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The Red House - the grand dame obtained TOP on 17 June, a sweet experience for first time home buyer THE iconic Katong landmark – The Red House – took its new breath of life in June this year after a massive three year overhaul and restoration work. Located at 63 East Coast Road, the development features a row of five shophouse, four of which have started providing products and services complementing a new bakery operating from The Red House, currently operated by Heavenly Wang, a brand under NTUC Foodfare Cooperative Limited. Since Temporary Occupation Licence (TOP) was obtained on 17 June 2016, 17 proud homeowners have collected their unit keys. One of them is a fascinating couple – Sari and Marcus Marsden. The couple – Sari was from Indonesia and Marcus from England – owns Sarius Performance International, a coaching and training performance consultancy. According to Marcus, prior to the purchase of the unit, he was unaware of the real Wakaf intent of The Red House project.

her studio gym, which she frequents regularly to train,” said Marcus, 43.

“I am pleased that the unit I have purchased is not just a mere commercial transaction, but it brings a positive accomplishment, a small contribution to meet your underpinning objective of the Wakaf Revitalisation Scheme (WRS),” added Marcus. “It was the hoarding erected around the development that caught my wife’s eye, and she liked The Red House due to its location and proximity to

Strong belief in Wakaf led Pak Didih, a prominent and humble businessman into buying 2 units at The Red House IT was love at first sight for Mr Didih Ibrahim – and that to be exact was more than 13 years ago. Then, the idea of The Red House to be developed was just mooted. Eventually when the project kickstarted in 2013, Mr Didih became one of the first few buyers to secure units at The Red House. “At that time (13 years ago), I had just started my new Joo Chiat outlet and I saw in the papers of the plan to redevelop The Red House. But then, it was simply a plan.

“Years later, I had just come back from Indonesia and I saw in the papers that it was finally developed. I didn’t waste any time and immediately met my agents,” said Mr Didih. Fondly known as Pak Didih, he is the owner of Singapore’s one-star Michelin restaurant, Hjh Maimunah Restaurant & Catering. The restaurant which served authentic Singapore Malay cuisine influenced by various cultures from the Malay Archipelago, was opened by his mother-in-law, Hajah Maimunah Abdul Karim, sometime in the 1990s. “Supporting Wakaf and the local community has always been my priority in life. It all started with my mother-in-law, Hajah Maimunah. She taught me about Wakaf and how it benefits the community and I truly believe in that.


“I am also aware about the Wakaf element in The Red House, hence my deep interest to own a piece of it and contribute to the community,” said Pak Didih.

Having a similar property back in Wimbledon previously, Marcus recalled that he particularly liked the unique appeal of The Red House - a mix heritage development with residential units and retail shophouses. To keep track of their unit, Sari, 37, took pictures of the development since it started construction till its completion in mid-June this year. “I practically saw the progress on a daily basis because my gym was just across the road,” said Sari. “The other reason why we bought this unit on the fourth floor was due to its perfect balcony where we spend a lot of our time together enjoying the view of the Katong surroundings and one of them is the nearby Hindu temple….” Marcus & Sari Marsden

Pak Didih has been a major supporter of Wakaf since he first started running the restaurant with his wife Madam Mahiran Abdul Rahman. He sited his restaurant head-office in a Wakaf unit and when he decided to open his second outlet, he chose a Wakaf unit in Joo Chiat. His third outlet – which unfortunately had to close down due to manpower issues – was also situated in a Wakaf unit at Bencoolen. Pak Didih added that although Hajah Maimunah did not manage to set up her own Wakaf here in Singapore, he managed to fulfil her wish – proceeds from the sale some of Hajah Maimunah’s jewelleries were used to build a mosque in Bogor, Indonesia. The mosque was aptly named Masjid Hajah Maimunah. “My husband always places other people before himself. Not just in business, but in every little thing that he does. He makes sure that whatever he does, it benefits others. And that is the reason why he believes so strongly in Wakaf,” said Madam Mahiran.

