Whichever Housing Board town they live in and its relative popularity, Singaporeans can be assured that each town will be well planned, well maintained, and have up-to-date amenities that meet their living needs, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday, 26 March 2023.
It is inevitable that some HDB towns are more popular than others, but the Government strives very hard to make every HDB town highly liveable, with schools, clinics, food places, sports facilities and good transport connectivity within the town and also with the rest of the island, said PM Lee.
HDB will be a valuable nest egg for retirement
“This is the PAP government’s promise to all Singaporeans: that your HDB flat will be both a good home for you and your family, and a valuable nest egg for your retirement,” he said.
Singaporeans know the country’s public housing system works, he added. “With your support, we will continue to keep this system running well, and we will deliver on our promise to Singaporeans for many more years to come.”
Chong Pang City: New development in Yishun (2027)
PM Lee was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for Chong Pang City, a new 0.9ha, seven-storey integrated development in Yishun.
Gym, pool, fitness studios, shops
When completed in 2027, the community hub will rejuvenate the 40-year-old neighbourhood with new facilities such as swimming pools, a jogging track, fitness studios, a gymnasium and shops such as a supermarket.
New community club, hawker centre
It will also house the refreshed Chong Pang Community Club and an upgraded hawker centre, with the existing Chong Pang Market and Food Centre that was built in 1984 to then be redeveloped into a community plaza.
Redeveloping Older HDB Towns
PM Lee said Chong Pang City is just one example of what the Government has been doing all over Singapore, which is to not only build houses but also progressively redevelop older precincts to refresh the living environment with new homes, amenities and infrastructure.
“We want every one of our HDB towns, new or old, to be of high quality,” he said.
Most cities find this very difficult to achieve, with some areas that are very nice and which tourists visit, but also neighbourhoods that are left behind and run-down, and where infrastructure such as transportation links are lacking, he said.
PM Lee: Persuaded residents to take up Nee Soon HDB in ’80s
He recounted that as a new MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC in the 1980s, he had to persuade residents to take up flats in Nee Soon that HDB offered them. Then, most families had much preferred Bishan or Ang Mo Kio as they were more developed and closer to town.
Today, Nee Soon is a thriving, family-friendly place with a full range of facilities, and its MPs get many requests for more new flats in the town, said PM Lee.
“I think a few new flats will be coming, if you listen to the Minister for National Development,” he said.
Chong Pang City: Collected residents’ feedback
At the ground-breaking ceremony, Minister for Home Affairs and Law and Chong Pang MP K. Shanmugam said agencies such as the Singapore Land Authority and People’s Association had solicited residents’ feedback on the features they wanted since the integrated hub was announced in 2020.
As a result, the development will also have more parking spaces, inclusive and senior-friendly barrier-free access routes, and a 24-hour sheltered pedestrian crossing that will connect Yishun Avenue 5 to the new community plaza, he said.
More sporting facilities in Nee Soon
When asked about the many news sports facilities in store for residents, Mr Shanmugam, who keeps fit with regular exercises, quipped: ”Maybe it has got something to do with the profile of the MP.”
Yishun resident Praveen Chandran, 35, said he looks forward to the sports facilities in the new development.
“The new facilities like the swimming pool and gym will not just meet the increasing demand from younger residents and new families moving in, but also promote healthier living for us all,” said the pharmaceutical sales representative.
Residents looking forward to new facilities
Mr Basil Lee, 26, a Chong Pang resident since he was seven years old, said he will miss the old community centre, but he looks forward to the new facilities.
“I used to play basketball and badminton around here and then head off to McDonald’s for a meal,” said the physiotherapy undergraduate at the Singapore Institute of Technology.
“I am sad to see everything go but I am also excited about the new developments, especially the swimming pool and indoor jogging track where I can jog even when it rains.”
Local merchants such as optical shop owner Steven Koh, 61, also welcomed the new hub.
”Rejuvenating this place will increase its vibrancy and footfall, and attract the young who may prefer to visit shopping malls,” said the chairman of the Chong Pang City Merchant and Hawker’s Association.
“The new hawker centre will also be cleaner and have better ventilation to give everyone a better dining environment.”
This story first appeared on The Straits Times.