Last year, SLA celebrated our 15th anniversary as a statutory board. This marked a significant milestone for us as an organisation. From four different departments then under the Ministry of Law, SLA has now evolved into a full-fledged organisation responsible for State land and property leasing and management, as well as land and title ownership registries. SLA is also the main geospatial agency in Singapore, marrying land and cadastral data with geospatial technologies for Singapore’s development as a Smart Nation.
Today, SLA manages 11,000 hectares of State land and 5,000 State properties. Our average utilisation rate of State land has increased to 81.0%, while occupancy rates for marketable State properties are a stable 96.3%. As the national land custodian, we are humbled to have played a role in shaping Singapore’s landscape over the years, and this is a responsibility we take seriously. As we pave the way for a future-ready organisation, we recognise that our progress would not have been possible without the dedication of each and every staff at SLA, as well as our fellow public service agencies.
OUR AVERAGE UTILISATION RATE OF STATE LAND HAS INCREASED TO 81.0%, AND OUR AVERAGE OCCUPANCY RATE FOR MARKETABLE STATE PROPERTIES HAS STAYED STABLE AT 96.3%. AS THE NATIONAL LAND CUSTODIAN, WE HAVE SHAPED THE WAY SINGAPORE’S LANDSCAPE HAS EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS, AND THIS IS A RESPONSIBILITY WE TAKE SERIOUSLY.
Over the past few years, SLA has been pushing innovation on several fronts. We completed the first map of Singapore on a 3D platform, and this will form the bedrock for many tools and applications within SLA and public agencies for analytics and planning and contribute to our progress towards a Smart Nation. Our 3D maps and data form a key component in the creation of Virtual Singapore, a dynamic and interactive digital twin of our city that allows users to simulate urban planning solutions, among other uses. Our quest for greater innovation in geospatial capabilities and technologies has also led us to develop the Singapore Geospatial Master Plan and the Geospatial Centre of Excellence with GovTech. With our growing competencies in surveying and mapping, through 3D mapping technologies and the Singapore Advanced Map, we are better positioned to anticipate and plan for the challenges of the future. SLA’s focus on innovation has also permeated into our land operations area, where we build on our role as a dynamic master planner for the interim use of State property, maintain Singapore’s scarce land assets for future generations, and optimise land creatively to support new businesses and uses. With guidance from the SLA Board, we have pushed boundaries on optimising land use for previously unusable areas. The transformation of land under the Bukit Merah and West Coast Viaducts are some examples, and they bear testament to how creative and innovative use of land in a land-scarce country can yield positive outcomes for the community.
Being innovative is only one pillar in SLA’s work to serve Singapore’s land and infrastructure needs. In an ever-evolving landscape, SLA has embraced a culture of adaptability to proactively anticipate new challenges. Through constant reviews and staying in touch with changing trends around the world, we are mindful that being rooted in our core values and adaptable to Singapore’s changing needs is the key to maintaining our relevance. By leveraging new technology, we have improved our workflow and operational processes, underscoring SLA’s future-ready stance and enabling us to focus more on new areas of work. We have also tested new technologies like the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for improved service delivery and work safety. Against the backdrop of a challenging real estate market, we have stepped up engagements with stakeholders and tenants of State properties and instituted pro-market initiatives aimed at alleviating many of the concerns surfaced. An example is the adaptive development of Tanglin Village, a unique F&B and retail enclave within the heart of Singapore. Through constant rejuvenation and the bringing in of new concepts, Tanglin Village is set to grow, increasing the value that these State properties can bring to the nation and the community. We believe that a strong and dynamic relationship with all our stakeholders and the public can only result in a positive outcome as we deliver our services every day, 365 days a year.
Finally, we must never forget the core of our mission, which is to serve the public. This is in line with the common vision across the Singapore Public Service to deliver a seamless customer experience and become One Trusted Public Service with Citizens at the Centre. We are proud that SLA’s officers have consistently been recognised for our service as well as our achievements, enabling SLA to clinch second place in Singapore’s Pro-Enterprise Ranking Survey. But we cannot rest on our laurels. With enhancements to our e-conveyancing process such as the Singapore Titles Automated Registration System (STARS) and MyProperty, our processes have been streamlined to add further convenience for our stakeholders and customers. Being customer-centric is a holistic perspective that goes further than just digital initiatives. Collaboration, working across boundaries, quick response and swift action in all our areas of work are central to customer satisfaction. Our success at the recent Municipal Services Awards gives us confidence to build on the strong foundation we have set, and encourages all of us to continue staying responsive to customer needs and strive for even greater service.
The SLA team is constantly rejuvenating, and we want to welcome new board members into the family – Mr Loh Lik Peng and Ms Margaret Goh, as well as the appointment of Mr Yeoh Oon Jin as Deputy Chairman with effect from 1 August 2017. We also thank Mr Tham Kui Seng, who stepped down on 31 July 2017, for his invaluable service and contributions. As we move forward from our 15th anniversary, we are confident that every SLA team member will continue to play their part to serve the nation, and take Singapore to the next level.