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Mrs LHL Said Singapore’s System Was Honest in That There Were No Hidden Perks for Government Ministers (Apart of Course From Her Secret Salary?). So Can Anyone Shed Any Light on What Rents Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan Are Paying for 26 and 31 Ridout Road?

I have received information from a number of sources that Vivian Balakrishnan and Shanmugam are occupying two of Singapore’s most prime residential properties in Ridout Road. These are former colonial mansions which are now owned by the Government and should be rented by open tender every two years. That means everyone gets a chance to bid for them. One house that I know of was rented out for $30,000 a month. But that was several years ago and market rents will have increased considerably since then. If the hypothetical (because they are not for sale) price of one of these properties is conservatively around $1100 per sq foot then, assuming it has a land area of 50,000 square feet (I am told one of the Ridout Road properties is over 70,000 square feet) it could be worth $55 million. A rental yield of 3% would imply a rent of at least $1.65 million a year.

Even on our Ministers’ outrageous salaries of around $2 million a year it is difficult to see how Vivian or Shanmugam could afford to pay the market rent for such a pricey property. Perhaps they have inherited wealth or are living off previous earnings before entering politics. LHL himself said that Shanmugam earned many times his Ministerial salary when he was in private practice and that it was a huge step down for him to enter politics, even as an OBN (Order of the Brown Nosers) to LHL.

I hope that SLA can shed some light on the auction process for these properties and what bids were received or that maybe Shanmugam or Vivian Balakrishnan will put me right and tell me either they are not staying there or that they are paying a market rental reached in an open bidding process. Until then it will have to remain just another Uniquely Singaporean mystery like PM Lee’s use of Temasek’s business jets or his wife’s total compensation while she was CEO of Temasek and now as head of the Temasek Foundation. Come to think of it, was there an open application process for both posts?

Perhaps SLA will issue a Protection from Online Falsehood and Manipulation (POFMA) order against me but like the POFMAs issued to those who repeated the Taiwanese news channel’s assertion that Ho Ching was paid $100 million a year, omit to provide any facts.

If SLA or the Ministers do not answer, we will have further confirmation that in Singapore’s Animal Farm, animals wearing a fascist lightning symbol are more equal than others. For the envious and undeserving peasants who are not genetically suited to be natural aristocrats like our PM and his Ministers and cronies, here are some photos of a recently converted Good Class Bungalow in Ridout Road to salivate over.


  1. This is an open and shut question which should be answered. We Singaporeans, have the right to know the truth.


  2. How can any sane intelligent individual with a thinking head on his/her shoulder expect honesty from a dis-honest person? Of course, this applies to anyone or everyone who has nothing to hide.


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