‘Asset Enhancement’ policy fooled majority of Singaporeans, most still in denial about non-ownership status
PAP has been abusing public housing to suit its political aganda. Its “asset enhancement” (AE) propaganda has worked so far because it has used a very powerful basic emotion “greed” to appeal to the people.
SERS was roped in to give the impression that HDB flat prices will never fall, a part of PAP’s plan. Not forgetting that LKY had also repeatedly mentioned AE, lending more credence to PAP’s propaganda. Although LKY was a demi-god to the majority of citizens, the game may soon be up.
(After allowing AE policy to ramp up housing prices for more than 2 decades, MND Minister Lawrence Wong recently caused a fair bit of panic when he stated the obvious: the value of all HDB flats at the end of 99-year lease falls to ZERO. link)
The problem with Lau Goh’s AE policy is that buyers of HDB flats are only lessees. (link to other posts on non-ownership status) Since we don’t even own any asset, how does AE work for flat buyers?
HDB’s Principal Legal Counsel has in a way already confirmed this when she explained the meaning of “ownership” in her reply to my query:
– “In fact, the term “owner” has been defined in the H&D Act to include a person who has purchased a leasehold interest in the property.”
– “..the purchasers have ownership rights and do have the right to deal with the flat, eg. to sell or transfer the flat, subject to the terms of the lease, the H&D Act and HDB’s prevailing policies.”
In other words, “owner” has been redefined by an act passed by PAP-controlled Parliament. An “owner” who has no say in all aspects of his “asset” is still an owner? Talking cock right? The right to sell or transfer the lease does not make flat buyers “owners” of assets.
Very often, PAP engages in telling half-truths and is very careful with its choice of words. So, when HDB uses the words “sublet” and “subtenant“, it is not for no rhyme or reason.
Flat buyers have only leased a new HDB flat from the government for 99 years. The purchase price agreed upon is only for the lease, not the flat. We only own a transferable lease, not the flat.
All the confusion pertaining to forever rising HDB flat value was caused by Lau Goh’s AE and propaganda in the MSM. Without this, it would not have been necessary for ministers to state the obvious: HDB flats will eventually be worthless.
The document signed by buyers clearly state “Lease”. There was no sale and purchase agreement.
PAP is aware of the fact that buyers are only lessees. But so long as its propaganda continues to work on the masses, its power remains intact.
HDB lessees have a choice and should wake up from a decades-long nightmare but are likely to live in denial.
As PAP continues to import millions of foreigners to increase GDP, HDB flats will always be unaffordable for our children.
* The author blogs at LikeDatOsoCanMeh.