PSP's Leong regrets that HDB's SERS is not a windfall for residents to profit from

Jan 09, 2023 | 🚀 Fathership AI

Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai (PSP) on Monday (9 Jan) in Parliament, criticised the Government for how it handled the Ang Mo Kio (AMK) Selective En-Bloc Relocation Scheme (SERS).

Leong said the public en bloc scheme for AMK was an "epochal event" in the history of public housing as affected residents had to top up to buy a replacement flat of the same size with a fresh 99-year lease.

Background

The HDB announced in April 2022 that four HDB blocks - Blocks 562 to 565 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 - had been selected under the Selective En-Bloc Relocation Scheme (SERS), a scheme aimed at rejuvenating older estates.

Some residents in the AMK SERS project were vexed that a same-size flat would require a significant top-up amount — in the excess of S$160,000 for some.

SERS has historically been viewed by the public as a 'lottery' by Singaporeans where you get a one-to-one swop with a fresh 99 year lease.

But it was not the case for AMK SERS.

Concerns raised by PSP's Leong

Leong claims that Singaporeans have come to associate "en bloc" with windfalls and new homes so the SERS exercise in AMK where residents have to top up cash for a new flat is unprecendented.

Leong's main gripes:

  • Outcome for AMK SERS is different from past SERS exercise where affected residents in AMK SERS had to fork out additional cash for a replacement flat

  • Singaporeans are expecting SERS to be a scheme where residents are paid, but the upcoming Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS) - if applied similarly to SERS - may result in residents topping up cash for a new flat as well

Government's response

Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann brought up three insights:

  • 99% of residents in AMK SERS did not need to top up cash to purchase a similar size flat with a full 99 year or 50 year lease

  • HDB's valuation process is transparent and independently assessed by private valuers. Flat owners who disagree with HDB's valuation may lodge an appeal. According to Sim Ann, none of the flat owners in AMK SERS have come forward for recourse

  • SERS or VERS is not meant to be seen as a windfall where lease can be extended for free to 99 years

SERS is not a windfall

Leong's understand of SERS can be simply summarised as such:

SERS = New flat in similar location with fresh 99-year lease for free + additional compensation paid out by the Government to affected residents, regardless if the house in question has a decaying lease.

National Development Minister Desmond Lim had cited lease decay as the reason why residents had to top up for new flats.

But Leong argues that residents in Marsiling involved in an en bloc did not have to top up for their replacement flats, despite having 58 to 59 years left on their lease - slightly longer than the 57 years for the Ang Mo Kio flats.

Leong also asserts that the decay of leases has had a greater impact on the prices of HDB flats in mature estates compared to those in non-mature estates, and that the prices of new flats in mature estates have increased faster due to their desirable amenities and location

This is the key reason why Ang Mo Kio residents have suffered a worse outcome than that of Marsiling residents and past SERS exercises, he added.

Sim responded by stating that compensation for SERS has never been intentionally pegged to the price of a new flat of similar size in a similar location on a fresh 99-year lease.

"It was not pegged to the subsidised price of new flats, nor designed to create a windfall. It so happened during past SERS exercises, that the outcome was quite advantageous for most flat owners, because the age of their flats was not so old."

"A different outcome would occur if the age of the flats involved in the SERS was older," she added.

This, Sim said, was what happened in the Ang Mo Kio SERS, and would be the case in future SERS exercises if the flats involved are of similar age.

VERS is definitely not a windfall

Leong believes that VERS will not be a viable option if it uses the same compensation calculation as SERS.

He claimed that Singaporeans are expecting SERS to be a scheme where residents are paid, but if VERS is similar to the outcome of the AMK SERS, then they have to pay.

"The likelihood of any VERS proposal being approved will also be nil because Singaporeans have come to associate “en bloc” with windfalls and new homes, and the redevelopment of mature estates envisioned by VERS will not materialise," Leong said.

The VERS scheme was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech in 2018. PM Lee said that VERS is a "long term plan", and the government "will not start doing VERS for another 20 years".

SERS is not meant to extend a decaying lease for free to 99 years, Sim said.

That is not the basis on which SERS compensation is determined. Rather, it is determined by a fair, independent assessment taking reference from market value.

Nor is VERS meant to extend a diminishing lease for free for 99 years. The alternative is to stay in the flat until the 99 year lease is up, after which they have to find a new flat on a new lease.


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警员死亡案: 种族歧视字眼并非针对他,除一 名上司 "不专业",其他说法皆不实