People at the heart of transforming institutional assets Mosque Upgrading Warees Investments has also facilitated Muis’ institutional assets such as the recent completion of upgrading works to Sallim Mattar Mosque at MacPherson in June, and the new Maarof Mosque in August 2016. Minister-In-Charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, who attended breaking of fast at Sallim Mattar Mosque during Ramadan, acknowledged the new addition of the lift which has significantly improved accessibility to congregants especially those accessing the women’s prayer hall and religious classes at the second floor. Interestingly, the project had to undergo a rigorous design process to locate the position for the new lift, that despite various proposals from the project team, it was Warees’ interaction on the ground that led to the final position for the new lift.

Barrier-free accessibility (BFA) features cater for ageing population and person with disabilities. Maarof, the Singapore




FOR the new Maarof Mosque which has become the new pride of Muslim residents in Jurong West, the completion was also in time to provide prayer facilities during Hari Raya Haji which was long anticipated. This has successfully eased overcrowding issues in mosques within Jurong especially for Friday prayers when it caters to the larger demography such as students from neighbouring institutes of higher learning (IHL), national service (NS) personnel from surrounding camps and workers from the adjacent industrial facilities.


The total cost of the works amounting to less than $1 million also includes other improvement works such as waterproofing to the existing roof, façade painting and other refurbishments. Warees also tapped on BCA’s funding for barrier-free accessibility (BFA) for the mosque. Madrasah Projects Warees has embarked on new institutional asset project such as Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah to manage planning of the new location for the school and Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah in their minor repair and improvement works. These projects will provide an opportunity for Warees to value-add in new types of institutional assets and develop our knowledge and create new capabilities in our built environment.

THE Red House still has available units for sale. You can own a piece of the heritage residential units available at an average price of $1,450 psf. Leasing of brand new apartments are also available. For more information, please contact us at 68831114 or community@warees.sg.

Aligning needs of Wakaf with heritage A huge portion of our Wakaf asset portfolio are shophouse units and commercial buildings. These assets generate revenue to support various charitable causes as stated in each of their Wakaf indenture by our philanthropic forefathers. As manager for wakaf units on behalf of Muis, Warees Investments not only ensures that these units are properly managed but also ensure that these legacies are being executed for the benefit of our community. To ensure this, Warees constantly conduct engagement sessions with mutawallis, tenants and other key stakeholders to assist that each party understands the intent and objectives of these Wakaf assets and how these needs can be aligned with theirs. At the same time, such engaging sessions are good opportunities for Warees to also understand the needs of these stakeholders and better consider them in our collective efforts to preserve the heritage of the community.

Red House Trivia •

The Red House is not a symmetrical Building

Only 3 sides of the Red House façade are retained – front and both sides.

A retired craftsman was convinced to do up the wooden louvered windows of The Red House.

The tiles in The Red House are new but the design are exact replicas of the original tiles.

Only one unit of the five adjacent shophouses has its unit number displayed on facade – No 69.

The Red House features a single lane shared ingress and egress traffic management system – the first of its kind in Singapore.


Sustaining Wakaf performance in 2017 amidst challenging economic conditions Malay/Muslim businesses to operate in Wakaf property. Malay/Muslim businesses already accounted for almost 50% of the businesses renting Wakaf properties.

Retail shophouses at 24, 26, 28, 30 Pagoda Street belong to Wakaf Jamae Chulia which were established by Tamil Muslim merchants hailing from South India in 1826. WAREES as the “owner representative” to Muis continue to remain optimistic on the Wakaf performance. Wakaf is expected to post a strong performance again in FY2016, as compared to FY2015. Occupancy rate remains healthy at 92 per cent. Despite the overall soft demand conditions in the economy, the commercial shophouse market, which most Wakaf properties are, remained stable with the vacancy at Central Region remain low in 3rd Quarter 2016. Wakaf properties are expected to remain relatively resilient, supported by 11 Beach Road, Wisma Indah and 20 Joo Chiat Road. These properties are showing

Most Innovative Project / Policy WAREES has recently collaborated with Muis’ Mosque Planning Office in the participation for the Public Service 21 Excel Awards for Most Innovative Project/ Policy in September. The presentation gave the panel of judges a peek on the journey of innovation developing two mosques, Al-Ansar Mosque and Al-Islah Mosque which earned Muis the Bronze award.

