"I am a BLOGGER NOT an expert. This is a BLOG not a 'go-to' website for official information. I represent no one's view save my own. I have neither legal nor financial training, nor do I have anything to do with the real estate industry. My understanding of the Collective Sale Process is from a layman's position only. My calculations, computations and tables are homespun and may contain errors. Please note that nothing in this blog constitutes any legal or financial advice to anyone reading it. You should refer to your lawyer, CSC or financial adviser for expert advice before making any decision. This disclaimer is applicable to every post and comment on the blog. Read at your own risk."
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There is one thing worse than an Enbloc ----- and that is an Enbloc done badly. Since the majority have the necessary mandate to sell, then they owe it to all SPs to make a success of it. Minority SPs can only watch and wait, if they sell then lets pray it's at a price we can move on with, if they don't sell, then we are happy to stay for a few more years.


Sorry, there was some confusion earlier - there were not one but two different cases brought before the High Court concerning Phoenix Court. The first involved 12 majority owners against the Sale Committee (06 Nov) and the second the lone minority couple trying to block the sale (09 Nov).

1) The decision of Justice Lai Siu Chiu on 06 Nov
In short,
  • the court came down hard on the 12 majority owners (the plaintiffs) who tried to scuttle the sale. He pointed to the clause in their CSA that stated :-
In attempting to set aside the CSA and the Supplemental Agreement, the plaintiffs had also breached the covenants and undertakings in cl 7 of the CSA. The relevant sub-clause states:
Every Owner agrees as follows:
(p) not to do anything whether by an act or omission that may prevent or otherwise be detrimental to the Collective Sale or the fulfillment of any of the purpose under this [CSA] or the [SPA].

  • the S&P supersedes the CSA (as we all knew already, but here is the case that puts the seal on that argument).
  • and finally:
It was because of the frivolity of the plaintiffs’ claim that I ordered indemnity costs against them in favour of all nine defendants.
2) The decision of Justice Andrew Ang on 09 Nov
The minority couple lost the case.
A landmark decision and one which lays down the law regarding the consequences of non-compliance with a statutory requirement.
"The elusive historical approach of characterising procedural provisions as either directory or mandatory is largely anachronistic today. The preferred approach in modern times in determining the validity of an Act is to understand the purpose of the relevant procedural rule as well as the scope and intent of the governing statute. This approach does not entail ignoring the usage of words such as “shall” or “must” in legislation. It suggests that any prima facie inference raised by such words may be dislodged after taking into consideration the scope and objectives of the legislation and the consequences arising from alternative constructions.'
'To conclude, the modern approach in Singapore as well as in England, Australia and Canada is to treat the question as one of statutory construction to be answered by looking at the whole scheme and purpose of the Act and by weighing the importance of the particular requirement in the context of that purpose and asking whether the legislature would have intended the consequences of a strict construction, having regard to the prejudice to private rights and the claims of the public interest (if any).'
'This is not to say, however, that apart from the express grounds, there cannot be any other circumstance in which a Board may decline (or even be precluded from) ordering a sale.'
'At the end of the day, each objection must be examined on its own facts and the particular requirement breached set against the overall purpose of the legislation. One should then consider whether a strict construction and the invalidation of the Board’s order is what Parliament would have intended, taking into account any prejudice to the rights of parties and the public interest (if any).'
Just as a matter of interest, I found another case on lawnet dealing with 'procedural' matters and how another judge views their importance. In a High Court decision on 06 Nov 2007 (Lee Hsien Loong v SDP and Others), Justice Andrew Phang Boon Leong wrote:
36 Enough has been said to illustrate a broader – albeit related – point. The rules of procedure – such as the one presently considered – are intended to ensure that one of the two twin pillars of justice is achieved, viz, procedural justice. The other pillar is that of substantive justice. As was observed in the High Court decision of United Overseas Bank Ltd v Ng Huat Foundations Pte Ltd [2005] 2 SLR 425 at [4]–[9]:
'It is axiomatic that every party ought to have its day in court. This is the very embodiment of procedural justice. The appellation “procedural” is important. Procedural justice is just one aspect of the holistic ideal and concept of justice itself. In the final analysis, the achievement of a substantively just result or decision is the desideratum. It is more than that, however. It is not merely an ideal. It must be a practical outcome – at least as far as the court can aid in its attainment.

However, the court must be extremely wary of falling into the flawed approach to the effect that the ends justify the means”. This ought never to be the case. The obsession with achieving a substantively fair and just outcome does not justify the utilisation of any and every means to achieve that objective. There must be fairness in the procedure or manner in which the final outcome is achieved.

