Forum: Don't penalise those who sell HDB flats and gain from lottery effect

I agree that HDB estates need diversity and inclusiveness (Ensure the low-income group can live in 'choice' public estates, Dec 6).

Prime land must include a fair share of public housing to ensure that they do not become enclaves for the rich. If housing estates in prime locations also provide for lower-cost public housing or rental units, then more people would get a chance to own or rent a unit in these estates.

But I do not agree that owners of such public flats who sell at a huge profit should be penalised. We can create fairly equal opportunities, but we cannot ensure equal outcomes.

If someone strikes it big from his allotment of a prime HDB flat, we should not begrudge him the windfall. Others will have their windfall in other ways.

Proposals for a longer minimum occupation period (MOP), shorter lease or higher resale levy are at best trying to ensure fairly equal outcomes. It is akin to lowering the 4D first prize payout to levels similar to the second or third prize payouts, just to ensure more people are happy and are not unduly disadvantaged.

Public housing is an entitlement for all Singaporeans but that does not mean that everyone must have a choice unit. And not all will sell their units after the MOP in the hope of a windfall.

Foo Sing Kheng

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