Tag Archives: Far East Organization

Haze: Developers take precautions

Singapore’s property developers are closely monitoring the haze situation that has seen the city-state blanketed in smoke from forest fires in Indonesia for much of the week.

The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reached a record high of 401 at noon on Friday lunchtime – putting air quality in the city-state will into the “hazardous” range.

Chng Kiong Huat, Executive Director, Property Services, Far East Organization, told PropertyGuru: “In view of the poor air quality conditions, Far East Organization is working closely with our partner contractors to conduct thorough risk assessments of all on-going projects.

“We consider the health and safety of our construction partners an important priority and support all contingency and mitigation measures to protect the construction workforce from the unhealthy levels of pollutants rendered by the haze.

He added that possible measures being considered include issuance of protective masks and the imposition of stop work orders if the air quality persists at the very unhealthy level.

“Together with our partner contractors, we will continue to monitor the situation and implement the necessary safety measures as recommended,” he said.

A spokesperson for CapitaLand said: “CapitaLand is closely monitoring PSI readings to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of our staff, tenants, shoppers and serviced residence guests are safeguarded.

“The Group is making appropriate masks available to all its 1,960 staff in Singapore and has informed them of precautionary measures. Staff at all of our properties have also been briefed to advise our tenants, shoppers and guests on these precautionary measures.

“To ensure that the Group responds to such contingencies in a timely and effective manner, CapitaLand Group managers are empowered to assess and allow staff to work from home when the need arises.

“At our worksites, we have worked closely with our main contractors and sub-contractors and stepped up vigilance over workers’ health, safety and well-being. Besides briefings on precautionary measures, we are working with our contractors to ensure that appropriate masks are issued. We have also stopped work temporarily when visibility is affected and at some parts of our projects that are under construction.”

A spokesperson for City Developments Ltd (CDL) said: “In response to the worsening haze conditions, CDL has issued an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) alert to all our builders to remind them to be vigilant and to comply with all advisories and guidelines issued by the relevant government agencies including the National Environment Agency and the Ministry of Manpower.

“The builders are to monitor the situation closely and must conduct risk assessments to take the necessary EHS measures to protect the welfare of their workers on the worksite which is a top priority.

“CDL employees have also been activated to keep a close surveillance on all worksites to monitor the situation.

CDL has advised all its builders to take appropriate protection measures which include the provision of masks, identification of more vulnerable employees, e.g. those with heart or lung problems, avoiding non critical outdoor works involving high physical effort, assessing the exposure of outdoor works depending on PSI level as well as implementing more rest rotations.

“With poorer visibility, there is also more safety monitoring onsite,” the spokesperson added,

A spokesperson for the Housing Development Board (HDB) confirmed that its contractors are required to abide by Ministry of Manpower guidelines. HDB is continuing to monitor the situation closely, the spokesperson added.

Source – PropertyGuty – 21 June 2013

Indonesians are among top buyers of S’pore property

Indonesians were the third largest group of overseas property buyers in Singapore during the first quarter of 2013, accounting for 24 percent of all foreign deals.

“Indonesia’s purchase position rose one percent from 2012,” said Novriyanto Lius, a property sales manager executive at Far East Organization, who predicted that purchases by Indonesians will grow to 30 percent by 2014.

Meanwhile, mainland Chinese remained the largest group of foreign buyers at 30 percent, followed closely by Malaysians at 27 percent.

According to Lius, robust interest from Indonesian buyers was attributed to the government’s property policy which makes it easier for foreigners to acquire property.

Back in 2012, Singaporeans owned 80 percent of homes in the country, 13 percent were owned by property agents, while foreigners accounted for the remaining seven percent.

However, foreign homeownership jumped to 12 percent in Q1 this year. This despite the fact that property in the city-state is considered expensive, with the most affordable private property priced at around S$600,000.

The government has been trying to cool the property market as near-record low interest rates and immigration fuel a surge in demand. It raised stamp duties for foreign buyers in January while introducing new loan borrowing limits.

Furthermore, an additional stamp duty was placed on Singaporeans looking to buy their second property and permanent residents (PRs) buying their first home.

Source – PropGuru – 22 May 2013