This article originally appeared on The Online Citizen and has been republished here with permission. (Link to original article – https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2020/04/09/foreign-worker-dormitories-with-active-covid-19-clusters-linked-to-pa-grassroots-leaders/)
As of Wed (Apr 8), active COVID-19 clusters have been found at 9 different foreign worker dormitories in Singapore. Of the 9 dormitories, S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, Westlite Toh Guan, Toh Guan dormitory and Sungei Tengah Lodge have been gazetted by the government as isolation areas under the Infectious Diseases Act to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Cases in these 4 sites were found to be growing rapidly, prompting the move by the government.
The S11 site currently has the largest COVID-19 cluster in Singapore with a total of 287 confirmed cases as of yesterday (9 Apr). In the case of Westlite Toh Guan, it had a total of 49 confirmed cases.
The number of cases in the other sites have also been seen increasing. In particular, as of yesterday (9 Apr), the Ministry of Heialth reported that Cochrane Lodge I (51 Admiralty Road West) had 9 cases, Cochrane Lodge II (49 Admiralty Road West) had 6 and Kranji Lodge (12 Kranji Road) had 7. In total, these 3 sites had 22 COVID-19 cases confirmed.
FOREIGN WORKER DORMITORY BUSINESS LINKED TO PA GRASSROOTS LEADERS
As it turns out, a number of foreign worker dormitories are actually run by companies linked to grassroots leaders of the People’s Association (PA).
For example, Westlite Toh Guan is run by public listed company Centurion Corporation Ltd:
And Centurion Corporation has 2 “joint” chair persons sitting on its board: Joint Chairman David Loh Kim Kang and Joint Chairman Han Seng Juan – 2 grassroots leaders.
Loh was awarded a PBM in 2011 and a BBM in 2016. He helps out Potong Pasir SMC under MP Sitoh Yih Pin.
Han got his PBM in 2010 and BBM in 2015. He also helps out in Potong Pasir SMC. In the general election of 2011, PAP managed to wrestle back Potong Pasir SMC from opposition.
Han’s Sentosa Cove weekend party home has rooms inspired by four seasons
Further checks online revealed that socialite Susanna Kang is married to Han. In fact, 4 years ago, Mrs Han opened up their weekend “party home” at Sentosa Cove for reporters to take a look (‘Chic abodes: Two stylish women open up their homes‘).
Mrs Han is said to be a “fixture in society magazines”, often seen wearing head-turning gowns and ensembles, complete with elaborate hairstyles.
At the Hans’ Sentosa Cove weekend home, the ST reporter noted the “creative streak” in its design. “Standing on a 9,000 sq ft plot of land, the expansive house is a weekend home and features rooms inspired by the four seasons,” the reporter wrote. “It is here that the family entertain friends and host dinners for close business partners about once a month, with as many as 100 people gathering at what has come to be known as the Party House.”
Apparently, Mrs Han wanted a house that has the “wow factor” for the purpose of entertaining guests. It was built in 2012. A “curtain” weighing more than 2,721kg imported from Germany and made of high-grade stainless steel cloaks the perimeter of the second floor. It can be pulled back to get an unblocked beautiful view of the sea.
When guests arrive at the four-storey house, they descend a long flight of stairs into a cavernous basement. Mrs Han said, “I meant for it to be like a runway, where guests can sashay and strut their stuff down the stairs. It’s also the perfect spot to see the rest of the house. As you look up from the stairs, you get a good look at what else there is to explore.”
The basement is filled with futuristic-looking furniture from well-known brands and designers such as Italian label Moroso and renowned architect Zaha Hadid. An Hermes screen, made of a wood frame and scraps of crocodile skin taken from the cutting-room floor at the French luxury house’s atelier, adds a luxurious touch. A luscious green wall, filled with creepers growing under ultraviolet light, is encased behind a misty glass screen, creating a tropical spring feel for the basement. Adding to that wild factor are two taxidermied peacocks that preen regally next to the bar.
The dining room has a 22-seat custom-made table with bronzed legs and a high-gloss finish – the result of multiple layers of lacquer. It beautifully reflects American industrial designer Karim Rashid’s topograph-shaped chandelier that was made as part of Swarovski’s Crystal Palace collection.
The upper floors were designed for smaller break-out groups for relaxation especially after a nice dinner. On second level there are 3 rooms: One is a karaoke and media room, complete with decor of KTV lounges for the “feel of the real thing”, said Mrs Han. Another has a masculine vibe with a dark brown sofa by Italian furniture-maker Poltrona Frau and a well-stocked wine chiller. Here, the men can kick back and relax with cigars, while talking business, politics or any other matters. The third room simulates a chic ski resort cabin. Mrs Han has the air-conditioning ducts trained on this area so that the blast of cold air creates that icy feeling. The floor is covered in a fluffy, white carpet and there is a fireplace that runs on ethanol. It produces flames, but not heat.
For parties around the pool, guests head to the summer room in the attic that is designed to look like a ship’s cabin. Sofa beds face the infinity pool outside. For movie nights, a hidden projector comes down and guests can kick back or sleep over if they want to and wake up to a sea view. “I get my respite here. It’s quite peaceful looking at the blue, open sea,” she said.
She described her Sentosa home as a “modern kelong” as it is surrounded by water but the family does not live there. Their family home is a good-class bungalow in Bukit Timah.