Business Times - 21 May 2009
ADDENDUM TO PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS
MND will ensure property sector remains stable
It will also help build capabilities of construction firms
By EMILYN YAP
THE government will continue to monitor the property and construction markets and adopt more measures to keep them stable if needed, said National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan yesterday.
The Ministry of National Development (MND) will also introduce measures to build up the capabilities and productivity of construction firms, and make the industry more attractive to Singaporeans, he added.
'As we help Singaporeans tide over the current economic uncertainty, we will press on with our long-term plans to make Singapore an attractive and highly liveable city,' he highlighted in his ministry's addendum to the President's address in Parliament.
MND is overseeing several projects to transform Singapore into an exciting metropolis. For instance, the government has invested close to $5.7 billion in infrastructure in Marina Bay, and will continue to inject more than $1 billion in more works over the next 10 to 15 years.
Beyond Marina Bay, it will also invest in infrastructure in the new growth areas at Jurong Lake District, Kallang Riverside and Paya Lebar.
To ensure that Singapore's growth is sustainable, MND will push harder for the adoption of energy efficient technologies in buildings, and embark on a large-scale solar test-bed within HDB estates.
Recognising that public housing remains a key pillar of the country's social security system, Mr Mah said that the government will help HDB households affected by the downturn to manage immediate mortgage repayments and to work out longer-term solutions, such as switching to smaller flats.
MND will also increase the supply of rental, 2-room and 3-room flats. It will also step up the construction of studio apartments for the elderly looking to monetise their flats.
MND will kick off the Concept Plan 2011 exercise this year to draw up long-term plans for Singapore's growing economy and population.