DPM Heng Swee Keat gives more details of East Coast Plan and calls on residents to volunteer

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (centre) with his East Coast GRC team members (from left) Tan Kiat How, Jessica Tan, Maliki Osman and Cheryl Chan. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has unveiled more details of his East Coast Plan, and urged residents in the GRC to step forward and work with their MPs to get it off the ground.

In a Facebook post on Monday (July 27), he set out the role of each MP in the five-member constituency.

But the East Coast GRC, with its very diverse profile of residents and neighbourhoods, has a wide and varied "range of needs, aspirations and expertise, as well as many new possibilities!" wrote Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies as well as the Finance Minister.

"Let's harness this diversity and turn this into a strength. So let's continue to discuss how we can improve the design of our East Coast Plan, and to put them into action together with our residents."

He pointed out that newly-minted MP Tan Kiat How, who has been appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office as well as National Development Ministry, is "in a good position to champion issues related to infrastructure and sustainability".

Mr Tan, the former chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority, will also ensurethat the East Coast Plan will be part of the broader national effort in the next phase of Singapore's development.

"Kiat How has a passion in this area... (He) has much to contribute, by imagining how we can integrate the physical and digital developments in East Coast, and in Singapore," he added.

Ms Jessica Tan will continue to chair the East Coast Town Council. She will also oversee efforts to help businesses in the GRC - especially small and medium-sized enterprises - transform and stay relevant. She is group commercial director at Raffles Medical Group.

Meanwhile, Ms Cheryl Chan, who works at industrial gases and engineering group Linde as its head of clean hydrogen, will oversee the constituency's efforts to reach out to seniors.

Both women have worked hard in improving the physical environment of estates in East Coast and bringing social programmes to the community, the DPM said.

"These programmes will be expanded as we seek volunteers to join us in building a cohesive and caring East Coast," he added. "And with their extensive private-sector experiences and expertise, they can bring in fresh angles to the way we design and implement our plans to serve our residents."

The fifth member of the East Coast team, Dr Maliki Osman, has been promoted to full minister in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the Cabinet reshuffle on Saturday. He has also been appointed Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs.

Mr Heng said Dr Maliki will work on helping Singaporean children get a holistic education, and further develop the Uplift Programme for children from disadvantaged homes.

On foreign affairs, his understanding of Singapore's priorities and affable personality will help him build rapport with people around the world, especially in this region, the DPM said.

"This is in addition to his many other duties, including those in East Coast," he added. "This means much more work, but Maliki tells me he's all set to do more."

Mr Heng himself will focus on helping workers retain their jobs, secure new ones and develop new skills.

Those who want to give feedback on the East Coast Plan or volunteer their time can do so at this website.

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