HDB flats are reserved for people who get married. This has been a known government stance since Ah Gong built the first HDB flats.
Fast forward to 2017 today: many of the taboo things of the 60s and 70s, like pre-marital sex, divorces, remarriage (while still frowned upon by conservatives) are no longer uncommon.
So, 7 single parents filed a petition to MND to change the public housing policy to recognise unmarried parents and their children as a family nucleus, so that they can be eligible for public housing schemes.
Verdict: Gahmen said no lor.
But there is a time for policies to move with the times, and this is one of the instances where the policy has failed to move out of the archaic thinking of our grandparents’ era.
When a woman becomes a single mother, you think she want to do this meh. Maybe she was forced to separate from a man who abuses her. Maybe she decided she should not abort her child even if she made a wrong lifestyle choices.
It’s also the same for divorced parents. No one enters into marriage with their eyes set on a divorce. Got Woman’s Charter also ok. Then when the marriage breaks down, the most poor thing is the kid right. Help the poor kid find a home also lah.
Yes we understand that the government wants to insist that it recognizes a family nucleus as one that is formed by one man and one woman in marriage with their children.
But to deny single parents of housing is also denying his or her child a safe place to call home. Sakali go rental flat then kanna molest or all sorts of problem, whose fault is it?
How about meeting halfway lor- have a tiered system when assigning flats to these single parents? For example, consider adding single/divorced parents into one of the phases, behind the “model family”, in front of singles, and without age restrictions?
Can the government rule with some “heart” and spare a thought for the child?
Times are changing, Government. The tides will eventually have to turn as the winds of change blow stronger.