people’s wrath and fury.

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  • Anonymously:

    I felt painful when hearing the speeches (not sure Who or Khaw) which jokingly said our parents made a lot of money selling the hdb flats at high prices, meaning that we should be grateful to the asset enhancement policy. But the sucker who bought at high price could very well be the same audience amongst us Singaporeans, right? We can’t possibly derive satisfaction from cheating our own people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???!!. There are hundreds of thousands of such buyers cheated by the policy makers’ false promises and market manipulations, and the tragedy is that these hapless ones are the very same uncles and aunties around us, not some overnight run and go, non-Singaporean speculators

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  • Homeless Cat:

    Very true, Cheryl. If the opposition won, they WILL have to deal with PAP’s mess. But we can put the monkey and the devil on the backs of the latter. As they used fear and are motivated by greed to line their pockets, so shall we empty theirs and make them kneel and beg.

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  • waste of time zzz:

    @Cheryl Gupta

    good article.. however it is too late to revert to the original intention of hdb flats – affordable public housing. it has become a money making machine for the MIW.

    many have lost their life savings by paying off their hdb flats to be told that they dont own and will lose it at the end of 99 years? this is the biggest problem when the G screws with the roof over the common folks’ head.

    by the way, look at how G’s lapdog chua mu* h**ng tried to hoodwink the masses in her commentary? they are super desperate to do damage control..

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  • PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20:

    consensus by manipulation:
    Then why ddi u pay hundreds of ks for a lease if it is not investment vehicle?

    Dear consensus by manipulation

    Cheryl Gupta is totally wrong, just like many readers here who think they are renting instead of being owner.

    HDB is your own property and it is an investment vehicle and will appreciate in value over time as our PAP founding father LKY already told the nation.

    Nov 13, 2010
    MM: Don’t sell your flat

    HDB flat owners should not sell their flats, as they are assets that will appreciate in value year after year, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on Saturday night.

    HDB flat is like your spouse, recycle your Husband or Wife out before he or she hit 40 years old and their wrinkle and white hairs start showing all over and depreciate in value.

    Look, here is the real PAP HDB news.

    See, HDB Flat Breaks Million-Dollar Mark
    https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2015/1/81200/hdb-flat-at-pinnacleduxton-breaks-million-dollar-mark

    Buy property and vote PAP.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN 2019/20
    -PC Ong: GE19 or 20, it will be a comfortable victory for PAP.
    -PAP Huat ..
    Huat .. Huat .. Ministers are not paid enough..
    -Singaporeans must TIGHTEN belt, DOWNSIZE so that PAP ministers can UPSIZE their salaries and not suffer a drop in their living standard.
    -Singaporeans vote PAP in support of 9% GST so that minister will get paid > 500K and no longer mediocre
    -Singaporeans vote PAP in support of 30% water increase so that minister will get paid > 500K and no longer mediocre
    -Singaporeans vote PAP in support of PAP more import of FT to…

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  • LIONS:

    The problem is HDBs are over-priced.
    The LEASE can be easily resolved.
    Just GRANT EXTENSIONS PF LEASE?

    Let HDB REMAINS PUBLIC HOUSING for COMMON sgs.
    Stop HELPING NON-sgs from profiteering from HDB ownership.

    Problem created by anti-sgs POLICIES formulated mostly by FT-SCHOLARS especially the early batches of MALAYSIAN CHINESE PRs HOLDING SENIOR PISITIONS in govt agencies.

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  • oxygen:

    2 Malaysia boleh Singapore Bodoh

    MATE, CONGRATULATIONS, FANTASTIC POST REBUT OF YOUR ILLUMINATIONS TO STRAITS TIMES SEXED UP spin of falsehoods except this slip up below.

    You should have said HDB flat is BASICALLY a DEPRECIATING LIABILITY instead.

    Malaysia boleh Singapore bodoh: HDB flat is BASICALLY a depreciating asset.

    Many peasants found out the hard way of a one-deadly punch on the face that they have to pay resale levy -long after their departed parents have gone and the flat their parent lived in were sold – simply because they put a name to contribute CPF to help their financially desperate retrenched parents in filial piety.

    They only found out this poison of resale levy when they later got married and tried to apply for a new BTOs in their own name for the first time.

    HDB claimed that this couple already previously owned a “subsidized” flat simply because one of them has a name on their parent’s lease which HIS/HER NAME was included DECADES AFTER HDB SOLD TO THEIR PARENTS LONG PAST.

