Singapore may be one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world, but poverty remains a worrying problem.
Despite holding the world's highest concentration of millionaires, the city-state also boasts the second-biggest inequality gap among Asia's advanced economies.
So how do you live in a city that's becoming increasingly expensive? The BBC's Sharanjit Leyl reports. Link
Former PAP MP Dr Michael Lim shows off his chateau-style mansion in Holland Road to the press
Tay Suan Chiang
The Business Times
Thursday, Feb 20, 2014
A VISIT to Michael Lim's home is much like visiting a chateau in France but without having to endure a 12-hour long flight. The European experience starts right at the compound gate, where a pair of larger than life centurion statues stand guard.
Like with most chateaus, this one, off Holland Road, comes with an immensely long driveway, before a two-storey mansion with elaborate columns, a steeply-pitched roof, and a water fountain right up front, comes into view.
"When you look at the house, you think you are somewhere in Europe rather than in Singapore," quips Dr Lim, medical director at the Singapore Heart, Stroke & Cancer Centre, who drew up the design of his home after visiting several French chateaus and the Palace of Versailles for inspiration.
"I am someone who loves art, and wanted my home to have the same European architecture."
Indeed, the mansion is very much a conversation starter. Throw open the doors and a grand marble staircase with ornate floral balustrades, and topless nubile female statues on both sides, greet visitors.
Working with an architect, Dr Lim designed the home to have plenty of voluminous space, "so as to not feel boxed in", he explains. "A spacious home also makes you feel more relaxed."The ceilings are all two-storeys high, and the presence of numerous marble columns in the home create that visual height.
The home, which also comes with an attic and basement, is definitely big enough for the 53-year-old Dr Lim, his wife, Wendy Huang, the centre's CEO, and their five children, aged from five months to 25 years old.
Dr Lim is clearly lord of the manor. "Wendy prefers a modern kind of home, something which needs less upkeep," he says. The family has domestic helpers, but the annual cleaning is outsourced to a cleaning company.
The staircase is not the only wow feature of the home. Dr Lim is especially proud of the formal dining room located at an adjoining wing.
The room is expansive, with crystal chandeliers, an ornately decorated ceiling, and gold curtains with silk tassels. Should a count or countess in period costume walk through, no one would bat an eyelid.
The area comes alive during festive periods, when Dr Lim has family and friends over. "Once, we hosted over 100 people, and there was still plenty of room for everyone," he says.
- Portrait of Mr. Michael Lim Chun Leng, Member of Parliament for Cheng San GRC (Punggol)- Sgebooks.nl.sg
- DO YOU REMEMBER PAP'S DR MICHAEL LIM WAS CITIRAYA'S CHAIRMAN? - Bigozine2.com