Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Defining Graciousness - Tampines Rental Flats

1. Gracious: behaving in a pleasant, polite, calm way
2. Gracious: having the qualities of great comfort, beauty and freedom made possible by being rich

HDB says it is building rental flats for the poor and needy, and some residents are dismayed that the quality of their neighbourhood may decline, safety may be compromised, "smokers and drinkers may gather at the void deck" and the view and breeze may be blocked. What a gracious attitude.

It was quite disappointing to hear what some residents had to say. The people I do agree with, however, are the residents who are in an uproar not due to a diminished breeze but because of the lack of consultation from Tampines GRC MPs. If something was being built in my backyard, I'd appreciate a bit more than a notice in the lift lobby.

With the recent news of three opposition parties keen to contest Tampines GRC,it would make sense for the current MPs to work towards maintaining their positions.

Instead, this move has left many residents very unhappy, with one saying, "Mr. Sin should have had the decency to consult his constituents, but he conveniently bypassed us."

Mr Sin, a Tampines GRC MP, said that "consulting the residents...would have led to the premature release of price-sensitive information affecting people's decision to buy or sell flats in the area".

I understand this to mean that they predicted residents would be opposed to the rental flats and didn't want a sudden selling spree to decrease the value of the flats. Maybe they also feared that if the information was known, sales of the flats might be affected.

UPDATE: TODAY reports that Mr Sin assures residents, "the peace won't be disturbed, the quality of the estate won't be hurt". If that's the case I wonder why residents were not informed and assured of this beforehand.

So from the recent HDB issues, we can conclude that:
- Under the current conditions, existing HDB flat owners were not consulted about major changes to their estate.
- Neglecting to consult residents is okay as long as MPs give their delayed assurance in response to an uproar.
- Singaporeans who vote against what they are unhappy with are daft.
- If an opposition party wins, flats will "no longer be of any value".

A simple analogy: If your boyfriend is going to leave you for another girl, calling him stupid is not the best way to win him back. Carrying out renovations on his house without telling him about it is not a good idea either. And badmouthing the other girl doesn't put you in a better light.

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