“good performance in an otherwise challenging wider real estate market“ and manageable expiries in its commercial portfolio in the 1st half of 2017. The weighted average lease expiry remains at about 1.6 years, allowing Wakaf to continue the higher positive rental rate reversion that exceeds the prevailing national inflation rate. Wakaf also continue to attract good tenants in tandem with Warees’ approach of actively reviewing the tenant’s profile to allow businesses around Wakaf to thrive. In parallel to Warees’ efforts in preserving Wakaf and its intended objectives, Wakaf continue to provide opportunities to

Albeit strong and active effort shall be put in to garner good tenant profile, Warees has to constantly be guided by the current business outlook. This goes in line with the speech Muis Chief Executive, Mr Abdul Razak Maricar gave during Muis Wakaf Disbursement Ceremony on 1 June 2016, “Since the fourth quarter of last year, the commercial property market has softened with excess spaces available for rent. The increase in high rise industrial developments are also providing alternative locations for businesses, thereby increasing competition among lessors. Given this backdrop, we must ensure that Wakaf properties continue to stay relevant and attractive to tenants. Muis will work closely with Warees to maintain and upkeep as well as to enhance the value of our wakaf properties. We will be setting aside funds for maintenance and rectification works such as repainting and roof replacement of the Wakaf properties, which comprise predominantly of prewar conserved shop-houses to make our wakaf properties attractive and competitive.“

Wakaf Al-Huda - Alias Villas on course for completion in 2017 SINCE construction began in January 2016, there has been good progress on site for Alias Villas. Structural works for all six units of semi-detached cluster housing have been successfully

completed and the architectural finishes will be commencing soon. Overall progress has been smooth to achieve completion by the 2nd quarter of 2017.

Once completed, Alias Villas will emerge into a prestigious and quality heritage development bringing its best from a humble plot of land - the former Kampong Tempeh.


FEATURED ENDOWMENT Wakaf Sheriffa Zain Alsharoff Alsagoff The history of The Red House is too precious not to be shared with the public. Not many know that The Red House is an Islamic charitable trust or a Wakaf. On 23 May 1957, a wealthy Arab Muslim lady, Sheriffa Zain Alsharoff Binte Syed Mohamed Bin Ahmad Alsagoff, bequeathed a row of shophouse including the iconic Red House along East Coast Road, which were earlier purchased by her husband, Syed Abdul Rahman Taha Alsagoff (Engku Aman). As the new owner, they allowed businesses at these shophouse, including the famous Katong Bakery & Confectionery Co. operating at the Red House, to continue. THE Katong area is synonymous with the Peranakan (Straits Chinese) culture and cuisine. This makes Katong a special place in multicultural Singapore. Over time, Katong evolved and many of the buildings and establishments around the area either gave way for development or are now serving different purposes. The Red House has stood the test of time and is one of the few remaining buildings which still serves the same function as it used to – selling bread and confectionery. In early 1920s, a Jewish man, Jim Baker started the bakery shop. When he died in 1925, his family decided not to continue the business. It was then Hainanese seaman Tan Siang Fuan paid $600 as ‘coffee money’ to take over the rented shop and started selling confectionery and served coffee and name the shop Katong Bakery and Confectionery Company. Over the years, The Red House became known as The Katong Bakery.

No one really knows the reason The Red House was painted red, but many believed it has something to do with the Chinese custom that ‘red’ brings good luck. Hoping for good luck, The Red House was used as the meeting place for matchmakers within the Peranakan community. The Red House or The Katong Bakery was not like any other coffee shop or cake shop during its time. Those who frequent the eatery described it as a peaceful, quiet and relaxing place to enjoy their coffee and bread. The waiters did not scream orders – like most coffee shops then – and the services they provided were personalised. Customers were able to enjoy the bakery’s famous swiss rolls, curry

