The above app, ‘FeeddlerPro’ installed on my iPhone scans and notifies me of all latest blog posts. I’ll know instantly if any new blog post uploaded.
Yesterday, I read this post – ‘Installing Soul into a Soulless Nation’ – at ‘My Singapore News’. I commented on the blog. Below edited comment is reproduced from there.
I thought our soul was lost long time ago? Everything here is based on costs and profits, bottom line, every cent counts! No more empathy!
Let me substantiate what I said here. In the year 1994, when my father bought his 2nd HDB flat – 4A model direct from HDB at only $101,000, he was already 57 years old. This is no typo error. Yet he was given a 20 yrs loan direct from HDB at subsidized interest rate – meaning lower than bank rate.
You see, my father was more worried than the HDB that he might not be able to pay that 20 yr old loan since he’s about to retire. My father drove trailer all his life for more than 40 yrs. Class(es) 4 & 5 licence will be removed once he hit 65 yrs old. By the time, if he finishes paying off his loan in 20 yrs’ time, he will be 77 yrs old! HDB in those days, don’t bother about your age. Even if you are 60 yrs, they still loan you! Are they “stupid” or not? I say they got a heart. They are not being stupid.
When my father expressed his fears and reservations about not able to pay off the loan as he’s getting older, the HDB officer told him not to worry. If he is really not working, he could always rent out one room or the whole flat and stay with the children, use the rental to service the housing loan. Or sell off the flat after 5 yrs, get a smaller flat etc. There are options to solve this issue says the bemused HDB officer! “Uncle you are so lucky to get this flat. After 5 yrs, you will make a tidy profit. It’s better than striking 4D! Don’t worry lah!”, the kind HDB officer reassured my skeptical father.
True enough, this flat is now worth more than $400,000. He’s not selling. He believes that a flat is a home. It’s not for speculation and making profits. If the oracle didn’t convince him to shift from his previous 3-room A model flat at Bedok Reservoir Rd bought at $21,000 in 1980, he would not have upgraded to this current flat. The oracle had warned him of bad omens if he didn’t make the shift. If I were him, I would have told the oracle to go fly kite!
Back to this 4-room flat in Pasir Ris. If you or me at my father’s 57 yrs of age NOW were to take a similar loan, HDB or the bank will never approve the loan due to your age and ending working lifespan. BTW, he paid 20% of the $101,000, with 80% HDB loan.
From this example, you will notice the huge change in HDB mindset – past and present. It’s now very difficult to get a decent loan from HDB and they will tell my father (if he were to apply for a flat now) to get 30-yr lease studio apartment instead. You should know that they now screen you upside down and inside out before they give you any loan. They are so much stingy now than yester years. Not as generous as before. Those were the days.
The older generations of citizens have benefited much from the human-centric policy of the old guards – the first pioneer generation of PAP leaders. That golden era is gone. How I wish to live in that golden era.
That is why my 75 year old father is a die-hard PAP fan. All his life, he NEVER NEVER voted for any opposition. If PAP were to put an idiot as MP, my father will still vote that idiot! From MP Phua Bah Lee in Tampines SMC to Chew Heng Ching (Kaki Bukit) in Eunos GRC and now Pasir Ris GRC, he will be the first to mark against the PAP on his voting slip.
It’s the same story with my colleague Arasu’s father. The latter would beseech everyone in the family to cast their votes to the incumbents for the sake of their own future! I’ll need his permission to blog about his old man’s political preference.
I can understand my father’s political affiliation. If the PAP is still the same as in those good old days, like the way they treated my father, do you think the citizens’ unflinching support will erode and evaporate?
I’ve spoken the truth here from this living example. It’s no pure fabrication. This classic example tells you much about our current rulers not having the ‘heart’ for it’s citizens thereby losing ‘hope’ without any resemblance of a sweet loving ‘home’ we call Singapore!
My father is still alive and kicking. However, he only communicates in Teochew. As part of National Conversation, I welcome anyone to interview him and find out why he is a hardcore PAP supporter all his life!
“I haven’t counted the government out yet — I hope they may yet deliver on a lot of these things (housing, healthcare and education, in particular), and that they may actually move significantly in these areas,” he says.
Despite the wave of anti-government sentiment in Singapore’s online space, Yeoh says he genuinely feels that most Singaporeans want to give the government the benefit of the doubt.
“Most Singaporeans would love to see them deal decisively and pragmatically with these issues as they did long ago, and are rooting for them, but they’re just not giving Singaporeans who are hoping for something to cling to. And as a result their hope is sort of slipping away,” he says.
He adds, “That’s the real pity — the loss of the chance of real policy reform that can really bring the well-being of citizens to a new high that we can afford, and the loss of the leadership opportunity to craft a new social compact for Singapore’s future, by reclaiming our key founding values.”
The above quoted from Ex-GIC chief economist Yeoh Lam Keong