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Singapore Top Ministers Flagged for Rental of 2 Colonial Bungalows with Land Area of 136,000 Square Feet & 525,000 Square Feet, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Orders Review on Bidding Process

26th May 2023 | Hong Kong

Singapore 2 top ministers had been flagged for rental of 2 colonial bungalows with land area of 136,000+ square feet and 525,000+ square feet, with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ordering a review on the bidding process in 2018.  In 2018, Singapore Home Affairs & Law Minister K. Shanmugam rented the No. 26 Ridout Road colonial bungalow in Singapore with 136,000+ square feet and in 2019, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan rented the No. 31 Ridout Road colonial bungalow in Singapore with 525,000+ square feet.  Questions had also been raised on the Singapore’s ministers ability to afford the rental.  In 2023, the benchmark level of a minister monthly salary is S$55,000 or S$1.1 million a year ($40,000 a month, $814,000 a year).  Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong salary is S$2.2 million a year ($1.6 million), excluding performance bonus.  Singapore President Halimah Yacob receives a salary of S$1.54 million a year ($1.1 million), but do not receive performance bonus.  See below for statement by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Singapore Land Authority.  

“ Singapore Top Ministers Flagged for Rental of 2 Colonial Bungalows with Land Area of 136,000 Square Feet & 525,000 Square Feet, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Orders Review on Bidding Process “

 



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Singapore Top Ministers Flagged for Rental of 2 Colonial Bungalows with Land Area of 136,000 Square Feet & 525,000 Square Feet

Singapore | Leading Financial Centre in Asia

Statement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on rental of state properties by two Ministers

Singapore Prime Minister Office 23rd May 2023:

“On 12 May 2023, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) issued a statement on two residential properties under SLA’s management, which were rented, separately by Minister K Shanmugam and Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.  Members of Parliament have filed Parliamentary questions on the matter, which will be answered in the next sitting of Parliament in July. Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan have also spoken to me to request for a review that is independent of the ministries and agencies they supervise. 

Last week, I asked for reports from the relevant agencies setting out the facts. I have also asked Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean to review the matter, and establish whether proper processes have been followed, and if there has been any wrongdoing. This must be done to ensure that this government maintains the highest standards of integrity.  I have asked SM Teo to carry out the review expeditiously and to make the findings public in time for the Parliamentary sitting.”

 

Singapore Land Authority (12/5/23):

“The rentals of SLA properties at No 26 and No 31 Ridout Road were performed in full compliance with the relevant SLA procedures.  26 Ridout Road had been vacant for more than 4 years since December 2013 before it was tenanted to Mr K Shanmugam in June 2018. Mr Shanmugam was the only bidder for this property. His offer, made through an agent, was higher than the Guide Rent, which was not disclosed to him. Mr Shanmugam notified a senior Cabinet colleague that he was making a bid for the property. Mr Shanmugam renewed the tenancy for this property in June 2021 for another 3 years. 

31 Ridout Road had been vacant for more than 6 years since July 2013 before it was tenanted to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. Dr Vivian put in a bid in November 2018 that was above the Guide Rent, which was not disclosed to him. He was the highest bidder. Tenancy was granted with effect from Oct 2019. Dr Vivian renewed his tenancy in Oct 2022.  More details on this issue will be provided during the next Parliamentary session in July 2023.”




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