HDB Cheong Koon Heng with DPM Teo Chee Hean from Google

Speaking at a government forum, the chief of HDB Cheong Koon Hean told Singaporeans to sell their flat and buy CPF Life to retire:

“You can sell the larger flat and buy a smaller flat. I build a lot of smaller flats, which a lot of my elderly love.  Because now they don’t have to maintain such a big home. And with the money, it goes back to CPF…and you buy CPF life. So there are many ways to monetise.”

HDB Cheong Koon Hean then continued her propaganda message claiming new HDB flats are affordable and that Singaporeans should not be unhappy with the 99 year lease:

“So, if they want to stay in their own home, they can do a lease buy back. I buy back some of the leases. And then they make sure you keep the leases that will last you the lifetime. The length of your life.

Another way of monetisation is people rent out rooms in their homes. And there are people who actually sell off and go and live with their children. Ok some of you may not want to live with your children, you can buy another smaller flat. So there are any ways of monetising within the period of the 99 years.

And you must remember that actually their children will go on to buy an affordable flat from me. Correct? Now how do you make sure they can buy back an affordable flat from me? Eventually you have to recycle the land. You understand? So, I am trying to paint that broader picture. And there are actually quite a lot of ways to continue to monetise. 99 years is a long time.”

The forum moderator, Chan Heng Chee, a professor from the Lee Kuan Yew education institute then angered the audience when he claimed resale flats are “much” cheaper:

“Next person who buys a shorter lease will pay much less money. So it is not like they lose the money.”

Many elderly are currently stuck with their old flats and are unable to sell them in the open market. An elderly Singaporean recently wrote to the state media lamenting about how he was tricked into believing government propaganda claiming that one can readily sell their HDB flat to retire.