PAP and Property


Thanks to netizens + readers for contributing to this post.

Presented in 6 parts:

INTRO: Excerpts on Singapore Property
Part 1: Nassim Jade + NParks + Gardens By The Bay + Corals At Keppel Bay
Part 2: Sim Lian + Far East + MapleTree + GoodWood
Part 3: Suntec REIT + CityDev + Pontiac Land + JTC
Part 4: Sentosa DC + GSH + Marina Bay + CapitaLand
Part 5: Keppel Land + Sentosa Cove + White Group



1) We can infer from their cash-only purchases of condominiums during the “Hotel Properties Scandal” that all of the extended Lee family are probably cash millionaires. . .government connections can be very lucrative in state-run Singapore.

Source: AndyXianWong


Singapore Real Estate. Image from Bloomberg.

2) The government is “the largest landowner in Singapore. . .the Land Acquisition Ordinance of 1955 and its amendment in 1966 were the chief policies that laid the groundwork for [the Singapore government] to acquire land from private holders.

Source: Emerald Group Publishing (2015)

3) CityDev is the third largest landowner in Singapore after the government and the family of Ng Teng Fong.

Source: AsiaWeek (2000)


“Ng Teng Fong tops Singapore rich list.” (2007)

4) Forbes’ list of the 50 richest people in Singapore was dominated by real estate moguls as property emerged as the main source of wealth for 12 tycoons on the list.

Source: Property Guru (2015)

5) Property is the main factor in growing prosperity of two-thirds of names on Forbes top 50.

Source: Urban Land Rent (2015)

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PART 1: Nassim Jade + NParks + Gardens By The Bay + Corals At Keppel Bay


Lee Suan Yew (one of Lee Kuan Yew’s brothers) was a past director of Singapore’s Hotel Properties Ltd. HPL is headed by Malaysian-born tycoon, Ong Beng Seng.


In 1996, Lee Kuan Yew bought a Nassim Jade unit (a condominium project by Hotel Properties) at a discount during the soft launch without HPL (a publicly listed company) seeking permission of its shareholders.

LKY’s relatives who also purchased units at discounts include:

  • Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. LKY);
  • Lee Hsien Loong + Ho Ching (son and daughter-in-law);
  • Pamelia Lee (sister-in-law);
  • Kwa Kim Li (niece);
  • Lee Wei Ling (daughter);
  • Lee Kim Mon (sister);
  • Freddy Lee (brother);
  • Dennis Lee (brother); and
  • Gloria Lee (sister-in-law).

All the purchases amounted to more than $10 million and were carried out without mortgages and loans.

Lai Kew Chai was a Malaysia-born Singaporean judge and the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court Bench, having served for almost 25 years as a Judge. He was a former partner of LKY’s law firm of Lee and Lee and a close friend of LKY and family. He bought a discounted unit at Nassim Jade and was the presiding judge on Tang Liang Hong’s case (Tang Liang Hong was a lawyer and opposition Workers’ Party candidate, who was bankrupted after raising questions about the Lee family’s Nassim Jade purchases).

For more details on the Nassim Jade saga, here are some articles:


Class of 1962 reunion in 2012. Source: ACS Alumni

The above ACS 1962 reunion picture shows that Ong Beng Seng, Managing Director of HPL, was a former classmate or schoolmate of Kwa Chong Seng (nephew of Mrs. LKY).

  • NOTE: Chew Choon Seng (beside Ong Beng Seng in above ACS reunion pic) has been a member of the board of GIC since January 2004. Chew is Chairman of the Singapore Exchange, Chairman at Singapore Tourism Board, and the former CEO of Singapore Airlines.


Christina Ong has been the Managing Director of Club 21 since 2007 (estimated worth of S$150 million). She is a well-known hotelier and fashion retailer and has been Chairman of NParks since 2007.


Christina Ong and Ong Beng Seng. Source: Forbes

Her husband is Ong Beng Seng of Hotel Properties Limited (HPL). NParks manages the Gardens By The Bay project.



Chang Hwee Nee, member on board of directors of Gardens by the Bay (2011+).

Heng Swee Keat is married to Chang Hwee Nee. Mr. Heng was Principal Private Secretary to SM Lee Kuan Yew from 1997 to 2000. Ms. Chang, a President Scholar, is the former Deputy Secretary (Policy) of Ministry of Education and a member of the board of directors of Gardens by the Bay.

The development of Gardens By The Bay came under the scrutiny of the Auditor-General in 2015 for lapses in the control of contract variation works.

The Auditor-General’s Office’s test-checks revealed a general lack of documentation, failure to obtain approval and laxity in control over contract variations by NParks in managing the development of the Gardens By The Bay project, which has an estimated total contract value of S$1.06 billion.

There was no assurance that NParks had not spent more funds than necessary.

Source: CNA (and PDF 2014/2015 report)

Checks by the AGO found that managers of the $1 billion Gardens by the Bay project had awarded over $20 million of contracts through a waiver of competition, without compelling reasons.



“The development comprises 366 luxurious waterfront homes.” ~$10million for a 4-bedroom unit.

Mrs. Koh-Lim Wen Gin, a former Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) chief planner, has been an independent director of Keppel Land since January 2010. She has been a board member of NParks since 2010.

Her daughter, Ms. Koh Lin-Net, was one of the buyers of Keppel Land’s units at its Corals at Keppel Bay project. Koh Lin-Net is the chief executive of the Media Development Authority and prior to that was deputy secretary of trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Ms Koh and her husband Lawrence Low bought a unit at Corals for slightly below $10.1 million.

Mrs. Koh-Lim Wen Gin’s husband is Koh Seow Chuan, retired founder of DP Architects. Under Koh’s leadership, DP Architects has been responsible for many iconic buildings in Singapore, including Suntec City, Paragon, Bugis Junction and Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay.

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PART 2: Sim Lian + Far East + MapleTree + GoodWood


Ong Ye Kung (Sembawang GRC candidate; 2015) is married to Diana Kuik Sin Leng. Mr. Ong was a former top civil servant and Principal Private Secretary to PM Lee Hsien Loong.

Ong’s wife, Diana Kuik Sin Leng, is the executive director of Sim Lian (owned by the Kuik family). Sim Lian has undertaken over S$2 billion worth of contracts, including public projects for the Housing Development Board (HDB), DBSS flats, and other government projects.

Ong Chit Chung (1949 – 2008) was a former MP, parliamentary secretary, and a director at Sim Lian. Associate Professor Sim Loo Lee was a former HDB director and an independent director of Sim Lian.

It is interesting to note that the Government did not consider the potential conflict of interests when it invited a Sim Lian board director to also sit on the board of HDB.

Netizen Melvin Chong says:

Don’t Be Stupid, Singaporeans. This is Detention Barrack Singapore-Style with Damn Bloody Shoddy Standard.”


a) Ng Teng Fong

Robert Ng Chee Siong is the son of Singapore property tycoon and Far East Organization founder, Ng Teng Fong. Robert Ng is a board member of Temasek and is married to Yeoh Saw Kheng (楊素瓊), the third daughter of Dr. Yeoh Ghim Seng, the former Speaker of Parliament of Singapore (Source: CapitalProfile PDF).

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen is said to be the nephew of Ng Teng Fong (who had 10 siblings).

  • Reader Tip: A forum poster said the Chinese newspapers mentioned Ng Eng Hen as “the nephew” of Ng Teng Fong. Does anyone have a newspaper clipping?

Ng Eng Hen at the wake of Ng Teng Fong.

One in six houses in Singapore today is built by the Ng family.

Ng Teng Fong’s family has close ties to the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and China (Source: PDF document). The Ngs have also enjoyed a close relationship with Lee Kuan Yew.

The late Mr. Ng Teng Fong was billed as Singapore’s richest man by Forbes magazine in September 2009.

b) Colleagues

Leong Hong Kee was executive director at Far East Organization from 1993 to 2008 and a member of Singapore’s parliament in Singapore for 32 years until his retirement in 2006.

Heng Chiang Meng served as executive director of Far East Organization from 1996 to 1997, during which time he was also a member of parliament. He resigned from FEO amid allegations of conflict of interest between private and public-sector roles. Heng has been a board director at Keppel Land since 2005.


Kwa Kim Li is the Managing Partner of Lee and Lee law firm. Ms Kwa is a director in Mapletree Commercial Trust. In addition, she sits on the Boards of Sentosa Development Corporation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.


Singapore’s Mapletree Raises US$1.4 bil for China Real Estate Fund. Source: Mingtiandi, 2013

Mapletree Commercial Trust is a unit of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings’ property arm, Mapletree Investments. Mapletree is a government-linked company (GLC).

Kwa Kim Li is the niece of Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. LKY).



Mavis Khoo-Oei is part of the Khoo clan consisting of 14 heirs of late banker Khoo Teck Puat, founder of Maybank, Malaysia’s most valuable bank (market cap:$23 billion). She is the Chairman of Goodwood Park Hotel. Her husband was Humphrey Oei, who is a grandchild of Oei Tiong Ham. Incidentally, Oei Tiong Ham is a forefather of Teo Chee Hean.

In 1986, the Brunei authorities issued a warrant for Khoo Teck Puat’s arrest on charges of defrauding the bank.

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PART 3: Suntec REIT + CityDev + Pontiac Land + JTC


Chew Gek Khim is a grandchild of Tan Chin Tuan. She is a relative of Kwa Geok Choo through Tan Chin Tuan (her mother is Dr. Tan Kheng Lian, daughter of Tan Chin Tuan and cousin of Kwa Geok Choo).

Chew Gek Khim joined the Board of Directors of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) on 21 January 2014 and was appointed Chairman on 17 April 2014.

Edwin Tong is an Allen & Gledhill Partner, who has made headlines as the defense lawyer acting for Pastor Kong Hee in the high-profile City Harvest case. He is a PAP candidate in the Marine Parade GRC in GE2015.


City Harvest at Suntec (2013). Source: CN

Pastor Kong Hee, City Harvest Church founder and co-owner, paid $9.33m for a luxury duplex unit at Sentosa Cove in 2007. Kong and five others are alleged to have misused $50 million of church funds and then falsified church accounts to cover up the misuse. They are accused of funnelling millions from the church’s building fund to pay for the Crossover Project, to boost the music career of Kong’s wife Ho Yeow Sun.

In 2012, City Harvest Church increased its stake in Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre to 39.2 per cent, from its original 20 per cent in 2010. The church’s executive pastor, Aries Zulkarnain, said “we are co-owners of this property together with Suntec REIT.”


Philip Yeo was formerly the Special Adviser for Economic Development in the Prime Minister’s Office (2007-2011), and former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence for Defence Research, Logistics and Industry (1979-1985). He is a director of CDL and a member of the advisory board at NTU Business School.

Kwek Leng Joo, brother of Kwek Leng Beng, was appointed as a Director of CDL in 1980. He served as the President of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) and is currently an Honorary President of SCCCI.


Kwee Liong Seen is one of the four Kwee brothers who share ownership of Pontiac Land, a major real estate company in Singapore. Kwee Liong Seen is executive director of Pontiac Land and a member of the advisory board at NTU Business School.

The other brothers are Kwee Liong Keng, Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Poland, Kwee Liong Tek, and Kwee Liong Phing.

There is a Kwee Liong Phing in ICIJ’s Offshore Banking database.


Ngiam Shih Chun, relative of Ngiam Tong Dow, is a board member of JTC Corporation.

Augustin Lee, is Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Manpower (2010+), Deputy Chairman of the CPF Board, and a JTC Board Member (2011+).

