Writer of the week

Mr Gan Kok Tiong writes on issues pertaining to HDB living, such as social and recreational facilities.
Mr Gan Kok Tiong writes on issues pertaining to HDB living, such as social and recreational facilities.PHOTO: COURTESY OF GAN KOK TIONG

Who: Gan Kok Tiong, aged 70, a retiree. I was previously a researcher involved in doing socio-economic research and planning surveys.

My family: Married to a housewife, 59, with a daughter, 33, and two sons, aged 30 and 25.

My home: An HDB executive maisonette in Bishan East.

My passions: Badminton, table tennis, taiji and walking to keep myself fit. I also enjoy my daily routine of reading The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao and Berita Harian at the Bishan library to keep myself abreast of events in Singapore and the world, as well as to improve my Chinese and Malay vocabulary.

Since retiring five years ago, I have also developed an interest in Cantonese and Hokkien, which is my dialect group. The National Library Board should be commended for making available books in romanised Hokkien and Cantonese.

I started writing to the Forum page...: In September last year, after I read a Straits Times editorial on upgrading HDB estates.

What I write about: Issues pertaining mainly to living in an HDB estate, such as social and recreational facilities, and bus services.

Why I write: To express my views mainly about HDB living and seek feedback. Having lived in such an environment for the past eight years, I find that the Government has done much to put in more fitness corners and hard courts for the benefit of residents, but on a per household basis, the number should be higher.

I have also, on many occasions, been frustrated by bus delays - whether at the bus interchange or at bus stops.

I read the Forum page because...: I seek ideas and feedback that can help improve the lives of Singaporeans, especially the heartlanders.

If certain ideas cannot be adopted or adapted, it is important for government agencies to explain why.

My wish for Singapore: I wish for a haze-free environment for Singapore as well as its neighbours, for racial and religious harmony and the levelling up of the poorer segment of the population.

I also hope that the next 50 years will be better than the last 50 years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2015, with the headline 'Writer of the week'. Print Edition | Subscribe