Action items for Joo Chiat SMC


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.

4. Education

  • 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.

5. Environment

  • 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.

6. Healthy lifestyle

  • 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.

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49 comments on “Action items for Joo Chiat SMC

  1. Joo Chiat is quite a compact place where people who stay for long time probably knows each other. Of course, everyone has expectations about the MP of his/her seat (constituent) and these expectations have to be balanced against reality. Residents have to recognize the overall well-being of the place is not just the sole responsibility of the MP. At times, the residents have to work together with the MP to get things done which maybe faster than the normal bureaucratic channels. There are pros and cons of being in the ruling party ward and opposition ward. Ruling party wards tend to get better treatment, but the problem is the constituent boundary keeps changing that people don’t know who is his/her MP and which constituent they belong to and of course people feel very detached. For opposition ward, people know who his/her MP is if he/she can secure the seat for long and of course have to bear a bit some inconveniences from discriminative treatment from the ruling power.

  2. bus service 42 uses an old bus that spews out black thick smoke/smog everytime it starts moving from 0 km/h. is it remotely possible to mandate only clean public transport in our small SMC (Euro V emissions standards, Solar powered, etc.)? Like a special rule – something like how tampines is the only area you can cycle legally on the footpath.. i know it sounds like a stretch but hey everyone has to have a dream..

    and the lights are too bright everywhere -.-

  3. On physical and environmental improvements, how can WP ensure that our needs are kept in the radar/ priority by the relevant authorities? And what kind of monetary resources are available through WP to make sure those requirements are implemented? The reason why this is brought up is because there seems to be little clarity as to how resources for estate maintenance / upgrades are channelled and allocated in the current framework. Are these financed in a way or so by property taxes or what? Why is Potong Pasir such a ill-managed estate as compared to those managed by PAP?

    • Hi Joey

      There are essential maintenance services which will be the obligations of the organisations tasked with the duties. It is not a matter of whether it is in opposition or PAP wards. For example, if a tree is sickly and in danger of collapsing and we report it, NParks would have to attend to it or it will be held accountable should mishaps happen. Things that are expected of PWD, NParks, utilities companies, waste management, etc will proceed as normal. The faster we highlight issues to them, the more time they will have to attend to these.

      As for improvements to environment, I believe there can be ways where grassroots can initiate the move and if we present a logical case to the relevant authorities, things can get implemented. Not all improvements may even need money from the authorities. For example, NParks Community-in-Bloom programme do provide common spaces for residents to grow plants at the cost of the residents. It will benefit residents in that the environment will be nicer and property value may even be enhanced in that way.

      Additional comment: I left out a response earlier to the question about maintenance in existing opposition wards. I am not familiar with Potong Pasir as I do not go there often. I have been to Hougang more frequently and I have noted that it is well maintained. Voters there have given their MP, Mr Low increasingly greater support with each elections and it must be an endorsement of what he is doing right.

  4. That is what a MP should do for the residents of the estate.An MP must be present and be seem to be present in the ward. He or she is the representative of the estate in parliament so that issues that need attention are raised in parliament. He or she is their voice.all the best JJ

  5. Hello again,

    I left a comment earlier to your post of 27 April. Most of my questions have been addressed in this post, and I’m encouraged by the attention you’re drawing to the (albeit few) people in our constituency who require public assistance. And I’m really really glad that someone’s realised the need for a shuttle bus link to the Kembangan MRT station. Please push for that if you get elected, and please make sure it reaches people who stay at the fringes of the estate! Unlike what the ST says, issues such as public transport and housing DO figure even in an estate as affluent as ours.

    I’ve still got one other question, however. As an MP, however, you’ll also get to address Parliament on larger issues that are of national importance. What issues are important to you and which you will raise in Parliament if you get elected?

    I do hope you’ll give me a reply this time.

    Cheers!

    • The issues that I am more familiar with at the moment, mainly as a result of my professional experiences are:
      a. Entrepreneurship and SMEs
      b. Education

      Things which I feel are important to address in parliament are:
      a. Foreign immigration & integration of new citizens into our community
      b. Health care cost, especially for elderly and lower income
      c. Cost of living
      d. Public housing
      e. Transport
      f. Governance and civil liberties

      If I do get elected and depending on which of my comrades from WP also enter parliament, we will bring out issues based on our familiarity with the areas.

