Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Stayers' Poll & Links to Parliament Debates

Back in June 2007, the Straits Times published an article that described what they considered 7 archetypical characters in an enbloc sale - the Stayers, the Sharks (condo raiders), the Bochap Investors, the Activists, the Fencesitters, the Troublemakers (want more money), and the Happy Sellers. For the Stayers category, this is what they said:

"They've lived for decades in the same home. It's where they've brought up their families or shared memories with deceased spouses. Money is not an issue - they simply refuse to move out. One widow was afraid her husband's spirit would not be able to find her if she moved; others say they had no idea their home was being sold. One thing they have in common: really annoyed neighbours who want a quick sale."

I'd argue that nowadays, most stayers have also learned to become activists - people who would fight to protect their homes. So in the spirit of Stayers (and Activists), I've created a poll which asks what reasons might they have, for wanting to protect and keep their home. Note you can select as many responses that you feel fits your situation, but if possible, try to limit to no more than 3 of the most important reasons.

  1. My right to my home is sacrosanct - If you believe you have an absolute right to acquire, hold and dispose of your home with noone interfering with this right, tick this.
  2. My home is part of my identity - You have your memories here, your family was brought up here, your home and the network of people you've befriended are important to you and your identity, especially your identity as a Singaporean. Lose your home, and why should you be bothered to stay in this country?
  3. My home is more than just about money - You can't put a value to my home.
  4. I'm not offered enough money - I'll sell my home for the right price. My price.
  5. I love my neighbourhood - It's not just my home, but it's my neighbourhood that I love and cherish.
  6. I'm too old to move - I've reached an age where this is my retirement place. Don't take it away from me!
  7. Pragmatic reasons - I bought this place and moved here because of pragmatic reasons, be it the catchment area for a good school, or the church that I'd like to go to, or proximity to Orchard Road etc.
This by no means is a well designed survey since some of the choices do overlap, but it's just to get a sense of what makes people want to stay, and more importantly, fight to keep their homes.

Previous Poll Results :
Question asked: What is your opinion of STB?
  1. It's a rubber stamping machine - 25 (55%)
  2. It should be run by judiciary members - 12 (26%)
  3. It helps ensure a fair and equitable sale - 5 (11%)
  4. It only slows down the process - 3 (6%)
Total of 45 voted. Interesting results, considering the idea of having judiciary members or the courts perform the current role of the STB in enbloc sales was mooted 10 years ago in the Parliamentary Debates on the 1999 Amendments.

You can download or read the Parliamentary Debates on scribd - 2nd Reading here and 3rd Reading here.

Now go poll, you Stayers!

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