How many “homeless” and “poor” Singaporeans are genuinely homeless and poor ?

Overheard :

“Mr. Toh, 56 years old, and his wife sold their HDB flat during golden period and profited S$190,000 cash, 2 1/2 years ago. Supposedly, with their monies in CPF accounts, they were able to pay in full for their new flat and still have balance at hand. A deposit of S$500 was paid and the first instalment for the new flat was to be made 6 months later.

Sadly, Mr. Toh lost all the cash profit to gambling. He won too, totaling S$200,000 and lost. All in 6 months. Once, he placed a bet as high as S$10,000 and ever won S$50,000 in one winning.

When it was time to pay the first instalment, they had no money, forcing them to give up their house.

Homeless, Mr. and Mrs Toh seek shelters from friends and relatives for 2 1/2 years before submitting an application for a HDB rental flat. Our HDB rule is that all applicants are to wait/queue for 30 months after selling a flat. But their application was unsuccessful as they gained from the sale of their 1st flat, they are neither low income nor needy citizens therefore not qualified to rent directly from HDB.

Renting a room in the open market will cost them at least S$500 which they couldn’t afford with Mr Toh’s meagre monthly salary of S$1000 +, as a cleaner. They have medical fees to bear too.

Throughout the interview, Mr Toh expressed great remorse and repented for his mistake, grateful that his wife forgave and did not leave him and they even showed bank book and letter from HDB to the reporter. Mr and Mrs Toh have 3 sons”.

I have been procrastinating sharing my opinions on this news with you. Lazy maybe, but determined. I am neither keen nor concerned about the outcome and the plight of Mr and Mrs Toh are in now. Frankly, I don’t want to be mean but I did suspected their motives for publicizing their plight voluntarily.

S$190,000 is not a small sum, goodness. And to gamble S$190,000 PLUS S$200,000 (his total winnings), altogether S$390,000 in half a year is incredible.

Wow, I can shop like crazy, eat at Michelin star rated restaurants, sign up spa, beauty and slimming packages not forgetting manicure, pedicure, whatever cures available to make me beautiful. Visit Korea and come back a totally new and beautiful lady. Or choose to further my studies, pick up new hobbies, learn different languages becoming a polyglot, or travel. You must be thinking, can one really do so much with S$390,000? Not sure, offer me the money to experiment.

If HDB granted Mr and Mrs Toh a rental flat, it will open the floodgates for large numbers of similar cases and risk depriving the demands of truly low income and needy citizens. How many times one can profit a tidy sum of S$190,000 in a lifetime? Tell me, how do one substantiate the money was lost to gambling, and not by other means or spent on enjoyment and luxuries?

What should our government do if one after another family come forward asking for assistance because they have maxed out all their credit cards, credit lines from banks due to overspending on holidays, housing, renovations, oversights, etc, etc?

I naviely thought one over the age of 50 should be wise and sensible enough to weigh the priorities and importance in life, the least one should avoid is to take risk losing a roof over the head. Worst for this case, “dragging” his wife to suffer with him, causing inconveniences to others whom had offered them accommodations.

Where were their 3 sons? Not even one could offer help to their parents? Not even combining efforts? Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not questioning, just saddened and puzzled.

If these people didn’t get the “help” they expected from our government,

  • will they vowed angrily not to vote for PAP in the coming election?
  • Will they cry swearing housing in Singapore is so expensive and out of reach?
  • Or, our government is not flexible and compassionate enough, causing many to be homeless?

So what if all forms of assistance were extended to them,

  • will these people not blame our government for causing their plight, like building 2 casinos, which encouraged gambling leading to social problems?
  • Or maybe HDB should require all buyers to pay up as soon as their application for a new flat is approved, instead of waiting till 6 months later? Well, in case someone like me might spend all money meant for my flat, away impulsively.

