Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Straits Times

The elusive Terminal 5 does not have an official price tag, but the brief calculations by the Transport Ministry has revealed that it will take more than S$12.6 billion – where S$9 billion are from taxes, S$3.6 billion from state-owned corporation Changi Airport Group (CAG) and an undisclosed amount to be borrowed.

What makes the Terminal 5 so expensive, costing more than twelve times the cost of Garden By the Bay or according to CAG chairman’s own words “ten times the size of Vivocity”, nobody knows. Little is known about the secretive project, except that for the fact that Singapore has already 4 terminals and only about to complete upgrading the existing Project Jewel by end 2018.

Something is amiss when one simply makes a comparison of Terminal 5 with other airport terminal projects:

Project Jewel cost S$1.7 billion and was supposed to handle a passenger load of 24 million a year. Terminal 5 is said to handle 50 million passengers a year, and yet it cost 7 times more at S$12.6 billion. The Singapore government can handle the same passenger load and save S$10 billion by building two Project Jewels, so why isn’t it doing that?

Terminal 4, which was completed in 2017, cost S$985 million and has a capacity of 16 million. Similarly, if we build 3 Terminal 4s, we can reach 48 million capacity at a total cost less than S$3 billion. Why does Terminal 5 cost four times more?

Counting Project Jewel, the total passenger capacity of the four terminals is 89 million. Terminal 5 will bring the total up to 139 million capacity, costing 4 times more than before.

The Maths isn’t right, Terminal 5 smells more like a rotten dark hole considering the fact that the two sovereign wealth fund companies have been suffering losses from their overseas investments.

In 2017, GIC – whose chairman is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by the way – posted a record undisclosed losses estimated at S$43 billion. Temasek Holdings – whose CEO is the PM’s wife Ho Ching – similarly lost an undisclosed amount, with a S$24 billion loss in 2016 and a slight relief in 2017.

What if the tens of billions required for the elusive Terminal 5 is to fill the hole in the reserves and CPF accounts before Lee Hsien Loong step down?

“I needed a bit more time”, of course he does. The reputation of his father would be in tatter if Singaporeans realise that they are not getting their CPF back and have to pay more taxes because he lost tens of billions of state funds in America and China.

Lee Hsien Loong’s credibility has been best described by his own brother, Lee Hsien Yang. It is no surprise he wants to censor the internet and label everyone else as “fake news”. Singapore is not a safe place to be in now considering the unstable mental state of a power-obsessed dictator who spend more time working on his reputation than on the people.

Alex Tan
STR Editor