      I think if you look at various forum articles I have posted in the past, you can get a fair indication of areas I feel motivated to champion. Besides the above, I also feel there should be stronger family values and moral education in Singapore. It need not be something to raise in parliament, but something I am keen to champion first at Joo Chiat and if it catches on, nationally.

      • Thanks for your speedy reply!

        BTW I should congratulate you on the blog too – I think it’s a great way to reach out to the constituents and allow voters to get to know their candidates.

        From what I can tell, as far as the adminstration of Joo Chiat is concerned, both you and Charles Chong are rather evenly matched – I’m sure you’ll both be able to look after the needs of the residents well. To me, you have an edge because you’re a resident of the ward and you’ll be closer to the ground (never mind that he’s got more political experience).

        TBH, I’m keen to give the opposition a vote this time because I believe alternative voices and viewpoints should be represented in Parliament, and a plurality of views will result in better decision making and would be better for everyone in Singapore. I also have doubts about the direction the PAP is taking out country in.

        Charles Chong has shown that he is willing to break ranks and speak up for what he believes in (I’m referring to his impassioned speech against the repeal of s377A of the Penal Code). This impresses me because it shows he’s got an independent mind and is willing to speak up for what he believes in. To be blunt, what I’m trying to say this: why should I vote for you instead of Charles?

        Cheers =)

      • Thanks for considering me. It is already a great encouragement because I know I face an uphill task against the incumbent party.

        Yes, I am aware of Charles’ speech re repeal of S377A. I believe the party allowed the debate, so views can be heard on both sides. But when it comes to many other items, even if Charles feel strongly on some matters, the PAP party whip will not allow for dissenting voice.

        I don’t have a strong view on S377A as it is not an agenda item for myself to push for in parliament. That does not mean I do not accept people with different sexual orientations from my beliefs as friends or in employment, as I do not believe in discrimination on any basis.

        From my track record (18 years of contributions to ST and TODAY forum pages on a variety of issues, sitting on various government committees in my professional capacity, boards of non profit organisations, volunteer work, etc of hundreds of hours each year… as documented in my profile in ABOUT ME), I hope you can see that I am a person of action, and with the passion to speak out on what I believe in. The most common question asked of me in my walkabout is “Why am I doing this? Am I not afraid as my business depends on government and I have been sitting on government committees?”. I am in opposition now because I believe in making a stand for what I belief, even if it means personal sacrifices or even risks.

        I leave you to judge who believes in speaking out more passionately.

  6. Dear Mr Yee,

    I read your action plan and am pleased that you have taken the effort to walk the ground and understand what are the needs of the residents here. Most of the constituents at Joo Chiat would have physical needs taken care of.

    However, I would like to point one issue out – that is the issue of ‘upgrading’ works. Here , I refer to the number of nice houses which have been sold in the past, the land taken over and in place of it – mutliple small sized apartments built. This has the effect of turning some parts of Telok Kurau (where I stay) from a peaceful sub-urban neighbourhood into something very different in the future.

    Not only that, those who live near these developments now have to put up with unbearable noise levels during the day time and sometimes even in the weekends. We were informed by the authorities that these noise levels are acceptable. Not against change but change has to bring benefits. I see most of these new apartments are unoccupied – not sure if that is a good thing.

    Wondering what the policies were in terms of re-development for the sake of progress (and GDP growth) vs. keeping the charm of a place.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Regards

    Robin

    BTW – does anyone have the link to Charles Chong’s facebook page?

    • I understand how you feel. I used to live in Telok Kurau before shifting to Siglap. Telok Kurau is the most affected by this redevelopment into smaller apartments compared to other parts of Joo Chiat.

      Honestly, I am not sure what can be done at this time as private owners have the right to sell their land for maximum profits and almost all (except for very few houses) houses in the new Joo Chiat are not conserved buildings. Any policy change would affect the entire Singapore.

      The root of the problem is the exploding population, coupled with limited land size. So prices rise and those with large land (which there are still a no. in Telok Kurau) will capitalise on this and sell for max profits. These houses are too small to be designated as good class bungalows so we get into this problem with Telok Kurau.

      • Dear JJ, I believe URA can restrict through plot ratio, thus restricting the building of multi stories, shoebox apartments, squeezing them into small plot of land. I’m so sad to see the once quiet Telok Kurau, is now made up of many small apartment blocks.