Gosh, it sets me wondering, how many “homeless” and “poor” Singaporeans are genuinely homeless and poor due to real societal changes and problems like high jobless rate, exploitation, inflation, globalisation, hike in transport fares, unfair treatment, “foreign talents” who snatched jobs from citizens?

Think, think, sigh, sleepless nights ahead. Must be the government’s fault.

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Comments

  • No pity! They must bear the consequences! Govt provided a flat and they profited!

 

  • I was very sad when I used up all my CPF and savings to buy my flat .
    I am single with nobody to depend on when I old , I wouldn’t even blink if I own a landed property.

    Never expects govt to take care of me because I am responsible for my own life , I worked hard but it is really for myself and my family , I never think I was patriot or in anyway contributed to my country or minister pay.

    The govt have given me a safe and comfortable environment , educations and opportunities of a career , it is enough for me , I am grateful.

    Now I am smiling because I know I can meet MS when I pledge my flat and qualify for CPF life , thank you govt and Madam Yap.

    PS , suddenly I think my only contribution to SG is try my best not to be part of any problem even if I can’t help.

 

  • There are many many similar cases of mismanagement of one’s fund. At the end of the day many would blame the government for not helping them to solve the problems they have created themselves. In the past, there were many cases of people making good profit from buying and selling of HDB flats a few times.
    Each time they sold and bought a flat, they pocketed most of the profit and borrowed the maximum again. They were able to do that in the earlier days when loan was readily available.
    But problems came when they started to lose their jobs or went into retirement and couldn’t service their forever high housing loan. They finished those profits pocketed, leaving them with no choice but to sell their flat and downgrade to a smaller, provided it was not a negative sales, otherwise they will be homeless. It is a good thing that HDB and MAS came up with new rules on granting of loan.

 

  • The oppie will make use of these group of people , take photo of them picking card board, selling tissue paper , claiming Governmemt is uncaring and favor foriegners . They neber understand foriegners generate most of the government tax revenue to fund all the upgrading , poineer package and share the operating cost of infrastructure like MRT n buses .

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2 comments on “How many “homeless” and “poor” Singaporeans are genuinely homeless and poor ?

  1. Guest says:

    “There are many many similar cases of mismanagement of one’s fund. At the end of the day many would blame the government for not helping them to solve the problems they have created themselves. In the past, there were many cases of people making good profit from buying and selling of HDB flats a few times.
    Each time they sold and bought a flat, they pocketed most of the profit and borrowed the maximum again. They were able to do that in the earlier days when loan was readily available.
    But problems came when they started to lose their jobs or went into retirement and couldn’t service their forever high housing loan. They finished those profits pocketed, leaving them with no choice but to sell their flat and downgrade to a smaller, provided it was not a negative sales, otherwise they will be homeless. It is a good thing that HDB and MAS came up with new rules on granting of loan.”

    You understand and saw a common practice by Singaporeans selling and profiting from their properties.

    Every neighbor that I know over the years have done that.

    But what you failed to see or mentioned is that our economy, designed and led by elites, thrived mainly because of escalating property prices over several decades. Everyone, especially the government, profited/benefited from the property market. Sin modernization was the result of our prosperous real estate.

    You see, your average working class doesn’t have the spending power from their regular salary. Much of their spending power to fuel the economy or stuff/services that gives us the good life comes from the property market.

    But the day of reckoning has come. The property market has peaked. The younger generation will not benefit from the market like their parents did(buying and selling properties many times over had made millionaires of many).

    Regular salary, without the benefit of the rising property market over the decades, will not be able to fuel the economy like before. Many have to save for retirement and can’t afford the many good things in life.

    When the fuel( tremendous spending power from real estate) has dwindled, what do you think will happen to businesses and jobs?

    Expect the economy to suffer(job losses)and current and future generation paying the price for the excesses of their forefathers or the elites – we see this happening all over the world.

  2. liaogz82 says:

    the government need to force them to use only 80% of the monthly contribution to CPF OA to pay for house

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