回复 #20 华林 的帖子|
The below is an open letter sent by residents from Fernale to Minister Khaw Boon Wan for National Development and Prime Minister Lee .
Read the report on the dialogue session held with the residents and Dr, Lam Pin Min on Januarary 2015.
Mr. Khaw Boon Wan
Minister for National Development
Re: Fernvale Link Columbarium of Chinese Temple.
1. We refer to the issue of HDB awarding the land meant for Chinese Temple to a private commercial company, Eternal Pure Land Pte Ltd (EPL), owned by the Australian Public Listed company, Life Corporation Limited (LC).
2.We are a group of present and future residents of Fernvale HDB estate who will be affected by the abovementioned development. Although we have different concerns of the said project, but we have come to the following consensus and conclusions.
3. First and foremost, all of us in the group, with different religions, agree that it is totally inappropriate for a commercial company to bid for a land meant for religious use and to make money in the name of religion.
4. It is implied in the Charity Act that any organization with advancement of religion should be subjected to the Act and supervised by the Commissioner of Charities. It means that anyone who runs a Chinese Temple at Fernvale must be a non-profit organization registered with the Commissioner of Charities.
5. Apparently from the dialogue we had on last Sunday (4 Jan 2015), the representative from LC has admitted that they are not a non-profit organization or a registered religious organization.
6. This will set a very bad example and precedent for all the religious organizations in Singapore, including but not limited to Buddhist, Christians, Catholics, Hindu etc. Registered religious organizations are non-profit organizations and it is unfair for them to compete with commercial entities which have more financial power to tender for the very limited land slated for religious purposes. For the example of Chinese Temple, we notice that only 20 plots of land were slated for tender by HDB over more than two decades.
7. Moreover, the company, Eternal Pureland Pte Ltd, which won the tender, is registered as company which deals with Funeral and related activites (including embalming, Cremating and Cemetery services upkeep of cemeteries, sales of bereavement products and services). This company was incorporated only 16 days after the tender was called and it has absolutely no experience whatsoever in running a Chinese Temple.
8. We have also learned from the advertisement put up by EPL that they are marketing their niche at the price of $6,500, which is a discounted price from its original $15,000. We do not think such columbarium which put up such Premium Prices could serve ordinary HDB heartlanders like us at all.
9. Many of us have a religion and this is a grave concern to us to see the official stance of HDB in allowing religion to be “Corporatized”. We reiterate that we are against commercial companies making money in the name of religion.
10. We hope that HDB should declare the tender null and void as such practice affects all religious organizations in Singapore.
11. We hope that in the event of putting the land up for tender again, HDB could consider the combination of Chinese Temple with Childcare/Student Care. The Childcare/Student Care centre should be required to open to all races. This will serve the community well as many of the residents are young couples with kids.
12. This will be the most satisfactory and perfect solution to prevent any unwanted disruption to the many BTO buyers who were misled by HDB as well as present residents who weren’t even made known of this development at all when they bought their flats.
13. It will be totally regrettable if HDB insisted in carrying on the building of the columbarium and the Chinese Temple.
14. The reason why so many of us were caught off guard is because we have placed so much trust in a government statutory board. We have expected HDB to be transparent, open and more forthcoming with important information. We didn’t expect a reputable and biggest developer of properties like HDB would hide critical material information under ultra fine prints and vague uncertain phrases (eg. “may include”) coupled with disclaimers.
15. We believe that if there were information which could help HDB to fetch a better price for the BTOs (eg. Mall, LRT stations, amenities etc), HDB would surely have put them up prominently and affirmatively. We expect HDB to do likewise for information (eg. Columbarium) that may make the flats less attractive to most buyers and thus, fetch lower prices for HDB.
16. These are not “isolated cases” but happened in a massive scale. Thus, we feel that HDB should not treat our demand for refund without other penalties as a case by case basis. HDB should be more transparent and fair in dealing with all those who wanted a full refund.
17. We expect that HDB treats those of us who wanted a full refund fairly with the following conditions:
18. We feel that this is the worst option for all of us, even if full refund is given to some. We still hope that the option of having a Chinese Temple with Childcare/Student Care could be granted as it serves almost everyone’s interests.
a) full refund of whatever deposits paid；
b) no technical penalty (eg. 1 year wait) should be applied；
c) priority to select alternative flats in other development.
19. It would be utterly regrettable if HDB did not void the tender to LC and let it proceed as planned. Even worse if HDB refused to treat all of those who seek a full refund fairly.
20. We hope that you, as the Minister of the ministry, could do the right thing, not only for us but for the whole of Singapore, to set the record right by disallowing commercial entities to bid for land slated for religious purposes. Thus, void the current tender to LC.
21. As the old saying goes, Trust is hard to earn but easy to lose. In you, we trust to right the wrongs. Thank you.
Present & Future Fernvale Residents
The Singapore Mass Media has put up very negative report on us trying to portray us as some petty people who only care about our flat value and that is why we reject the columbarium. That is far from the truth.
I hereby represent the hundreds of affected stakeholders to put up the following statement:
1. We are unhappy and felt aggrieved by HDB’s misrepresentation by way of omission of material fact in their sale brochures. We reiterate that there was absolutely NO MENTION of columbarium in the sale brochures while the stated “Ancillary Service” phrase is so general that anyone who read that would have misconstrued as something else. Such definition can only be found in URA website and not HDB website at all. Any ordinary man would not have known how to get access to the details at all.
2. We are against such sales tactic as we should be treated fairly to be given FULL DISCLOSURE of information by the seller, HDB before we chose to buy the flat. We should have the right to make INFORMED choices and not short-changed with such omission of critical material information by HDB.
3.We are also very concerned about how HDB allowing a private commercial entity owned by a foreign public listed company to bid for the land gazetted for religious purposes. It is totally inappropriate for a commercial entity to make money out of any religion.
4.According to High Court ruling, any entity that advance religion cause, should be subjected to Charity Act and put under the supervision of Commissioner of Charities. Apparently HDB has not made appropriate screening prior to the award of this land, which is meant for religious use, to a commercial entity.
5。Commercial business should be restricted to land meant for commercial purposes, like industrial park. Land meant for religious purposes should be reserved to religious organizations registered in Singapore. This is to protect the interests of religious organizations as commercial entities would have more financial muscles to outbid them. It is totally unfair to these religious organizations which are Non-Profit Organizations to compete with Profit-oriented commercial entities in bidding for such limited land slated for religious purposes.
6.Most of us are buying a flat as a HOME, not for property speculation. Thus, property resale value is least of our concern. Our main concern is the conduciveness of our living environment for our families. Thus the Main Stream Media has put up a totally misrepresentation of our plight and this is really a double whammy to us. What we want is just a fair deal for our choice of home and we plead to the Main Stream Media not to put a double stabbing into our hearts and dignity by such grossly misreporting.
7. We are all law abiding citizens and we expect the Rule of Law to be adhered by the very institutions which are supposedly tasked to uphold the law and justice for citizens.
8. We sincerely hope that the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of development, HDB and URA to look into the matter as soon as possible.
On Behalf of Stakeholders, BTO Buyers.
[ 本帖最后由 LoveSG 于 2015-1-13 22:30 编辑 ]