The report on the Ridout Road rentals by two Singapore ministers unveiled extensive SLA refurbishment costs, surpassing two years of rent collected and raising questions about financial viability. These arrangements seemingly contradict the Ministers’ Code of Conduct’s spirit, warning against any apparent conflict of interest.
In a historical debate from 1990, now-Ministers Balakrishnan and Shanmugam clashed over the government’s questioning of Singaporean loyalty. While Balakrishnan challenged the government’s approach, Shanmugam defended it as an attempt to face hard realities. Despite this contentious past, both men later found common ground in the People’s Action Party and even neighbours now.
The grandeur of the estates occupied by Singapore’s Cabinet Ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singapore Land Authority’s role in its maintenance and upgrades, and extensive tree clearance starkly contrast with the humble image projected by SLA’s latest TikTok videos and Facebook comments for these black-and-white houses.
Far from being a humble abode, 26 Ridout Road, previously occupied by Biscuit Baron, Rajan Pillai and now Minister K Shanmugam was once characterized in a 1995 New Paper report as a veritable palace.
Following allegations surrounding Singaporean Cabinet Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan’s residential properties rented from Singapore Land Authority, PM Lee announced an independent review. However, netizens and life coach Ishhaq Rajoo Jay criticize the response delay, asking why the truth has to wait until Parliament. The ministers’ failure to provide immediate, straightforward answers has raised further discontent, with public questioning their integrity and the necessity for such an elaborate process for truth-telling.
The recent Ridout Road saga, involving properties occupied by Cabinet Ministers, has raised concerns among Singaporeans. The ongoing independent review led by a colleague of the ministers has been criticized for lacking independence and credibility.
The Workers’ Party has raised parliamentary questions and called for a clearer explanation. An online petition has been initiated, urging the government to establish a Committee of Inquiry (COI) composed of opposition members and/or retired high court judges to ensure a fair and impartial investigation.
Netizens highlight the need for government accountability, transparency, and the inclusion of independent members in the COI.