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Chee Soon Juan: Foreigners buying up properties in Singapore drives up property prices and rents

In a recent Facebook video, Singapore Democratic Party chief Dr Chee Soon Juan critiques PAP policies, cautioning about the impact of wealthy foreigners purchasing properties in Singapore. He warns of worsening cost of living, widened wealth gap, and eroded national identity as potential consequences.



SINGAPORE: Dr Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) reiterated his critique of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) policies as unsustainable, particularly emphasizing the significant impact of the influx of foreigners purchasing properties in Singapore.

In a recent video message posted on Monday (3 June), on his official Facebook page, Dr Chee cautioned against the repercussions of foreign property acquisitions on the local market.

He warned that this trend could exacerbate the cost of living challenges faced by ordinary Singaporeans, widen wealth inequality, and erode national identity.

Dr Chee also raised questions regarding the ownership of the 470 HDB resale flats sold for at least S$1 million in 2023, particularly concerning the proportion acquired by permanent residents.

He underscored the impact of affluent PRs purchasing expensive condos, commercial properties, and entire real estate developments, which contributes to the ongoing surge in housing prices for locals.

“There’s a survey that showed that 80 per cent of our younger Singaporeans’ life goal is to own a private property. ”

“At the rate that the PAP is going we’d be lucky if a fraction of that can achieve this dream.”

Citing former PAP MP Inderjit Singh’s warning about Singaporeans being priced out of the private property market due to the influx of foreign funds, Dr Chee elaborated on the adverse effects of super-wealthy foreigners purchasing commercial properties.

Dr Chee: Influx of foreign buyers drives rental pressure

He warned that this influx exerts pressure on rental prices, prompting businesses to pass on these increased costs to consumers, thereby exacerbating the cost of living.

This issue is compounded by other hikes, including the GST increase to 9% and rising utility rates.

Dr Chee provided examples of high-profile billionaire property acquisitions in Singapore, such as British billionaire James Dyson’s approximately S$50 million Good Class Bungalow (GCB) overlooking the Botanical Gardens and Eduardo Saverin’s purchase of a bungalow for S$230 million.

Similarly, Haidilao founders Shi Yonghong and Zhang Yong, along with Zhang Yong’s son, and Wang Qianqian from China and her brother Wang Tian Long, have invested in expensive properties, further accentuating the trend of wealthy individuals acquiring high-value assets in Singapore.

In March, a report on EdgeProp disclosed that Wang Qianqian, now a Singapore citizen, acquired a Good Class Bungalow in Holland Rise from former Minister for National Development, Mah Bow Tan, for S$50 million.

Quoting a real estate company owner, Dr Chee emphasized how the surge of newly minted citizens purchasing prestigious properties, particularly GCBs, has led to soaring prices.

Initially dominated by Chinese nationals and Singaporean buyers, this trend now includes individuals from diverse backgrounds such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, and beyond.

Dr Chee starkly contrasted the rapid wealth accumulation of these new affluent citizens with the financial struggles faced by ordinary Singaporeans.

He underscored the long-term implications for social equity and cohesion resulting from this disparity.

Highlighting the disparity in property ownership, Dr Chee pointed out that while many Singaporeans reside in HDB flats subject to return to the government after 99 years, newly wealthy citizens can acquire and pass down freehold properties, thus exacerbating wealth inequality over generations.

Quoting Mr Ravi Menon, the former managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Dr Chee reiterated the concern that “income from property grows much faster than income from work,” further exacerbating wealth inequality. He stressed the urgency of addressing this development to safeguard Singapore’s social fabric and equity.

Dr Chee poses a poignant question, asking if Singapore transformed into a nation primarily comprising grab drivers, food deliverers, and real estate agents, all serving foreigners in our own country?

He shares a personal anecdote about a highly educated Singaporean driving for Grab, juxtaposing this with the high earnings of naturalized citizens like DBS CEO Priyush Gupta, while thousands of Singaporeans struggle to make ends meet, with many even facing homelessness.

Reflecting on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s cautionary words from 2008 about the limits of foreign worker expansion, Dr Chee provides statistics on the exponential increase in the non-resident population since 2000, nearing 1.8 million in 2023.

