Opposition sec-gen accuses Low Thia Khiang of not being able to see through HDB’s Asset Enhancement Scheme “scam”

Even as Housing Development Board’s Asset Enhancement Scheme remains a hot topic among Singaporeans recently, with many likening the scheme to a “ticking time bomb,” “political big bazooka,” and a “scam,” an opposition politician has accused former Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang of being unable to see through the “scam”.

His views come after HDB chief executive Dr Cheong Koon Hean indicated earlier this week that the value of aging HDB flats will decline over time. Dr Cheong’s comments mirrored National Development Minister Lawrence Wong confirmation last year that the vast majority of flats will be returned to HDB, without any compensation for homeowners, when the 99-year-lease runs out.

The authorities’ comments are contrary to the government’s past promises that HDB flats are “nest-eggs” that grow in value over time. Just before the General Election in 2011, then-National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan told Singaporeans: “We’re proud of the asset enhancement policy. (It) has given almost all Singaporeans a home of their own…that grows in value over time.”

Noted opposition politician Goh Meng Seng was one of the few who saw through the Government’s past promises. Revealing that fighting against the Asset Enhancement Scheme was one of his motivations for joining the opposition, Goh said on Facebook yesterday:

“One of my initial resolve in joining opposition politics is to fight PAP against its Asset Enhancement Scam, which is extremely difficult because like any scam, it feeds on people’s greed. Most people are short sighted and didn’t see the full picture while only focus on their short term gain. They didn’t realize that HDB Price inflation may let them gain in short term, but whatever gain they get, is at the expense of their children’s future, as well as many future generations to come.
“This greed which Asset Enhancement scam built upon, burnt like fire in the 1990s and even into 2000s. It was a perfect scam that helped PAP to hold on to absolute monopoly of power for three decades.”

Goh said that while he saw through the scam, he was disappointed that his former leader, veteran opposition figure Low Thia Khiang, couldn’t see the scheme for what it is even though Goh tried to explain the issue to him.

A former member of the Workers’ Party (WP), Goh was reportedly part of the WP’s “A-Team” in the mid-2000s. He had been part of the 5-member WP team that contested Aljunied GRC in the 2006 General Election which lost with a commendable 43.9 per cent of the vote. The team Goh was a part of performed so well that they won a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament seat that team leader Sylvia Lim took.

Criticising that Low’s “lack of a good Economic training” is his “key weakness”, Goh said:

“When I joined WP, on a few occasions. I had raised this issue to LTK and said that this is the most important issue we need to raise. He brushed it off saying that what’s wrong with Asset Enhancement Scheme? It is good what!
“Needless to say, I was completely disappointed that the leader of the opposition party which has one of the two seats in parliament, couldn’t see through such a scam.
“I tried to explain why this AES is wrong but it just couldn’t get through him. Apparently, the lack of a good Economic training is the key weakness of LTK.”

Read his full post here:

Thought of the Day – HDB-CPF axis Time Bomb, the glaring failure of PAP and WP LTKI have said, the Asset Enhancement…

Posted by Goh Meng Seng on Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Netizens criticise “out of touch” HDB chief after she indicates that aging HDB flats’ value will decline over time