25 March 2007

Majority vs minority vs individual

1. What majority? - Labels of "majority" versus "minority" are misplaced.

2. Eminent domain/police power? - These collective sales are not the result of exercising "eminent domain" to serve larger public interests of, say, infrastructural projects or slum clearance. Nor are there structural weaknesses or public health/safety issues afflicting these private properties, thus invoking "police power".

3. Collective greed? - We are talking about Private Property that we bought at prevailing market prices with our hard-earned money WITHOUT government subsidy and WITHOUT dipping into taxpayer's money. There is NOTHING to prevent an owner from selling his property individually. Are we living on some communal farm like some Jewish kibbutz all of a sudden when it comes to collective sale?

All because of collective greed (facilitated by legislation, convenient regulatory gaps and suitable ambiguity), hankering after the so-called "premium" from a collective sale as opposed to an individual sale even if it means forcing dissenters into selling their private property. If collective greed is the driving force, then it is IRRELEVANT whether it's 21% minority or 1% dissent - it is PRIVATE property nonetheless!

4. Urban renewal and land use efficiency - I don't refute these larger societal needs of urban renewal and greater land use efficiency. Hence, it is ONLY on this basis that the concept of "majority over minority" gains some credence. However, there must be a FINE BALANCE between societal needs and individual rights.

Let's NOT forget that we probably plundered our CPF retirement savings, and/or hocked ourselves up to our eyeballs to buy our property and worked our butt off to service and repay the bank loan and build-up our CPF retirement savings. In stark contrast to investor-owners who force others to sell in the greed for collective sale premium whilst they keep a roof over their own heads, we owner-occupiers are immediately time-disadvantaged because we would need to buy a replacement roof upon a successful enbloc despite feverishly hot prices.

If we have to subordinate our individual PRIVATE PROPERTY rights at the price of losing something so basic as the roof over our heads and possibly compromising our long-term financial security in terms of CPF retirement savings as a "SACRIFICE" for the larger community needs, then it is only EQUITABLE to address the following issues:

(a) One-for-one "exchange": That's why I am advocating a mandatory property exchange as one of the settlement options with ancillary regulatory support. SEE MY OTHER COMMENTS UNDER "ONE-FOR-ONE EXCHANGE" IN THIS BLOG-SITE. To be a Squatter, Refugee, Downgrader or Downsizer in spite of being in the so-called privileged class of a private property owner isn't exactly the standard definition of a First World Global City!

(b) Mathematical basis for distribution of collective sales proceeds: That's why I have suggested a mathematical formula to be mandated under law, especially in view of the legacy problem created by the previous broad band-widths of strata title area for share values, the varying composition mix of unit sizes and the different estates' occupancy / ownership profiles. SEE MY OTHER COMMENTS UNDER "SALES PROCEEDS FORMULA" IN THIS BLOG-SITE.

(c) Degraded time-value of the dollar amount received as collective sales proceeds: That's why I have highlighted this inherent inequity that the Gahmen needs to seriously redress. SEE MY OTHER COMMENTS UNDER "SALES PROCEEDS FORMULA" IN THIS BLOG-SITE.

(d) Skewered voting power: That's why I have highlighted the composition of unit sizes and the estate's occupancy / ownership profile which may inherently skewer the voting power of the Sales Committee and/or the Majority Owners even before voting begins! SEE MY OTHER COMMENTS UNDER "SHARE VALUES; SALES COMMITTEE" IN THIS BLOG-SITE.

(e) Retrospective effect of the 1999 legislative amendment: Whether the retrospective effect is witting or unwitting, I'd like to give the benefit of doubt to the Gahmen. However, it does NOT change the fact that this legislative amendment amounts to such retrospection because there are inherently two legs to a property purchase (ie, Acquisition and Disposal). This law was gazetted and came into effect on 11 Oct 1999 but it has changed the fundamental basis of purchases made PRIOR TO 1999 because the collective sale would no longer be based on 100% consensus applicable AT the time of purchase but on 90% / 80% consensus promulgated AFTER the time of purchase. SEE MY OTHER COMMENTS UNDER "CONSTITUTION; GAHMEN POLICIES" IN THIS BLOG-SITE.

5. Personal financial planning / retirement savings in CPF - Real estate is likely the most chunky element in our investment portfolio. Each investor has different risk appetite profile, cashflow need, time horizon, etc. As there is nothing to stop my neighbours from selling their respective units individually based on their personal financial planning needs, why are these neighbours lumping my investment with theirs by forcing me into a collective sale?

How can CPF policies allow such sizeable withdrawals from Ordinary Accounts to buy an asset where (a) the disposal and sales price is outside of my control, (b) the depreciation is likely accelerated due to withholding of maintenance given that the en bloc cycle goes into infinity and (c) asset-churning is the most likely result as I need to buy a replacement unit and possibly sell+buy repeatedly if I evolve to be a Refugee after each collective sale? SEE MY OTHER COMMENTS UNDER "CONSTITUTION; GAHMEN POLICIES" IN THIS BLOG-SITE.


Anonymous said...

At my condominium, a few people wanted much higher price. But they were smart. They pretended to be anti-enbloc. Now that we miss the boat, they show signs of regret.

The Pariah said...

Dear Anonymous:

Yeh, I know what you mean.

Expect the twists and turns down the dark and winding alleys into the cavernous en bloc dungeon!

You'll find mischievous monkeys, shellshocked chickens, lascivious crocodiles, stealthy leopards, salivating wolves, clever chameleons, serial flippers, noisy parrots, deadly piranhas, crazed zombies in that dungeon. Otherwise, it won't be called an en bloc, my friend!