Ng Chee Meng, brother of Ng Chee Khern and Ng Chee Peng, was a JTC Board Member (2013-2015).

AGO’s audit of the contracts (total contract value of $510.18 million) for the International Cruise Terminal development project undertaken by Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) revealed lapses in controls and management of contract variations.

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PART 4: Sentosa DC + GSH + Marina Bay + CapitaLand


Kwa Kim Li (niece of Mrs. LKY), Ngiam Shih Chun (relative of Ngiam Tong Dow), and Lt-Gen Bey Soo Khiang are board members of Sentosa Development Corporation.


Former cabinet minister Mah Bow Tan was the fifth biggest shareholder in GSH Corporation in 2014. As of 18 Mar 2014, Mah owned 365,575,000 shares with a current market value of about S$28 million. According to John Harding, Mah Bow Tan’s son, Warren Mah, studied at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania — fully paid for on a scholarship from Monetary Authority of Singapore (a statutory board).


Keppel Corp director Alvin Yeo, who is also the senior partner at law firm Wong Partnership, is paying $6.54 million for a unit on the 32nd floor of the luxury project. Keppel Land director and permanent secretary Niam Chiang Meng is paying $4.577 million for his unit, also on the 32nd floor.


Jennie Chua, icon of Singapore’s hospitality industry, is the former spouse of Goh Kian Chee, the only son of former Deputy PM Goh Keng Swee.

Goh Kian Chee took 5 years to clear $280,000,000 of debt. He is now retired and enjoys leisurely tennis and golf.

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PART 5: Keppel Land + Sentosa Cove + White Group


Tan Yam Pin, director at Keppel Land, has been a member of the Singapore Public Service Commission since 1990. Mr. Tan was appointed as a Member of the Public Service Commission in 1990.

According to Wikipedia, Singapore’s Constitution, and PSC’s 2012 Annual Report:

The Public Service Commission (PSC)’s constitutional role is to appoint, confirm, promote, transfer, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over public officers in Singapore.

It considers the suitability of candidates for appointment as Chief Executive Officers of Statutory Boards; it is also responsible for the planning and administration of scholarships provided by the Government of Singapore.


Chua Thian Poh was #26 on Forbes’ Singapore’s 50 Richest list (2015).


Three major Chinese community organisations in Singapore — the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA), Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) and Business China — organised a celebratory dinner for Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th Birthday at Shangri-La Hotel. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong

Mr. Chua is also the President of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) and a long-time grassroots leader, serving as Chairman of Bishan East Citizens’ Consultative Committee.

He started the Ho Bee group of companies and ventured into property development. Ho Bee was the sole bidder for the en bloc sale of Coral Island on Sentosa Cove.

As revealed by AGO, 33 days after he “retired” from SCPL, Mr Chua was allowed to tender for sales of Sentosa Cove land through Ho Bee.


Peh Chin Hua is the executive chairman of White Group, a holding company with properties and business interests in China and Singapore. He was also a Singapore Member of Parliament from 1988 to 2001. He holds numerous positions in various clans, including the Peh Clan Association.

In 2013, White Group signed a $12 billion deal to develop a vast township site in China.

Peh Chin Hua’s younger brother is Desmond Peh Chin Chye, Managing Director of Just Education Holdings. There is a “Peh Chin Chye” in ICIJ’s offshore banking database.

Peh Shing Huei is the son of Peh Chin Hua. Peh Shing Huei was formerly The Straits Times’ China bureau chief, based in Beijing.

Offshore Banking / Money Laundering


* Thanks to a reader for submitting this blog post topic.


According to Investopedia:

[An offshore bank is] located or based outside of one’s national boundaries. A company may legitimately move offshore for the purpose of tax avoidance or to enjoy relaxed regulations. Offshore financial institutions can also be used for illicit purposes such as money laundering and tax evasion.

