Speech by MP Lee Bee Wah during Ministry of National Development’s Committee of Supply Debate 2019
Endearing Homes: can we do more?
I was pleased to learn from last year’s National Day Rally that flats built between 1987 and 1997 will also be included in Home Improvement Program (HIP). Half of Khatib homes were built in 1986 and the HIP have been completed or near completion. The other half of Khatib homes were built in 1987 where residents are still waiting for their HIP. May I know how soon can they have their HIP? Their flats would require repair in many areas. Despite the conditions of these flats, many residents are waiting and hoping. They want to save on renovation cost because many are elderly, retired or semi-retired.
In private estates, many residents look forward to the Estate Upgrading Programme (EUP). Can we have EUP in more estates?
Like HDB estates, amenities around the private estates too deteriorate with the years, and they too should be subject to renewal. We can serve the private estates better by introducing more community facilities, like playing fields, courts, carparks etc. Create opportunities for the neighbours to come together, to facilitate community togetherness. I would like to request for large-scale town-wide funding to be extended to private estates too.
Designated Smoking Points are increasingly popular among my residents. We have been relying on private funds to build the DSPs. Can we tap into the CIPC funding for maintenance and addition of new DSPs? With CIPC fund, more DSPs can be rolled out to other parts of Singapore too. Perhaps, HDB should be bold enough to pilot smoke free new BTO block. Buyers are informed upfront that there is no smoking allowed in the block including their own homes. I would like to volunteer to take up this pilot in Nee Soon South.
I have residents who have been asking to sell their flats before 5 years MOP is up as they cannot stand the smokes from their neighbours.
Next, my residents who use heavy vehicles for work often face a long wait for heavy vehicle parking in Yishun Town. Many new residents who shifted into new BTOs are having difficulty in buying season parking. Many have to wake up early and work till very late. Hence, they take the risk of parking along the service road near their homes and ended up receiving summons regularly. On behalf of my residents, I would like to plead to MND to increase the amount of parking space for heavy vehicles to match the demand. I have made such request many times in Parliament.
Next is the plight of divorcees.
Although divorcees with care and control of children can now buy subsidised flats without the three-year restriction, when the ex-spouse is not cooperative, it becomes difficult to sell their matrimonial homes. So, they don’t have money to buy their next flat. I hope more can be done to facilitate the post-divorce sale of flat process.
Next, may I know how many 2-rooms flats has HDB built and how many singles are still waiting to buy 2-room flats? Will MND consider allowing singles to buy 3-room flats so that they can accommodate their elderly parents?
Finally, I would like to know how does HDB determine the TOL fee that they charge for essential services like ATM and AXS machines? I have been asking for an AXS machine to be installed at Blk 507 where there are coffeeshops and other shops. I was told that HDB is charging $200 per month.
Hence, the operating cost of an AXS machine is $500-600 per month. This makes service provider procrastinate.
Can HDB waive the fee so that the service providers are more willing to provide such essential services?
Watch the speech here