Big revamp for RCs to cater to new needs

RESIDENTS' committees (RCs) are undergoing their largest-scale revamp since they were formed 36 years ago, in a move to reach out to more residents in the neighbourhood and better represent the local community's needs.

Each of the 572 RCs spread across all Housing Board estates will now get to pick a theme around which to centre their activities. The themes, which range from family to recycling, sports, arts and culture and the elderly, will reflect the demographic profile and interests of residents in the area, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and People's Association deputy chairman Lim Swee Say on Sunday.

He called the changes a "major turning point" for RCs.

The RC centres at void decks will also be transformed into "club houses" for residents, who can use the space to hold their private functions such as birthday parties and family gatherings. These centres will also extend their opening hours for more residents to benefit from the facilities. Each centre will hire a manager to run it, unlike the current practice of staffing it with volunteers.

About 460 RC centres that are more than 15 years old will be upgraded and expanded as well by 2017. They will be fitted out with facilities such as health equipment or wall mirrors for dance and yoga classes to match what the RC plans to offer.

On Sunday, Mr Lim and PA chief executive director Ang Hak Seng visited Bedok Sunflower RC, which is focussing on promoting a healthy lifestyle among the elderly and their families, before joining Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at Marine Crescent Ville RC, where an arts class for the young was in full swing.