It is not unknown knowledge that there are differentiating criteria (income ceiling; citizenship vs non-citizenship; first time applicants vs second time applicants) with regards to public housing – because of its high demand yet limited supply. These differentiating criteria are there precisely to prevent abuse e.g. foreigners making quick profits at local’s expense; and to prioritize what the state wishes to promote.
Marriage and a family nucleus made up of a father and mother is promoted, as it is in the interest of the state to provide the best child rearing environment for the well-being of a child.
That said, the state has not left out the singles, or the unmarried-parent-and-child-unit totally. HDB’s provisions for them are that they should be eligible for public housing when they hit 35 years of age. According to HDB’s website, single families who are widowed, divorced or separated are allowed to purchase a flat under the public scheme. Generally, this seems like a fair criteria.
We have to understand that any system with a set of differentiating criteria is probably never perfect, but it is necessary. Hence, within the system, concessions for appeal should be allowed. There are special situations I can think of, such as in the case of an unmarried-single family where the parent is a victim, rather than a perpetrator of the “unmarried situation”. He or she has totally no responsibility for contributing to the “unmarried situation” – one which the state has no wish of promoting to all children and families (understandably so!). For such cases, I would believe that an appeal is worth the state’s consideration and assessment for concession.
Currently, there are avenues of appeal, such as writing directly to HDB, seeing MP’s help, or writing to Minister Khaw Boon Wah himself.
I wish I know of Jaxe Pan’s situation fully. Perhaps if I did, I might be writing on her behalf now. But I don’t. Hence, I refrain from commenting on whether she should, or she should not deserve HDB’s concession. Some comments have been quick to call HDB’s letter rejecting her application for a flat unjust. At the current moment, this is still unproven.
However, I did find the way she had pushed for her issue wanting. In fact, I find it suspiciously political in nature.
Jaxe Pan’s situation first became known when she took it upon herself and her daughter to create this meme which went viral on the internet, during the heat of the NLB saga.
When you consider the context of the debate at which this meme appeared, it feels rather abrupt and uncalled for. At that time, the crux of the debate was whether the children’s section of the library should contain books with homosexuality themes. Most people felt that such themes are not appropriate for children, hence, the library should leave such books out of children’s reach. This is an objective point and a legitimate concern.