New larger clubhouse opens in Changi for Civil Service Club members

SINGAPORE - Public servants now have a new place to relax and unwind, as the Civil Service Club's Changi Clubhouse officially re-opened its doors on Monday after two years of refurbishing and redevelopment work.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean were at the opening ceremony of the new CSC@Changi on Monday afternoon.

Investing in amenities such as the CSC@Changi is key to building strong institutions, said Mr Peter Ong, the head of civil service, in his speech at the opening ceremony.

"If we want strong institutions, we need to develop and safeguard the well-being of our people," he added.

Mr Ong cited the late former Finance Minister Hon Sui Sen as having said that there is a need for "rest and recreation for members in the Public Service. The pressures upon them have increased tremendously with Singapore's rapid economic growth and the government's greater involvement in the economy".

He added that Mr Hon's words are as relevant today, as they were over 30 years ago.

The challenges and pressures on the civil service come from keeping up with a changing Singapore.

"Our population is growing but ageing, people have aspirations that go beyond material needs, and voices ... are becoming louder and more diverse," Mr Ong said.

"There is increasing pressure on the Public Service to deliver more, to be faster and better."

The response has not be static. The "One Public Service" culture has been developed so that people's needs can be better addressed, said Mr Ong.

The Municipal Services Office (MSO), an initiative which aims to improve the Government's coordination and delivery of municipal services, as well as the MSO mobile app are examples of the citizen-centric shifts.

In addition to serving the people, the public service is also taking steps to improve the well-being of civil servants, Mr Ong said.

Since January this year, public servants have received higher Medisave contributions, and a re-employment policy has been formalised to re-employ eligible officers up to the age of 67.

Facilities like the CSC@Changi also play a role in fostering the One Public Service identity, said Mr Ong, as they "provide a 'unique home' for public officers to take respite".

The Civil Service Club @ Changi clubhouse, which is now three times larger than its pre-renovation size, has been designed as a "staycation getaway". Facilities include newly-built chalet suites, swimming pools, BBQ pits, a 20-lane bowling alley and a five-storey sports complex.

Public officers of any government or statutory boards can join the Civil Service club for as little as $3 a month.

osadaj@sph.com.sg