Minister Khaw Boon Wan recently wrote a blog post regarding uncooperative neighbours preventing the Housing Development Board (HDB) from fixing ceiling leaks.

The leaks are apparently a sore point for the HDB, as mentioned in the blog, “25% of the complaints HDB receives today concern ceiling leakages in HDB flats”, and “about 30% (2,800 ceiling leak cases) take more than three months to resolve due to uncooperative neighbours.”

The Minister for National Development does not mention why house owners refuse to cooperate. Instead he suggests that for such cases, HDB should have the right to to enter houses if owners are uncooperative and is planning on amending legislation just for that purpose. Currently, HDB can force the issue by taking legal action to enter houses, which clearly adds to the time taken to resolve the issue.

Facebook post or MTP?

Netizens on his Facebook page decided to take the chance to air their grievances about their own problems. Because I guess it’s easier to do that than to go for a Meet-The-People session:

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And this amused us because this comment had absolutely nothing to do with ceiling leaks:

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The art of manipulation

Meanwhile, certain websites have manipulated the article title to make it seem like HDB officers can simply break into people’s flats without their permission and with no prior warning.

As a result, several netizens are concerned about the ramifications should the law come to pass, such as the possibility of impersonation by conmen to break into people’s flats.

While Minister Khaw has not mentioned the details of the proposed amendment, there is no evidence to suggest that breaking and entering by HDB officers will suddenly become legal.

Solving house owners’ problems or HDB’s KPI problems?

This makes one wonder if he is trying to solve the problems of HDB owners, or meet a KPI (Key Performance Index), because all the amended legislation will do is solve a bureaucratic issue that HDB is facing. Amending legislation does not fix any problems on the house owners’ side or reduce the inconvenience that they face as a result of having to fix the ceiling leaks.

Regardless, it seems like a heavy-handed and bureaucratic solution for the matter of ceiling leaks, which 6,000 households complained about this year. Maybe looking into why house owners are being uncooperative would be a wiser solution in the short-term.


With references from: Ministry of National Development Website
Featured image via: Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s Facebook page