Scarce land is one of the major challenges our island-state constantly seeks to overcome. SLA has risen to this mission, making the core of its work to optimise the use of land space and help Singapore achieve its economic needs. Today, as testament to Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) success over the years, Singapore has become one of the world’s most effective land resource optimisation models.
To ensure this can continue in the years to come, SLA is constantly on the lookout for passionate and talented individuals that can help expand the boundaries of our small nation. Scholar, Kimberly Tan, shares about her experience with SLA and how its focus on being innovative, adaptable and consumer-centric has enabled her to contribute to our nation’s development.
What motivated you to apply for a scholarship with SLA?
As my own values align with that of the public service, I always knew I wanted to move into the public sector. However, it was only in university when I discovered my interests was in policymaking, urban land use, poverty alleviation, and food security. It was also then that I realised how important land is as a factor of production.
I felt that SLA was an ideal fit as it would suit my interests in political science and public policy. I was also glad the scholarship could help alleviate the financial burden of education and an overseas exchange programme.
Kimberly Tan Jing Hui
Land Sale & Lease Management 1
SLA Local Mid-Term Scholar
Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science & Public Policy
Singapore Management University
How does your role now enable you to achieve your goals?
My responsibilities revolve around land sales and lease management matters. I sell State land to private entities, and facilitate the development of these lands after the sale. Part of the land sales and lease management process also includes policy review, where we proactively find ways to address gaps identified in existing policies based on feedback from our stakeholders.
I am also involved in policy formulation and have been working closely with other government agencies on the Enterprise District (ED), a concept that accommodates the change in how space and land is used and will become a testbed for new lease management and planning ideas.
Finally, I help to coordinate the other initiatives and policy reviews within my division. This has been a wonderful opportunity to learn more about land policies on farms, places of worship and other social uses.
Together, these responsibilities enable me to combine my interests in urban land use with that of public policy to help the development of our nation.
Share with us the other opportunities you have received under your respective scholarships.
The scholarship gave me a sense of direction. For instance, although I studied political science and public policy, because I knew I would begin work at SLA, I used my time on exchange in Canada to take up real estate and law classes to prepare for my future.
The scholarship also enabled me to attend a study mission to an impoverished rural village in Guizhou, China. There, I saw how policies made at the party-level were implemented in the village, gaining insights of the impact of these decisions.
I also appreciate the opportunities I have been given to understand the organisation issues we face in Singapore. This is through serving as Assistant Corporate Secretary on the SLA Board, a role where I assist in the preparation of Board meetings and gain from the insights of thought leaders in the area of land use.
SLA stands on three pillars: Innovation, Adaptability, Customer-centric. How does your work live up to these pillars?
It is because my division is very customer-centric that we are driven to be adaptable and to innovate. For example, as we are customer-centric, we do not just provide prompt service to assist the landowners and developers – we go beyond that to also regularly brainstorm on ways to improve our processes and refine existing policies to serve them better. In order to innovate well, we must also be adaptable to the feedback that we receive and ready to make changes to fit the evolving real estate trends.
What are your hopes for the future?
Moving forward, I am excited for SLA to facilitate the urban renewal of Singapore. The recent en-bloc frenzy and upcoming lease expiries of various developments, as well as our changing concept of land use and space, all point towards a Singapore that could look very different in the years to come. Recently, I also got the chance to attend a study trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco to learn about the future trends in food technology and farming in urban spaces. I look forward to seeing such technologies help our land owners to be more productive and use land more optimally, and am excited for the opportunities to review and formulate policies to facilitate these trends.