SLA Valuer Did Not Know Identity Of Prospective Ridout Road Tenants, Guide Rent Set At Market Rate

SLA Valuer Was Unaware Of Prospective Ridout Road Tenants’ Identity

On 3 July, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said Singapore Land Authority (SLA) guidelines for renting out black and white bungalows to ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan were followed.

Source: CNA on YouTube

In fact, the guide rents were not revealed to Mr Shanmugam and his agent.

Neither were they revealed to Dr and Mrs Balakrishnan, he said in Parliament.

He added that the SLA valuer who reviewed the guide rent of 26 Ridout Road after the plot was enlarged did not know the prospective tenant’s identity.

After the matter was reported in the media, the valuer only learned the tenant was Mr Shanmugam.

SLA valuer evaluated rental rate at S$26,500 without knowing tenant’s identity

In particular, Mr Teo noted in Parliament that Mr Shanmugam had offered a monthly rent of S$25,000 based on his property agent’s advice.

Mr Shanmugam had instructed his agent, too, that he shouldn’t be paying less than his neighbour.

But it was found that a neighbouring unit was being rented out for S$26,000.

SLA then counterproposed, with a S$26,500 monthly rent. This was after SLA included land that was adjacent to 26 Ridout Road.

However, the SLA valuer was apparently unaware of the prospective tenant’s identity.

He was also unaware of the rental amount the leasing division had negotiated with the tenant.

SLA’s valuer had told CPIB that the guide rent for the larger land area, once cleared of vegetation, should be S$26,500.

However, if the tenant paid the clearance costs, then the guide rent of S$24,500 could be maintained.

“This episode demonstrates the paramount importance of maintaining high standards of integrity and accountability in the government and nationally,” Mr Teo said.

Report notes no corruption or conflict of interest

In May, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong directed the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) to investigate the renting out of 26 and 31 Ridout Road.

This came after opposition politician Kenneth Jeyaretnam raised questions about their rental agreements.

Last Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) released the CPIB report along with Mr Teo’s review.

Shanmugam & Vivian Followed Proper Processes In Ridout Road Rentals: Teo Chee Hean

It found that there had been no conflicts of interest or corruption involved in the transactions.

Nobody was involved in corruption or preferential treatment either, nor was there any privileged information given to the ministers, the report noted.

The ministerial statements and Q&A continue in Parliament today. You can watch Parliament live here.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from MCI on YouTube.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author