I am not a masochist. Housing is hot politically and there are genuine problems on the ground. At my MPS, 70% of appeal cases are on housing. I don’t think I am the only MP who harasses MND/HDB regularly.
I will be very comfortable staying back in MOH and I still have meaningful programmes to launch or complete. But I thought in my next five years I can be more useful in MND than in MOH.
Many have emailed, written, and facebooked me, offering advice, suggestions, feedback. There were hundreds of them and many more will come, I am sure. I thank them all. They have given me a feel of the nature and the scale of the unhappiness and concerns.
Several wisely advised me “not to try to please all, as that will surely fail”. Indeed, this is also not possible, as the demands are often contradictory. For example, many want me to bring property prices down. Many also warn me NOT to bring prices down.
I am therefore realistic about what is doable. The key is to prioritise and set realistic goals, for short term, medium term and long term. In the immediate, I will focus on the housing needs of some groups like the young couples, divorcees with children, and low income families as I appreciate the anxieties they are currently experiencing.
As in MOH, I will consult widely, with experts, customers, industry players and Singaporeans. I will use all communications platforms available, on-line, off-line, closed door forums, open forums, big groups, small groups. It will be time-consuming but I am sure will be enriching and educational.
In MOH, I started a “Health Minister Says” blog. In MND, I am happy to launch this “Housing matters”, on which I will share regularly my thoughts, reflections, trade-offs, and possible ideas. It is meant to be interactive as I will particularly value your comments, reactions and views, via emails or my Facebook or Kampung Sembawang Facebook, or the MND Facebook.
Indeed, many useful comments have already been posted on these platforms. More will come, I am sure.
Please visit the MND Facebook to leave a comment.