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Author Topic: Desmond Choo, PAP candidate for Hougang by-election  (Read 54383 times)
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limweech

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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 08:09:36 PM »

Low Thia Khiang, 2008



http://www.parliament.gov.sg/publications-singapore-parliament-reports

Parliament No:   11
Session No:   1
Volume No:   84
Sitting No:   7
Sitting Date:   2008-02-28
Section Name:   BUDGET
Title:   HEAD T - MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


Mr Low Thia Khiang (Hougang): Sir, the HDB Main Upgrading Programme started full swing after the 1991 general election.  Its objectives are to renew older HDB estates and to share the wealth of the nation with Singaporeans under the asset enhancement scheme.  The programme became a political tool for the PAP in 1997 general election under a blatant abuse of power by the PAP Government to alter voting behaviour.  Politics aside, the upgrading programme is funded by the national budget, and the money belongs to all Singaporeans. Denying Singaporeans living in opposition wards, this publicly funded programme is highly discriminatory in nature.  Does the Government need to be reminded that residents of opposition wards perform national service duties, and pay the same rate of income tax and GST as any other Singaporeans?

     When I took up the issue in Parliament, the Minister's answer was that the criteria for HDB upgrading are based on the age of the flats, geographical spread and support for the programme.  When I asked about Hougang's turn for upgrading, the Minister's reply was that Hougang was not due for upgrading for many, many years.  Twelve years have passed since the Minister made that statement in 1996.  Now I am asking again.  Is the wait long enough now for the MUP to come to Hougang?  Or is Hougang constituency denied MUP?  Are the so-called criteria for the HDB upgrading programme a convenient excuse for the PAP Government to abuse its position in power to discriminate against Singaporeans along the line of political affiliation?

     I understand that in 1991, the projected average upgrading cost per flat was $30,000-$38,000.  I would like to know how much the Government had spent, on average, for each HDB flat type under MUP by individual precinct completed so far?  Taking an average cost of $30,000 for a basic upgrading package and factoring in the co-payment formula, this Government owes every eligible flat owner in Hougang constituency $22,000 to $27,000 for the long overdue upgrading.  In 1995, the Minister for National Development said that the upgrading programme is a long-term programme.  It will take 15-20 years to upgrade all the old estates.

     Since the MUP was started in 1990, I take it that by 2010, all MUPs would have been completed.  However, I am surprised to learn from the MND budget that MUP and IUP will be replaced by the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) and the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP).  The MUP aims for precinct level upgrade and enhancement whereas the HIP deals more with building defect rectification works.  The NRP, on the other hand, is more like the IUP or improvement works undertaken by the Town Councils.  So where is the MUP equivalent in scale and level of estate upgrading, as promised to Singaporeans under the asset enhancement scheme?  Since the HIP's criteria are similar to MUP, with the level of political support as a factor, would that put the opposition wards last in the queue again?  In other words, will opposition wards need to start all over again and wait many, many years for HIP to happen?

     Last year, I visited a resident who was injured by falling concrete slabs due to spalling in the kitchen of his flat.  As the flat continues to age, spalling concrete can become an issue of safety.  Unless the Minister thinks that the safety of residents living in HDB flats in Hougang is of lesser concern than those in the PAP wards, it is only right for the Minister to shorten the waiting time required for HIP to be implemented in the opposition wards.  To expedite the HIP, the Minister may want to consider delegating HIP to Town Councils to speed up the implementation of the programme.  Alternatively, he can also consider allocating the funds to HDB branch offices to better target essential repairs to deserving flats under their charge.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 08:16:50 PM by limweech » Logged


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limweech

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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 09:55:00 PM »

Choose your MP who can take care of residents in the long term, says PAP's candidate
By Sharon See
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1202644/1/.html

Mr Choo was also asked about a comment by The Workers' Party's Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang - that he is riding on government welfare schemes in his campaign.

Mr Choo replied that an MP needs to apply pressure on the authorities to hasten certain national projects, such as the Lift Upgrading Programme.

He said if Hougang's development was ideal, he would not need to actively pressure the Ministry of National Development to move faster.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 02:32:06 PM by limweech » Logged
limweech

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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 02:53:48 PM »

http://theonlinecitizen.com/2012/05/workers-party-balances-hougang-and-national-issues/
Workers’ Party balances Hougang and national issues
The Online Citizen on May 23, 2012
By Benjamin Cheah

Pritam Singh
------------
Mr Singh added “Independence is not a mere label” and encouraged Ms Denise Phua and Mr Choo to run as independents if they truly want to be independent. Finally, he argued that the PAP has constantly punished Hougang for voting for the WP by pushing Hougang to the back of the queue for upgrading schemes.

Sylvia Lim
----------
Ms Lim said that Ms Phua and Mr Teo were ignorant of what the WP has done for Hougang. She cited a case in 2000, where the Hougang Town Council used its funds to upgrade lifts in some blocks of flats – without requiring residents to pay. She then listed five incidents where the Hougang Citizens’ Consultative Committee did not approve the use of Community Improvement Projects Committee (CIPC) funds for improvement projects, such as signs and footpaths. She said that the Hougang Town Council had to use its own funds to pay for upgrading works.

Png Eng Huat
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He said that a lot of problems in Hougang were caused by the PAP in the first place

He referred to PM Lee’s statement that real democracy is not about voting blindly, qualifying that democracy is also not about punishing people who vote for the opposition. “Political discrimination has no place in this inclusive society” he said, asking voters to send this message on Polling Day.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 03:10:12 PM by limweech » Logged
limweech

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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 06:32:13 PM »

Upgrading Hougang
By Wee Nam Kee      Published by The Online Citizen on May 24, 2012
http://theonlinecitizen.com/2012/05/upgrading-hougang/

How ironic is it that the PAP dangles the upgrading carrot in front of Hougang voters, when that upgrading is the deserved right of residents not only of Hougang, but the entire Singapore. The image that comes to mind is of an older bully, snatching the wallet of a primary school kid and holding it up high, promising to return his wallet if only the poor kid crawls under his legs.

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