SINGAPORE - With its slew of digital initiatives, the newly upgraded Radin Mas Community Club (CC) offers a glimpse into the future of Singapore community clubs.
Reopened on Sunday (Oct 6) after close to three years of renovations, the revamped CC now boasts several smart initiatives, such as a dedicated Cyber Space where residents can read e-newspapers or browse e-books using computer terminals.
Residents wishing to make bookings for various courses or facilities can now do so themselves at one of the 24-hour self-service kiosks.
Meanwhile, there will be no physical keys needed for staff or registered activity room trainers to enter many of the rooms, thanks to the facial recognition door locks installed throughout the building.
Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sam Tan told The Straits Times at the official opening that as "Singapore's first smart CC", Radin Mas CC could act as a "test bed" for other community clubs in the Republic.
Noting that Radin Mas is a mature estate, with about one third of its residents aged 50 and above, he said: "Piloting these digital initiatives here is a good way to see how our elderly residents respond to them.
"We'll then gather their feedback and give it to PA (People's Association), and see which are the more workable or feasible (initiatives), so that the next generation of CCs will be even smarter."
A retiree, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lim, 77, tried out a computer terminal for the first time on Sunday to read the newspapers.
He said in Mandarin: "I am more used to reading the paper version, but this was easier to use than expected. I like how I can zoom in to the text, because my eyes are not very good."
Other than the digital initiatives, Radin Mas CC is also the first in Singapore to be co-located with a voluntary welfare organisation, the Singapore Children's Society.
On another floor, residents can also visit the NTUC Health Senior Day Centre.
Mr Tan, who is also host grassroots adviser, said: "Even though we have fewer young people in this neighbourhood, we did not want this CC built just for the elderly. We want the young to come as well.
"And even though each of these organisations will attract its own audience, we also want them to co-organise activities together to provide opportunities for intergenerational interactions."
The six-storey Radin Mas CC also boasts new facilities such as a performing arts studio and a culinary studio.
Deputy chairman of the People's Association Chan Chun Sing, who attended the opening and toured the various facilities, said later in a Facebook post: "In a way, the upgrading of this CC is symbolic of how we build Singapore - we partner Singaporeans and the wider community every step of the way, and we take active steps to take care of those who need help the most."