'Dr Love' plans retirement park

PHOTO: 'Dr Love' plans retirement park

SINGAPORE - Singapore's self-styled "Dr Love", Dr Wei Siang Yu, is leading a group of Asian businessmen to invest more than $50 million in a retirement park in Johor that is mainly aimed at Singaporeans.

About 100 freehold landed homes, from 1,500 to 5,000 sq ft, will be built on a 4.86ha plot in Senai in the Iskandar region.

A 1,500 sq ft single-storey unit, with a bedroom, living room and garden is expected to cost about $350,000. The 5,000 sq ft homes will cost about $900,000.

Construction should start by next year and is scheduled to be completed by 2015.

Dr Wei, 43, a medical doctor who earned his "Dr Love" nickname for his efforts in teaching Singaporeans about sex, decided to turn his attention about four years ago to providing services for Asia's rapidly ageing population.

In 2008, he founded Borderless Healthcare Group (BHG), which invests in health-care technology, media and telecommunications services. BHG's real-estate arm is developing the Senai project and there are plans to roll out another two in Iskandar by 2015.

Dr Wei said a group of more than 10 businessmen and tycoons from countries such as Indonesia, China and Singapore are investing in the projects. He declined to reveal more about them as he did not want to affect ongoing negotiations to acquire two more plots for the upcoming projects.

In all, the three projects will offer about 500 landed homes.

BHG's plan is to sell about 40 per cent of the homes to Singaporeans and the rest to retirees from Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.

Residents can apply for the Malaysia My Second Home Programme promoted by the Malaysian government for long-term stays.

Dr Wei said the selling point is the affordable prices of the homes and their high-tech services.

Residents can hire maids who have attended online caregiving courses developed by BHG. The maids will work with a team of medical butlers via mobile apps to plan diet and fitness programmes for their employers.

The medical butlers, who are trained nurses, will communicate with residents online to schedule their medical appointments and manage their medical records, stored in an online database.

Doctors will be available for consultation in the retirement park. Residents can also use a fitness centre and spa. There will also be hubs for residents to buy medical devices and attend classes to learn how to cook organic food.

Dr Wei estimated that residents will pay between $100 and $1,000 a month to use the services, depending on how many they choose.

Said Dr Wei: "Our goal is to offer services which take care of all our residents' needs at an affordable price."

To ensure residents' safety, the parks will be fenced up and there will be guards on patrol.

In recent years, more Singaporeans have been looking to Malaysia to buy homes due to a weakening ringgit, the lure of owning a landed property and familiarity with the country.

Well-known Singapore companies are also investing in Iskandar. CapitaLand has been appointed project manager for a 2ha urban wellness project in Medini North, a region in Iskandar.

Dr Wei said marketing for the Senai retirement park will start early next year but the response from his friends and business contacts has been good.

Singapore Management University Associate Professor Tan Wee Liang, 54, who is considering buying a home in the Senai park, said: "It is particularly attractive as it is not in some far-flung country but just across the Causeway. Family members and children would have little excuse not to visit."