Minority's power in collective sales hurts progress

I agree with Mr Gerwin Gerke about the need to re-examine and revise the rules for collective sales (Tweak collective-sale rules to avoid dislocation in market; April 5).

Strata living must protect private ownership as well as common spaces. Thus, any alteration to common space ownership must obtain 100 per cent consent.

But, the "majority shall prevail" view seems to have given way to the "tyranny of a minority".

Singapore has invested heavily in many institutions that are meant to create a liveable, sustainable and prosperous metropolis.

There are universities for design, environment and architecture, and organisations that regulate and champion architectural practice, guide urban planning and design as well as undertake conservation.

All these will be undermined if urban, community, social and economic development are allowed to be subjugated by collective sales in their present form.

Besides changing the rules, we can also consider restructuring the system of financing the renewal, maintenance and redevelopment of properties by existing strata owners.

A lack of finances can cause any condominium to suffer from neglect. Once a new financing regime is in place, property owners can improve, upgrade and redevelop their properties to increase value as well as transform our cityscape into a more friendly and lovable one.

I also suggest that newer buildings not be sold en bloc.

Tearing down buildings that are under 20 years old is wasteful and sends the wrong message of what Singapore stands for.

Tan Cheng Siong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline 'Minority's power in collective sales hurts progress'. Print Edition | Subscribe