Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of National Development, Chairman PAP and ‘probably
Singapore best Health Minister ‘ (that according to the PM who promised Swiss living
standard only for his elites but Swiss living cost for the rest of us and who appointed
him to the post) , appears to be styling himself as the Spin King Extraordinaire with
his latest Budget debate speech.
Please bear in mind how this self-proclaimed, practising religious man, very forgiving,
instead of apologising for a serious lapse (first time in 25 years) in the Fernvale espisode,
chose to spin the Butterfly Lovers tale to deflect responsibility.
It has come to the point where instead of assuming integrity of info in the august chamber
of parliament, I now need to fact-check ALL claims that ALL PAP ministers make.
Likewise, WP’s info.
I am not in the real estate business. So, with regard to the preface to Khaw’s claim
of the ‘more benign situation’ (i.e. public housing) in Singapore, I did a check on info
available on the net. Here’s the result of my trouble.
Chobham Manor vs HDB – Profit-seeking Private vs Public-Service Housing
Confining my brief research to the Chobham Manor development, we can now compare
: By subway, Chobham is about an 18-min-1.5km from the nearest Stratford Int’l Station. : 13-15 min to London Financial District (Stratford to St Paul’s/Chancery Lane,
: 23-27 min to Hotel/Shopping belt (Stratford to Bond/Baker Street, Jubiliee Line): The similar SG location would be area around Eunos/Kembangan to Raffles Place,
: Or area surrounding Yio Chu Kang/AMK MRT to Orchard Road, NS Line.
: Private development (not HDB public housing).: Mix of exceptional range of new 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes.: Price from £450,000 for a 753 ft2, one-room ground floor unit. Comes with ‘private
rear garden and allocated parking space’
: i.e. about S$1225/ft2.
: No info available on the ownership period but I’m told that it then means either 999
years or freehold. Even if leasehold, renewal of lease can be had for a small amount,
unlike in SG where the top-up can be ridiculously high and not automatic. Or it auto-reverts
to Govt land bank.
: Nobilia, Siemens & Zanussi-equipped kitchen.
: Gap sanitaryware & Porcelonasa tiled ensuite bath.
: Full underfloor heating with battery back-up.
: Turf/Deck where applicable.
: Full details in pg 6 of downloadable brochure.
Journalistic Sensationalism & Ministerial Sloppiness
Furthermore, Khaw’s convenient use is proof of his second-hand car salesman approach
(in parliament, at that!).
It’s common for media editors to think up sensational, attention-getting headlines.
That is what not only The Independent but also London Evening Standard did with their
“Londoners queue overnight in sub-zero temperatures to buy one bedroom flat for £400k”
& “House hunters queue overnight for chance to spend £400k on a one bedroom flat”.
On closer reading, The Independent actually referenced The Evening Standard’s report.
We also learn only ‘dozens of Londoners’ queued to get a shot at the limited first phase
of 35 mixed units up for grabs and a photo showing about 15 in the queue in front of the
sales office. What’s more, amongst those interviewed is a “K Chiu, 37, a restaurant owner
from Hong Kong, said, ‘I’m buying this as an investment in London, abuy-to-let. It will be
amazing after it’s completed and I think the area around it will have developed really nicely. With Crossrail coming here and the number of students from nearby universities
looking for accommodation, hopefully the rental and selling pricewill go up quite a bit”…
sounding almost like a kiasu, PR or a citizen living in a subsizied HDB flat and wanting to make a small killing. A mindset moulded by years of PAP-controlled
brain-washing for the daft and greedy ones in our midst, never mind the less-fortunate
struggling to make ends meet.
Regardless, we all can understand journalistic license. But how becoming is it for a
‘PAP-proclaimed honest and personof integrity’ to either be sloppy or, more likely,
selectively speaking words to mislead citizens from the august room of our Parliament?
Let me state unreservedly, I take no pleasure spending time researching and analysing,
fact-checking to blast PAP ministers. PAP has constructed a system that makes for almost
an unreasonable streak and over-reliant attitude in Singaporeans in their blind pursuit of their Party’s continued reign.
Ministerial jobs are not easy, I concede that. But the line must be drawn when ministers
mislead, deceive without batting an eyelid. And when they believe in their own heresy that
they are the only ones capable and honest to govern Singapore to the absolute exclusion
of those who do not share in their ideology and under-handed methods of politicking.
I will continue to draw and to highlight that line. Not for those who are hell-bent either as
enraged detractors or die-hard supporters of the PAP. I do this for the rational FMMs
(fencesitters, marginal supporters andmal/misinformed voters) and urge them to fact-check
what I write as well as question the ‘truth behind the beauty, the meaning of the beliefs’ that
PAP espouse. If PAP point to the beauty of the HDB success, ask what is the truth behind it
that make captive of us Singaporeans servicing our mortgages only to face retirement inadequacy
and then having to face the prospects of moving out when older or tolerating a stranger tenant
in the flat. Asd what the meaning of their practice of meritocracy is when we see that their connected ones (via PA, RCs, GROs and, even in the cabinet and the top ranks of TLCs & GLCs)
are landing all the plum jobs.
Never stop asking.
“In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you
have long taken for granted.” – Bertrand Russell
“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains
a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb