Paying $36m for bungalow in Sentosa Cove
This is touted as the most expensive purchase of a private property here. It is still not in the region of $500m like the Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley estates. But theirs are not 15,000 or 20,000 sq ft but measured in acres. This Sentosa Cove property is still very expensive as it is on a 99 year lease and not freehold. A Chinese national bought this. And it was reported that 4 members of a Chinese family bought a unit each at prices of $15.9m to $26m. The expression of 'What is $10m?' becomes very real. There are several thousand billionaires in China and many tens of thousands of millionaires with net worth in the hundreds of millions. And if a sizeable number of them think of parking some of their wealth here, they could have bought up everything in Sentosa Cove. And we are not counting the rich Indians, Indonesians, Malaysians and all over the world who just have too much money and need to park them somewhere. How many more luxury properties can we built to sell to the super rich before we run out of space? The question is why are we selling our precious land and space so happily? Who is benefitting from the transactions and where are the money going to? We have great and meticulous planning in public housing. We will house our people in better and better public housing at affordable prices. One thing for sure, public housing will remain public housing and the quality will be as good as the public can afford them. In the private sector, the quality will also be as good as the buyers who can afford them. And with an abundance of super rich where money is not an issue, whatever the developers built there will be takers. Eventually we could be developing foreign enclaves of super rich in some select corners akin to the foreign concessions in China during the colonial days. The difference is that we did it voluntarily while the Chinese were coerced into parting with their prime estates. Is this what we want? Is this the future demography of Singapore? Or would we want to plan for the Singaporeans to occupy the prime estates at an affordable price by tweaking some planning policies? We have restrictions in landed properties, but this ruling is bypass very often with exceptions. And the landed properties in Sentosa is also an exception. When the British were here, the prime lands were mostly in their hands. They were the colonial masters and looking after their own interests. Today we are charting the course of our own future and the places for our future generations. Where are we going in terms of housing and estate planning? Johore or Batam or Bintang for our own citizens?