puffs and other traditional pastries such as its custard puff and the hae bee hiam bun or spicy dried shrimp bun in a quiet and relaxing place. To share these stories, Warees Investments embarked on a special project collecting stories and preserving them on heritage infopanels located at The Red House Heritage Corridor. There will be five panels showcasing the history of Wakaf Sheriffa Zain Alsharoff Bte Syed Mohamed Alsagoff, the Katong Bakery and the Katong area itself. The Red House Heritage Corridor is located at the five-foot walkway in front of the shophouse of The Red House development and is free for public access. Sharing of such stories on part of the company’s bigger blueprint to preserve legacies for future generations. With The Red House Heritage Corridor, it is hoped that generations to come are able to appreciate the stories of their forefathers, perhaps emulate them and continue such charitable legacies for the benefit of the community and Singapore as a whole.


Red House Units Successful Handover to Institutional Buyers

The appreciation lunch event marked a celebration of a joyous milestone in the history of wakaf development in Singapore, unlocking the value and transforming the wakaf portfolio in a sustainable and equitable manner. THE Red House obtained TOP on 17 June 2016. As of 25 July 2016, WRH Pte Ltd handed over 14 units to public buyers. Subsequently, on 27 July, our Board of Directors and Management team, hosted an appreciation lunch to witness the handing over of 7 Red House Residential units to 4 institutions from MUIS Group (Dana Pembangunan and Wakaf Ilmu), YAL Saif Charity Trust and Madrasah Aljunied Al Islamiah Management Committee.

Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah Management Committee bought 2 residential units at The Red House, 2-bedroom & 3-bedroom maisonettes, for investments as part of their effort to sustain the needs of the madrasah. Meanwhile, the returns from the investments by Muis Group shall be channelled for the purpose of institutional building and madrasah education respectively.

Muis and Warees offered ideas for mosque building in Taiwan FROM 10th to 13th November 2016, Muis and Warees personnel visited Taiwan upon invitation by Haji Ali K.M Chang, President of the Chinese Muslim Association (CMA) for a sharing session on mosque building experience. Throughout the trip, the delegate was hosted by the Secretary-General of the CMA, Haji Salahuding Ma, who brought them to 2 proposed locations for new mosque building in Taitung and Hualien. Ideas were shared on how the land parcels could be developed into a mosque and Islamic learning centre. The delegates visited 2 existing mosques in Taichung and Taoyuan, where upgrading works are being planned. We shared our experiences


The delegates visited Longang Mosque with Haji Salahuding and Haji Musa Ma, the Mosque Chairman.

in mosque upgrading how best the existing layout can be further maximised to housing the needs of the community in Taiwan. The four-day visit had proven to be a beneficial experience on how we can contribute expertise to enhance the spirit of da‘wah and extending our role outside the local Muslim community.

We were at Muis Workplan Seminar HELD in April, Muis Workplan Seminar 2016 highlighted the community‘s achievement in encapsulating the Singapore Muslim identity. One of the highlights included Warees contribution through its Mosque Upgrading Programme where it showed the key milestones of various mosques in Singapore which underwent innovative architectural and structural facelifts which included the erection of lifts and barrier free accessibility features to cater to persons with physical disabilities, older persons and families with young children. Through the MUP, Warees contributed in expanding the optimisation of prayer spaces to 142,300 congregants in Singapore by 2018.

Our talent management benefited Mosque training participants

ON 25 October, Warees hosted 12 mosque leaders as part of their learning journey from the strategic leadership module (SLP Programme) organised by MUIS. We sincerely hope the mosque participants had gained as much knowledge and insights through their Learning Journey to Warees in the spirit of learning and pursuit of ilmu (knowledge).

Staff donated Milo packs to needy families

THIS year during Ramadhan, in less than a week, Warees staff voluntarily donated and raised funds for 309 Milo refill packs to Singapore Muslim Women‘s Association (PPIS). PPIS is a non-profit social welfare organisation dedicated to working with women of all ages in carrying out their multiple roles in society. The Milo packs were donated as part of the goodie bags that were distributed to recipients of PPIS‘ Projek Ihsan Ramadhan 2016.

