Saturday, April 13, 2013

Perils Of Staying On State Land

Presumably not a candidate for World Heritage Site
When residents living on idyllic Pulau Ubin received a letter informing them that their homes are slated for "clearance", what else could they think of except that another land grabbing exercise is in the offing? The letter from the Housing Board document even spelt out that officers will be visiting their premises to conduct a "census survey" and determine their "eligibility of resettlement benefits". At least they are rendered compensation courtesies denied the residents of Bukit Brown.

As soon as the news hit the airwaves, the Ministry of National Development and the Singapore Land Authority quickly issued a joint statement on the same Friday the story broke. This time the government is saying the residents on Pulau Ubin will not be evicted and there are no plans to develop a new adventure park on the island. However, if affected residents do decide to remain in their homes, they will have to pay rent from now on because they are staying on state land.

So if the residents who have not been paying rent all these peaceful years, stand firm and refuse to do so in future, will they be evicted? Or will they be "formally escorted" by the Singapore Police Force to new accommodation in Changi?

It seems the word "eviction" has acquired the same odiferous distinction as "strike". Once again, a spade is not allowed to be called a spade. It is quite obvious that the Housing Development Board, the Ministry of National Development and the Singapore Land Authority don't share the same dictionary. Either that or the top civil servants in those departments are having their own turf wars, in the rivalry spirit of the SCDF, CNB and SPF.

The agencies "clarified" that the notices given to 22 households in March were a follow-up from a previous exercise. Problem is the previous exercise inferred to is a projected mentioned in 1922. Back then, it was reported that the Government would acquire 254 ha of the private land on Pulau Ubin within the following year, partly to create an adventure park. Will the residents staying on state land have to back pay the rent for the years 1922 to 2013? Maybe another government can come up with a clarification about the clarification. One thing's crystal clear, when there's money to be collected, these guys have elephantine memories.


  1. I was once told the island was given to one man by a sultan. For the legal formalities of ownership, a nominal value of $1 was assigned. When the government acquired the land, the official assessor gave him a cheque of just that - $1. The guy never cashed the cheque, he just framed for posterity, evidence of the evil mind.

  2. Let's hope Singapore voters have elephantine memories too on the Population White Paper.

    Please correct me if I got the following wrong:
    Singapore has 99 Members of Parliament.
    There are 87 MPs; 9 NMPs; and 3 NCMPs in Parliament.

    NMP who Abstained (Present But Did Not Want To Vote)
    1.Eugene Tan, NMP

    NMP who did not show up for work & vote (Absent)
    2.Tan Su Shan, NMP

    NMP who voted YES
    3.Nicholas Fang,
    4.Mary Liew,
    5.Ramy Dhinakaran
    6.Teo Siong Seng.

    NMP who voted NO
    7.Janice Koh,
    8.Faizah Jamal and
    9.Laurence Lien

    PAP MPs who did not show up for work & vote (Absent)
    10.Dr Chia Shi Lu
    11.Lee Kuan Yew
    12.Raymond Lim Siang Keat
    13.Alvin Yeo

    PAP MPs who were in Parliament but were missing-in-action when vote was taken
    14. Inderjit Singh
    15. Indranee Rajah
    16. Ne Eng Hen

    NCMPs (100% voted NO)
    17. Gerald Giam
    18. Yee Jenn Jong
    19. Lina Loh

    Workers’ Party elected MPs (all voted NO)
    20. Low Thia Khiang
    21. Sylvia Lim
    22. Chen Show Mao
    23. Muhamad Faisal Manap
    24. Pritam Singh
    25. Png Eng Huat
    26. Lee Li Lian

    This leaves (99-26=73) remaining MPs (All PAP)
    So all the remaining 73 PAP MPs voted “YES”.

    Just thought we should know who might be the Traitors, Patriots and Cowards.


    1. Is it not a serious enough matter whether to vote or not? What excuse does LKY & MPs have for not showing up & vote ?

    2. Excuse??

      Pau Chiak!!

      Therefore, no need to vote.