        The increase of the plot ratio is mainly due to the need to supply more housing, fundamental root cause, the need to have 6million people.

  7. great to find this blog – good way to reach out to residents who spend most of their time away from home at work.

    went to the kindergarten on the ground floor of one of those blocks in the first photo more than 20 years ago, when Siglap market still stood where Siglap Centre now is. glad that you’re aware that there are residents there in need of assistance – many people i know in Joo Chiat & the surrounding areas are unaware of their existence.

    as others have already mentioned, Kembangan MRT station is ‘so near yet so far’ for residents who rely on public transport – the routes of existing bus services mean that we have to travel to Bedok or Eunos MRT station instead. this lengthens my daily commute by public transport, which now totals 3 hours (longer in bad weather) per day (those official statistics on commuting time for public transport users seem like a fantasy to me). wonder if more residents living along the Siglap Park Connector would consider commuting between home & Kembangan MRT station by bicycle, if secure bicycle parking was available there (that station is a well-known bicycle theft ‘hotspot’)…unfortunately i think Kembangan MRT station is not within Joo Chiat SMC.

    also, i wonder why SBS has yet to introduce newer buses for service 32 (like what they have done for services 40 & 155). some of the old buses leak during heavy rain. the frequencies of services 13 & 155 could also be increased, judging by the waiting time at the Eunos MRT station bus stop & the number of people trying to squeeze on when a bus finally shows up (observe quite a large number of them alighting at the stops along Still Road before the bus reaches Marine Parade, so chances are that they are Joo Chiat residents). but efforts to give feedback to SBS only yields their standard ‘we will look into it’ stock reply.

    in the area around CHIJ Katong Primary & the nearby Caltex petrol station (& i believe the Telok Kurau lorongs too), many bungalows & terrace houses have been replaced by entire condominums in recent years. the drastic increase in population density means more traffic congestion, overcrowded buses (many of the new residents are working professionals who rely on bus services 10 & 14 to the Suntec/CBD/town areas) & noise.

    ever since one lane (in each direction) of the section of East Coast Rd between Still Rd & Joo Chiat Rd was converted into parking space, traffic along other parts of East Coast Rd has slowed a lot during peak hours (about 7am onwards on weekdays, & during weekends). this has not been helped by illegal parking outside the Beach Rd prawn noodle place/Peranakan Hotel, which also obstructs buses trying to reach the bus stops near the Caltex petrol station & Holy Family Church, & garbage trucks trying to do their duty. there are times in the mornings (at about 7am onwards) & during weekends when traffic is held back past the Telok Kurau junction in one direction & Katong Shopping Centre in the other direction. to residents, this conversion of one lane of the road into parking space was a decision that appeared to be made with the interest of businesses in the area prioritised over the interest of residents.

    though IMHO, all the abovementioned issues are relatively minor ones compared to the larger problems faced by Singaporeans. on the surface, it seems as if there wouldn’t be much of a difference whether i vote for WP or PAP (although in the past 10 years under PAP, the drains in my neighbourhood have been cleaned & repaired only twice, once before the 2006 election, & recently just before the 2011 election date was announced – this is despite our repeated calls to NEA through the years). however, while Joo Chiat may be a relatively affluent area, some of us residents do have relatives living in other parts of Singapore who are struggling to cope with competition for jobs, stagnant wages that cannot meet rising costs & meeting their housing & retirement needs. when my immediate family votes, we vote with these relatives in mind (especially when some had no chance to vote in the past due to walkovers).

    am also highly uncomfortable with a parliament dominated by an overwhelming majority that decides on policies according to the party line set by just a few key decisionmakers because of the party whip – with the party whip, even if there is no groupthink, there is ‘groupvote’, so forget about alternative voices being represented by MPs of the former ruling party (former – since parliament has been dissolved).

    thank you for stepping forward to contest under an alternative party, & also to Andrew Kuan for graciously stepping aside to avoid a 3-cornered fight 🙂

  8. Hi Mr Yee,

    I am a first time voter and I must say that it is nice that you are in the running for Joo Chiat after having lived here yourself for several years, I hope that has given you a good idea of the issues we are concerned about.

