Divorce: Biggest headache is HDB?


The Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Centre for Family Harmony @ Commonwealth are trying to help divoicees and their children, but what about the HDB?

I refer to the article “Thye Hua Kwan centre launched to support divorcing couples and their children” (Straits Times, Sep 22).

It states that “Divorcing parents and their children will be able to get more support, with the official opening of the Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Centre for Family Harmony @ Commonwealth.

Set up by the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities, the centre also helps divorcing couples to explore what is best for their children during and after they separate.

The new centre is one of four Divorce Support Specialist Agencies appointed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development.”

From my experience doing volunteer financial counselling for about two decades – arguably, the most serious problem for many divorcees and their children, is a roof over their heads.

The primary reason for this problem, may be the HDB’s policies.

Normally, unless varied by an order of court – divorcing couples typically have to sever their ownership of their HDB flat.

This often presents insurmountable problems if the spouse who is to own the HDB flat after the divorce is unable to have sufficient CPF or cash to return the CPF plus accrued interest used by the other spouse to his or her CPF account, or the ability to be granted a new housing loan, or the ability to service a new housing loan, etc.

Why can’t the HDB – for starters – allow the same housing loan to continue after the divorce or deferment of the immediate return of the other spouse”s CPF plus accrued interest until age 55, etc?

The HDB may often undermine the good work that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) are doing, in trying their best to help divorcees and their children.

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.