Photo of Lawrence Wong from Ngau Kai Yan CNA

State media Chinese papers Lian He Zao Bao yesterday (Dec 28) published an article warning Singaporeans that around 70,000 HDB apartment units will see their lease end in 50 years. The state media reiterated an earlier message by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, reminding Singaporeans that HDB units that have their lease ended will be confiscated by the government without compensation. The Minister also ruled out that the government will allow existing homeowners to stay and renew the lease for free.

In the past 23 years, only 4% of the HDB public housing were selected for en bloc under the SERS scheme. The state media advised that Singapore “homeowners” should hence not rely on the SERS. Minister Lawrence Wong also suggested that Singaporeans should only buy HDB flats that have lease lasting until they are 95 years old.

According to an earlier report by Straits Times, 191 private properties at Geylang Lorong 3 saw their 60-year lease ending by 31 Dec 2020 and the properties will be confiscated by the government with no compensation. The English state media also noted that banks will not offer CPF financing for properties older than 69 years old, and mortgage would have to be paid with cash. HDB apartment units in three mature towns – Jurong East, Geylang and Queenstown – were singled out and “homeowners” in these areas were told to “prepare”.

The public has recently been increasing vocal questioning the government why when they are not allowed to continue staying in their homes so long as the building structure is sound. Many have also questioned if they are indeed “homeowners” or only tenants.