Our homes say a lot about the status of our wealth but too many Singaporeans have bought into PAP’s Swiss standard of living propaganda.
We know for a fact HDB flats make up 80.4% of total residential housing and you don’t see any wealth inside 99% of 3-room and smaller flats. As for 4-room and bigger flats, at least 95% of the residents could not be considered wealthy by any measure.
To become wealthy, ordinary Singaporeans would need to sell our homes and migrate to a lower cost of living country. While we are living in our HDB flats, we are not wealthy at all and Khaw would probably advice against eating our homes.
Since our GDP per capita has increased by more than of 1000% since 1980, citizens should be living in bigger HDB flats. Instead, PAP has been constructing an increasing number of 3-room and smaller flats. Not only that, PAP has even taken the initiative to downsize our flats by reducing a few square metres for a 3-room flat and more than 10 square metres for a 5-room. (compared to flats built in before early 90’s)
According to the HDB, the number of 2-room flats has increased by 4,351 and 3-room flats by 4,301 since 2009 (see table below). Do better off people move into smaller flats? Do PAP ministers live in smaller properties after a pay increase?
Flats sold by HDB
Since 2009, the number of 1- and 2 room rental flats has increased by 4347 and 1570 respectively (table below). To be eligible, total household gross income must not exceed $1500 per month, way below our unofficial poverty line of $1900. Citizens who apply for rental flats are not just poor, most have been driven to desperation.
HDB rental flats
Although Singapore ranks third in GDP per capita under IMF (fifth under World Bank), this is a totally useless indicator for one’s standard of living.
High property valuation means little to Singaporeans who own million-dollar properties because he’s merely a slave to the bank until he has paid off most of the loan. PAP engages in propaganda to convince the population that much wealth has been created. Citizens are then more willing to slog to pay off the 30-year mortgage.
An ordinary Singaporean may be considered wealthy only because of the purchasing power of the S$ vis a vis other currencies. But we can’t simply import a cheaper car from overseas or buy and dismantle a very cheap house and ship it back to Singapore. Ordinary citizens are wealthy only on paper or after we have migrated to a lower cost of living country.
According to this MOM Report (page 117), there are 626,000 employed residents, or 31%, earning a gross salary of $2000 and below. The fact that some form of government aid is eligible for those earning up to $1900 per month confirms a $2000 salary can’t get us far. Wealthy countries do not have 31% of residents earning less than US$1459 per month. Not even 10%.
The fact that the present average wage buys a smaller basket of goods compared to a decade or two ago confirms citizens are worse off today.
In any country with a GDP per capita of $71,000, the government provides a decent standard of living. Here, a family of four may have to cram into a 45 sq metre public flat with one-bedroom.
I don’t know what the PAP means by being better off and taking care of our pioneer generation. Does PAP honor them by providing jobs where they can exercise such as this..
PAP should not delude itself and no amount of spin can turn its abject failure into success. It should not argue against its own statistics which have confirmed Singaporeans are worse off under the PAP.