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“We shouldn’t expect the Government to entirely bail us out of the housing decisions we made”: Journalist Bharati Jagdish

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Journalist Bharati Jagdish spoke out in favour of the 99-year leases of Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, and added that “Singaporeans would do well to manage their expectations and exercise prudence in their choices”.

The digital news journalist at Channel NewsAsia wrote a piece titled, ‘Windfalls and bailouts should not be an expected part of the public housing equation’. Her article was shared online, and drew a mixed bag of reactions from Singaporeans.

In her article, she cautioned Singaporeans and advised them to manage their expectations when it came to aid from the Government for their depreciating HDB leases. She also added that even with Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS), or the new Home Improvement Programme II (HIP), there were a lot of factors involved and residents should not come to automatically expect them.

Jagdish also emphasised, “there was clearly a belief in some quarters that the state would feel a duty to provide some form of compensation before or at the end of 99 years, whether through SERS or some other scheme”.

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She continued adding, “Recent statements and discussions on this issue have hopefully driven home the message that we shouldn’t expect the Government to entirely bail us out of the housing decisions we made for ourselves”.

In her article, she also stated the obvious that, “public housing is clearly not an asset that will invariably grow in value no matter the conditions”.

Many Singaporeans were unhappy as they added that they were promised “asset enhancement” when it came to their HDB flats.

Others also added that her article was skewed in its viewpoint.

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