A sponsored Facebook advertisement for the Midwood Condominium at 8 Hillview Rise has drawn criticism, after the administrators of the condo’s social media page touted that the exclusive development is built in a private estate “without any HDB in sight.” The post indicated that the condo “offers a prestigious and quiet environment” since it is not surrounded by public housing flats.
The Midwood condominium ad comes days after an Raffles Girls School (RGS) staff drew flak for off-the-record comments that implied that the school’s new campus would allow pupils to reach out to “ordinary” folks who live in HDB estates.
Speaking to The New Paper about the move, the staff had said: “Moving away from the luxurious condominiums in Orchard Road will allow our girls to reach out more to the ordinary Singaporean.”
The staff drew swift backlash for his comment on social media. Calling the remark “elitist” and “unnecessary,” netizens noted that the remark since it seemed to link the school’s location to its identity and seemed to imply that RGS students are elite and have finally gotten a chance to mingle with the lower class due to the new school location.
Days later, another instance of elitism went viral. A video that began trending on 25 Oct showed an India-born condo resident verbally abusing a hapless security officer at the Eight Riversuites condominium with vulgarities, before making a remark about HDB.
The resident, who berated the elderly guard after being told that guests visiting his condominium needed to pay parking fees, said “I buy your f***ing property for $1.5 million you know. This is 1.5 million you know” before adding, “We’re not staying in a HDB you know?”
The incident outraged Singaporeans who blasted the condo resident for disrespecting the security guard and insulting the majority of Singaporeans who live in HDB flats.
Netizens responding to the Midwood condo sponsored post said that the text portrayed HDB dwellers as “peasants” who can’t afford to live in such a prestigious development built in a private estate and called the post “elitist” and “offensive”.
Developer Hong Leong Group won the bid for the 99-year Hillview Rise residential site last year with a $460 million offer. In an interview with the Straits Times, a top director of a local real estate consultancy firm said that the land is attractive because it is “very exclusive and private”.
Dr Lee Nai Jia, senior director and head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, had said: “The land parcel is very attractive as it is close to retail amenities and is within walking distance of the MRT station. Better yet, it has the flavour of a very exclusive and private neighbourhood.”