A new clubhouse for police and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) national servicemen opened its doors officially in Tampines yesterday, with three more on the cards.
Khatib-Yishun, Bedok Reservoir and Tengah Forest Town will house future editons, with the one in Khatib-Yishun expected to be ready in 2020. Completion dates for the other two clubhouses are not confirmed yet.
Two of them will replace existing ones, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam at the opening of the latest one in Our Tampines Hub yesterday. This will bring the number of such facilities to six in the next 10 to 15 years.
The Khatib-Yishun clubhouse replaces an existing facility in Sembawang and the one in Tengah will take the place of one in Bukit Batok.
"We want to make our clubhouses conducive and homely locations for our NSmen to take their families, organise social gatherings or hold unit cohesion activities," said Mr Shanmugam, who added that the clubhouses will be near public transport facilities.
Six HomeTeamNS clubhouses by 2032
• North - Khatib-Yishun: Expected to be ready in 2020, it will replace the existing clubhouse in Sembawang. This clubhouse will focus on indoor sports and recreational facilities, and provide indoor team-building facilities.
•East - Near Bedok Reservoir: Design of the clubhouse will incorporate the waterfront and surrounding greenery.
•West - Tengah Forest Town: Sited in the future Tengah Forest Town, it will replace the current clubhouse in Bukit Batok. It is the choice location for cohesion-building programmes and is expected to accommodate large gatherings.
•Tampines: Soft launched last November, the clubhouse in Our Tampines Hub was officially opened yesterday.
•Balestier: This facility, which currently shares its facilities with the JOM clubhouse for police officers, will be reviewed in future.
•Chinatown: Located in Smith Street, it has slot machine rooms, a KTV club and a members' lounge.
TO BE REPLACED
• Bukit Batok
- Seow Bei Yi
Yesterday, he also launched the Home Team NS50 celebrations, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of National Service.
He said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will organise a series of events to commemorate NS50 for the Home Team, adding to national initiatives announced by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen last week.
The Home Team's flagship event is a show and festival organised by MHA, involving its first gala show with a parade element, which The Straits Times reported about on Monday.
This will take place from May 3 to 7 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and its surroundings. The festival will have exhibits such as weapons and vehicles, while the parade will involve regulars and NS officers as well as volunteers.
The police force started full-time NS in 1975, while the SCDF, then called the Singapore Fire Brigade, started it a year later.
Paying tribute to Home Team NS pioneers, Mr Shanmugam said more NS officers have been taking on leadership and specialist roles. Units such as the police's Public Transport Security Command are almost fully manned by full-time NSmen (NSFs). Its new Protective Security Command also has the largest group of NSFs and operationally-ready NSmen in the police force.
The $6.5 million Tampines clubhouse has seen over 42,000 visitors since its soft launch in November, and is home to Singapore's first indoor climbing theme park Clip 'N Climb, as well as a laser tag game.
Mr Ng Khay Chong, 61, who was in the first batch of police NSFs, visits the Balestier clubhouse two to three times a month. The upcoming clubhouse near Khatib MRT station will be nearer his home.
"In a few years, I'll probably retire and I'm looking forward to spending more time at the new clubhouse," said the technician.