Abseiling down HDB block, Minister Tan Chuan-Jin helps drum up interest in new activity group

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (right) and Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad (left) abseiling down 11 floors for a community event on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: RACHEL AU-YONG 
Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (right) and Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad (left) abseiling down 11 floors for a community event on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: RACHEL AU-YONG 

SINGAPORE - He may have left the army for politics, but Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin showed that he was still operationally ready when he abseiled down 11 floors of a HDB block in Choa Chu Kang on Sunday morning.

Mr Tan, who retired from the Singapore Armed Forces in 2011 holding the rank of Brigadier-General, had Chua Chu Kang GRC MP and grassroots adviser Zaqy Mohamad alongside him as he abseiled down the Housing Board block as part of a new initiative by the Lam Soon Community Club.

Dozens of residents signed up to join Project Cliffhanger, a newly formed outdoor abseiling interest group, for a chance to scale down Blk 421 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4.

Whether abseiling becomes a permanent feature there remains to be seen, but deputy constituency director Lim Pei Ling said she hoped residents would take the opportunity to try out the sport.

Besides abseiling, Mr Tan also attended a family carnival and launched a "Care on Wheels" programme in which volunteers ferrying needy wheelchair-bound residents to hospitals and clinics for their appointments, check-ups and treatment.

There are 14 volunteers with the programme so far.

Mr Tan also attended a dialogue with Keat Hong residents, which discussed a number of issues centred on how to make Singapore a more caring society.

He was in Choa Chu Kang for his third ministerial community visit. The People's Association started these visits in 2012, to provide more opportunities for office-bearers to connect with members of the public.

rachelay@sph.com.sg