    PAPpy claims HDB dwellers are owners because they keep their “profit” on sale of their flat BUT STOICALLY SILENT THAT THEY DEMANDED AND EXTRACT PART OF THE PROCEEDS OF SALE BY IMPOSITION OF A RESALE LEVY – in actuality a capital gain tax that is ILLEGAL WHICH IRAS DARE NOT COLLECT EVEN.

    So HDB is a DEPRECIATING LIABILITY.

    and BTW if Chua Mui Hoong is correct, I wonder why K. Shanmugam from MinLAW so silent when he could have accepted M. Ravi’s invitation to debate. Remember K. Shanmugam was very brave and quick to come to Siah Kiang Peng’s side on the KL summit controversy.

    Head of Legal, HDB, MND, and HDB CEO also all DIAM DIAM DIAM till now, right?

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  • oxygen:

    @ Housing Affordability

    BRILLIANT PATRIOTIC POST COMMENT – the truth is that the asset enhancement politics was a ROTTEN SCAM transferring wealth from the peasant poor to the rich.

    Any public mind with an economic bent can see through this ROTTEN DECEPTION. Buying expensive property is simply EXPANDING YOUR LIABILITY, how can so many IDIOTS not fathom the SIMPLE IRREVOCABLE LOGIC that you can NEVER make it rich by EXPANDING your debt?

    PAPpys exploited peasants utter gullibility and naivety to the maximum of political vote buying deception.

    I keep saying this – 70% of the peasants are INCREDIBLY TOO STUPID TO EVEN BEGIN TO DISCOVER THEY ARE STUPID TO IMPOSSIBILITY.

    Any intelligent mind will NEVER gets HORNY on property seduction – it is straight out PURE GAMBLING SPECULATION.

    But sadly, the buy-property-vote-PAPpys morons simply won’t wake up. They are now trapped and richly deserves it.

    Housing Affordability: Now that the ASSET ENHANCEMENT play has officially fizzled out, and given the increasingly dreary economic realities faced by the younger generation (in terms of jobs, wages and costs of living and doing business), it is time to come out of the induced delusion of building wealth through property…………It is time to break out of the strangulation by the government-developer-banker nexus. There must be more productive ways of driving up the GDP than by hyper-inflating home prices.

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  • Ponzi HDB:

    Great article, you nailed it.
    Good to know that some Singaporeans are able to think.
    It was started by the British under SIT with very good social intent.
    Like you wrote, it morphed into a political tool around mid 1980s.
    They also hoodwinked sinkies with GRC then.
    GE 1984 saw a more than 12% swing against the papiggies partly because of Graduate Mother Scheme and the elitist policies that exist to this day
    1980–77%
    1984–64% GRC started.
    1988–63%.
    So after GE 1980, they were very desperate. Panic buttons of GRC and Asset Enhancement Ponzi were hit to stem the tide against them.
    Politicians will do anything to stay in power!

    Loser Looney will definetly passed this Gordian knot to the next governments; HIP 2, 3…7. and VERS 1, 2 …7 kick the can down the road.
    Meanwhile Looney and Ka-Ching continue to gross probably more than $50 million in income from tax coffers.
    Her salary is top state secret; more secretive than the actual cost of building a HDB flat.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Waste of time ZZZ

    GOOD OBSERVATIONS BELOW – but the fart-knockers going for the backsides of peasants are “gay” of truth and falsity distortions. They know that peasants DON’T BUY their ‘factually and legally” public exhortations which is exposed as mere fart of fictions. None in that tribe came up with even citation of ONE CASE LAW PRECEDENT to support their “factually and legally” claims – an OBVIOUS GIVEAWAY of concealed deception agenda and nudity of law substance therein.

    SO IN DESPERATION, LIES BECOME TRUTH GETS A GOOD SOLID WORKOUT OF SEXED-UP spin. A lot of peasants still didn’t know that the universal law definition and application of “property” is LAND and whoever the owns the LAND (i.e. landlord) owns the property. The rests are chattels of temporary transient subject-matter, legally has no enduring value because they can be destroyed or simply decay over time.

    IS THERE ANY LANDLORD EXISTING IN THE REST OF THE WORLD providing “subsidy” to their lessee (aka tenant) repair and maintenance OF SUCH UNGODLY DIVINE CHARITY OF HEARTS AND THOUGHTS IN CIVILISATION? I haven’t.