“We have finally reached the peak of Wakaf development..” LOOKING at the now completed The Red House, Syed Abbas Alsagoff can finally say that he is truly happy with the way Wakaf is managed in Singapore. Having gone through various challenges faced by the Wakaf institution in Singapore – from acquisition to poor maintenance and management, the long-time mutawalli of Wakaf Sheriffa Zain Alsharoff Alsagoff is finally contented with what he is seeing. “Alhamdulillah, I think we have finally reached the peak of Wakaf development in Singapore. May we continue to see more of these peaks in time to come,” said Syed Abbas. The 74-year-old Mutawalli who is also Chairman of Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah is the grandson of Sheriffa Zain Alsharoff and had dedicated his life towards managing his family’s asset for more than half a century. Praising the good work of the collaboration between Warees

Investments and the Wakaf in managing The Red House project, Syed Abbas now said that work will need to continue “as we now plan for a suitable structure to materialise the intent of the Wakaf.”

Syed Omar’s son, Syed Abdullah Alsagoff, has now taken over his role of the Mutawalli of the Wakaf. Syed Abdullah now manages the Wakaf together with his uncle, Syed Abbas.

“In her indenture, my grandmother wanted to set up a free dispensary named Al-Taha Dispensary and used the revenue from the Wakaf to sustain it. We are now working on that,” said Syed Abbas.

“When Warees Investments first started, there were a lot of distrusts and animosity amongst old-time mutawallis. They saw Warees as taking over their assets, many of which are sentimental belongings of their own forefathers. But over time, Warees has managed to gain their trust and our work gain their confidence. The completion of The Red House project not only marks a successful WRS project, but also the success of developing trust between key stakeholders within the wakaf institution in Singapore. This to me is the biggest achievement for Warees.” – Syed Abbas Alsagoff

According to his brother and exMutawalli of the Wakaf, Syed Omar Alsagoff, the dispensary was named Al-Taha in commemoration of his grandmother’s father-in-law, Syed Taha Alsagoff. “There was once an Alsagoff Dispensary along Palembang Road. The dispensary has closed down and the road, near Jalan Sultan, is also no longer there. Maybe, she wanted the Al-Taha Dispensary to relive the spirit of the Alsagoff Dispensary,” said Syed Omar.

Sharing Wakaf experience with Essec Mannheim Executive MBA participants IN early May 2016, ESSEC Asia Pacific invited Warees Investments Pte Ltd, to complement the lecture of Essec’s Professor Cedomir Nestorovic on the topic of Islamic Business to participants from the ESSEC Mannheim Executive MBA programme for their Singapore Residency.

We shared to the participants on how Warees has helped to create value for the endowment assets owned by Muis. In September, Warees sat in a roundtable talk to give a discourse with invited guests during the launch of Professor Cedomir Nestorovic‘s book - “Understanding the Islamic Marketing Environment“.

RISEAP Visit As part of a 5-day Learning Journey workshop on 11 October 2016, WRH Pte Ltd hosted regional delegate from the Regional Islamic Da’wah Council of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP). There were 13 participants from 6 different countries which included Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and South Korea. Participants shared that they had an enlightening sharing session exchanging best practices as well as successful models in managing one of our wakaf development projects – The Red House.

Study visit to Muis & Warees on Wakaf value creation strategies ON 3 March, Warees hosted the Malaysian delegate from the Ministry of Education led by Mr Nahaudin Ali, Group CEO, IIUM Holdings Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of International Islamic University

Malaysia. The team visited 2 wakaf properties, Somerset Bencoolen and The Red House with the objective of benchmarking the business model on wakaf management from their Singapore counterpart.

RISEAP was founded on 11 November 1980. Participants were brought to the rooftop of The Red House.



Profile for Warees Investments Pte Ltd

Warees Insights Issue 03 Dec 2016  

Warees Insights - The third issue showcases The Red House - the grand dame opened its doors after obtaining Temporary Occupation Permits (TO...

Warees Insights Issue 03 Dec 2016  

Warees Insights - The third issue showcases The Red House - the grand dame opened its doors after obtaining Temporary Occupation Permits (TO...