He said that it’s very sad that costs have risen dramatically since the time of the late Lee Kuan Yew.
“It’s so sad that during the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s time, HDB was the cheapest public housing in the world. Fast forward to today, it has become the most expensive public housing in the world.”
Mr Leong said that during Mr Lee’s time, HDB flats were cheap because they were sold at cost, or at most at a “very small profit of a few percent.”
He questioned the extent of profits which the government is making from HDB flat sales.
“If you take the estimate of 60% profit on land cost, is the government making 60% profit on every HDB flat it sells?”
Attacking healthcare policies, Mr Leong said that the public share of total healthcare spending was 50 percent during Mr Lee’s time, and it has since dropped to “only 33 percent”.
He said that our current public healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP at 1.6 percent is the lowest of all the developed countries in the world.
“Every year, the money that you contribute to your MediSave, in total, the whole of Singapore, we estimate, is more than all the money that the government spends on healthcare, all the money that you can withdraw f or your medical expenses, and all the money that you withdraw to pay your premiums.
In other words, from a cash flow perspective, the government is not spending a single cent on healthcare or public housing.”
Mr Leong questioned why Singaporeans who contribute to CPF are not getting full returns, but a rate of around only 3 percent.
He said that the Singapore government is the only government in the world to practise this with citizens’ pensions fund.
“It’s the only government that keeps the difference, and when it keeps the difference, you are poor!”
On the issue of jobs, Mr Leong said that its baffling how wages can remain stagnant despite a rising number of job vacancies in the market.
“How can the vacancies keep going up, and the labour market is so tight, when the wages don’t go up? Something is very wrong, it don’t make sense at all.”
Mr Leong was amongst a host of speakers at the Labour Day protest which some 300 people attended.