He suggested that the recent spike may be attributed to pandemic-induced labour demands but emphasised the ongoing need to accommodate this vast population.

Dr Chee critiques the PAP’s approach, which involves clearing large swathes of forest and reclaiming land to house the expanding non-citizen population, thus compromising precious green ecosystems and exacerbating climate change.

He emphasized the adverse effects on people’s stress levels and mental health, concluding that this trajectory is unsustainable.

Ending his message, Dr Chee said he will present the SDP’s alternative approach in his next video, aimed at reducing reliance on foreigners while fostering greater productivity and contentment among Singaporeans.

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These ultra rich mainly bought high end houses and I seriously don’t think these purchases affect the prices of housing like condos and HDBs. The things that contributed to making locals pay more to the govt is ABSD and it really affect the locals as we are not those ultra rich foreigners.

Fortunately in the Courts of Public Opinions where sanity laws,moral laws, true democratic laws still prevail – this jury IS OUT, to designate the PAP is NOT the legal jury for a progressive SG free from the slavery control of Foreign Trash the PAP has coercively drived onto Singaporeans. The public jury has and can exposed the lies of FAKE inclusiveness, FAKE Forward SG which is repackaged, rehashed OLD lies trying to remake the Original True SG when we had made it, as what PROMINENT media world observers claimed SG was A DRAGON. Now the blind can’t see we ARE… Read more »

Whenever DrChee appears, be it in the form of a statement, brief article or video, … I’m swiftly reminded that his direction and desires for SillyPoreans is unacceptable and goes counter, … to the majority for instance, in Bukit Batok constituent, specifically !!! Visualise this very scenario, across the island and, … one will rather swiftly grasp why we are where we are, and entirely and fully deserving of the annus horribilissss (plural) !!! For those, of which there are many, whom naively harbour hopes of a “fresh light at the end of the tunnel” with a new PM, ..,… Read more »

There’s an INVERSE relationship between COL (cost of living) and the TFR (total fertility rate). The PAP govt REFUSES to recognise this and instead resorts to the stop gap measure of importing foreign “talent”. Unfortunately, that stop gap measure (which is supposed to be temporary) has become a can kicking habit.

Singaporeans are REALLY short changed. We are paying these clowns elite million dollar salaries to come up with SOLUTIONS but instead are getting scammed repeatedly with same old same old FAILED unworkable ideas.

By now people should know that this is the policy of the PAP. They don’t want 80% of the population to own any assets. So they implemented the ABSD on Singaporeans. Foreigners may escape the ABSD if their trade agreement has an exemption clause. Next the purchase of HDB by PRs on the resale market drives the nails on our coffins. There is no wealth tax implemented on the 20% but the GST was increased. The entire set up in Singapore is to bring in the wealthy and all policies are to support this 20%. Would I be wrong to… Read more »

This PAP Administration is GROSSLY DISPLAYING anti Nationalism in SG.

Telling lies about Singapore for Singaporeans is their best FRAUD – action speaks LOUDEST than words. When ALL CAN SEE the DEGRADATION of Singaoreans everywhere in all spheres of daily lives.

The piecemeal welfare they STARTED years ago, and VEHEMENTLY DENIED, got the cheek to F opposition of RAIDING the reserves when THEY THEMSELVES PRACTISED ULTRA HYPOCRICY – every annual budget DISPLAY their patronage of DUMPING Singaporeans, DEGRADING Singaporeans good for only to be given SnC tokenisms, this rebate that rebate VIZ themselves REWARDED with Millions of Salaries.

Last edited 6 days ago by The Trishaw

Greed knows no bounds…
Greed drives the SG economy.
For the rest of us ordinaries, its “you die your business” attitude” of our sgov.

Dr Chee Soon Juan, keep bringing up this issue. But you must also expand how this negatively impacts Singaporeans not just today, but also tomorrow. Such as how high prices and long-waiting times from BTO flats makes it more difficult for people to form families and how this impacts the fertility rate. You need to counter the ruling government’s narratives directly. Make Singaporeans question whether the ruling government even understands the fundamentals of running the country. Such as why a supposedly “pro-family” government makes Singapore such an expensive place for families. Whether they know that keeping prices high makes it… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Blankslate