We have enough land for 500,000 more HDB flats: Khaw

Housing Minister Khaw Boon Wan assured Singaporeans in Parliament yesterday that the country has enough land for the development of 500,000 more HDB flats – more than double needed to house the White Paper’s projected 5.9 million population.

“This is the ‘kiasu’ approach, to give us plenty of buffer,” said Khaw.

“We may not need to build as many units as projected but we can take comfort from our planners’ assurance that we can build new homes for all Singaporeans and keep housing affordable.”

He said that the government was working to tame high HDB resale prices and believe that current cooling measures will soon make an impact – if not, more would be done.

“In short, young Singaporeans, please don’t worry. There will be enough flats for everyone, and you won’t have to wait too long.”

Khaw added that HDB would continue to launch more BTOs and ECs as long as there continued to be demand, with new areas at Punggol, Tampines North and Bidadari available for new public housing.

Taking a shot at WPs anti-migrant policy suggestion during Tuesday’s Parliament session, Khaw said that he was “shocked” by their recommendation that Singapore freeze its foreign worker population for the next eight years.

“I do need more construction workers, more than are currently available,” said Khaw.

“That (WP policy) will throw a spanner into my plans, and I will not be able to deliver new buildings for 2,000 new families. Please rethink your proposal.”

Warns of 'dire consequences' if Paper recommendations are ignored


Going straight into ongoing debate over the Population Paper, Khaw bluntly admitted that the policy would be unpopular with frustrated Singaporeans, but warned of the dire consequences of not supporting it.

"Our Singapore population is ageing rapidly and our labour force will soon shrink. If nothing is done, there will be less job opportunities for our young and not enough healthcare workers to care for our old. That is the crisis that will confront us in the next 10 to 15 years," he said.

"If we sweep the problem under the carpet and wish it away, it will not. It will only become more serious and may become insoluble."

Khaw also spoke about quality of life, saying that despite having no mountains or lakes, Singaporeans are still able to enjoy lush greenery, clean air and blue skies – as well as stay in flats ‘superior to most apartments in Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York’.

“By most measures Singapore is more liveable than other nations. Our policies have always focused on good planning to ensure livability. With better resources and experiences we can do even better than we do today to ensure Singapore remains this way.”

Khaw also sought to disprove notions that Singaporean’s quality of life would diminish with a higher population density, saying that HDB would work to ‘improve the estate layout, common spaces, air flow, landscape, greenery and connectivity between spaces’.

These layouts, he said, would promote greater community interaction.

He acknowledged that current infrastructure restrictions and overcrowding has been ‘painful’ for Singaporeans, but said that if current challenges were not dealt with properly, future generations would suffer.

“We cannot simply pretend (the challenges) don’t exist. We cannot simply pass them to future generations. This government is and always will be on the side of Singaporeans. The scenarios sketched in the White Paper are no blindly pro-business, or blindly pro-growth. People first – not growth first.”

Reported with Jeanette Tan at Parliament

Related links:
DPM Teo speaks out in support of Paper
70% more capacity on trains by 2017: Lui Tuck Yew

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 3 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 5 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 11 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.