SINGAPORE — Every Chinese New Year, real estate icon Dennis Wee never failed to invite staff and guests to his home, serving them his signature Hokkien mee.

Wee, a foodie at heart, who led a distinguished career in the property industry, won the hearts of his family, friends and colleagues with his friendly, down-to-earth personality.

The former chairman and founder of real estate enterprise Dennis Wee Group (DWG) died on Wednesday (April 3) aged 71, following a battle with cancer over the last year.

His death was announced by one of his two daughters, Daphne, on Instagram.

She wrote: “Our family is deeply saddened to announce the loss of our legendary Dennis Wee, the best dad, husband, grandpa, friend and boss where he passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones at home.”


Together with wife Priska, Wee founded DWG in 1992, after spending a year working at a friend’s real estate agency and another six years at ERA Realty, one of the biggest real estate players here.

In 2017, DWG merged with another homegrown firm PropNex Realty, forming Singapore’s largest real estate agency with a combined sales force of about 7,000 staff then.

That same year, Wee retired and handed over his business to his only son, Denka.

Things took a bad turn for the firm in December 2017 when it was fined S$66,000 and banned from transacting or marketing foreign properties for a year for not informing investors of the risks involved in buying two British properties.

It was the largest penalty meted out by local regulators to a property agency for failing to abide by regulations related to estate agency work involving foreign properties.


In a 2017 interview with independent advisory firm Redbrick Mortgage Advisory, Wee said that he enjoyed cycling in his free time, doing so three to five times in a week on average.

“People don’t usually know that I’ve got diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. And I have blockage in my heart and arteries, but all these can be settled through exercise,” he said then.

He also enjoyed eating hawker food with friends and chit-chatting with them.

Following his retirement, the father of three started “Hokkien Mee Master”, a passion project and home-based business which he ran out of his home kitchen.

The waitlist for his signature Hokkien mee was up to four weeks at times.


Many who knew Wee paid tribute on Thursday to the man who, they said, touched many people’s lives.

His other daughter, Denise, recalled a phrase from her father that shaped her life.

“‘Talk is cheap’ was my dad’s favorite phrase when I was growing up,” she recalled in a Facebook post.

“He always encouraged me to work hard and strive for self-improvement. His words have stayed with me, shaping my approach to tasks and my eagerness to learn.”

“Today, those words remain embedded in me, guiding my actions with integrity and a strong work ethic.”

PropNex Realty chief executive officer Ismail Gafoor called  Wee an “icon” and “legend” in the local real estate scene.

“Mr Wee cared deeply about raising the professionalism in the industry and took it upon himself to ensure the interest of his people at DWG then was well-served,” he said.

“His passion in taking care of his agents and putting their interests first was a big factor in the merger between PropNex and DWG in 2017.

“I knew Mr Wee for more than 28 years and had looked up to him as a strong and caring industry leader when I started out in the business.”

Mr Lee Sze Teck, who worked at DWG from 2011 to 2013, said Wee was a very friendly and down-to-earth man, who took good care of his staff.

“It is with a heavy heart that I hear of his passing. Stay strong, Priska, Denka, Daphne and Denise!” he added.

PropNex’s Cijay Tew praised Wee’s positive, humorous and down-to-earth personality.

“He always wanted the best for us by sharing on life and career matters from his vast experience. We learnt so much from him just by listening to his life stories.”


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