Once I invited a friend from overseas to my flat, he had that surprised look on his face when we got off on the 5th floor and walk up to the 7th where I stayed. He was totally amused. In his entire life he has stayed in 5 different countries in all types of housing and he has NEVER seen a building more than 10 floors with a elevator that does not stop at every floor. I told him that it is probably an effort by HDB to keep public housing affordable. But when I told what affordable means in terms of price of my HDB flat, I could see his jaws dropping. After hearing how much my HDB flat cost, he asked where's the swimming pool and tennis court located. His jaws drop some more when I told him that it is about 5 km away.
Anyway I figured that there are many good reasons why the HDB lifts don't stop at every floor. The govt wants some of us to exercise a little more for our own sake, stopping at every floor would mean some people will get caught peeing half way when they can't "hold it", ....also they bought those slow lifts that would take forever if they had to stop at every floor.
These lifts have become an election issue. You see, it was alright when you are 25 years old to climb the stairs but when you're 60 years old, you really need the lift to stop at your floor. Chiam See Tong has served as MP for 22 years. Many of his residents voted for him when they were in their youths and now they have grown old. It is getting hard to walk up the stairs. Chiam has done everything diligently for 22 years since he was elected. He had a strong belief and worked the ground gradually before he won the people over. Once elected he worked hard to keep the cost of running the estate down, conservancy charges have been lower and Chiam is
popular among his residents who see him a sincere down to earth character who interacts well with the residents.
Chiam recognised the problem of lift upgrading pretty early. Being an Opposition MP, however means he is not lucky enough to get Potong Pasir on the HDB upgrading programme. Of course, it is just coincidence that Opposition wards are not upgraded, since the PAP is an honest govt that does not practise pork barrel politics. Chiam proceeded to accumulate sufficient sinking fund under his town council to upgrade the flats without residents paying a single cent. However, it was disallowed by the Ministry of National Development. The main problem was Chiam said he was able to upgrade the lifts at a substantially lower cost ....and that was not possible - how dare he claimed he is more efficient than the HDB/PAP people!!! Impossible...so he is not allowed! Anyway please click on this link and read about the exchange between Chiam and Cedric Foo (of White Horse fame), after reading 10 times I still can't understand why Chiam is disallowed from upgrading those lifts except for the reason he is able to do so cheaper.
The people of Potong Pasir are about to get lucky. They are give a real democratic choice. If they vote for PAP's man Sitoh, their luck will change and the national upgrading programme will land in Potong Pasir and they will get their lifts upgraded. Of course, the PAP is not so despicable to hold old folks hostage and force them to take the stairs just to get their votes. It is all a matter of luck. The PAP together & Sitoh are not hypocrites - they are men of high principles and integrity. They truly care about the Potong Pasir people and just want to improve their luck when it comes to upgrading.
The people of Potong Pasir have a chance to get lucky. So do the people of Singapore!
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Looks like Potong Pasir residents will soon get LUCKY.
Posting Time 2:23 PM
Posted by Lucky Tan