  3. Ah, Ubin, close to nature and perfect place for budding AOs to practise their latest Thatcherite fervour and score a few brownie points on their way to next year's promotion and another $100k salary "adjustment".I wonder if Soviet Russia or fascist Hitler were given unfettered powers to tax evict or jail, whether they would be more successful than papigs? Anyway congrats to the AOs once again, a new theme park can only mean a huge GDP surge, think of all the chances to make some side income, makes the BTO "trickle-down" from subcontractors seem like "peanuts". So another big dollop of goodies and promotions on the way then for the AOs!

    1. Proposed AO policy suggestion.

      Set up a $2 company to buy the exclusive rights to re-develop Pulau Ubin.

    2. Anon 8.19

      Hitler and Stalin, will not bother with legal niceties, they will send either the Gestapo or NKVD to haul you to starve an work in the concentration camps and gulags.

      What hyperbole

  4. Now that all civil servants can call in sick for 2 days without producing a valid MC, they will need a place to go away to, wouldn't they? Looks like they will build another fancy civil service club on the island with a sea view. That's 2 days a year x 80,000 civil servants shaking legs, no wonder productivity is low.

  5. The year is reported as 1993 not 1922. SPH may be thinking of developing a Punggol Cove for the millionaire ministers to live. And TT could have pre-ordered a unit or two at discounted price.

  6. Be it state land or private land, when they are due for developments, resettlement is inevitable.
    No excuse and refusal can be made, otherwise eviction is final.

  7. These people are living illegally. i,e they didn't buy the land that they have been staying in.

    But we should continue to let them stay and it is ok to deprive others from enjoying it. Vote for us, the opposition, we rule by the heart, not the brain. It should be ok also if the villages want to build stilted concrete houses and make it more comfy for themselves. The govt should use some of our tax money and help them in the sanitation problems.

  8. After the success of sentosa, they will want to build another beachfront properties for the super rich (bundled with free citizenships for their entire family) so they can evict taxes from their native countries. THe G will not let go of earning such monies. THe adventure park is just another half truth.

  9. The letter reads:
    "SLA has sought HDB Land Clearance Section {LCS}'s assistance to clear the above squatter house."
    If this is not an eviction notice, what is?

    Para 2 states: "Please note that resettlement benefits offered is strictly ex-gratia. The Cut-Off Date of eligibility for resettlement benefits for the above clearance scheme is 10 Apr 2009."
    And the notice is dated 12 Mar 2013. Talk about being screwed!

  10. Members of Parliament who are absent during a parliament seating.

    Must produce Medical certificate (MC) or not ah?

  11. I think the govt should just leave the illegal squatters alone. Let them continue there lah, what's the problem? In fact, not only Ubin, even in mainland in some areas like the Upper Bukit Timah railway line, in Tuas, in Lim Chu Kang, those forested areas, we should not and cannot evict those illegal people there. People are humans with feelings. They liked the area, have been staying there, and are used to the area. Our citizens cannot anyhow be evicted get screwed like that !

    If want them to clear, can, then govt must resettle them for free in a 5 room HDB exec, paid from our tax dollars. What do you say ?

    1. As long as it's got two legs and it's breathing ... gahmen will sure want to tax.

    2. Ah!
      But if it's rich,
      got two legs,
      and no longer breathing;
      gahmen will not tax.

      In short,
      If you are rich and dead;
      you will not be taxed.

  12. Evictions had began for over 30 years.
    And Sinkies still think it is news?

    1. Nothing new.
      Evicting Singaporeans from Singapore.

    2. But the Sunday Times say:
      "Pulau Ubin residents will not be evicted"
      and ChannelNewsAsia say:
      "Authorities say no plans to evict households residing on Pulau Ubin"
      So who should we believe?

    3. Don't believe anybody.
      Go ask Pulau Ubin residents yourself.
      Believe only in yourself.

  13. Isn't there a law something about squatters sitting on state land for 25 years undisputed maybe eligible to claim the land as theirs?

  14. I successful countries is how to use its local manpower to develop premium products, it is not totally depend on having or not having resources, resources poor Japan build a high tech economy on imported commodities, Israel with a highly advanced economy with out resources? Don't keep harping on having or not having foreigners, continue to improve the locals?

    1. PAP does not exist in Japan & Israel.
      Therefore, it is possible to build a high tech, democratic economy.