OP-ED: PSP’s Leong Mun Wai brand of destructive politics have no place in Singapore

In recent weeks, NCMP Leong Mun Wai has come under fire for his dangerous and irresponsible political rhetoric.

Leong presents himself as a courteous and earnest man, but his words reveal a disturbing tendency to attribute problems to foreigners and propose solutions that rely on using reserves, regardless of their feasibility or correctness.

When challenged on his positions, he has been known to quickly shift blame and find new problems to criticize.

Malicious intent?

One particularly disturbing example of this behavior was Leong’s recent adjournment motion on housing, in which he made misleading statements about the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) and the Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS).

Leong claimed that the Ang Mo Kio SERS required residents to pay for their replacement homes.

This is clearly misleading. The fact is 99% of flat owners involved in the Ang Mo Kio SERS exercise do not need to top up cash for their replacement homes.

In addition, flat owners receive substantial subsidies for HDB flats, a fact that Leong ignored.

Leong also conflated the SERS and VERS, creating ungrounded and unrealistic expectations by suggesting that VERS should be as generous as SERS, despite the government’s repeated explanations that this was not the case.

These are tactics meant to stir sentiments and create distrust.

Leong’s populist approach

Furthermore, Leong’s proposed solution to the housing issue reveals a complete lack of understanding of the fundamental principles of public housing in Singapore.

Essentially, what Leong wants is for all public housing to be freehold. And he doesn’t even want the government to charge for the land.

If you get a flat, you own it and the land forever – a dangerous proposal that could lead to a situation where wealthy individuals rush to purchase and rent out their “forever” properties to the masses, raising the price of flats and creating a supply crunch on land-scarce Singapore – similar to what is seen in Hong Kong.

Destructive politics have no place in Singapore’s society

It is one thing to speak up and raise issues, but it is entirely another to do so with the intention of stirring emotions and creating distrust among Singaporeans. This kind of destructive politics has no place in our society, and it is our responsibility as citizens to call it out whenever we see it.

In contrast, politicians like Low Thia Khiang and Chiam See Tong have demonstrated a commitment to speaking up for Singaporeans while still maintaining a respect for the fundamental values that make our nation successful.

We would do well to follow their example and engage in constructive, fact-based political discourse.

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