Monday, March 21, 2011

Tanjong Pagar to get a facelift

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew yesterday unveiled a five-year master-plan for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas single-member constituency.

The plan promises residents more green spaces, new and spruced-up public housing estates and better transport links in the next five years.

It also aims to make life easier for the large pool of elderly residents in the GRC, located at the geographical centre of the island.

In the works are handrails and ramps across all estates, and lifts on every floor by 2014.

There will also be new flats, new playgrounds, a faster broadband network, and enhancements to several schools - to attract younger residents.

Mr Lee, who has represented Tanjong Pagar since 1955, highlighted to some 500 residents the role that the Government's policy of home ownership has played in Singapore's stability and progress.

It instils pride in the community, gives national servicemen a reason to fight for Singapore, and makes for a stable society, he said. Singapore has seen very few riots since the 1960s because everybody has homes to protect, he added.

He pledged more improvements.

'Every time an estate gets old, we renew it, we refurbish it. Why? Because we want to increase the value of your homes, beautify the surroundings,' he said.

'Eighty-five per cent are in HDB homes. We intend to keep the values of these homes up. They will never go down,' he added.

Mr Lee was at a welcome party for new residents of five Housing Board blocks in Strathmore Avenue - and also a water carnival to mark the opening of national water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) waters programme at Alexandra Canal.

The new flats were largely offered to residents resettled from older blocks as part of the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme, which replaces older flats in central areas with higher-quality, higher-density flats.

The ABC waters programme has turned a 1.2km stretch of the Alexandra Canal, from Tanglin Road to Delta Road, into an open waterway with play and wetland areas, a community plaza and lookout decks, among other features.

Yesterday's festivities included a water and light show.

With Mr Lee were Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs Lui Tuck Yew, Koo Tsai Kee, Indranee Rajah, Sam Tan and Baey Yam Keng; National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan; and Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.

Also present were labour chief Lim Swee Say, whose Buona Vista ward will be in the redrawn Tanjong Pagar GRC, and Dr Lily Neo, whose Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward is also within the boundaries of the new Tanjong Pagar GRC.

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