    I know of landlords who repaired and maintained lease (rent out) property because the ENDURING BENEFITS of such repair/maintenance flows eventually back to the sole benefit of the landlord.

    IF THE LESSEE OR TENANT CO-PAY FOR SUCH REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE, it means THE PEASANTS ARE SUBSIDISING THEIR FEUDAL LANDLORDS and in LEE-jiapore such specimen example of NOBILITY FEUDALISM won’t even pay market rates for car parking use which ALL PEASANTS MUST PAY.

    HOW MORE DISGUSTING THIS SHAMELESS FART OF FICTION CAN DEGENERATE DOWN TO??

    waste of time zzz: it is too late to revert to the original intention of hdb flats – affordable public housing. it has become a money making machine for the MIW.

    many have lost their life savings by paying off their hdb flats to be told that they dont own and will lose it at the end of 99 years? this is the biggest problem when the G screws with the roof over the common folks’ head.

    by the way, look at how G’s lapdog chua mu* h**ng tried to hoodwink the masses in her commentary? they are super desperate to do damage control..

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  • Nice analysis ...:

    I like section (4) and (6). These two sections are definite take-aways from this article.

    Section (4) – PAP created the asset enhancement programme using HDB upgrading. All this for the sake of increasing PAP vote share in elections.

    The end result is that PAP won the elections and Singaporeans have to pay expensive prices for HDB flats. And the entire HDB programme is now running like a massive Ponzi Scheme and whoever comes in near the tail-end will suffer the brunt of the loss.

    At the end of the day, PAP sacrificed the well-being of the entire country so that they stayed in power!

    Only one word comes into my mind – DESPICABLE!

    Section (6) – VERS will pay $6 billion for every $100k compensation to old HDB flat dwellers every 5 years. It is an extremely conservative estimate since the number of HDB flats is based off a 6 million population 20 years down the road. If the average compensation is $200k, VERS will pay $12 billion. If the average compensation is $300k, VERS will pay $18 billion and so on. Honestly, at of this moment, what sort of HDB flat can we even buy with $100k, the figure as given in the original article?

    Nobody came up with any figures in the past and I had thought that VERS was only another election gimmick. But the figures in this articles look approximately correct and if anything, they are conservative estimates. The real costs will be even higher and so VERS is not even workable … at least not with massive costs and dragging Singapore further into Hell.

    Two words now come into my mind – IRRESPONSIBLE and DESPICABLE!

    Yes, Chery, you are (unfortunately) correct.

    Thanks for your enlightening insights! I am going to forward this article to as many friends as possible, including PAP supporters. It would be interesting to see what PAP has to say over the two points raised in this article or if they will just keep quiet or if they come up with another VERS 2 programme.

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  • HarderTruths:

    You have done a lot of work Cheryl – thank you for the education.

    From all of this we know only these things

    1. The government has no idea what to do about the HDB 9 year lease.

    2. The government is throwing smoke as VERS etc. – in the hope this will calm their audience and they will go to a getai instead.

    3. When the time comes to actually do something, they will try

    HDB upgrading (which you pay for),
    HDB compensation or buyback increased amounts (which you pay for),
    HDB gets grants from government (which comes from tax and inflation you pay for)

    So really this is all a wayang. The citizens will never get to own anything like a property as they are slaves.

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  • Always Remember:

    It is not “what is”, it is always “What said”.

    99 years lease is always a lease but what have you been “told” all these years?

    99 years lease is always a lease but what have you been “promised” all these years?

    It was never about “Why the need to impose the 99-year lease?”, it is always about why need to make imposter 99-years “owner”?

    Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with this process by itself. In fact, it is a necessity. Otherwise there will not be enough land to build homes for future generations.

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  • Bapak:

    Therefore, the old evil down there said Sinkies are daft from point 3 onwards because Sinkies bought his SSTK Song.

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  • waste of time zzz:

    @ PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20:

    the more i read your comments, the more i think that you are a disillusioned singaporean and not a pappy. good sarcasm there :)

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  • rukidding:

    Sincerity, Honest and Integrity….thats what I see in Tan Cheng Bok ( as compared to the current d**honourable Son )

    I support Tan Cheng Bok as the next DR M of the New Singapore !

