Parliament: PA spending $340 million more this year on new facilities, grassroots efforts

SINGAPORE - THE People's Association (PA) is spending about $340 million more this year largely on developing new facilities for residents' use, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say said yesterday.

Mr Lim, who is deputy chairman of the PA, gave the answer in a written reply in Parliament to Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong.

Mr Yee had asked why the PA's estimated expenditure for financial year 2015 was expected to jump 51.3 per cent from FY 2014, to over $1 billion.

He also noted that the PA's development expenditure will rise by 115.4 per cent, while its operating expenditure will see a 22 per cent increase, and asked what the major projects are that will account for these increases.

Mr Lim said in his response: "The PA promotes community bonding in Singapore. The budget allocated to the PA reflects a higher level of commitment by the Government towards promoting social cohesion and racial harmony."

Mr Lim said that of the $339.6 million or 51.3 per cent increase in the PA's expenduture for FY 2015, $239.3 million of 70.5 per cent is for the development of nine new community centres, two Water-Venture outlets for water sports, and the Tampines Town Hub, a multi-storey community development with sports and recreation facilities.

Mr Lim added that 28 community centres will also be upgraded.

Another $100.3 million in increased spending will go towards the Pioneer Generation Ambassador programme - where staff and volunteers reach out to seniors where they live. It will also go towards supporting the work of the grassroots organisations and Community Development Councils or CDCs in assisting the needy, and "in building and bonding our multi-racial and multi-cultural communities", Mr Lim added.