"The pigs begin living in the farmhouse, and rumor has it that they even sleep in beds, a violation of one of the Seven Commandments. But when Clover asks Muriel to read her the appropriate commandment, the two find that it now reads “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.” Squealer explains that Clover must have simply forgotten the last two words. All animals sleep in beds, he says—a pile of straw is a bed, after all. Sheets, however, as a human invention, constitute the true source of evil. He then shames the other animals into agreeing that the pigs need comfortable repose in order to think clearly and serve the greater good of the farm." (Chapter VI, "Animal Farm" by George Orwell)
Poor Clover, it's tough separating telling myth from fact if the story telling keeps changing.
The Government has set up its own "myth busting" web pages called "Factually". Nestled within the tabs of the official www.gov.sg website, is a section for "cutting through the swirl of rumour and distortion online". One of the "bite-size answers" is a nugget about HDB flat sizes. Of the 399 words, only the following really matters:
It was at the annual REACH Contributors' Forum on Wednesday night of 2 May 2012, that National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan told a student from the National University of Singapore that HDB flats are not shrinking, contrary to popular belief. In fact, sizes of HDB flats have been the same for the past 15 years.
Thanks to online feedback we soon discovered why the minister chose the magic year 1997. Those have lived longer distinctly remember that a four-room HDB flat in the 1980s boasted a size of 105 sq m, or 1,130 sq ft. Today, four-room flats built by HDB have shrunk to about 90 sq m, or 969 sq ft.
Khaw must have a shorter attention span, since HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean had already told the audience at the HDB Professional Forum at DB Hub Auditorium in Nov 2011, it reduced flat sizes in the mid-1990s. It is significant that the true picture emerged from online sources. Not all websites are created equal.
Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran must be having problems with his memory too, the Formula 1 race was supposed to be economically viable. Yet he has signed on for another 5 years without presenting the financial tally for a single race. Instead he's keeping mum about the bleeding ink, just because Ecclestone the Hitler lover said, "A gentleman should never speak about money". Let's see how the "Factually" pages put the spin on this one.