SINGAPORE - A new community and lifestyle hub in Tampines which boasts several round-the-clock services was officially opened to the public on Sunday (Nov 27).
Within the sprawling Our Tampines Hub is a first-of-its-kind Public Services Centre, which brings the services of six agencies under one roof.
This means that residents can book People's Association facilities or pay for Housing Development Board-related fees like mortgage payments or parking fines at a 24-hour e-lobby.
For more complicated tasks like job matching or receiving financial assistance, service officers from the agencies - the rest are North East Community Development Council, Workforce Singapore, Ministry of Social and Family Development and ActiveSG - will be on duty from 8am to 10pm, longer than at most individual centres.
Other 24/7 offerings at the hub include an 800-seater hawker centre.
The hub, which has been five years in the making, also houses a shopping mall, community health centre, the first HomeTeamNS clubhouse in the east and a community auditorium with 20 badminton courts.
It is located at the site of the former Tampines Stadium and Sports Hall, which was demolished to make way for the hub. It is expected to benefit some 200,000 residents in Tampines.
The entire hub is also working towards zero waste: where the expected 1.4 tonnes of daily food waste is converted to fertiliser or non-potable water, using an advanced food waste recycling system.
Eventually, there will be enough compost that will then be distributed for free to residents who need it.
Said Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, an MP for Tampines GRC: "Zero waste also means a significant reduction in pollution as well as manpower resources required to transfer waste from the Hub to landfills and incinerators on a daily basis."
He was the guest-of-honour for Sunday's opening, which is the first of three phases. The hub is expected to be fully operational by August 2017.
North East CDC mayor Teo Ser Luck, former minister Mah Bow Tan - who is also the chairman of Our Tampines Hub - and Tampines GRC MPs like Baey Yam Keng, Desmond Choo and Cheng Li Hui also attended. Their remaining colleague, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, greeted residents via a specially-recorded video.
Mr Heng, who suffered an aneurysm earlier this year, has been advised to stay away from the crowds as he recovers.
In the video he thanked residents for their well-wishes as well as their ideas for the hub, and added: "I also want to thank the residents for being very patient in seeing the Hub being built, literally from scratch."
On Sunday, there was also a North East Clean and Green Singapore Carnival, which included a campaign to encourage residents to reduce food wastage.
The National Environment Agency and North East CDC launched 'I Love My Food @ North East' as part of its ongoing effort to reduce food wastage which, among others, will see all Tampines families get a guidebook on how to do so.