What's wrong with CEOs living in HDB flats?

There's an idea that a person living in an HDB flat typically belongs to the working class and is not particularly successful in life.
There's an idea that a person living in an HDB flat typically belongs to the working class and is not particularly successful in life. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The article on CEOs choosing to live in HDB flats seems to imply that living in an HDB flat is not befitting the social-economic status of a person holding the title of chief executive officer (They are CEOs and they choose to live in HDB flats, May 5).

There's an idea that a person living in an HDB flat typically belongs to the working class and is not particularly successful in life.

Perhaps this is the general impression one gets of people living in government-subsidised housing, similar to that of people living in council flats in Britain.

But the quality of public housing in Singapore is so admirable and worthy of studies by many other countries that it should not be looked upon as housing for the less successful.

Moreover, cars considered luxurious, such as Lexus, BMW and Mercedes Benz, are often spotted in HDB carparks. And cases of HDB flat owners having high-end sound systems and the latest models of TV sets are not uncommon either.

Ultimately, where a CEO chooses to live is a very personal decision. But a seemingly innocuous news report such as this brings out a very archetypal phenomenon in any society that a person's standing in life and society is defined closely by where he lives or what car he drives.

I am a believer that, for this country to progress as one that is inclusive, kind and gracious, the character traits of a person, such as integrity, uprightness and positivity, are of greater importance than where he lives.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2019, with the headline 'What's wrong with CEOs living in HDB flats?'. Print Edition | Subscribe