SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has urged Singaporeans to be prudent, given the current economic uncertainties.
He cited home purchases as an example and advised Singaporeans to buy within their means.
Mr Khaw made these points at a National Day Observance Ceremony in Sembawang GRC on Sunday morning.
Singaporeans, especially second—time flat buyers, can count on the government to address their concerns.
Mr Khaw said he is quite happy with progress made over the past one year.
He said first—time home buyers are now able to apply for a Build—to—Order (BTO) flat in a non—mature estate with relative ease.
"This year, I’ll be focusing on second—timers and improve their chances. So the recent BTO, I’m looking at the subscription rates day by day and it’s quite healthy, but we will press on to build more to satisfy Singaporeans’ demand to catch up on the deficit in the last few years," he said.
Also, Mr Khaw stressed that Singaporeans should be realistic about their financial means.
"There’re now some gimmicks coming along, some banks offering 50 years’ (loan) so please don’t fall for that. It doesn’t make sense.
"If you want to immediately come out from school and get a five—room flat and think that a 50—year loan will help you achieve that, I don’t think that is very wise. I’ve been checking how many people take up this 50—year loan, as far as I gather, the number is very few, which I think is a good sign."
In conjunction with the National Day Observance Ceremony, Mr Khaw also launched a new resident patrol week in the constituency.
The programme will have more than 230 volunteers spreading fire safety messages for a week in August every year.
Sembawang GRC has one of the highest rates of public residential fires.
But with efforts targeting the problem, the numbers have slipped to 74 from 80 in the previous quarter.
On a national scale, more than 800 public residential fires were reported from January to March this year.
This is about 60 cases more than last quarter.
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