Friday, February 27, 2009

Singapore - En Bloc Fallout


Having fulminated against the stupidity of Singapore's en bloc legislation, it was my fate to experience the human impact when my home of 9 years was sold, and the building destroyed.

The story has now entered a new, and predictably futile stage.

Wing Tai, the property company that bought and demolished Ardmore Point, has now announced that they will not be building anything on the property. The neighbouring building, Anderson 18 which was also bought en bloc, has been emptied of residents, but will now stand empty as the developer is not going to demolish the building after all.

To the former senior civil servant, Ngiam Tong Dow, who is so proud of his en bloc legislation, notch up another failed outcome. Buildings that were once desirable homes have been turned into empty lots and ghost buildings.

By destroying existing buildings and creating artificial shortages, en bloc sales contributed to the property market bubble that took place over the last two years. The Deferred Payment Scheme, which allowed purchase of property with little money down and no financing in place to actually complete the deal, simply added gasoline to the fire.

The result has been neighbours fighting neighbours, law suits, families forced to leave their homes, buildings being allowed to run down due to lack of maintenance, and unhappiness all around.

To add an absurd touch to the whole sorry mess, I present a letter sent to me and returned as undeliverable by SingPost. You have to admire their efficiency in having made a chop for use by their employees which reads:

Reason for non-delivery: Building Demolished.

Only in Singapore

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Thank you for your excellent post. Unfortunately the person in question is probably sitting smugly on his pension, convinced in his rectitude, while the rest of us suffer the noise & uncertainty of the whole enbloc madness.

I hope you have found a satisfactory new home...until the next bubble is imposed on us! Good luck.