According to legal-dictionary, money laundering “allows criminals to transform illegally obtained gain into seemingly legitimate funds.”


Money Laundering is the process of taking ‘dirty’ funds and converting it into ‘clean’ funds | Image from KYC Map

According to A Beginner’s Guide To Money Laundering:

Let’s say you [want] to hide a massive bribe. First, you must convert it into another currency without the government knowing. The easiest way to do this is to contact [an agent] who will give you casino chips for your cash, minus fees of up to 20%.

Take the chips to a friendly, cooperative casino, or, for extra safety, take them to a lawyer specializing in offshore laundering. Meanwhile, the casino will mix your chips with those from legitimate gamblers, and its accountants will book your $1 million as paid-out winnings.

Your bank or lawyer must wire-transfer the funds in such a way that the money crosses multiple borders, to frustrate detection or confiscation. For instance, the money might end up in a US trust managed by a shell company in Grand Cayman, owned by another trust in Guernsey with an account in Luxembourg managed by a Swiss or Caribbean or Singaporean banker who doesn’t know who the owner is.


As concerns grow about the wealth of corporate oligarchs, government officials and their families, some Chinese have braved the government’s anger by raising questions about corruption.

“How can you fight corruption if you don’t even dare to disclose your personal assets?” New Citizens Movement’s founder, legal advocate and activist Xu Zhiyong, wrote last spring.

The government arrested Xu and detained more than 20 other members of the group, indicting some for “disturbing public order” or “illegal assembly,” charges frequently used to silence dissidents.

The files [from this report] come from two offshore firms — Singapore-based Portcullis TrustNet and BVI-based Commonwealth Trust Limited — that help clients create offshore companies, trusts and bank accounts.

Source: Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite


ICIJ is an investigative journalism website which focuses on issues like cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power.


Singapore Skyline Banking District

From one of their articles on offshore banking in Singapore:

More than 100 customer consultants at Deutsche Bank Singapore helped create or manage 309 offshore entities for its customers in the British Virgin Islands and other tax havens, according to secret records obtained by the news organizations.

Most of the companies carry fantasy names like “Thrilling Returns Incorporated,” “Amazing Opportunity Limited” or “Market Dollar Group Limited.” Public sources don’t show any business activities for most of these companies. Deutsche Bank registered the entities with the help of Portcullis TrustNet, an offshore services provider headquartered in Singapore.

Deutsche Bank’s private banking operations ranked No. 6 among the world’s largest private banks, increasing their assets under management from $180 billion in 2005 to $367 billion in 2010.

Source: ICIJ

From John Harding’s website [John Harding was the former Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Singapore’s Inland Revenue Department (IRAS)]:

Yeo Cheow Tong is a member of the investment team of Tembusu Partners. Yeo was given his retirement pay in a lump sum in order to pay off his debts to bankers and not embarrass the Singapore government.

The Trembusa fund has been awarded Pioneer Status with zero-rated tax incentive for both the fund and the fund management company. The fund has also qualified under the Global Investor Programme by EDB, where foreign investors with S$1.5 million investment into the fund may apply for Permanent Resident Status in Singapore.


Lim Hwee Hwa: Former Minister and current director at Tembusu Partners.

Andy Lim, who also runs Money World, has been banned from entering China due to money laundering activities of his firm. He has also been charged in court in the Fiji Islands. And here is the BIG CONNECTION with the Singapore Government that is making it all happen. Andy Lim’s wife is Lim Hwee Hua (former minister). Lim Hwee Hua was making nearly four times as much as President Obama, but this is not enough for the crooked lady. She has set up her husband, Andy, to run a scam investment company, where, as an investor, you can get residence in Singapore.

P.S. Lim Hwee Hua is currently a director at Tembusu Partners.


On an art scandal that could expose mass fraud in the global art market:

Lawyers and art dealers familiar with the discussions say the case could expand well beyond Bouvier and reach into the top galleries and billionaire collectors in New York, London and Hong Kong. It could widen to involve not only undisclosed mark-ups by dealers, but also tax fraud, global money laundering and possible bribery. 

