My HDB flat was more than a house. It held the promise of a future

HDB flats represented major milestones in my life. Even as debate rages about public housing, it continues to be a symbol of upward mobility for many Singaporeans.

Public housing, while it is a physical construct, is also an idea that is irrevocably baked into our national consciousness. PHOTO: ST FILE
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

Earlier this month, Singaporeans were taken aback by photos of Tampines HDB blocks painted floor-to-ceiling in bright red, like the set of a Dario Argento horror film.

Mercifully, only a gentle shade of mauve was ever inflicted on the walls of the HDB block I lived in. 

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.