    I have read your action plan for Joo Chiat and I’m quite heartened that you’ve drawn your attention to some of the people here who need assistance. Majority of the people here live in private housing, that is true. But that also doesn’t mean they are all well off and because monetary packages that the government give out are usually based on the kind of housing you live in, they get left behind. I feel that this is a point worth bringing up should you get elected.

    Also, the traffic situation. I live inside Frankel Estate and there are two churches with a fairly large number of devotees. Every weekend they will park their cars along the roads and sometimes this causes inconvenience as they might block off the entrance to some of the residents’ houses. I’m curious to know what you will be proposing improve the traffic and parking conditions around Joo Chiat SMC as a whole to prevent/minimize such incidents from occuring.

    I haven’t been seeing much of either you or Charles Chong around the estate, and I look forward to hearing what the both of you have to say, assuming you will be speaking to us some time this/next week.

    p.s. Oh, and regarding the point on healthy lifestyle- it would be nice if there were more sports/recreational facilities in Joo Chiat SMC. We may be seen as better off, but that doesn’t mean our estate should be left alone. When I was younger I loved to play football and basketball, only to find out that there were no facilities for these things in my estate, the nearest basketball court being in Kembangan CC and there being no street soccer court. It would be nice if we had one, if only to give children an accessible place to enjoy sports.

    Cheers.

  9. I am a resident of Opera Estate. Since 2 years ago, Bus Service 42 changed its bus timetable and posted only weekday timetable and not the weekend timetable at all bus stops along its route. I wrote to SBS Transit to ask them to stick the weekend timetables too, but they said they can’t (without giving a reason). Note that the weekend timetables are found in the SBS website though.

    For the convenience of residents in Opera Estate (and Kembangan), can you do something about this? It will be a lot more convenient for people who take the bus, as the frequency can be up to 30 minutes sometimes.

    This is a small+simple gesture, sorry to take up your precious time during campaigning, but if you do it and let residents know it’s your effort, it will go a long way to dispel residents’ concerns that opposition MPs are without clout to deal with large corporates and less able to look after every day needs.

    Lastly, thanks for this very informative blog. I appreciate your views on national issues and I believe you will do well to raise issues in Parliament if you’re voted in. All the best, and towards a First World Parliament!

  10. hi mr yee
    i was not around when u did ur walkabout – which my mum told me about. but a google search led me to your blog.
    i am pleased to see the list of issues that you would like to address in parliament as they are all very relevant to our lives.
    in particular, i am concerned abt the raising healthcare costs as well as community care options given the ageing community we are in. my son has special needs and we do spend a lot on healthcare and are disappointed by the lack of facilities to rehab him at affordable cost. it seems that the USA and some other countries are much more advanced in their approach to special needs kids whose numbers are on the rise all over the world. i hope u are able to consider this segment of citizens too, as each and every citizen counts.

    • Hi Lim,
      Our chairman, Sylvia has spoken out to championed for special needs in parliament. I am currently running a creative arts programme for children with ASD in one of my businesses right now. Perhaps we can speak after elections on the exact nature of support for special needs.

  11. Hi Jenn Jong,

    Appreciate that you are running for election, everyone who is willing to make the personal sacrifices necessary to serve the people has my respect.

    I am sad that Mr Chan Soo Sen is retiring, as I feel he is a very good and sincere man, so I am trying my best to find out more about the new candidates running for Joo Chiat.

    I read that Mr Charles Chong is proposing an inter-agency task force to look into parking and transportation issues. Given that whoever is elected MP will be the representative of the people, and that the government agencies involved are organs of the state and not any particular political party, is that something you could do too?

    I am just wondering as it is not exactly clear sometimes exactly what an MP has the responsibility or authority to do, and it is not fair to expect either too little or too much of your elected representative. In this case, it seems to me that an “inter-agency task force” requires some amount of resources in terms of time and manpower from each agency, so I wonder if it’s something that is achieved by exercising the role of an MP – which would mean you could too – or if it’s something Mr Charles Chong hopes to achieve through his personal capacity, perhaps via his personal contacts or relationships with each agency? Would like to hear your insights on this.

    • MPs represent the people and run the town councils. But when it comes to things like public spaces, parking and transport issues, these are handled by various ministries and in some cases like transport, its by private transport companies. The MP can help galvanise efforts to lobby to get certain things done but MPs cannot act on their own on these issues.

