Heart, Hope and Home?


‘My Singapore News’ is one of the blogs I must read. There are few blogs which I usually read when I’m awake. I may not comment on those blogs but that doesn’t mean I don’t read them.


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

Read ex-PAP MP Maidin Packer’s Open Letter to PM.


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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18 Responses to Heart, Hope and Home?

  1. KL says:

    I followed the PM’s speech about HOPE, HEART and HOME. I believe it was the most touching speech since I began following the national day speeches in the 1970s. While the PM was sending his messages filled with carrots (for the future) and whips (for the current people’s behaviour) at the same time, what he had obviously missed out was a hearty reflection of the other side of the Singapore success story. For example as a 3rd wealthiest country in the world, people should be happy and appreciative. But why the strong negative social dynamics exist today after 47 years of independent? Why and how did the PAP government shift gear from a strong socialism believer in the initial years to subscribing to capitalism, every thing could be marketed and put on sale under a beautiful nomenclature called asset enhancement? What led to even human relationship could be traded? What had gone wrong with it? I believe the true message, I hope it is about meaning in life, could only be brought across if people could relate the past to the present in order to chart the future. 温故知新。

    • No U -turn says:

      The head of state has put the cart before the horse, they are $ driven became heartless.
      They are in wrong career, should join the mafia whereby everything is about $.

  2. Pingback: Daily SG: 30 Aug 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  3. I don’t think too many people would mind if it’s true capitalism that they are embracing.

    • Toothfully,
      I still prefer the original mission of PAP – socialism. True capitalism or laissez-faire like Hong Kong will lead to even more income widening gap. It will lead to social unrest and discontentment. The have-nots and poor may be so overwhelming that “an inclusive” society is mere empty talk. Do we want to see anarchy in our society?

      • Sinkie says:

        The word ‘Inclusive’ means different thing to different people.
        It will mean the opposite between the milkman and their cows!
        When the milkmen are rich, the cows has to be poor!
        Singapore is very much managed just like Animal Farm.

  4. L says:

    This is very true. the 2nd gen and 3rd gen leaders of today is NOTHING compared to 1st gen leaders and they only have themselves to blame… my father is 65years old. i have literally seen him change from a DIEHARD MIW supporter in the 80s and early 90s, turn into a DIEHARD “anything but MIW” supporter today!!

    Now, we all know what was then and where we are today and what we want to be tomorrow… I am very sure the MIWs also know that.. BUT the big question is HOW do we get there?? HOW do we turn back the clock? The devil is in the details…. do our leaders today dare to make HARD decisions and offend the rich in Sg?? Do they dare to let some blood spill on the street to gain back some life in this nation? For eg: if you want the property market to go back to sane levels, u have to let some ppl make a loss. do they dare let that happen?? and that, my friend, is the issue.. and I dun think they will consider going there…

  5. patriot says:

    Me calls my 96 year old mother and 70 year old brother as blind voters and adulators of PAP.
    My mother clasps her hands reverently whenever she sees any of the PMs on the television. She cannot resist smiling sweetly at the pictures as well and invariably will say something nice such as they are very capable, whatever that means. Went with my brother overseas few times because other than dialect and Mandarin, he speaks no other language at all and has difficulty with check-in (airport/hotel), immigration, custom and boarding. Each time he reached Changi Airport, he will sing praises about it non-stop. However, the moment he stepped into the airports of other countries, he cannot stopped saying how inferior they were. It would be followed by him saying how good the local leaders were/are in building up Sin. Both are not giving nor able to apportion any credit to the citizens.

    Honestly, me just do not understand how to describe their adulation of the rulers; for all I know, they find the dove-cages (HDB abode) better than the home we had in the village. AND, both do not have to pay to stay in them, either for the purchase of the Flat or the daily expenses and utilities charges. So, in a way, they are blind to the high costs of living.

    I surmise that my mother and brother are not able to understand the effects of national policies as well as their ignorance due to their inabilities to empathize with the hardship the working family members have to endure. They enjoy the simple living with a nonchalant the developments taking place.

    From postings in the Blogoland, it seems that there are many PAP Die-hard Fans like Gintai’s Dad and my Mother and Brother in our midst.


    • ape@kinjioleaf says:

      Many of the older people I come across cannot comprehend Singapore without PAP at the helm. They attribute the economical success to PAP without giving due credit to themselves for the hardworking attitude that is the major contributing factor. How much credit did PAP give to these people who built Singapore through hardwork? I leave you to think about it and see for yourselves how are our are elderlies treated here.

      • Remember what our founding father LKY said last year before he, woody and other heavyweights resigned from the cabinet? He reminded the younger gods to take care of our elderly citizens! That’s a fact.

  6. Singapore Notes - Comments says:

    What is PAPism?
    SOCIALISM: You have two cows. State takes one and give it to someone else.

    COMMUNISM: You have two cows. State takes both of them and gives you milk.

    PAPism: You have two cows. State takes both of them and sells you milk.
    No worries, the milk is subsidised and affordable. – MBT

  7. Yway says:

    So you read My Singapore News when you are awake. What blogs do you read when you are asleep?

    • When I sleep I don’t read blogs. How to? But I dream of a better world – paradise or Shangri La. Only in my dream can I enjoy a better world! Of course, I also dream of ppl like you who love to come to my blog!

  8. patriot says:

    Love this blog too, but the curtain will be drawn soon.
    Many got heart, most faulty to some extend.
    Plenty of hopes, however, most are dashed or damned.
    Got home, few are warm, many are broken and owners are in debt for owning it.


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