Yesterday, I was at the HLP to attend a speech by Vivian Pan to pledge for Mercy for the 31 year old women who had killed her son.
What keeps me thinking after the speech by Leong Sze Hian. In his speech, he had met with countless of single parent, be it unwed, divorced or the other partner run off with other party. What strike me the most when he shared, is the policy in Singapore are so rigid to sometime that these category of people falls into the trap.
Like Mr Leong had share, when the a couple divorced, in his case study, a single Mum had the option to buy over the HDB used to share with her ex-husband. But the HDB rules stated that she had to pay back the amount that her ex-husband had paid using his CPF. Thus she was forced to sell her flat.
She couldn’t afford to buy another new HDB flat as she had to wait for 30 months before she can apply for one again. If she want to buy a resale flat, given the current high COV, she couldn’t afford to buy it. Even if she wants to get a rental flat from HDB, she have to wait for another 30 months.
This single mum is one of the person that had fallen into the crack of the government policy. There are many more cases that are happening everyday in Singapore. So what can the Government do to help those cases that had fallen through the policy crack?
Here are my humble view towards all fallen cases:
1) Policies are in place to safe guard others from gaining unfair advantage while trying to help Singaporean.
2) In exercising the policy, the policy maker should be flexible enough to see special case like the one mentioned above on the case by case basis. They shouldn’t outright reject the cases when it doesn’t falls into the category.
3) In the above mentioned case, the HDB should apply the human touch and let the single mum keep the HDB while letting her to work out the installment plan to pay back her ex-husband CPF contribution to the flat.
The policies had both side of the situation they faced and I don’t deny that to safe guard the policy, standard rules must be strictly follow. But in the light of the fallen case, I feel human touch should be applicable as well.
Civil Servant who carry out the policy should not be so rigged not to help the fallen case. If civil servant can’t help those fallen cases should help to expedite up to the ministry for review and see how best the ministry can help. So do not stop those fallen cases at the front desk of the ministry. Help each other as we are Singaporean!!!