A PM that looks after old people get my vote

The WhatsApp is on fire after this year’s National Day Rally. PM’s speech must have hit some raw nerves of the opposition camps and their IB.

Some say Merdeka package is a vote buying scheme, the HIP2 and VERS are sham, that PM is disconnected. Yet, cost of living and 99 years lease are the two things that I always hear my parents complaining about. So it appears that PM has heard people’s voice loud and clear.

Merdeka Generation Package is a vote buying scheme. So what? All politicians will want to introduce schemes that will make sure they get voted back in. As long as people stand to gain, I don’t mind. When the G roll out PGP, it was just before GE2015, it won them votes. But old people were very happy with all the benefits. Young people with Pioneer parents were happy cos’ G is helping them support their elderly parents with one big ticket item – healthcare. I have parents in the Merdeka Gen. I am just starting my family. I really don’t mind if the Govt want to make my parents happy and along the way lighten my load.

My question is whether the Government can afford this. For PGP, I understand a lump sum of money was already budgeted for the package for the last term of G, so it will not eat into the Budget of this term of G. For MGP, I hope they do the same.

HIP2 and VERS are sham. To be honest, I don’t know HIP2 and VERS enuf to determine whether it will work or not. But this part of PM speech I listened cos I just bought a flat in Commonwealth to be near my parents. Old one. Small one and quite ex cos it is in prime district. I was told by my agent that it has SERS potential. Now my hope is possibly dashed. I was upset and feel cheated when Lawrence Wong said no more SERS. But it was a gamble I took.

There is a rational side of me that understand what PM is saying – HDB was meant to give a roof over our head (not a profit generating thing), we are given a lot of grants to give us a head-start, most of us (especially those who “guai guai” wait for BTO) will most likely earn from our HDB over time as it appreciates in value (in land scarce Singapore), and almost all of us will outlive our HDB. Bottom line is we cannot compare HDB flat to private apartments. We want to live in HDB, take HDB grants but want private apartments profit quantum, I don’t think it work that way.

I am an only child. My parent has a 4-room flat in Holland V. That flat is almost 10times the value of when they bought it. They want to bequeath it to me. There is really no need to I thought. The G has looked after them by providing them affordable house, and continue to give us loads of grants for our own flat. They can monetise their flat to live a good retirement life. Even if the money go to CPF Life, they get a very decent monthly payout – better than getting a full payout and see them invest all in 4D and Toto.

Eventually, the value of our flat depends really on how well Singapore does economically. If Singapore economy is good, people will come, our HDB value and rent will increase, and we will sit on gold mines. But if our economy crumbles, even our freehold houses will have zero value because no one is here to buy or rent them, and our young people will probably work elsewhere.

We hear oppies either saying a range of things that sometimes seem to contradict each other. Unfortunately our PM is a geek, but his logic is sound. I think his heart is in the right place. He gave my grandparents PGP, and now my parents Merdeka Package. We are not a Welfare State, but he has made sure the older generation are looked after – at least on big ticket items like healthcare, transport and now housing. A PM that looks after old people even deserves my respect.

A normal and practical Singaporean.

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