Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says Singaporeans should not sell their Housing Development Board (HDB) flats as they will appreciate in value year after year.
He told some 500 residents at a Tanjong Pagar GRC event, “I urge you not to listen to the estate agents and sell it and go and rent a flat because that’s a stupid thing to do.”
“You sell it, you may not get a rental flat for a long time. And you cannot gain from a rental flat… Please remember that,” he added.
Mr Lee’s advice comes shortly after the Government took measures to curb homeowners from selling their HDB flats to make a quick profit.
In an effort to encourage financial prudence, the HDB introduced a seven-day cooling-off period for people intending to sell their flats, starting from November 1.
Mr Lee was speaking at the annual Tree Planting Day in the GRC, and also took the chance to emphasise the importance of the Government’s home-ownership policy in creating a stable nation.
“No other country in the world has every family own their own flat or their own place,” he said.
“If we had not done that from the earlier days, we would not have today’s stable and peaceful Singapore.”
“Everybody has a piece of property which has increased in value every year. The infrastructure grows, the economy grows, the value of your home can go up,” he added.
He noted that flats 30 years ago which cost about S$30,000 to $40,000 would cost about ten times more today after upgrading, and told residents, “I congratulate all those who have kept your flats, and I urge those who have got old flats, keep them. Your upgrading programme will come, and you will have a much more valuable piece of property.”
When asked if he will contest in the next General Elections (GE), the 87-year-old Minister Mentor told reporters, “If I’m fit, I’m prepared to stand. But whether I stand or not, that’s up to the Prime Minister.”
This stance is similar to the one he portrayed in 2006, shortly after the last GE, when he told constituents at a National Day dinner, “If I’m still fit and capable of making another speech like this, I’ll be here, I will stand with you.”
Mr Lee has been the MP for Tanjong Pagar since the first Legislative Assembly elections in 1955, and last faced a contest in the elections in 1988 against independent candidate M.G. Guru, winning 81.6 per cent of the vote then.
The Tanjong Pagar seat became part of the Tanjong Pagar GRC in 1991, and since then, the constituency’s MPs have been unopposed.
However, we may have the opportunity to see some competition in the upcoming elections, with Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam declaring his party’s interest in contesting the Tanjong Pagar GRC if they have enough candidates.
When asked if he thought the Reform Party had a chance to win over the GRC, Mr Lee replied, smiling, “You can sense the crowd, you can feel the ground, I don’t have to answer you.”
Source: Straits Times, 14th Nov 2010