“This is just the beginning,” said one prominent art lawyer in New York who asked not to be named. “There will be a lot of big dealers and collectors involved.”

Source: CNBC

On 1MDB bank accounts:

Singapore police have started investigations into money laundering on two bank accounts linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in the island republic. Earlier this year, MAS said it was in touch with Malaysian regulators after Putrajaya said 1MDB had redeemed US$1.1 billion from the Cayman Islands and parked it in the Singapore unit of Swiss private bank BSI.

Source: The Malaysian Insider


This is a list of names from Singapore who have offshore companies and trusts.

One is former army general, LT-Gen Ng Jui Ping.


LT-Gen Ng Jui Ping: Offshore Leaks Database. Offshore Service Provider: Portcullis Trustnet (refer to Sections 2 & 3 above).


a) For its part, Temasek does not respond to questions about its activities in Burma.

A Singaporean diplomat to Burma, Matthew Sim, says “many successful Myanmar businessmen have opened shell companies” in Singapore “with little or no staff, used to keep funds overseas.”

Sim may be referring to junta cronies such as Tay Za and the druglord Lo Hsing Han. Lo controls a heroin empire and one of Burma’s biggest companies, Asia World, which the US Drug Enforcement Agency describes as a front for his drug trafficking.


Lo Hsing Han or Law Sit Han (1935 – 2013): Burmese drug trafficker and major business tycoon.

Singapore is the Lo family’s window to the world, a base for controlling several companies. Lo’s son Steven, who has been denied a visa to the US because of his drug links, is married to a Singaporean, Cecilia Ng. A former US assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Robert Gelbard, has said half of Singapore’s investment in Burma has been “tied to the family of narco-trafficker Lo Hsing Han.”

Dissident groups say the trade-off for Tay Za’s government business contracts in Burma is to fund junta leaders’ medical trips to Singapore.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

b) Jelson Garcia, Asia Program Manager with the Banking Information Center (BIC), said World Bank, ADB and International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials informed him last year that Burma’s government held up to $11 billion in several Singaporean bank accounts.

In 2009, the US-based non-profit organization Earth Rights International (ERI) reported that the then ruling junta had excluded almost $5 billion in revenues — generated from the Yadana Gas project operated by oil giants Total and Chevron — from the country’s national budget.  These funds, the group found after an investigation, had been placed in two Singapore-based banks — the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation and DBS Group — which functioned as “offshore repositories.” The banks have denied the allegations.

Source: The Irrawaddy

c) Singapore’s economic linkage with Burma is one of the most vital factors for the survival of Burma’s military regime,” says Professor Mya Maung, a Burmese economist based in Boston. This link, he continues, is also central to “the expansion of the heroin trade.”

Singapore has achieved the distinction of being the Burmese junta’s number one business partner — both largest trading partner and largest foreign investor. The close political, economic, and military relationship between the two countries facilitates the weaving of millions of narco-dollars into the legitimate world economy.

Source: Covert Action Quarterly


a) Singapore’s national pension system resembles the mother of all Ponzi schemes which is about to implode.

The PAP is aware of the widespread perception that CPF resembles a Ponzi scheme but has not been able convince Singaporeans otherwise. Instead, it has continued to conceal important information from the public.

Source: Phillip Ang

b) The days of banging a million bucks into a secret account in Singapore are over. . .the ability to move corrupt funds overseas is a large part of what makes grand corruption possible.

Source: Global Witness

c) Historically, why are there so many alleged “illegal” monies linked to Singapore?

Source: All Singapore Stuff



“If I can get another 10 billionaires to move to Singapore and set up their base here, my Gini coefficient will get worse but I think Singaporeans will be better off.”
— LHL, 2013


The ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database cracks open the impenetrable world of offshore tax havens. Users can look through more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales such as the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Singapore.