When I googled the three words ‘asset enhancement singapore’, Google responded in 0.47 seconds with a listing of over 400,000 results, and a cursory look at the first several pages listed revealed almost exclusively postings and items dwelling whether directly and indirectly on the pros and cons of this topic whose rise in ‘notoriety’ in the local lexicon commenced on that day that LKY first gave it an ‘honourable public mention’ in one of his habitual pontificating and cajoling of the hoi polloi.
Remember, whether a fib or a lie, repeated often enough would soon be uncritically accepted as the gospel truth.
HDB Minister Khaw said recently that some 60% of HDB residents have been living in their first and only HDB flat ALL THEIR LIVES. So that leaves a very sizeable 40% nomadic heartlanders group who no doubt to a greater or lesser degree must have taken LKY’s influential words seriously to heart. IMO, it is immaterial whether these ‘nomadic’ heartlanders have moved / would move or would be moving, to upgrade or to downgrade, because their common denominator or prime motivation would be to realise or liquidate a paper gain – asset enhancement/realization, in short.
So I cannot understand why are the Fernvale Lea would-be residents being harshly criticized by some for thinking about the future value or more precisely, the drop in value, of their HDB flat 99-year leases that they would have to slog a lifetime to pay off and which would effectively hollow out their retirement savings in the CPF as sure as the sun will rise every morning? So what is wrong with taking to heart the words of the ‘master’ the ‘founding father of modern Singapore’ and safeguarding your ‘asset enhancement’ which many would have to depend on for their retirement or to send their kids to university? Perfectly valid and logical/rational reasoning, if you ask me. To quote the ‘founding father’ again, “What’s wrong with making more money.” said he to one ex-very senior servant, named Ngiam.
As for those future Fernvale Lea residents who have no intention to upgrade, downgrade or even uproot (at least at this point in time) not wanting to live beside what is effectively a gigantic urn of incinerated bodily ashes of the dearly departed (kept in some 90,000 urns according to some estimation) because of feng shui, taboo and other religious and/or superstitious reasons is to my mind perfectly justified. There are going to be very practical problems, as pointed out by some, of a continual flow of vehicular and human traffic generated by the presence of the columbarium, and temple. For the sake of illustration, if we assume that family visits are restricted to only Saturdays and Sundays, there possibly would be an average of some 860 single visits per Saturday and Sunday throughout the year (assuming universal filial piety amongst the Buddhists). But it is quite likely that each urn interred at the columbarium would generate more than one set of visitors ranging from filial descendants family members and relatives to friends of the dead, who would likely turn up in small groups coordinated or on their own and that would certainly all add up to a constant flow of vehicular and human traffic. Now when you add into the equation, peak periods of festive days like All Soul Days, temple festivities, movement of funerary employees, related logistics and their vehicles, etc one can well imagine the extent of DEGRADATION that Fernvale Lea residents would suffer in their daily lives at home. A man’s home is his castle but tell me who would like it if his castle is being constantly beleaguered and besieged by a columbarium throng?
If the 5,000 odd landed property residents of Serangoon Gardens can have their way with regard to the foreign workers hostels – now fenced off from the SGE with a separate access via an off SGE access road to boot, one fails to see why the HDB should want to deliberately antagonise the would-be residents of Fernvale Lea with such short-sighted and cock-eyed planning and development? One more example of PAP GE ‘death-wish’ or is it a matter of a moribund and inapt political leadership complemented by an incompetent and indifferent civil service?
In the final analysis, I think they are really two of a kind and probably deserved each other. What do you think?