What we say
Is Singapore a nanny state or an over-indulgent parent?
When things are right, we want the Government to stay out. But when things go wrong, we punctuate every sentence with "Government must".
On March 11, Minister of State for National Development Mohamad Maliki Osman said in Parliament that nearly six in 10 public rental flat applicants today were former homeowners who had sold their flats.
After cashing out and splurging, they want the Government to bail them out.
And help it does.
Like the over-indulgent parent.
Between Jan 2012 and Dec 2014, HDB seized 202 flats in compulsory acquisitions as a last-resort measure.
In many cases, the homeowners committed major infringements such as unauthorised subletting.
But HDB also helped 9,752 families with their arrears.
That was not the end of the help.
For those whose flats were seized, HDB helped them buy smaller flats if they could afford them.
If they could not and had no family support or other housing option, they were allocated rental flats.
Then there is credit counselling, intervention with the help of Family Service Centres and yes, even help landing jobs.
There was a lot of talk recently on whether we are leaning left or right.
And again, the Government must.
This time, it must be aware of the need for prudence.
But should not the onus be on us to be responsible?
I mean we are 50 after all. Time we stop behaving like spoilt children?