Residents question MPs on housing, education issues at post-National Day Rally dialogue

MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Gan Thiam Poh (standing up) addresses the residents on the lease buyback scheme during a Pasir Ris-Punggol post National Day Rally dialogue session held at the Sengkang Community Club's multi-purpose hall on Aug 31, 2014.
MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Gan Thiam Poh (standing up) addresses the residents on the lease buyback scheme during a Pasir Ris-Punggol post National Day Rally dialogue session held at the Sengkang Community Club's multi-purpose hall on Aug 31, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Housing and education were the two main topics brought up by residents at a dialogue session with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sunday.

Together with the five other MPs from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, he explained the main points from this year's National Day Rally to 250 residents at Sengkang Community Club.

In response to a question about why the Housing Board's Lease Buyback Scheme is not extended to larger flats such as executive flats, Mr Teo said the scheme is meant for couples who want to continue living in their own flats.

"We don't need to encourage people to stay in flats which are much bigger than they really need," he said. Those with larger flats can consider other alternatives to get income, such as renting out their entire flat or downsizing to a smaller one, he said.

Mr Teo also called for the younger generation to take up "practical" jobs and pursue interests that can give them a "decent living". A resident had brought up a point that youth these days tend to choose what they study based on their interests. But they may not be able to find a job after that.

"If you pursue an interest and find it difficult to make a living after that, and expect your parents to pay a lot of money for you to pursue your interest... that's not the most responsible thing to do," he said. "You can pursue your interest in other ways, as a passion; you don't have to pursue it as a career."