I have often been asked in my walkabouts what I would like to do for Joo Chiat.
I like to start by saying that I do not promise anything on physical upgrading. Any physical improvement should first be something wanted by and necessary for the residents. Then we can work with the relevant authorities to look into the justifications for the improvement. These improvements can be for better traffic flow, parking facilities, use of public facilities for community purposes, better public transport, etc.. They should be something the residents feel strongly that they need and my role, if elected as Joo Chiat’s Member of Parliament will be to actively champion the improvements to the authorities.
Joo Chiat is in a unique situation in that there are only 4 public housing blocks. The collection of rubbish, maintenance of roads and parks outside of these 4 blocks are not managed by the town council. Those in condominiums and apartments will have these services taken care of by their respective management committees. Your rubbish will continue to be collected and public infrastructure will continue to be maintained. Joo Chiat will certainly not turn into a slum, as some have asked me. I will in fact, actively monitor the situation to ensure that public services will be performed diligently by the commercial entities outsourced to handle these. Living right in the centre of the redrawn Joo Chiat constituency myself, I will have the benefit of being here 7 days a week to experience the service levels of these commercial entities and to respond more rapidly to situations.
On what I like to see Joo Chiat develop into, I see Joo Chiat as a place where there can be great vibrancy, unique character, friendly neighbours, clean environment and with people living a healthy lifestyle. Having lived in the area all my life and having interacted with many residents here, I have arrived at some key tasks which I need to attend to should I be elected as the Member of Parliament for Joo Chiat:
1. Grassroot committees
- Involve passionate volunteers from amongst residents who can raise ideas for community involvement and improvements to the neighbourhood.
- Encouraging social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is a good way to drive a spirit of vibrancy in the community. Areas that can be explored include football clinics, baking homemade cookies and cakes for sale, providing avenues for budding arts to offer mural painting services, etc. These are just suggested ideas and any initiative must first be driven by residents. The MP can certainly help to encourage, promote and facilitate where appropriate.
2. Community support for the needy
- While Joo Chiat is a mostly private residence area, there are some members of the community living here that require assistance with their livelihood. We wish to reach out to these residents through tapping on the goodwill of community service centres and self-help groups in Joo Chiat and matching the needy residents to these groups for adoption.
3. Community development
- Joo Chiat can be a friendly place with strong family ties. Activities that can be done include promoting the Dad’s For Life outreach, organizing events such as dog shows and securing places for dog runs, and other community programmes to bring neighbours and families together. Popular events already being organised such as golf tournaments will continue to be supported.
- We will set up an education trust fund with money provided by from donors and fund-raising activities. The money will be used to provide bursaries to needy students.
- Look into improvements and work with the relevant authorities to solve problems faced by residents. Existing feedback include: flooding in parts of Opera Estate, parking problems, traffic situation at Palm Road / Tay Lian Teck Road, cleanliness of common parks and drains, overcrowding of buses, lack of buses linking Kembangan MRT to various estates in Joo Chiat, etc.
- Promote NParks’ Community in Bloom programme to have a green community in Joo Chiat. A beautiful environment will enhance the value of your property.
- Championing a safe and secure environment. Encourage neighbours to keep a lookout for one another against break-ins, illegal activities and other threats.
- Promote healthy lifestyle and use of the many recreational facilities already available in Joo Chiat and on East Coast beach
I look forward to working with residents to turn Joo Chiat into a beautiful home for all.