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Published February 17, 2007

New Redas chief pledges to help build a global city


(SINGAPORE) Simon Cheong, who is taking over as president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (Redas), hopes to help the industry body and its members 'build Singapore into a global city'.

The 49-year-old founder, chairman and CEO of SC Global Developments takes the helm at Redas from Pontiac Land chairman Kwee Liong Keng, who was president for the maximum two consecutive terms allowed. Each term is for two years.

'I'm very happy Simon Cheong is willing to lead the association. With new ideas, he will bring Redas to new heights,' Mr Kwee said yesterday.

Mr Cheong, a former St Joseph's Institution boy, said: 'I am deeply humbled to have been voted in as president of Redas. I would like to thank Mr Kwee and all past presidents of Redas for leaving me with a solid foundation to build on.'

The former real estate banker turned high-end residential developer is known as a savvy investor.

Other top office bearers on the new Redas executive committee are City Developments group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong and Frasers Centrepoint CEO Lim Ee Seng, who have been elected first and second vice-presidents respectively.

Eddie Yong of Far East Organization has been elected honorary secretary and Khor Thong Meng of Allgreen Properties honorary assistant secretary.

CB Chng of Wing Tai is honorary treasurer and Ng Chee Seng of Bukit Sembawang honorary assistant treasurer. The seven-member exco was voted in by the 15 members of the elected management committee. The exco was formalised yesterday.

Redas said that this year it introduced a new election system of secret balloting for office bearers, and those who secured the most votes for the respective positions were elected.

Mr Cheong is expected to outline his vision for Redas at a Chinese New Year gathering on Feb 26 to be attended by National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan. Redas, set up in 1959, has about 300 members.

Mr Kwee has also had earlier stints as Redas president - 1983-1985 and 1987-1989.

He is highly respected within the association, listening to various groups before making decisions that are generally accepted, BT understands.

'He has this ability to introduce modern business concepts while existing in a traditional Chinese organisation,' an industry observer said.

The affable, Bandung-born Mr Kwee has a BSc, majoring in textile management and marketing from Philadelphia University.

Mr Cheong is married and a father of three. He has a BSc in civil engineering and a Master of Business Administration, both from George Washington University.

He held key positions in real estate banking at Citibank and CS First Boston before setting up SC Global Pte Ltd in early 1996.

In 1999, he bought a majority stake in the former ANA Hotels as a listed shell company from the-then DBS Land, and later renamed the listed entity as SC Global Developments.