SINGAPORE - In three months, residents of Geylang Serai will have a "one-stop" community and civic centre offering facilities for young and old, including arts and cultural spaces.
The Straits Times was given a sneak preview of the five-storey, 6,700 sq m Wisma Geylang Serai on Friday (Feb 9).
Currently 95 per cent complete, it will house facilities such as the new Geylang Serai Community Club, South East Community Development Council office, Ministry of Health (MOH) Senior Care Centre and Ministry of Social and Family (MSF) Development Childcare Centre and Family Service Centre.
Arts and cultural spaces will include a Malay Heritage Gallery.
South East District Mayor Maliki Osman, who is overseeing the project, said: "The civic centre was meant for government agencies to come together to integrate certain services for the community. At the same time, (it is) also to ensure that we have a space that envisions to be the hub for the Malay community, to be the pulse of the Malay community, where the heritage of Geylang Serai can be understood by Singaporeans."
Dr Maliki said that the centre will also house an "integrated Malay-Muslim organisations hub", offering services ranging from scholarships and tuition matters to counselling and legal services.
He also announced the formation of an advisory committee to provide guidance on programmes and key events.
During a tour of the centre - which is built on a site about the size of a football field - deputy chairman of the People's Association, Mr Chan Chun Sing, said: "This is truly an integrated complex, it is not a standalone complex where it is isolated from the rest of the community. It has been designed with potential for connection, with all the neighbouring areas and neighbouring developments that are upcoming so Dr Maliki and team has put a lot of thought into this."
Resident Syed Alwi, 24, said the centre will be a a good place to spend time with friends: “I usually hang out at OneKM (shopping mall), but once the centre is opened, it will be closer and I will have activities to try out too.”
Ms Nurhayati Darman, 36, hopes that the centre will be able to provide employment counselling opportunities. “Right now I work part-time at a pharmacy, so if they can help me look for any job vacancy, I will try it,” she said.