Today, I filed a Motion to debate the many issues in our public housing at the next Parliament sitting. We will debate the Motion on 6 Feb 2023, subject to the approval of the Speaker.
My Motion reads:
(i) deliver affordable and accessible HDB flats to all Singaporeans,
(ii) strengthen the owner-occupation intent of public housing,
(iii) protect retirement adequacy, and
(iv) keep public housing inclusive to every Singaporean of each generation.
I hope that members on the other side of the House will debate in good faith on the real issues, instead of misrepresenting my arguments or casting aspersions on my motivations.
During the recent parliamentary sitting on 10 Jan 2023, Minister Desmond Lee claimed that I called “for land to be sold at historical cost” to HDB, and that this approach may result in Singaporeans also having to sell their HDB flats at historical cost. This was a misrepresentation of a point that I made in my Facebook post on 8 Dec 2022, which the Minister also quoted in Parliament as the basis for his claims.
In that Facebook post, I had said: “In my opinion, the pricing of HDB flats should only account for construction costs and price differences between locations. This was arguably the case in the late 1980s, when the total land cost accounted for a substantially lower share of the total price of an HDB flat. Land costs should be taken out of the picture, because much of the land used for building HDB flats was surrendered by the Pioneer Generation to the government for a relatively modest sum under the Land Acquisition Act between the 1970s and the 1980s.”
It should be quite evident to Singaporeans that I am arguing for land cost to be taken out of the pricing of HDB flats, and not that HDB flats should be priced based on the historical cost of land or that land should be sold to HDB at historical cost.
Instead of historical cost pricing, I will be putting up some substantial policy recommendations for debate and I can assure you that none of those policies will lead to a “raiding of our reserves”.
We call on the Government to be open to alternative ideas, be transparent about the true situation of our public housing, and trust that everyone on both sides of the House has Singapore’s interests at heart, so that this debate can be a good starting point for a solution that resolves the many issues in our public housing policies today.
There will be no winners or losers in this debate – but all Singaporeans will lose if we allow the status quo to continue.
Singaporeans deserve better.
For Country For People.