‘So you bought a HDB flat alreay?’, asked the routine taxi uncle.
‘Well, I cannot lah, for I am a foreigner’, I said. I probably did no sound sad. So uncle continued.
‘You are here for many years and still a foreigner ? Why not PR already?’, he inquired. In Singapore, one can buy a HDB flat ( government built flat ) only if you are a Singaporean or are a Permanent resident.
‘Yes, not become PR yet’, I said seeming to suggest in a tone that I didn’t intend to become a PR.
‘Why not PR ? You get benefits right?’, uncle asked.
‘Sir, there are many problems. First I don’t know when I would be transferred to a different country by my employer. Second, even if I become a PR, I cannot buy a HDB flat for the first three years of being a PR. And by the time I complete three years, I might be transferred to some other part of the world. So, no point in buying one’, I said.
‘But you are here for 5 years already !.’, reasoned the uncle.
‘You are right, but I have to wait for one year to know if my PR application would be approved or not. If approved, and then I locate a HDB flat, I wouldn’t know if the HDB can be sold to a PR to keep up with the racial quota. So, I would not be sure until all the quotas and other new rules are adhered to. And by the time I locate one, the rule would have changed and I would have to start from scratch’, I reasoned.
‘You have a point. Don’t become PR lah’, said uncle and continued ,’ You become PR, you have one house only. You no PR, any rent house your house already’.
Uncle, as usual, was logical.