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  • oxygen:

    @ Harder Truth

    INDEED, ALL PEASANTS IN LEE-jiapore ARE SLAVES. I have never heard of anyone Down Under bought a house sitting on a piece of land owned by the Crown (State) or another.

    HarderTruths: So really this is all a wayang. The citizens will never get to own anything like a property as they are slaves.

    If it ever happens, the owner of the house is a FIACKING SLAVE – not just financially BUT SEXUALLY TOO. The landlord who owns the land under the house will hold the house (chattel) owner to ransom and blackmail – YOU DO AS I TOLD YOU TO MY ABSOLUTE SATISFACTION AND DECADENCE or I take repossession of MY LAND, and you will be legally commanded by common law application to DEMOLISH YOUR HOUSE ABOVE THAT LAND.

    Alternatively, you can simply surrender your house to me for zero value without supplying all your orifices for my pleasure enslavement of you together with it as my concession to you.

    Structures above the land as JUST TEMPORARY chattels and TRESPASS on the land.

    SLAVES INDEED!

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  • oxygen:

    @ Harder Truth

    WHICH IS WHY CHERYL GUPTA GOT IT ALL WRONG when she wrote this paragraph in reference to PAPpys FAKE NEWS justification of the “necessity” of land recycling for future generations fiction.

    Cheryl Gupta:2. Why the need to impose the 99-year lease?

    Singapore has limited land and there is no choice on this matter. Land needs to be recycled for to be used for future generations. Incidentally, it was made known to all Singaporeans buying new HBD flats at the time of purchase that the value of HBD flats will go to zero at the end of the 99-year lease.

    Honestly, it does not matter whether we termed the process of paying to stay in a HDB flat as “ownership” or “rental” or “lease”. We can call this process “ABC” or “DEF” or “GHI” … it does not matter because it is just semantics. Regardless of what we call it, when the HDB contract is signed, it was already cast in stone that the government of the day has the rights to take back the HDB flat at zero costs at the end of the lease.

    Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with this process by itself. In fact, it is a necessity. Otherwise there will not be enough land to build homes for future generations.

    PEASANTS’ GULLIBILITY AT ITS BEST! How does PAPpys knows

    - what population size then will be then when this is not a arithmetic calculation of addition and subtraction and it is a PUZZLE-SOLVING fantasy now of multiple unknowns and derivations of sustainable economy & jobs creation?

    - what land size will be then given changing sea level of climate change impact when global melting might shift economic pendulum northward to China, Japan, Korea even Russia and Lee-jiapore depleted of economy and surviving population base?

    - it is not better to recycling land now but return land to peasants to enable en bloc recycling of public housing as an ON-GOING PROCESS SAME AS PRIVATE CONDO as the economy naturally evolves over time to match population size and land use demand?

    REFUSAL TO RETURN LAND TO PEASANTS IS UNLAWFUL LAND GRAB BY DECEPTION when they paid for that with life-time savings and future retirement security now. IT IS A MORAL CESSPOOL to tell peasants that they are owner of their LEASED dwelling when some hidden entity owns the land below that which the law calls “property” – NOT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM THEFT OF PEASANTS CPF past 55 and telling them in that political zoo that CPF is not our money!

    Or is it not?

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  • oxygen:

    @ HARDER TRUTH

    WHEN ECONOMY DRIVES POPULATION, you creates wealth, less overburden of unproductive population overload.

    When POPULATION SIZE DRIVE ECONOMY – you get an Eat-n_Sh*t economy, over-population, jobless or poverty jobs everywhere (like India and many of the Muslim non-oil rich emergent economies like Eqypt, Pakistan, BlangaDesh etc etc), survival resting on population recycling economics (the poor dump into the waste heap and the middle-class lives through bouts of poverty joblessness) and NO NATIONAL ECONOMIC FUTURE -perpetually struggle to keep heads above water. It is like a drowning man paddling in the water harder and harder to stay afloat BUT WON’T BE LONG IT WILL BE DROWNED TOO.This is what is happening in LEE-jiapore now. The middle class vaporizing, the poor struggling hand to mouth, hidden unemployment everywhere (POLITICIANS LIVING IN DENIAL OF REALITY) AND THE FOREIGN INFLUX NEEDS A BIGGER AND BIGGER LOAD AND SCALE to keep LEE-jiapore from sinking faster – compounding existing disintegration and collapsing economic pillars.

