The government narrative for decades was that HDB flats would continue to grow in value, giving Singaporeans peace of mind as a golden retirement nest egg.
Without warning nor apology, the narrative has switched to old HDB flats not growing in value but STILL having value.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has given the analogy of a 25-year-old Singaporean buying a new 99-year-lease HDB flat.
There will be more than 30 years of lease left when the owner turns 85, said Heng.
“Is there still value in the flat? Absolutely,” he declared.
May we ask the Minister whether there is still value in old cars, which, like HDB flats, dwindle in value with each passing day. The answer: Absolutely! But we call it scrap value.
So having value is one thing. The question is, what kind of value?
There is also a huge difference between growing in value and dwindling in value.
Just like they have blatantly changed the narrative and goal post about GST hike and CPF savings and so many other things, they are doing the same to HDB flats without batting an eye.
The government also constantly talks about Singaporeans as if we are all ageless wonders who live to 100 years old without financial and health problems. It’s why CPF savings have to be withheld, along with restricted use of Medisave and restricted coverage of MediShield Life.
The truth is that many younger Singaporeans already face financial and health concerns and the dwindling value of HDB flats adds to their worries.
The least our politicians could do is to spare us the fairy tales and not rub salt into wounds.