Indeed, if the procedure is unjust, that will itself taint the outcome.

On the other hand, a just and fair procedure does not, in and of itself, ensure a just outcome. In other words, procedural fairness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a fair and just result.
The quest for justice, therefore, entails a continuous need to balance the procedural with the substantive. More than that, it is a continuous attempt to ensure that both are integrated, as far as that is humanly possible. Both interact with each other. One cannot survive without the other. There must, therefore, be – as far as is possible – a fair and just procedure that leads to a fair and just result. This is not merely abstract theorising. It is the very basis of what the courts do – and ought to do. When in doubt, the courts would do well to keep these bedrock principles in mind. This is especially significant because, in many ways, this is how, I believe, laypersons perceive the administration of justice to be. The legitimacy of the law in their eyes must never be compromised. On the contrary, it should, as far as is possible, be enhanced.'


  1. For Information:

    One unit of ShunFu HUDC (not privatised yet) was sold for $850,000 in Nov 07

    - Please check the HDB Resale Transaction.

  2. Singapore En bloc fever catches on in HUDC estates

    Shunfu Ville, Eunosville, Serangoon North residents trying to go private to enable collective sales

    By Nur Dianah Suhaimi
    SOME RESIDENTS OF EUNOSVILLE have offered to help neighbours such as Madam Maznah Ahmad (in front, with neighbours) apply for bank loans for the $30,000 privatisation fee. ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN

    THE collective sale fever that has swept through condominiums has spread to three HUDC estates.
    Residents in Shunfu Ville, Eunosville and Serangoon North are trying to privatise their estates so that they can sell their flats to private developers for a premium in collective sales.

    These HUDC flats, which come with a 99-year lease, were developed in the 1970s and 1980s for people who did not qualify for HDB flats but could not afford private apartments.

    In privatisation, the residents essentially pay the HDB to take over the ownership of common property such as carparks and landscaped areas. They also take over the management of the estate from town councils.

    Owners pay about $25,000 to $30,000 each for privatisation. This covers the cost of common property that has been transferred to owners, legal costs, survey and other processing fees, all of which can be paid using their Central Provident Fund savings.

    At least 75 per cent of the owners must agree to privatisation. Of the original 18 HUDC estates in Singapore, 11 have already been fully privatised. The latest was Laguna Park in Marine Parade in July.

    For the 358-unit Shunfu estate, this is its third attempt at privatisation. The first try in 2001 failed because only half the residents were for the idea.

    In July this year, the residents tried to speed things up by launching a privatisation and collective sale exercise at the same time. They appointed Knight Frank as the marketing agent and even got a developer willing to foot the privatisation fees.

    But HDB put a stop to their efforts, saying the estate must first attain privatisation before attempting any collective sale, said Shunfu’s pro tem committee chairman Philip Liau.

    Thanks to talk of a collective sale, a 1,700 sq ft flat in the estate was sold for $850,000 this month - $200,000 more than the average price before. Some residents hope to receive up to $1.2 million for their flats in a collective sale.

    At Eunosville - where many residents of the 10-block estate are retirees - getting owners to part with $30,000 for the privatisation fee can be difficult.

    To overcome this, some residents have offered to help them apply for a bank loan.

    Retired nurse Maznah Ahmad, 68, said: ‘They said I can pay back the bank after I get my en bloc money. But what if there is no en bloc?’

    She and her husband, a 70-year-old retired teacher, have been living in their 1,700 sq ft maisonette for 20 years. The couple plan to transfer ownership of their home to their son, who will then pay the privatisation fee from his CPF savings.

    Eunosville’s pro tem committee chairman Suhaimi Mustapha told The Sunday Times yesterday that the panel has almost secured the 75 per cent vote needed.

    Serangoon North’s pro tem committee declined comment, saying its privatisation efforts are still in the early stages.

    Over at Neptune Court in Marina Parade, residents are also trying to privatise their 752-unit estate, which is built on land owned by the Finance Ministry, not HDB.

    A committee of residents is in talks with the ministry.

    Source : Straits Times - 18 Nov 2007

    Singapore Property - Buy , Sell , Rent , Invest

    Mindy Yong

  3. I likened our fight against the sale of Tampines Court to our country's claim of ownership of Pedra Branca.
    Tampines Court is a great place to live in. Just pure joy with the great friendship, wind and great greenery view.
    And like my son would say, "For Laughter, peace and joy!"