Feb 07, 2024 | 🚀 Fathership AI

新加坡警察部队(SPF)已向内政部(MHA)提交了有关警官尤瓦拉贾(Uvaraja S/O Gopal)自杀事件的所有调查结果。

2024 年 2 月 6 日,内政部长尚穆根在国会公布了调查结果,他在部长声明中说,尤瓦拉贾对新加坡警察部队的一些指控属实。

不过,在接到投诉时,警方已经对这些指控进行了调查,并对一些官员采取了纪律处分。

尚穆根说,尤瓦拉贾的其他指控则是虚假的。

他说,最新的调查结果已提交给总检察署(AGC),经过审查,总检察署认为无需采取进一步行动。

警官死前曾多次做出指责

2023 年 7 月 21 日,尤瓦拉贾被发现在义顺组屋楼下一动不动,没有生命迹象。

他生前在脸书上发帖,详细描述了他在工作中遇到的不快和种族歧视。

尤瓦拉贾在帖子中描述了他在工作场所受到欺凌和排挤的情况,声称他遭受种族歧视,并经历了 "恶毒的工作文化"。

警官确实使用了具种族歧视字眼,但并非针对死者

尚穆根说,警方记录显示,尤瓦拉贾确实在 2015 年提出过投诉,当时也进行了内部调查。

调查发现,使用种族不当语言的警官是在相互交谈,这些言论并没有针对尤瓦拉贾。

尚穆根说:"但是,重点是,这些言论是完全不能被接受的。

他指出,这些言论是否针对 尤瓦拉贾并不重要,重要的是 "这些言论过去和现在都是不可接受的"。

尚穆根:不能容忍种族歧视,即使是玩笑也不行

尤瓦拉贾的上司向团队明确表示,不能使用这种语言,即使是开玩笑也不行,说这种话的警员立即向 尤瓦拉贾道了歉。

尤瓦拉贾的上司对情况进行了监控,以确保不再发生类似事件。

尤瓦拉贾的上司提出可以对这名警员提出正式投诉,但 尤瓦拉贾 拒绝进一步投诉。

尚穆根说:"我们不能容忍种族歧视,即使是玩笑话也不行,也不能有冷嘲热讽和带有种族歧视的玩笑"。

对恶毒的工作环境索赔

尤瓦拉贾声称他的上级在 2019 年撕毁了他的请假单,并将这一行为的视频上传到了团队的群聊中。

尚穆根解释说,尤瓦拉贾申请的是酌情休假,不需要提交休假表。

然而,据了解,尤瓦拉贾非常临时才提交请假单,而其他警员的请假已经获得批准。

调查显示,尤瓦拉贾的上司告诉他,他 "给整个团队带来了不便",但尤瓦拉贾没有撤回休假申请,并在私人聊天中要求上司结束谈话。

这位上司随后录下了自己撕碎 尤瓦拉贾请假单的视频,并将他这样做的视频上传到了团队聊天室。

上级的行为不专业

"上司的行为并不专业。他不应该这样做,尽管我们可以理解他的不快,"尚穆根说。

上司受到了训斥,尤瓦拉贾被暂时调到了另一个单位,以便两名警员都能冷静下来。

尤瓦拉贾的另一个说法是他的上司对他使用了辱骂性语言,尚穆根说,调查结果并不支持这一说法。

尚穆根说,尤瓦拉贾经常直接给上司发信息或打电话,而上司会以专业的口吻回复他。

关于掩盖事实的投诉不成立

尤瓦拉贾还声称,2021 年,他揭发了被他抓到吸电子烟的警官,但案件被 "掩盖 "了。

尚穆根说,根据尤瓦拉贾提供的信息,尤瓦拉贾的上司指示不同单位的一名上级独立对事发地点的所有储物柜和个人物品进行了突击检查。

相关人员也接受了询问。

但是,投诉并不成立。

在 2023 年 1 月的另一起事件中,尤瓦拉贾举报他的一些同事在警署吸烟。

调查发现了相关证据,这些警官被移交给警方内部事务办公室,并对他们采取了纪律处分。

"因此,当投诉被证实后,就会采取纪律处分。没有被证实时他也被告知,没有隐瞒。“

职业生涯受阻的说法不实

尤瓦拉贾声称,他从未得到过上级的良好评价,而且由于 "人力问题",上级不允许他调离岗位。

尚穆根说这是错误的,因为尤瓦拉贾和其他同事一样有机会申请职位。

当他要求调职时,他的上司也会尽可能提供方便,满足他的要求。

在 9 年时间里,尤瓦拉贾被调往 6 个不同的工作单位,尚穆根说,这是相当多的职位调动。

有两次调职与举报涉嫌吸烟违法行为有关,因为他觉得与这些同事共事很不舒服。

调查还发现,他的工作能力获得公平的评估。他还被授予 Covid-19贡献奖章。

同事 "抵制 "他的婚礼并非事实

据尚穆根称,尤瓦拉贾声称同事们 "抵制 "他的婚礼的说法也不属实。

他的上司接受了邀请,但因生病未能出席,他向尤瓦拉贾道了歉。

尤瓦拉贾向他的直属上司告知了婚礼的情况,但没有发出邀请函。这名上司也曾当着队友的面向尤瓦拉贾表示了祝贺。

有三项正在进行的调查

尚穆根说,在尤瓦拉贾去世时,他正接受三项刑事和纪律调查。

他因触犯《刑法典》和《骚扰法》而受到调查。

他还因在 2023 年 7 月一次不服从命令,而受到内部纪律调查。他当时拿了病假却离开家里。

当时他与家人在公寓内发生争执,家人还为此报警。

2023 年 4 月,尤瓦拉贾又一次接受内部纪律调查,原因是他不服从命令,未完成工作且擅离职守。当被要求返回完成任务时,他也拒绝服从。

每年休病假超过 50 天

尚穆根指出,2016 年、2017 年、2021 年、2022 年和 2023 年,乌瓦拉贾分别休了 70 天、56 天、59 天、80 天和 60 天的病假。

2015 年、2016 年和 2022 年,他还休了 100 多天的无薪假。

尚穆根表示,警察部队为满足 尤瓦拉贾的需求,包括他的休假和医疗需求,付出不少努力。

警官的去世影响了同事们

尚穆根说,尤瓦拉贾的去世和他的指控对同事产生了影响。

尚穆根说:“在不同岗位与他共事过的同事们,和了解他的情况的人,对他的自杀感到悲伤。”

"但他们也对他就警察部队提出的不实说法和指控感到失望"。

尚穆根:没有隐瞒

尚穆根说,警方认真对待违规警员的案件,并对他们采取了行动。

"没有所谓掩盖真相。但正如我所说,这些都是特例。只是极少数例外。我们绝大多数警官都是诚实的"。

不过,对于 尤瓦拉贾的案件,他说调查结果与 尤瓦拉贾在帖子中的指控 "截然不同"。

"我们的警员都知道,当出现虚假或不公平的指控时,我们会迅速果断地采取行动,说出真相,并站在警员一边"。


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