The couple couldn't have presented their message in any simpler terms:
"We read in the papers that the number of new flats completed each year by the HDB has been lower than the number of marriages in recent years. This means that the HDB is not building enough flats for the new households." Here are two responsible citizens ready to answer the nation's call for more births so that the original stakeholders in our country will not have to see their share diluted by outsider elements. All that is missing is a roof for the new family.
Instead of confessing his myopia, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan spins a wild and woolly tale in TODAY about what a tough job he has, trying to outguess the real estate market. We already have an expensive self appointed oracle in the Minister Mentor, and even he could not read the crystal ball effectively for Temasek Holdings investments. Experts in the housing market are predicting a hard landing, with property values heading south by as much as 50 per cent. These, the same folks, who were recommending stocking up on premium properties not too long ago. "If you look at the developments over the last four years, you clearly see elements of exaggerations where it doesn't make sense to buy in terms of rental yields or expected capital gains," said Mr Beat Lenherr, global chief strategist of LGT Capital Management, who should have dispensed his wisdom 4 years earlier. It's a rehash of the Wall Street analysts who brazenly promoted dot com companies just before they bombed. Hardly the kind of playground for the likes of Mah.
With truth being a beleagured entity in the cabinet, we will never know if it was Mah or "population czar" Wong Kan Seng who first pushed the 6.5 million people target. What we do know, thanks to Budget Tai Tai, is that Singapore currently has a population density of 7,022 people per sq km, exceeding the Hongkong statistic of 6,480 people per sq km. Former HDB and URA CEO Liu Thai Ker must be bonkers to suggest the island has capacity for 7.5 million. Notice how the loonies are always put in charge of housing for the masses. How did Sigourney Weaver put it in Avatar? "They're just pissing on us without even a courtesy of calling it rain."
All the Singapore griping paid dividends in that HDB has now begrudgingly promised to raise its planned output from 12,000 to 16,000 new flats. But that's in the rosy future, and plausibly just another vaporware of an electioning sweetener. Whether the couple will have a room for the cot is yet to be confirmed.