‘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.


Phillip Ang

* The author blogs at LikeDatOsoCanMeh.





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18 Responses to “‘Asset Enhancement’ policy fooled majority of Singaporeans, most still in denial about non-ownership status”

  • Kick Them All Out:

    Dafts could still regain the value of their assets by kicking out this PAP government and change the policies. This is the first step to setting things right again.

    GD Star Rating
  • Old Moon:

    So what are the fundamental differences between an HDB leasehold property and a private leasehold property other than that an HDB property is bound by the HDB purchase and sale terms and conditions? Both types of property have zero terminal value!

    Singaporeans having bought into the PAP’s “asset enhancement” narrative are now worried that their HDB properties “enhanced values” may not hold. Unfortunately for them, they did not realize that their properties have zero terminal values. If they had they would have realized that “asset enhancement” is a fallacy! Is this a case of “caveat emptor” or that they have been conned. I mean purchasers should have realized that at the time that “leasehold means zero terminal value” PERIOD!

    The paradox is this: Singaporeans are worried that their HDB values have a time expiry and therefore values cannot be maintained over time. They implicitly want the HDB values to be supported or some government assurance on the future values. On the other hand, they worry about high HDB values and that their children may not be able to afford an HDB due to population policy and the HDB’ pricing policy of steady price increases.

    Gentlemen, you can’t have it both ways! Eat your cake and have it too!
    The PAP government had just screwed itself! Like I said before at this forum.
    “Asset Enhancement” is the tiger that the PAP government will not be able to dismount from without being eaten alive!

    GD Star Rating
  • soso:

    if so why are we made to co~pay for upgrades and basic repairs such as falling ceiling concrete.

    either you are misinformed or some one is taking HDB “owners” for a ride.

    GD Star Rating
  • Amos humiliate L*L and PAP:

    This just proves again that there is “no free lunch”. PAP thought it could make Singaporeans “feel rich” by creating a “property bubble” for free. It would also increase governent revenue from sale of “over-priced” HDB flats. Supreme PAP stupidity. Billions have been wasted in public housing which could have been used to create a more vibrant/dynamic economy. Government too focused on accumulation of money instead of creating a better economy. Now it is trying to restructure the economy. But it cannot buy time. That is why Singaporeans are now in shit, except PAP office holders who still get million $ salaries.

    GD Star Rating
  • Doggie:

    By the time people realised it its too late, those responsible would be long gone, leaving the opposition clear the mess and face a angry population of locals and new citizen/PR (assuming they havent left by then)

    GD Star Rating
  • Ruled by FEAR:

    The CPF and HDB issues are clear issues that the 30% understood long ago as far back as 10 years ago.

    But many are basing on trust so strong that will never believe there are issues unless it comes from the horse mouth.

    Top in maths and science but where are the top tech in the world?

    If only singaporeans demand for empirical evidence and not just based on blind trust.

    The day will come but too late.

    GD Star Rating
  • Boh Kia See:


    There would be more of this sort of “advertisement” from the PAP to come. It will centred around housing.

    Already we hear about the Woodlands hub being beautified and developed. There are also models on display. All this is to tell the people “no longer just citizens) that they will get all those goodies if PAP continues to be in power.

    The fact is, nobody owns anything in Singapore except the elite. You only have use of the flat after paying a hefty price with all the ‘subsidies”. Everything else you have are at the sufference of the PAP and with their agreement.

    Even employing maids–is a privilege that could be taken from you as well as cars etc. That is the Singapore society. There is no such thing as inheritance anymore but when the old requires medical care, the young will have to fork out from their own Government issued and approved ‘savings”. So each generation cannot build on the efforts of the earlier generation but have the liabilities of the earlier generation to contend with.

    It is a shocking state of affairs but 70%(hope that is a honest figure) will buy it.

    GD Star Rating
  • 99 year lease solved:

    Very easy lah.
    Garment can solve this easily.

    1. Extend lease period.
    2. Pass new laws as a means to an end. To control.
    3. Build new flats and lock in cpf as long as possible. Owners of lease expired flats get assigned new flats,at a cost of course. So,get ready to put more into your cpf. Work till your last day.

    4. Extend lease for 30 years and lessee pay like few hundred thousands more only. Flats can last 150 years.

    So,the lease expiry is not an issue.

    So,i have shown you all why the garment will continue to stay in power till a flat is past 150 years old.

    GD Star Rating
  • Samuel S:

    Sometimes the legal advisers for government are very deceiving in nature. They confused the population at large and they twisted the laws to suit them. We are always at the loss. So can the 70% of pro PAP please wakeup during the next election.

    GD Star Rating
  • MarBowling:

    By hoodwinking HDB dwellers into buying his crap arse oops asset enhancement programm, Woody already had his 1st installment of retribution….Kenna prostrate cancer…. 2nd installment will be calling him or his FAMILEE soon.

