Is everything you read online about HDB the whole truth?

Posted on 12 Jun 2014 |

Every once in a while, you may have come across an article circulating online that claims HDB had been less than fair or caring in relating to flat owners and tenants who had approached it for help. Have you wondered if the article has revealed the whole truth about the turn of events, or is based on selective facts which may not even be entirely true?

While the online platform gives voice to issues and concerns that aggrieved parties believe have been neglected by HDB, these accounts are usually one-sided as important information is often omitted.

This had been the case recently, with some individuals sharing their housing situations with online personalities or platforms, because they were persuaded to think that this would be in their best interest.

In reality, the three recent cases that surfaced in the online sphere alleging HDB’s inflexible treatment were far from the truth. In fact, HDB had already been assisting these individuals over a sustained period of time to work out a supportable housing solution for them. We bring you the facts here that were glaringly omitted in the online articles.

  1. “Gladys” and her daughter were said to be on the verge of becoming homeless, according to an article by Leong Sze Hian. HDB was accused of mishandling the case by not giving “Gladys” the right information and advice on the process of a second flat purchase, and was also unwilling to help her despite her financial situation – all of which caused “Gladys” to lose her matrimonial home.

    The truth is actually this: HDB had not at all advised “Gladys” to sell her matrimonial flat before she could purchase another flat directly from HDB, since no such rule exists. In fact, HDB had been right there with “Gladys” from the moment she found herself in difficulty and was assisting her long before Leong’s article was published online.

  2. “Ms Tan Li Yin”, in an online post, claimed that she was suicidal because HDB did not allow her to buy a flat as an undischarged bankrupt. When HDB contacted “Ms Tan” about the post, “Ms Tan” clarified that her friend had made it on her behalf, and she was not aware of its content. “Ms Tan” had, in fact, already made plans to buy her own flat after she had approached HDB earlier. Some of the information in the online article was also inaccurate and untrue.

  3. “Irfan” had accused HDB of misleading him into cancelling his BTO flat booking in order to secure a rental flat, and not allocating him one later. What was omitted from that account, was the fact that he and his wife had received $280,000 in CPF monies and cash, from the sale of his 3-room flat. What was omitted also was HDB’s advice to him to keep their flat booking as they did not qualify for a public rental flat. These facts were not divulged in the online article.

The information shared online is based on what each individual is willing to reveal, and for the public, there is no way to verify the facts. However, HDB’s records and correspondences with these individuals, often show that their accounts are inaccurate and incomplete.

What happens after these cases are posted online? The endings and the resolutions are not usually reported by the platforms and personalities who were happy to highlight them initially. A fair account must also include objective facts and reporting that is fair to all parties involved.

The social media space offers a huge amount of information, not all of which is true or objective. A discerning reader would consider both sides of any case being reported to get to the truth of the matter. We hope this article has helped shed greater clarity in deciding what the truth is.