Ladies and Gentlemen,
Many Singaporeans have gone to jail for what is generally called in that island as HDB cash back scams. In fact none of those jailed were ever guilty of anything. If there was a guilty party, it is none other than Lee Kuan Yew and his hare brained laws. Take this case for one.
This is how it goes. Singaporeans are allowed to lease government flats owned by the HDB on 99 year leases through loans from their own retirement funds held, like everything else in Singapore, by the government. So lets gets the facts clear, the HDB flat that you lease (not buy) is owned by he government and so is your retirement fund the CPF.
From the sale price agreed between the buyer and the seller, the balance of the mortgage owed to the government by the seller must be settled, and any balance remaining goes to the seller; while the buyer signs a new agreement with the government and adopts the lease.
Since it is entirely up to anyone to negotiate any price, what happens is for the buyer and seller to agree to inflate the price to a figure higher than what the flat is worth, since whatever the price, there is no immediate hardship to the buyer since the money comes, not out of his pocket, but out of his retirement fund. The inflated figure will have a cash balance left over after paying off the government, which the buyer and seller collect as a bonus.
What happens occasionally is that the buyer, for reasons best known to him, despite having made an agreement on the price, reneges on his agreement, goes to the police and complains that the sale price was lower than that stated because the seller had somehow defrauded him.
The Singapore police then arrest the seller and sometimes the buyer too and send them to jail because they had tried to unfairly advantage from their retirement funds as Lee Kuan Yew's intention is not to allow Singaporeans to cash out their retirement funds in this way.
This is another instance of Lee Kuan Yew's silly laws getting the better of them. This whole idea of allowing people to use their retirement funds to lease their homes is all wrong because it is a misuse of their retirement savings. Secondly, it should be entirely up to the parties to decide what price they want to transfer their leaseholds and it no business whatsoever of Lee's government to interfere in their personal decisions.
Another instance of Lee's harebrained laws in Lee's one party dictatorship.
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
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