It was earlier reported that as of Wed (8 Apr) this week, active COVID-19 clusters have been found at 9 different foreign worker dormitories in Singapore.
A few of the 9 are operated by companies linked to grassroots leaders of People’s Association (PA). The top 2 foreign worker dormitories with the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of yesterday (10 Apr) were S11 Dormitory (306 cases) and Westlite Toh Guan (69 cases). Both have been gazetted by the government as isolation areas under the Infectious Diseases Act.
In particular, Westlite Toh Guan is run by public listed company Centurion Corporation Ltd, helmed by two PA grassroots leaders who are “joint chairmen” of the company: David Loh Kim Kang and Han Seng Juan. Han was awarded PBM in 2010 and BBM in 2015, while Loh got his PBM in 2011 and BBM in 2016.
They were both given public service medals for “helping” out at Potong Pasir SMC under MP Sitoh Yih Pin. In the general election of 2011, PAP managed to wrestle back Potong Pasir from opposition and it’s now under PAP.
Another board member of Centurion Corporation, Rajah & Tann’s lawyer Chandra Mohan, is also a grassroots leader awarded with PBM and BBM in recognition of his contribution towards community services in Northwest Community Development Council (NWCDC).
Han’s Sentosa Cove weekend party home has rooms inspired by four seasons
Further checks online revealed that socialite Susanna Kang is married to Han. In fact, 4 years ago, Mrs Han opened up their weekend “party home” at Sentosa Cove for reporters to take a look (‘Chic abodes: Two stylish women open up their homes‘).
Mrs Han is said to be a “fixture in society magazines”, often seen wearing head-turning gowns and ensembles, complete with elaborate hairstyles.
At the Hans’ Sentosa Cove weekend home, the ST reporter noted the “creative streak” in its design. “Standing on a 9,000 sq ft plot of land, the expansive house is a weekend home and features rooms inspired by the four seasons,” the reporter wrote. “It is here that the family entertain friends and host dinners for close business partners about once a month, with as many as 100 people gathering at what has come to be known as the Party House.”
Apparently, Mrs Han wanted a house that has the “wow factor” for the purpose of entertaining guests. It was built in 2012. A “curtain” weighing more than 2,721kg imported from Germany and made of high-grade stainless steel cloaks the perimeter of the second floor. It can be pulled back to get an unblocked beautiful view of the sea.
When guests arrive at the four-storey house, they descend a long flight of stairs into a cavernous basement. Mrs Han said, “I meant for it to be like a runway, where guests can sashay and strut their stuff down the stairs. It’s also the perfect spot to see the rest of the house. As you look up from the stairs, you get a good look at what else there is to explore.”
The basement is filled with futuristic-looking furniture from well-known brands and designers such as Italian label Moroso and renowned architect Zaha Hadid. An Hermes screen, made of a wood frame and scraps of crocodile skin taken from the cutting-room floor at the French luxury house’s atelier, adds a luxurious touch. A luscious green wall, filled with creepers growing under ultraviolet light, is encased behind a misty glass screen, creating a tropical spring feel for the basement. Adding to that wild factor are two taxidermied peacocks that preen regally next to the bar.
The dining room has a 22-seat custom-made table with bronzed legs and a high-gloss finish – the result of multiple layers of lacquer. It beautifully reflects American industrial designer Karim Rashid’s topograph-shaped chandelier that was made as part of Swarovski’s Crystal Palace collection.
The upper floors were designed for smaller break-out groups for relaxation especially after a nice dinner. On second level there are 3 rooms: One is a karaoke and media room, complete with decor of KTV lounges for the “feel of the real thing”, said Mrs Han. Another has a masculine vibe with a dark brown sofa by Italian furniture-maker Poltrona Frau and a well-stocked wine chiller. Here, the men can kick back and relax with cigars, while talking business, politics or any other matters. The third room simulates a chic ski resort cabin. Mrs Han has the air-conditioning ducts trained on this area so that the blast of cold air creates that icy feeling. The floor is covered in a fluffy, white carpet and there is a fireplace that runs on ethanol. It produces flames, but not heat.
For parties around the pool, guests head to the summer room in the attic that is designed to look like a ship’s cabin. Sofa beds face the infinity pool outside. For movie nights, a hidden projector comes down and guests can kick back or sleep over if they want to and wake up to a sea view. “I get my respite here. It’s quite peaceful looking at the blue, open sea,” she said.
She described her Sentosa home as a “modern kelong” as it is surrounded by water but the family does not live there. Their family home is a good-class bungalow in Bukit Timah.
(Pictures of the Hans’ Sentosa Cove weekend home from ST Photo):
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) warns about crammed condition in foreign worker dormitories
Meanwhile, non-profit organization Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) has been warning about the crammed conditions in foreign worker dormitories being highly conducive to spread the coronavirus (‘Forum: Employers’ practices leave foreign workers vulnerable to infection‘, 23 Mar).
Writing to ST Forum on 23 Mar, TWC2 said, “Currently, foreign workers are housed 12 to 20 men per room in double-decker beds. They are transported to work on the back of lorries sitting shoulder to shoulder. Neither of these conditions conforms with social distancing. The risk of a new cluster among this group remains undeniable,”
TWC2 warned and advocated that new dormitory should require more space per head and no more than four persons to a room.
On TWC2 website, it shows a picture of how crammed the condition is at a dormitory (Westlite Mandai) run by Han’s company.
Indeed, about a week later after TWC2 wrote to ST to warn everyone, clusters of COVID-19 started breaking out in different foreign worker dormitories.
Perhaps Han should ask his wife to use her “creative streak” to also help design the Centurion’s foreign worker dormitories so that the workers can have less crammed spaces to live in?