Tributes pour in for former HDB chairman

Romesh NavaratnarajahDecember 30, 2015

Dr Michael Fam

Former Chairman of HDB Dr Michael Fam, who also held various leadership positions at companies like F&N Group, SIA and Temasek Holdings, passed away last Saturday morning at the age of 87.

His death was marked by online tributes from government officials such as President Tony Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who spoke of his significant contributions to Singapore society.

Writing on his blog, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said he touched the hearts of many Singaporeans living in HDB towns.

“Under Dr Fam’s leadership, public housing doubled its stock from 200,000 units of flats (in 1975) to 400,000 units (in early 1980s). Many of the flats in Bt Batok, Clementi, Hougang, Jurong, Tampines and Yishun were built during his term of leadership.”

Mr Khaw added that during Dr Fam’s 14 years of service in HDB spanning from 1969 to 1983, he worked to improve the planning and design of public housing flats, making them comparable to private homes. He also helped in the upgrading of older estates.

In a Facebook post, PM Lee wrote: “Amidst a construction boom, contractors were reluctant to bid for HDB projects. But thanks to Dr Fam’s guidance, the HDB introduced pre-fabrication and mass production techniques, and got the housing programme back on track.”

According to media reports, Dr Fam died of end-stage prostate cancer.

Image source: MND Facebook page.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Singapore Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email


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