Our Kate Spade MP is no longer the only liability to her party and it looks like she has very good company.
Just when we thought the PAP could do no worse after public opinion of MPs Intan, Alvin and Desmond plummeted, along comes Lam Pin Min to prove Singaporeans wrong.
The columbarium-in-Sengkang-no-issue MP Lam was elected by 58% of Sengkang West constituents but he seems to have a short memory – instead of representing his constituents, he defended the HDB and URA on the development of a columbariums. (Lam answered residents’ questions but expected affected residents to accept HDB and URA policies.) It would be fine if HDB buyers, mostly young couples setting up a family, were not misled by HDB’s brochure but thousands of them were.
The location of funeral services next to HDB flats is decided by the HDB and our highest-paid civil servants who do not live in HDB flats. There is clearly double standard because all the columbariums planned by the PAP are located in HDB estates, none in a private estate. Why not construct one in Sixth Avenue where the wealthy can be closer to their deceased loved ones?
The wealthy are also more ‘scared to die’ than ordinary people. Perhaps, knowing their loved ones are nearby when they are gone, this may offer some comfort?
It is actually not unexpected of Lam, who receives an MP allowance, not to represent his constituents but the interests of businesses. Lam has learnt this dirty trick from his PAP which, after gaining control of parliament, continues to be pro business eg instead of representing workers, NTUC depresses wages to help improve businesses’ profits. Scrutinise the PAP closer and the conclusion is the government doesn’t care for ordinary citizens.
If PAP had cared for the needs of citizens, it would not have disallowed singles to apply for new HDB flats until 2013. And when the policy was reversed, PAP put in place certain criteria such as age, flat types, etc. Basically, that rules out many locations and a larger proportion of singles from 30 to 34 years old.
Why are singles not allowed when they pay the same taxes as other citizens? We know for certain the reason is not the shortage of land because the PAP has set aside thousands of HDB flats for foreign talents, compliments of JTC.
Table below shows the proportion of singles (pg 16).
If there was insufficient land, PAP would not have allowed 49,190 HDB units to be owned by PRs (NON CITIZENS) with more than 2,000 units rented out. If land was really in short supply, how could the HDB be able to construct the equivalent of 4 new Ang Mo Kio towns by 2016 shortly after the watershed 2011 election?
The PAP uses the above statistics on singles to justify its liberal immigration policy. But what about singles’ housing needs in view of the lack of affordable rental market in Singapore?
PAP never did care and will suddenly show its ‘concern’ only when its power is threatened. The land in Singapore belongs to every citizen, not the PAP.
What about the more urgent issue of CPF retirement shortfall? Again the PAP plays deaf and wants to tweak and complicate what should be an easily understood system. Tweaking won’t reduce our retirement shortfall but a revamp will. No thanks to our policymakers who were slumbering years ago, the CPF shortfall did not happen after Roy highlighted the issue and kena sued by PM Lee last year.
If the PAP is even one bit concerned, it would have revamped the CPF. It does not care.
Lam Pin Min represents his party – a party which does not listen and is not bothered about our needs. It is clear Lam went into the meeting with his constituents unprepared. Why?
Lam receives tax dollars as an MP and even more tax dollars as a MOS. Lam must be a very busy man but yet is also a director of Eagle Eye Centre at Mount Alvernia Hospital. If Lam is too busy checking his bank balance, then he is surely not in a position to ‘serve’ Sengkang West residents.
The buyers of Fernvale Lea units, especially those closer to the columbarium, have been fleeced. Even those Fernvale Rivergrove units across the temple will have a much lower resale value. Granted that some do not mind living near a temple, a columbarium is a turn-off for many. What the HDB should have done is be completely above board with buyers and not engage in sneaky marketing. Price flats located near/beside a columbarium at a lower value and let buyers decide.
Since planning of the columbarium must have started years ago, the HDB has not bee upfront with buyers. Like the PAP, HDB conceals material information and hopes to get away with it. Together with the URA, the government has already made its stand very clear in “Sengkang temple and columbarium must adhere strictly to guidelines”. The PAP government is not going into any bargain with ordinary folks – they talk and all we have to do is listen.
Further confirmation that HDB intends to keep its profits in the joint statement: “Places of worship can be successfully integrated into the design of residential estates to serve the needs of our people.” “Successfully integrated” means being forced to integrate and Lam has also confirmed he wants his affected constituents to accept their costly ‘mistakes’ and move on.
Today residents of Sengkang may fall victim to HDB’s sneaky marketing but citizens should be mindful it could happen to anyone of us or our children. The lack of material information from the HDB will cause financial losses to many Sengkang residents through no fault of theirs.
The unethical conduct of the HDB under PAP’s leadership is unacceptable. Citizens must view this with grave concern and assist HDB’s ‘victims’ by sending a clear message to the PAP.