Friday, December 09, 2005

A Night at The MPS... and the HDB debacle...

The wifey and I spent 2 hours the other day at the Meet-The-People session, trying to get some help from my MP to purchase the recess area in front of my newly-purchased-in-the-middle-of-renovation HDB flat.

A quick summary. Bought the flat end June 2005. 2nd appointment due in October 2005. Made known our intention to purchase the recess area (of about 10 square metres) in July 2005. Got our lawyer to write in formally to the HDB... no reply... made a few personal phone calls to the HDB branch office. No replies, at least none committing to allowing us to proceed. The reason? We were told we had to complete our purchase of the flat in October 2005 before we could buy the recess area. (*what happens if we allow you to purchase the recess area, and the purchase of the flat doesn't go through?*)

Fast forward to October 2005. Sale is complete; our keys to the flat are collected. Once again, the flurry of activities begin. Our lawyer writes to the HDB branch office again. Silence. Multiple calls later and leaving countless voice messages on voice mails that do not get return calls later, wifey manages to conference a call between the lawyer and the HDB officer. "Oh.. " he says.. "you need to get your contractors to do.. this.. and this.. and this"... and proceeds to read a litany of items that need to be done.

Oh. Okay. First we have to get the contractor to put in an application to move the pipes and water meters. We proceed and the contractor puts in the application. Again... silence...

The wifey gets nervous. Calls HDB officer again... multiple calls again... then "Oh.. now you have to get your contractor to get another approval from Singapore Power..." Damn. Can't you guys tell us what we have to do ALL AT THE SAME TIME? Application put in.

2 weeks later, my contractor, nervous at not being able to complete the renovations calls the HDB branch officer.. and gets told.. "Oh.. approval not given to purchase the full recess area.. just 6 square meters)" Why? My shocked contractor asks and gets blasted for that.

The wifey get pissed off. Calls HDB Officer. He says "Oh.. we are the middle man... we only convey what the ARCHITECT says.. anyway.. there's a change in policy.. we cannot sell you the full recess area because that would affect cross ventilation".. bear in mind.. it's now DECEMBER 2005... a freaking 5 months after we initiated the purchase.. 5 FREAKING MONTHS!!! Pissed-off-wifey says... okay.. we wanna come down and see you tomorrow.. "Oh.. er.. I may not be around tomorrow..." Okay, the wifey asks, who's your boss then? "Oh... er.. my boss also not around" The wifey refuses to give up... Who's your boss's boss?

At this stage, realizing that he's dealing with a couple of pit bulls, he says.. "Oh.. if you come down after 9... I will be around"... *rolls eyes*

Anyway, we went down the next day... and get the whole "middleman" shite again. We make known our intention to pursue the matter... stating categorically that we would NOT let the matter rest. "What to do?" he says.. "if we can sell to you, we would sell to you.. but THE ARCHITECT..." *2 pairs of evil eyes now focused on him*

So.. that's why we were are the MPS... waiting to see our MP to try to see if he could help us... see, before we went to the MPS, we went to the block to count the number of units that had bought the recess area.. get this... this is REALLY farnie... The block we live in is 18 floors.. From the 2nd floor to the 16th floor, with the exception of our unit, ALL THE UNITS HAD PURCHASED THE FULL RECESS AREAS. The owners on the 17th and 18th floors had not purchased their recess areas. NON APPROVAL FOR CROSS VENTILATION MY ASS.

We see an eclectic mix of people at the MPS.. people seeking work.. seeking help to bring their foreign spouses into Singapore. There's this couple who's trying to rent a HDB flat but cannot, because they are below 21...

Brings back memories of the time when I used to help in the letter writing in these same sessions... and of the times I always leave feeling blessed for all the things I've been given...


Blogger hugewhaleshark said...

pc, damn typical of the HDB man. I had a similar experience with some errors THEY made on my HDB loan. Give you a tip for dealing with government agencies. Most of them will have this officer called the Quality Service Manager. Usually this is a high level chap like the Deputy CEO or something. Fax him a letter (look up the phone book).

I did that and the jokers at the branch who have been giving me the runaround on my case suddenly got a lot more helpful (even called me to apologise). And without me chasing anymore the case got resolved (in a way) a while later. I think the QSM's people probably track all the complaints to make sure they are resolved.

Worth a try. I know because I used to work on the inside... hehe.

8:32 am  

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