SINGAPORE: The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has described Mr Leong Sze Hian's article on the recent developments concerning residents on Pulau Ubin as inaccurate.
In his article published by The Online Citizen, Mr Leong said the government had forgotten to compensate residents for 20 years since the state's development plans on the island began in 1993.
SLA said this is false and all owners have been compensated.
However, some owners were renting out their properties at that time to their tenants.
These tenants are not entitled to compensation from the government.
But the government, in 1993, as a matter of goodwill, also provided resettlement benefits to these tenants on an ex-gratia basis.
SLA said the government also allowed the tenants to stay on, as long as development plans did not require them to move out.
SLA also said Mr Leong's claim about the percentage increase of the rent is highly misleading.
It said the government did not charge any rental in 1993 and for 20 years the tenants have been enjoying that.
Even now the government has chosen to phase in the rentals over five years to mitigate the impact on the residents.
Under this approach, the rent payable will increase over five years.
For the first year, nine out of 10 residents will pay less than S$20 per month.
After year five, they will still pay less than S$120 per month.
Mr Leong seems to think this is an unreasonable amount to charge.
SLA said Mr Leong's extrapolation that the rent was one cent in 1993 is factually completely wrong and untrue.
It added that it is regrettable that such statements are made.
On the census, SLA said it’s now being conducted to determine the households which are eligible for the benefits offered in 1993.
Some of the residents have been staying in the properties since 1993 without a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL).
SLA wants to regularise this as the TOL provides the basis for their continued stay on State land. - CNA/ck
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