|Commanding more dread than the exorcist, The Valuer cometh|
Jaws dropped to the floor when the new name was revealed to be Marina Bay. That was after the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and global branding expert Interbrand, supposedly spent countless hours meeting with developers, retailers, restaurateurs and other stakeholders, during which over 400 potential names were considered.
"We started off with (the name) Marina Bay and after looking at everything, the name that really tugged at the heartstrings was in front of us," Mah later explained. "The name itself is not new, but what has been used informally so far has endeared itself to all parties."
A marina is just a basin that has docks, moorings, supplies, and other facilities for small boats. Bay is just a body of water forming an indentation of the shoreline, larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf. What's so endearing about two generic words put together?
Just when you thought you had enough of Mah's version of Orwellian doublespeak, the Minister set heads spinning again by invoking the existence of The Valuer who alone decides how much HDB has to pay for land. In general there are three groups of methodologies for determining value, cost approach, sales comparison approach and the income approach. We are not told what accounting principles The Valuer is guided by, or how market conditions are determined. All we know is that The Valuer is appointed by the Selected President, whose tenure depends on the guy who gave him the recent $890,700 pay rise. At the sole discretion of The Valuer, large sums end up mysteriously in The Reserves, another Secretive Entity. The only part of the web spinning that is transparent to the electorate is that public housing owners are stuck with near private property sticker prices.