    IT IS OBVIOUS, Lee-jiapore economy will reduced to a standstill, if we take out the 0.75 million cheap foreign construction workers now digging up good concrete constructions every day and re-doing in all over again – what wealth does that creates of economy? More eating, more shi*tting, more GST of taxing from mouth to anus, more crowded MRT rides, runaway supermarket food prices, more expensive healthcare BUT WHERE IS THOSE JOBS PAYING HIGHER WAGES TO AFFORD costs of living escalation?

    Tharman told Indian officials and foreign journalist in New Dehli in 2017 that LEE-jiapore relying on foreign influx to keep the economy wheel churning is BOTH POLITICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY STUPID.

    WHO SAYS HE WAS WRONG??

    ARE WE GOING TO STAY ON THIS PATH OF POPULATION RECYCLING ECONOMIC OF EVER-EXPANDING POPULATION VIA FOREIGN INFLUX, BUILD MORE HOUSING/INFRASTRUCTURE, DEVOUR ALL LAND and no sustainable economic base creation in reality of FALSE WEALTH CREATION ECONOMY?

    This is what we get if POPULATION SIZE EXPANSION IS THE MAIN DRIVER OF FALSE ECONOMY as we now seeing.

    PAPpys wants to confiscate and store land for “future generations” of eat-n-shit economy?

    ANY DUMFARKED ECONOMIST WILL TELL YOU THAT HUMAN POPULATION EATS AND SH*T as much as it creates of economic wealth (how much in %tage term of your income is saved for retirement??). It is WEALTH-DEPLETION in consumption and if no sustainable income is created, you know where these peasants will end up in, right?

    What creates wealth? Innovation and technology. Productive capital just grow itself. WHY STUPID LEE-JIAPORE ONLY GROWS POPULATION?

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  • Property Ownership/Inheritance:

    At the NDR Rally 2018, PM LHL recognised that the matter of property ownership and inheritance would split society, leading to the “most unequal, and socially divisive” outcomes. In order to understand the full context of this point, it is worth reading attentively the relevant excerpt of his speech as reproduced below:

    There is one fundamental reason why HDB leases are for 99 years and that is, we need to be fair to future generations. Let me explain. HDB sells the flat to you for 99 years. You own it, and you can pass it on for one or two generations. After that, the flat returns to the state, the Government redevelops the land, and builds new flats for future generations. This is the only way to recycle the land and ensure that all our descendants can buy new BTO flats of their own. If instead the Government had sold you the flat on freehold, that means in perpetuity. Sooner or later we would run out of land to build new flats for future generations. The owners would pass their flats down to some of their descendants, many generations into the future. Those lucky enough to have a flat, they become flat owner. Those not lucky enough to inherit a property would get nothing. So our society would split into property owners and those who cannot afford a property. I think that would be most unequal, and socially divisive. So, that is why 99 year leases are not just for HDB flats. In fact, for private housing also, the Government only sells land on 99 year leases.
    https://www.pmo.gov.sg/national-day-rally-2018

    Actually, Singapore society is already trapped in some of the “most unequal, and socially divisive” conditions relating to property ownership and inheritance :

    (1) The purported “owners” of HDB flats are denied ‘ownership’ rights to the underlying land even though they have paid for the land as part of the purchase price of their HDB flats, whereas any private property owner is also a land owner, including private condo owners by virtue of their strata titles.

    (2) The selection criteria for HDB precinct en-bloc (effectively premature recycling), whether SERS or, in future, VERS, are such that they treat HDB flat “owners” – nearly 85% of Singaporeans – in a “most unequal, and socially divisive” manner.

    (3) If 99-year leaseholds would enable land recycling, why are there still freehold properties in this land-short island?

    Having had mounted and ridden the PROPERTY PONZI tiger – stirred up by the ASSET ENHANCEMENT policy since the 1990s – it has now become exceedingly tricky to dismount without causing even more of the “most unequal, and socially divisive” outcomes.

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  • Be careful:

    “After that, the flat returns to the state, the Government redevelops the land, and builds new flats for future NEW CITIZENS.This is the only way to recycle the land and ensure that all our NEW CITIZENS can buy new BTO flats of their own. If instead the Government had sold you the flat on freehold, that means in perpetuity. Sooner or later we would run out of land to build new flats for future NEW CITIZENS.”

    Why do we need more land for housing in the future when our true blue population is declining?

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