Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong explained yesterday why home ownership is an important national policy, saying that it gives every Singaporean an interest in the country and has significantly improved life for everyone.
On the issue of lease contracts for lease contracts of 99 years, Mr. Lee refuted the idea that the lease is "just an extended lease" and not a sale.
He said that he was the argument of some commentators' utterly amazing & # 39; liked, because many private properties are held on lease contracts of 99 years, but no one claims that they are only rented.
"HDB tenants have all rights to their flats owned by such leasehold properties, you can live in it, you can handle it, leave it to your children – it's yours," said Lee, in a book launch to the National University of Singapore.
Actually, HDB owners enjoy extra privileges because their flats are upgraded from time to time with generous government funding, he added.
Although the Prime Minister did not mention the commentators he referred to, The Straits Times published a commentary on 14 August by real estate agent Ku Swee Yong, who said that people should recognize that we are only tenants renting the HDB flats for their terms. ".
Housing was one of the hot-button issues that Mr Lee addressed during the National Rally of the day on Sunday when he announced several long-term housing initiatives in response to concerns about the expiration of HDB leases.
When he returned to the issue yesterday, he said that the ownership of a house makes it possible for every Singaporean community to participate in the economic growth of the country, because as the economy grows, the value of their homes will increase.
Almost every household – even people with a low income – has a substantial asset in its name. This allowed Singapore to avoid the extremes of hardship and poverty, often seen even in affluent societies, Lee said.
He noted that the government could have taken other policy measures to house the people, such as the management of rents such as in San Francisco or largely leaving homes on the private market such as in Hong Kong.
"But none of these alternatives would have produced the same economic and social results as home ownership," he said.
He also said that rented houses create a very different mentality than having a house, since a tenant lives from month to month and has no interest in the long-term value of the property because he can not sell or sell it to his children.
By comparison, a homeowner takes responsibility for his property, thinks for a long time and does his best to protect its value – including maintaining society and the system on which the value of his property depends, he said. That is why HDB sells flats at very subsidized rates, even for low-income households, instead of offering them subsidized rental units, he added.
In addition to housing, Lee also included the mandatory savings scheme of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) as another way in which the government assists Singaporean citizens in building their assets.
Instead of a tax-funded state pension scheme, as is done in many countries, the government has set up a unique system to help people build a nest egg for their retirement, he said.
Lee also spoke about the intangible assets of the country, such as his commitment to multiculturalism.
"These intangibles keep us together as one people," he said. "They enable our society to solve problems and to make progress in ways that others can not easily follow."