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Thread: David Lawrence a Singapore fan

  1. #1
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    Default David Lawrence a Singapore fan,00.html?

    Published November 8, 2008

    David Lawrence a Singapore fan


    DAVID Lawrence is an unabashed admirer of the Singapore Government and its policies, which he says have been beneficial for the island's property market. Singapore's success has been due largely to integrity of its government, its banking system and main corporations, as well as good regulation, he told BT.

    Mr Lawrence is proud to have become a Singapore citizen two years ago. He and his Singaporean wife Lai Yong have a 19-year-old daughter who is studying hotel management in Switzerland.

    'I get fed up sometimes when all these foreign so-called experts fly in and say you need more human rights, more freedom,' he says. 'Actually, I am very happy with the level of democracy we have in Singapore - and that's why I became a Singaporean. I don't want any more democracy. There's enough democracy here.

    'It's a safe place to live and a safe place to bring up my daughter. What's the point of having this so-called freedom if you can't walk the streets in the night? No good at all.' The sense of security and integrity that Singapore offers will be a big draw to attract wealth to the island again, when the property market recovers in about two to three years, he reckons. Other strong factors in Singapore's favour include the projected growth in its population, its strategy of attracting foreign talent, the removal of estate duty and the recent signing of the Free Trade Agreement between China and Singapore.

    Mr Lawrence first arrived in Singapore in the late 1960s on HMS Hermes, a British aircraft carrier. And later, the junior navigating officer was on one of the last Royal Navy ships to leave Singapore as part of the British military pull-out from the island.

    After leaving Singapore, Mr Lawrence completed his five-year short service commission in the Royal Navy and then went on to qualify as a Chartered Surveyor. He joined property consultant Richard Ellis, working in Indonesia for four years from 1981, before being asked overnight to helm Richard Ellis Singapore in 1985 when it was about to go broke during the mid-1980s property slump. He reorganised the company and handed it over to 'very good local staff and it has gone from strength to strength'.

    Mr Lawrence later retired to the French Riviera but in 1991 was persuaded to come out of seclusion by Wheelock group chairman Peter Woo. He was tasked to head the group's Singapore unit, then known as Marco Polo Developments and now Wheelock Properties (Singapore).

    He recalls being given a very bleak outlook for Singapore's future as Brits were pulling out their last Royal Navy ships. 'I always remember one of those admirals or someone, top brass, from (Britain's) Ministry of Defence saying to me at the cocktail party the night before we left: 'Mark my words, young man. That place will be a mangrove swamp again in five years.' I wish I could remember his name,' Mr Lawrence chuckles.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Straits Times

    Gong Li becomes a Singaporean
    The Straits Times
    Monday, 10 November 2008

    Three months after her no-show at a citizenship ceremony here kicked up a storm, Chinese actress Gong Li showed up at one on Saturday to collect her Singapore identity card. The 43-year-old got her citizenship certificate from MP Lee Bee Wah at a ceremony held at the Teck Ghee Community Club along with 149 other new citizens. She stood, with her right fist on her chest, and recited the pledge.

    The actress, who was born in east China's Shandong province, had applied for Singapore citizenship earlier this year and was supposed to collect her pink IC in August. However, she was not in Singapore at the time as she was filming a movie overseas, said her close Singaporean friend and celebrity hairstylist David Gan.

    She raised the ire of some Singaporeans over her no-show at the ceremony in August, with some questioning whether she was showing disrespect to her new country. In 1996, she married Singaporean tobacco businessman Ooi Hoe Seong, 57.
    David should quickly target Mrs Ooi and sell her a property.

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