SINGAPORE: Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC) quoted the country’s founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, in a recent Facebook post about a lack of air conditioning in HDB rental flats.
“A while back, a resident of ours needed assistance to appeal for the HDB to allow them to install an air-con unit in their rental flat. This given the hot and humid weather which is aggravating his father’s medical condition,” Mr Chua wrote.
He added that aside from the cost issue, he was “a little surprised to hear that the installation of air-con units, which many of us take for granted at home or at work is not allowed by the HDB.”
Mr Chua added that he hopes that the Housing and Development Board would reassess the situation, given the rising temperature and heat stresses, particularly for “the older rental flats which may even have technical constraints to such installations; yet could be the very ones which may not have the best natural ventilation.”
He then went on to quote Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The late Prime Minister said, “air conditioning was a most important invention for us.”
In an interview in the New Perspectives Quarterly‘s—Fall 2009/Winter 2010 issue, Mr Lee was asked about the secrets of the country’s success.
While he underlined that tolerance is a key factor among the various ethnic groups in the country, he also, quite surprisingly, credited air conditioning for Singapore’s success.
Mr Lee was asked if “anything else besides multicultural tolerance that enabled Singapore’s success.”
He answered, “Air conditioning. Air conditioning was a most important invention for us, perhaps one of the signal inventions of history. It changed the nature of civilization by making development possible in the tropics.
Without air conditioning you can work only in the cool early-morning hours or at dusk. The first thing I did upon becoming prime minister was to install air conditioners in buildings where the civil service worked. This was key to public efficiency.” /TISG
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