If you have ever been through or seen what happens during an upgrading exercise, you will understand why that happens. If a man's home is his castle, then upgrading represents a temporary invasion and occupation of that castle by well-meaning, benevolent invaders.
Your flat becomes a huge mess, with plastic sheets and tarpaulins draped all over your stuff, workers trampling all over the place, and dust and dirt all over the floor. You lose the part of your flat that is being worked upon. And when it's a one-room flat, that basically means you lose your flat. So I'm not surprised that some of the tenants preferred to sleep in the corridor.
There were two things in this article that really hit home for me. The first was the quote by Mr Chan Sai Meng, about HDB's response to his request for the unused rental flats to be opened up for temporary use, that it was "too tough" administratively. The civil service might have a No Wrong Door policy, but it's pointless when the right door opens directly into a brick wall.
The second thing was Mr Chan's parting shot at the end of the article, and his last two sentences really, really affected me:
“You must have a solution before this programme starts... The Government said (to) progress together with the people. I don’t want to progress if it is so painful and without dignity. You go ahead.”
The next Parliamentary sitting is on 9 April 2007. I am going to file a PQ on this. It is not acceptable.