Demand Change!

Chua Chin Leng lambasted the Govt for its $100 “token” of appreciation to NSMen today*. He said such tokens are not commensurate with the risk and sacrifice our citizen-soldiers have to go through. He added that if the Govt expects its citizens to sacrifice themselves for the country, it should guarantee housing for all citizens.

Much as I agree with Chua on the stupidity of the “token” gesture from the Govt and the injustice he feels, I believe he’s on the wrong track, along with many other Singaporeans. Unfortunately, this is caused by the entitlement mentality that the PAP has bred in Singaporeans for over 50 years.

How many countries have conscription? Of these, how many guarantee their citizens a roof over their heads? Is there a link between the two?

In most countries, people do not live in public housing, very simply because they feel that public housing should be subsidised and subsidies should be given only to the very poor, not to 100% or even 80% of the population.

In such countries, public housing means cheap rent-controlled housing for the really poor people. For instance, they call it Council Housing in the UK, and only the poor qualify. Everyone else buys or rents from the market, although there is of course the expectation that the Govt ensures there is sufficient housing stock and property price stability. But they do not want the Govt to be their landlord.

Here instead we have the expectation that the Govt should provide housing for everyone, along with everything else. And when the Govt doesn’t provide, they complain— yet they dare not vote out the PAP when things don’t go their way.

Singaporeans have become too dependent on the Govt. We are like children who never grow up, never leave our parent’s home, who continue to demand an allowance from our parents even after we’ve grown up.

It’s not good for Singaporeans, frankly. It makes us way too dependent on the Govt, and indirectly, on the PAP. That’s why Singaporeans have such a poor record of entrepreneurship, creativity, etc. Because we want the Govt to lead in everything.

If we want real change, demand empowerment, not entitlement.

So do not demand for a HDB flat just because you’ve done NS.

Demand land sales so that prices of housing can come down.

Demand that the Govt stop ruling our lives through HDB regulations and policies, so that we don’t have ethnic quotas for HDB estates.

Demand that HDB turn over the management of flats to the people, in the same way that condo developers turn over the management of condos to management corporations after construction.

Demand to form our own management committees so we can set out own bye-laws, decide how many dogs or cats we can keep in our own HDB flats and not be ruled by some edict from HDB.

Demand that HDB stop being our landlord.

Demand that the PAP stop interfering in our lives.

Demand change!

* There are conspiracy theorists who believe that the $100 token to NSmen is a move to inject $900M into the economy to head off a “technical” recession. How about them apples?


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Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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13 Responses to Demand Change!

  1. Fox says:

    Actually, in the US, high-tech entrepreneurship is the highest in states like California, Massachusetts and New York. Strangely enough, these states have the highest level of state services like schools, public housing, public transportation and medical care. Having lived in the US for years, I can vouch for the fact that entrepreneurs are not flocking to solidly Republican states like Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi.

  2. redbean says:

    Hi, I can agree with all your demands. But you failed to see the points that I am making. In the first place the subsidy mentality is not in the people but in the govt. Just think a little and you will understand why I said this.

    As for public housing, the people are not asking for free housing. The people are paying for it. They just want the right to buy, not subsidies. And the prices of public housing is not cheap today. The new launches are near a million. Private is even worst.

    The pain is that new citizens are eligible to buy while our own citizens, who sacrificed so much are not allowed to. In the past, no one even harp about their sacrifices for doing NS. But when they found out that they are getting a raw deal, anger creeps in. Why sacrifices to benefit new citizens while they got deprived themselves, victimised, alienated by their own govt? Hope you can see the difference. No one is asking for free handouts, just to be treated a bit fairer.

    Chua Chin Leng

    • Thanks for clarification. I think new citizens are also subject to the same income limits for hdb. Notwithstanding the above, I didn’t say you ask for free housing. I am saying one should ask govt to get out of housing in the first place. Because when we depend on them for housing, it gives hdb so much control over our lives, and makes Singaporeans too reliant on it.

  3. patriot says:

    Chin Leng is not demanding for FREE HOUSING LAh, he just wish that citizens as a whole rather than just NS Men, be allowed to buy Public Housing.
    Like him, me too sees no reason why citizens above a certain income level are barred from buying HDB Units. Maybe, Chin Leng, liked me, does not believe that our so-called HDB Housing is much subsidized. In fact, most Singaporeans believe that HDB is making tons of money as the Largest Develooper in Sin. Do not take my words; just ask any dick, tom and harry, they are likely to say the same thing.

    Anyway, i am in full agreement with all your stated points.


    • I agree he is not asking for free housing. But he is still stuck in the old mindset for govt to provide for the people. I prefer to liberate the people’s minds, to free them from the PAP.

  4. Remy says:

    Did UK forces its citizen to serve national service?
    Did the govt pay the servicemen reasonably well during the 2-2.5 years of service?
    Is the “market subsidy” on HDB units enough to compensate the loss of income during the 2-2.5 years of national service? By the way, HDB is not sold to the citizen at cost but Market Price less Market “Subsidy”. HDB is able to reduce housing supply, increase foreign demand on Singapore housing to neutralise the given “subsidy”. No one will believe HDB will make a loss.

    Most NS-obligated Singaporeans are 2-2.5 years behind the cheap Foreign “Talent” who came here to dig their first gold pot in term of experience. Do you think there is a need to give job pirority to Singaporeans who have Singaporean’s mouths to feed then foreign mouths (and (30 x 2) human years of housing installment)?

    In the name of economic growth, Foreign “Talent” are allow to sit on NS-obligated Singaporeans who took 50 over years to built, enjoy the fruits at the expense of Singaporeans who at the same time see inflation eatting into their subpressed income. Who else in the right mind will agree with?

    I would agree with you that public housing will be for the lowest income group only when the govt do away with National Sevice and at the same time form a full-time service army; people that serve the army for life.

  5. Pingback: Daily SG: 25 Oct 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  6. sporescores says:

    Disagree with this post. If HDB housing is totally privatised, you will end up with the Hong Kong and Taiwan housing situations. The current semi-privatisation of HDB that started in the 90s has already caused plenty of unnecessary hardship for people. Libertarianism and free market capitalism work well in many areas but are recipes for disaster in many others as well e.g. healthcare, housing, gun ownership, public transport, education etc.

    And this post seems to suggest that NSmen and NSFs should be taken for granted. The idea that it should just be a one-way street, that people should always be giving without receiving, that we should only be asking what we can do for their country and never ask what our country can do for us, however noble this idea sounds as adapted from JFK’s quote, this is not a correct idea and can easily be used as the excuse for exploiting the segments of citizens who are more powerless.

    • Thanks for comments. It depends what kind of govt you have, doesn’t it? If you have a Pay and Pay kind of govt, it doesn’t matter what they do, they will find ways to make you pay and pay. My point is that, people in advanced countries do not want govts to interfere with their lives. That includes govt being their landlord.

      I do not suggest that NSmen should be taken for granted. However, I do not see any link between serving NS and housing. Ths has nothing to do with JFK’s idea. See this for more discussion.

  7. LinCH says:

    That’s how they control us with our minds.

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