Rent-seeking culture dampens entrepreneurial spirit

Rent-seeking culture dampens entrepreneurial spirit

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014

The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Property developers and agents should refrain from using words and phrases like “unnerving” and “not sustainable” when referring to the current state of the property market (“CDL chief calls for review of property cooling measures”; last Saturday).

Did they use the same terms when property prices spiralled out of control and Singaporeans found themselves mired in lifelong mortgage debt?

The Government should examine Singaporeans’ longstanding love affair with real estate investment and its impact on our competitiveness and entrepreneurship.

If one can buy property and collect rent while waiting for the inevitable price appreciation, what incentive is there for one to be entrepreneurial and make money from activities that generate real value for the economy?

This rent-seeking culture is detrimental to Singapore’s long-term social and economic development.

It took seven rounds of cooling measures to tame the property beast.

We should not let it loose until sanity has been restored to the market.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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