SINGAPORE — In a recent Facebook post, the Workers’ Party (WP) announced that it has raised parliamentary questions about the circumstances surrounding the tenancy of large state bungalow properties at 26 and 31 Ridout Road by Cabinet Ministers.

Specifically, WP Secretary-General and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Pritam Singh, has filed these questions for the upcoming parliamentary debate in July.

  • To ask the Prime Minister what are the Government’s reasons for not calling a press conference in May 2023 to address the public allegations in regard to the lease of 26 and 31 Ridout Road to the Minister for Law and the Minister for Foreign Affairs respectively.
  • To ask the Prime Minister (a) how will the Government assure the public that the Minister for Law and the Minister for Foreign Affairs were not in receipt of any privileged information pertaining to the lease of 26 and 31 Ridout Road respectively; and (b) whether there are any rules, conventions or policies to ensure that Cabinet Ministers do not take advantage of privileged information received in the course of their official or non-official duties in regard to the lease of Government properties.

The properties, which the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) confirmed are occupied by Ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan, have been at the centre of social media speculation and media inquiries.

SLA has assured that it will disclose further details on this matter during the forthcoming session.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Secretary-General of the Reform Party, who first published about the ministers’ occupation of these properties and voiced the lack of transparency in the auction process.

While SLA stated that the rental procedures adhered to all guidelines and the ministers’ rent exceeded the undisclosed guide price, Mr Jeyaretnam estimated that the annual rent of such a property could be approximately $1.65 million.

Further, the Online Citizen Asia (TOC) reported that it had requested clarification on this issue from SLA and the ministers’ assistants but received no response.

TOC’s search also found no tender information for the two properties, which raises doubt about the transparency of the tendering process.

The WP noted that the party will continue to study this matter, and other WP Members of Parliament may also file questions related to it as more information emerges.

It also requested that the SLA release all relevant facts, including the guide rent for both properties, in order to facilitate a comprehensive and meaningful parliamentary debate in the July sitting.


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