ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: Singapore struggles to find next prime minister; Queenstown HDB flat sold for $1.08m

And here's how HDB chief Cheong Koon Hean refused to answer a question about urban planning.

From Reuters:

Previously, the decision to find Singapore's prime minister has already been planned ahead, but, as Reuters reports, no obvious successor has yet emerged from the 16 ministers that are trying to pick their new leader.

"Only one party has ruled the island-state since its independence more than 50 years ago, and there have been only three prime ministers. When founding father Lee Kuan Yew handed over the reins to cabinet colleague Goh Chok Tong, who in turn gave way to Lee’s son and current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, the changes were fixed long in advance.

But with Lee Hsien Loong making it clear he is ready to stand down in the next couple of years, no obvious successor has yet emerged from a group of 16 ministers tasked with picking a leader from within their ranks to take Singapore into a new era.

The protracted process, portrayed as an experiment in democracy in the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), has already caused a rare disagreement between the current and former prime ministers, and raised questions about whether there is enough time to groom a capable successor."

Read more here.

From PropertyGuru:

An HDB executive apartment at Block 148 Mei Ling Street in Queenstown went through a resale transaction for a whopping $1.08m or $669 psf. The property has a balance lease of about 76 years.

"The 1,615 sq ft corner unit located on the 13th floor is close to Queenstown MRT station and Anchorpoint mall.

It is understood that the sellers have been staying there since 1995 and plan to upgrade to a nearby condominium.

ERA Realty property agent Mohamed Ameen helped broker the sale. He revealed that the unit was listed on PropertyGuru with an asking price of $1.1m for less than two weeks."

Read more here.

From iCompareLoan via Yahoo! Finance:

HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean was mum when iCompareLoan had a chance to ask a question about the agency's principles on urban planning amidst increasing population density which, as Cheong revealed, could increase from 11,000 people per sq km to 13,700 people per sq km between now and 2030.

"At Dr Cheong’s 3rd IPS lecture today, I asked her the following question as a representative of iCompareLoan:

'In the last lecture, you mentioned that Singapore’s population density will increase in the future. I can understand and appreciate that your views on urban planning are based on your role as a planner – not a policy maker. But planners too don’t plan in a vacuum. My question is, 'what underlying principles/philosophies guide your planning process.'

The question and answer session was moderated by Professor Lily Kong, Provost of the Singapore Management University. Because of the brevity of time for the Q&A session, Prof Kong suggested that a few questions be asked before Dr Cheong answers them. There were several other questions – including questions from former Minister of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin, an RGS student, a representative from an NGO, and a property agent.

When the time came for Dr Cheong to answer the questions which were asked, she first remarked that she had the right to answer whichever questions she wanted to. She then went ahead to answer all the questions, except the question by the property agent (whose question was about the HDB flat prices which have increased over the generations and is now viewed as a “ticking time bomb”) and mine."

Read more here.

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