Singapore's transformation will include mature estates, not just new ones: PM Lee

PM Lee Hsien Loong said the plans he laid out during last week's National Day Rally do not apply to just new estates. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Mature estates are part of the effort to reimagine and transform Singapore, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (Aug 28), stressing that the plans he laid out during last week's National Day Rally do not apply to just new estates.

Speaking at a National Day dinner in his ward of Teck Ghee, he pointed to a list of projects taking place in the mature estate, including 12 blocks in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 that are undergoing the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP).

He said the NRP upgrading at Blocks 221 to 226, 226A to 226C, and 226E to 226G should be completed by the third quarter of next year.

There are also plans to redesign and upgrade the town centre with more greenery, seats and shelters, with the first-phase upgrades set to come by the second quarter of next year. This upgrade will stretch from the square outside AMK Hub and 51@AMK, through the outdoor shopping street, all the way to Ang Mo Kio Central Stage.

An exhibition on Teck Ghee's future developments will be held some time in the middle of next year.

"Last week at the National Day Rally, I also spoke about our plans for reimagining and transforming Singapore. It applies not just to new towns, but also to mature estates like Teck Ghee. We are continually improving our living areas, our neighbourhoods, our town centres," said PM Lee to more than 1,000 Teck Ghee residents who attended the National Day celebration dinner at Teck Ghee Community Club.

PM Lee attended the dinner, the first to take place in person after a two-year break due to the pandemic, with his wife Ho Ching, and several MPs, including Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs Darryl David, Gan Thiam Poh, Nadia Ahmad Samdin and Ng Ling Ling.

During his speech, he also praised residents for coming together during the pandemic. He noted how residents had gone door-to-door distributing masks and antigen rapid test kits. Others went on house visits to explain the benefits of vaccinations and address concerns.

PM Lee also said Teck Ghee was one of the first to trial the "Bring Your Own Bottle" initiative to provide free hand sanitisers to all residents, and that helped when the programme was rolled out nationwide.

"As we celebrate National Day this month, let us continue to stay united, let us support one another, let us strive to build an even better, more caring, more inclusive home for all of us in Singapore," he said.

At his National Day Rally speech on Aug 21, PM Lee revealed large-scale infrastructure projects such as Changi Airport's Terminal 5 (T5), Tuas Port, and homes to be built in Paya Lebar.

An estimated 150,000 new public and private homes - roughly the number in Punggol and Sengkang combined - can be built in the future town in Paya Lebar after the Paya Lebar Air Base relocates in the 2030s.

On T5, PM Lee said it would allow for operations to be quickly scaled up and down amid a pandemic, and passengers from different flights can be prevented from mixing. The terminal will also support the use of cleaner alternative fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel made from biofeed.

For Tuas Port, he announced that in about 20 years, all container operations in Singapore's four other terminals - Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, Brani and Pasir Panjang - will be consolidated at Tuas, which will by then have a capacity of 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units, doubling Singapore's current capacity.

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