    GD Star Rating
  • 99:

    Sinkies are living in 99 years flat purchased with a $1 million bucks. Recently this HDB miniSTIR came out and say
    That when 98 years of your flat passes

    YOUR million dollar flat will be pull down and the land the flat sits on will be return to URA!

    You will get ZERO dollars back!

    And yet Sinkies allow themselves to be trapped by this CON pappies n off course supported by its mouthpiece st.

    It’s time Sinkies show them the boots so that a better outcome can come about! Can it be worse that 99? I don’t think so if we are unwilling to try!

    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    AFTER YOU FULLY PAID UP, you are still a tenant in public housing. It is a SCAM. CPF is also SCAM to pay for public housing scam. The “asset enhancement politics combining inflated public housing and CPF catchment to suck in even more retirement money into that scam coffers IS THE MOTHER OF ALL SCAMS.

    You are left with nothing for retirement or some saving to help your children in legacy will and THEY ARE STUCK WITH THIS DILEMMA – WHERE AM I GOING TO STAY WHEN DADDY AND MOMMY CASH OUT?

    Meantime inflated costs of living travel to all sectors of the economy will screw up this country existential survival chances.


    They will get what they voted for.

    GD Star Rating
  • caliew:

    PAP is just getting herself trap into a time bomb that will cause her falls within 10 years if the address is not resolved quickly and satisfactory.
    The system was setup and manipulated to fool public as “Home Ownership” and “Wealth Creation” for people on High Morale Ground and public interest, but the fact is, it enslave people and reset the Wealth Cycle of People when they get into their next generation, whereas the rich keep building up their wealth with freehold and landed properties. The public can never build on “Wealth” from their parents generation, every generation is reset of “Wealth Creation” cycle and enslave under the ruling of PAP through overpriced and inflated HDB price. The market force determining the HDB purchase, re-seller and rental is Government themselves.
    It would have better be everyone lease HDB from Government at a fixed rate, and laws should have been passed in Parliament to ensure transparency in building up cooperative housing and ensure no speculation and manipulation of public housing is allowed, much like in most of the European countries that was setup after WWII.

    GD Star Rating
  • Taleban:

    HDB flats go back to zero value and return to HDB at the end of the 99 years lease.
    What about private properties (besides E.C.) on 99 years lease? Also return to Government after the lease expired?

    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    THE EASIEST WAY GOVERNMENTS make money at the expense of peasantry WITHOUT ANY THINKING, ENERGY AND EXERTION of efforts is simply by changing the regulation and law on property rights including superannuation/CPF.
    No government has ever changes rules and regulations on property rights to favor the peasants unless it is for the benefits of their same corrupt kind of cronies and stooges.


    Because you cannot fabricate wealth simply by escalating bigger and bigger mortgage. So how can they create “wealth” by fiction of freebies distribution of estate upgrading of cosmetic appearance when you still have to mortgage to pay off, regardless? You pay for estate upgrading with your imprisoned CPF and all kind of taxes.

    Stupid Sinkies can’t think – money and property is NOT wealth but simply a CLAIM TO WEALTH – if your value of property decline with lease expiring, how much can you sell that to get back something to pay for your food, healthcare and shelter before mortality as proof of CLAIMS ON WEALTH. Next to nothing – both your CPF and property is gone!!


    GD Star Rating
  • Contiki:

    Technically, the price of a leasehold property should go down with each passing year of the lease. The cost of maintaining an older property should also push its price down.

    But housing was in short supply. Most people could not afford a private property or qualify for a new HDB flat. The only way they could get the latter was on the resale market. Prices went up. And up. And up. You were allowed to use your CPF to fund your purchase. Prices kept on going up. The govt called it “asset enhancement”.

    If a leasehold estate is privatised, flat owners have to buy the remainder of the lease from the govt.

    Prices of new leasehold properties are very high. The properties are also a damned sight smaller.

    If you enbloc, you would be forced to move to a Much smaller home, probably in same farflung neighbourhood if the home is new. It its older, you would need to spend on renovation. This is on top of returning your money – with Compounded interest – to your CPF account. (Will there be anything left over for medical bills which will be increasing?)

    You would also leave old friends/neighbours behind, plus the familiarity of your neighbourhood.

    Basically, we’re all on a losing streak….bigly

    GD Star Rating
  • Lee Kan Seng:

    HDB flats go back to zero value and return to HDB at the end of the 99 years lease.
    What about private properties (besides E.C.) on 99 years lease? Also return to Government after the lease expired?

    They can always come up another scheme that confuse you. Min sum renamed, remember ?

    The 70% are behind the curve, and the 30% ahead of their times.

    GD Star Rating
  • Failed policy:

    Too much money is sucked into housing…non productive
    Should have been used for wealth creation and develop our talented people for the new economy instead…

    GD Star Rating
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