Efforts of Bukit Batok BTO Task Force to step up safety, help residents, lauded by Chan Chun Sing

Mr Chan Chun Sing and Mr Murali Pillai (seated, centre) interact with residents in the Bukit Batok SMC on July 29, 2017.
Mr Chan Chun Sing and Mr Murali Pillai (seated, centre) interact with residents in the Bukit Batok SMC on July 29, 2017. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Late last year, several students in school uniform were spotted climbing onto roof structures at a garden located on the 24th floor of Skyline I, a new Build-to-Order (BTO) cluster of HDB flats in Bukit Batok.

This attracted the attention of a group of community leaders, called the BTO Task Force, whose job is to help new residents settle in and address new estate and traffic issues.

Concerned, the group - led by long-time Bukit Batok residents Rajasekeran Pragasam and Albert Lee - swung into action.

They proposed setting up roof canopy spikes to deter children from climbing onto the roof. The Housing Board agreed, and installed the spikes in February.

The episode was highlighted by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing on his ministerial community visit to Bukit Batok constituency on Saturday (July 29), as an example of an issue that is being tackled in new and creative ways.

Lauding their proactive action, he said: "This shows a certain dynamism among the grassroots network to keep pace with the challenges and aspirations the community is facing."

"They're not contented to just use conventional channels to solve conventional problems. In fact, they're constantly looking for new solutions to meet the aspirations of the new generation of residents, and to meet the new needs of existing residents," he added.

Mr Chan, who is deputy chairman of the People's Association, also gave out gift boxes to parents as part of the PA's Embracing Parenthood initiative, which celebrates babies.

He was hosted by Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai, who was elected in the May by-election last year.

Mr Chan also visited a community health screening and coaching session, where seniors were taught how to live healthily, and held a closed-door dialogue w residents.

He noted how the grassroots volunteers were making special effort to reach out to people who are not part of their existing network.

These include seniors who had not done health screenings before.

Said Mr Chan: "There's special effort to continuously look for new residents who have not come to join them, to prevent a situation where they're not living alone and isolated. That's very commendable."