Forum: HDB lease top-up proposals not prudent

HDB flats as viewed from Toa Payoh Crest, on Dec 16, 2019.
HDB flats as viewed from Toa Payoh Crest, on Dec 16, 2019.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Yet again proposals on how to manage the lease decay of HDB flats have been raised (HDB lease top-up proposal has drawbacks: Observers, Dec 17).

I believe this issue is simply a matter of "product specification".

From the date of purchase of any property, the tenure of the property is clearly stated and buyers going in are aware that the lease for leasehold properties will eventually end, and the land will go back to the Government.

Hence, lease expiry is simply a given and it is bewildering why this issue concerning ageing HDB flats should surface time and again.

We are unlike other countries where a lease tenure can be arbitrarily extended to freehold status at a government's whim and fancy, given our country's limited land space.

Furthermore, if there were any lease extension of HDB flats, the cost would ultimately be borne by the Government, taxpayers and future generations.

Instead of exhorting the Government to do a lease top-up at a token cost, it is only prudent, logical and responsible that we allow the expiry of the lease. Singaporeans who want a property that lasts beyond 99 years can always opt to buy a freehold property or a 999-year leasehold property.

Lee Yong Se

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2019, with the headline 'HDB lease top-up proposals not prudent'. Subscribe