Singapore GE: 5-year upgrading plans launched for 2 GRCs

Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Vivian Balakrishnan outlining upgrades in Cashew ward that residents can look forward to, such as covered linkways and sheltered ramps, in a Facebook post yesterday.
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Vivian Balakrishnan outlining upgrades in Cashew ward that residents can look forward to, such as covered linkways and sheltered ramps, in a Facebook post yesterday.PHOTO: VIVIAN BALAKRISHNAN/FACEBOOK

MPs from the People's Action Party (PAP) took to social media yesterday to announce five-year upgrading plans for estates in Tanjong Pagar and Holland-Bukit Timah GRCs.

The plans to spruce up estates include senior-friendly amenities, sheltered linkways and drop-off porches. Residents can also look forward to new fitness corners, community and green spaces, as well as a fresh coat of paint for their public housing blocks, among other improvements.

The launch of such masterplans were accompanied by physical exhibitions in the past. But in view of the current Covid-19 situation, MPs posted videos and updates of the plans on their Facebook pages instead.

Said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing: "Continuous rejuvenation and improvement to our estates - this is our promise and commitment to our residents."

Dr Mustafa Izzuddin, a senior international affairs analyst at management consultancy Solaris Strategies Singapore, said such five-year plans are meant to give the electorate an idea of what the ruling party intends to accomplish at both the national and municipal levels between one election and the next.

"(These plans) are meant to demonstrate to the electorate that this is what good leadership looks like, thinking ahead for the mid-and long-term," said Dr Mustafa.

"This move has been effective in the past, and I think it will be even more effective this time around because of the anxiety and uncertainty over the (Covid-19) pandemic. The election for the PAP will be about how they've handled the pandemic and how they plan to handle the impact of the pandemic in the coming years."

Besides the additions to community living spaces, Tanjong Pagar GRC residents also have more public transport options headed their way.

These include new MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line, due to be ready next year, and on Stage 6 of the Circle Line, which will be completed in 2025.

Mr Chan, who helms Tanjong Pagar GRC, also invited feedback and suggestions from residents on neighbourhood renewal and repair and redecoration programmes in a five-minute video featuring his fellow MPs in the constituency.

Meanwhile, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MPs Vivian Balakrishnan, Sim Ann, Christopher de Souza and Liang Eng Hwa each posted a video on their Facebook pages outlining the planned upgrades in their respective wards.

For instance, residents in Cashew ward can look forward to five new covered linkways, two new sheltered ramps and staircases, 12 new roofs over existing ramps and 10 new drop-off porches, among other upgrades.

Said Dr Balakrishnan, who is Foreign Minister: "Grateful to the residents of Holland-Bukit Timah and Bukit Panjang for your suggestions over the years that have enabled us to make our neighbourhood a beautiful, unique and inclusive Home that we can all be so proud of."

 
 
 

Mr Liang highlighted improvements to the public transport network in Bukit Panjang, including a $344 million overhaul of the 20-year-old Bukit Panjang LRT line, which is on track to be completed in 2024.

The peak-hour bus service BPS1 connecting Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang was also upgraded to a new full-day bus service 976 from last November.

Residents from other constituencies have also been receiving updates from their MPs on the upgrades planned for their estates.

For example, Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad posted on Facebook on Saturday about two new hawker centres in Choa Chu Kang and Yew Tee which will be ready by 2026.

He also highlighted a new Safra clubhouse located five minutes from Choa Chu Kang MRT station that will be completed by 2022.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2020, with the headline '5-year upgrading plans launched for 2 GRCs'. Print Edition | Subscribe