Plans unveiled to refresh Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar

Residents looking at an information booklet on a five-year master plan to rejuvenate Jalan Besar GRC yesterday. They can expect some 200 improvement projects worth $20 million.
Residents looking at an information booklet on a five-year master plan to rejuvenate Jalan Besar GRC yesterday. They can expect some 200 improvement projects worth $20 million.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Two constituencies that are home to Singapore's oldest estates, Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar, are set to be spruced up over the next five years. Both town councils yesterday unveiled master plans to rejuvenate the estates.

At Jalan Besar GRC, which will be resurrected in the coming elections and replace Moulmein-Kallang GRC, residents can expect some 200 improvement projects worth $20 million.

"We had an election promise in 2011, and by all accounts, we have kept our promise," said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who helms the People's Action Party (PAP) team in Jalan Besar GRC. "Now going forward, we are presenting to them our plan for the next five years."

On top of seven new residential precincts and the opening of the Bendemeer, Jalan Besar, Bencoolen and Geylang Bahru MRT stations by 2020, residents can also expect more covered walkways and communal spaces like playgrounds and fitness corners.

This plan was conceptualised by town council chairman Edwin Tong, who will not be able to see it to fruition as he is likely being redeployed to Marine Parade GRC as a candidate for Joo Chiat. "I leave with a tinge of sadness but I'm confident it is in good hands," he said.

A long-time resident, housewife Rina Mansoor, 34, said her MPs have been friendly and "rolling out projects for the people for a long time". An exhibition on the master plan will tour the GRC for residents' feedback.

Over in Tanjong Pagar and Radin Mas, some $15 million to $20 million will go to town improvement projects over the next five years.

These include more outdoor lifts, sky-bridges, covered linkways between residential blocks and surrounding amenities, and drop-off porches at the foot of blocks.

The sums for upgrading have yet to be included.

Over the past five years, some $377 million has been spent on more than 1,000 upgrading and town improvement projects in Tanjong Pagar and Radin Mas.

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah, referring to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew who served Tanjong Pagar for 60 years, said: "What we have is a tremendous legacy... You don't rest on the wonderful work of the previous generation.

"When the baton is handed over to you, you now have to carry that responsibility and take it forward. We ourselves also have to have a vision of where we want to go."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2015, with the headline 'Plans unveiled to refresh Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar'. Print Edition | Subscribe