SINGAPORE: The claims that HDB flat buyers do not own their flats and are renting them is "factually and legally wrong", said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.
There is also no basis to such a claim, he said at the HDB's Peak Forum for building professionals on Tuesday (Sep 4).
Mr Wong added that all buyers of leasehold properties, private or public, enjoy ownership rights over their properties during the period of lease.
They can also sell their properties and benefit from any upside, or rent it out if they choose to, he said, adding that it's "important to set the record straight".
"Since the beginning of the Government land sales programme in 1967, all sites for private residential land have been sold on leases not more than 99 years.
"We have limited space and we need to recycle land to create housing for future generations," Mr Wong said.
Public housing is one topic that Singaporeans care deeply about, Mr Wong added, cautioning that these debates "must be based on facts, not misinformation and half-truths".
While people may have differing opinions and views on housing policies, he said that the Government welcomes views to improve these policies.
The work of strengthening the institution of public housing and home ownership cannot be done by the Government alone, he said. It requires close partnership with Singaporeans, he added.
During his visit to HDB Hub, Mr Wong also announced the launch of Town Design Guides to strengthen identities of HDB towns.