Khaw will ‘be mindful’ when it comes to releasing information

Previously, as Health Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan had blazed a trail when he became one of the first few ministers to actively blog his thoughts on policy matters.

And since taking on the National Development portfolio, Mr Khaw has carried on the practice – which has reportedly caused discomfort among some developers.

But Mr Khaw stressed that as a regulator, his job is to release as much information as possible to the market for consumers to make informed decisions.

“Consumers sometimes do not know enough, and when consumers do not know enough … They get rushed into buying or selling decisions,” said Mr Khaw.

He added: “And of course, I will be very mindful, especially when information is market sensitive. And that must come out (in a) proper timing, proper press statement or even press conference.”

He noted that the official and online channels are different methods of communication: “If you skilfully integrate the various platforms, I think everybody should benefit.”

Since he started his blog Housing Matters in May, Mr Khaw has used it to announce ramping up supply of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats this year and advise buyers not to make irrational decisions.

The minister also announced on his Facebook page earlier this month that land sales under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) are suspended.

Property developers Today spoke to welcome Mr Khaw’s assurance that any market sensitive announcement will be communicated officially. They added that they were not perturbed by the announcement on the suspension of DBSS land sales as such projects form a small part of their business.

Roxy-Pacific executive chairman and chief executive Teo Hong Lim noted that there is “a lot of transparency” in the country. Still, he added: “It is good that the focus is on the official channel.”

Source : Today – 19 Jul 2011

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