      Even citizens can come together and lobby for things to get done, as some residents have shared with me things they had lobbied for in Joo Chiat on their own, without going through their MP. MP has elected mandate so he/she will tend to be able to speak with more authority but in the end, it depends on how hard the MP wishes to campaign for something and it is up to the relevant ministries how they wish to act on the feedback.

  12. No mention of Siglap … Any thoughts ?

    Also I’ve received mailer with details of PAP incumbent… Will you be doing the same?

    • Hi Alvin

      I had a blog post about Joo chiat and what I planned to do. As for mailer, most have been sent out by singpost and a private courier company, and the rest will be hand delivered by my supporters and myself within next 2-3 days. If you have not received, do mail me at yeejj@yahoo.com.

      • Hi Mr Yee,

        I’d just like to point out that the parking/traffic situation is not just limited to Palm Road / Tay Lian Teck Road in Joo Chiat, it is a problem in Siglap as well.

        I asked enquired earlier on what sort of measures you had in mind to deal with the traffic situation and did not recieve a reply, I understand that you must be very busy these few days. Still, it would be nice if you could share your plans with some of the residents, I’m sure a number of us are curious as to what you propose. (and rest assured we are well aware you are not promising anything, we just want to hear you out to better understand you).

        Look forward to a reply!

  13. Any plans for Siglap…didn’t mention anything.

    Do you plan to share more about yrself via physical mailer like PAP’s incumbent?

    • When I put Joo Chiat, I mean Joo Chiat SMC, which covers Siglap, Telok Kurau, St. Patrick’s Road, Opera Estate. The plans will be implemented across. There are pockets of traffic congestion or lack of parking issues throughout. All these we have to discuss with various government agencies once I have the mandate.

      Thanks.

      • Thanks.

        FYI, specifically around Siglap, the parking challenges around St’ Stephen Pri. Sch and several churches (e.g. LDDS) are a big challenges which I don’t think the current MP have given enough time resolving it – inspite of the issues being there for as long as I could remember. Outside residents still park illegally causing inconveniences to affected residents.

        Would appreciate if you help look into this and help us believe that you would be proactive at it.

  14. Hi Mr. Yee

    I salute you for your courage for coming forward and speaking out for the people in this General Election. My friends and I have been to a few of the Workers Party rallies and have also followed all the party updates very closely. We are impressed and touched by the commitment you and your colleagues have displayed.

    However, may I humbly suggest that perhaps you and your colleagues could consider including some plausible plans which you may have for Singapore, e.g. ideas on how to tackle the massive influx of foreigners. We have heard your concerns for the country and we identify with them. However, as voters, we are also concerned about how the Workers Party plans to resolve these issues. I understand that the Party leaders have spoken several times regarding this, as they would not like to make “empty promises”. However, on my part I strongly feel that the Workers Party as gained much support from the people and if you were to present a feasible solution to all these problems to the people – be it just a brief outline – it will go a very long way in garnering more support for the Workers Party.

    This is just my humble opinion and I wish you all the best for the coming days ahead!

  15. Hi WP team, I’m posting this in a number of your members’ blogs hoping that one of them would get through.

    I’ve been to your rallies and generally agree with WP’s approach to educating voters and emphasizing to them the secrecy of election votes.

    However, there is something which I think your speakers in subsequent rallies need to inform the voters. As there are no doubt many first time voters this round, please emphasize strongly that it is NORMAL to have your name & NRIC shouted out at the polling centre. You must inform voters that this is part of the procedure and not some grand conspiracy to mark them.

    I’m concerned that some new voters might get scared out of their wits and vote out of fear in that short 30 seconds if that’s their maiden vote.

    Hope you can address this at subsequent rallies.

    Thank you.

  16. Hello WP team
    Just attended your rally. You are all worthy of support. And the strategy to educate people on voting secrecy is wonderful! Sylvia’s speech with details about incineration is great.

    But here is something else you all must do to really get people to vote for you! What are the immediate things in their neighbourhood that you will do for them. At the end of the day, the Singaporean voter is selfish and needs more than a motherhood statement like First World Parliament. go to constituencies and see what needs to be done. there is lots!!! Have you seen the horrendous queues at Bedok Polyclinic? That the polyclinic doesnt have automatic doors so that patients who com in wheelchairs need to wait for a kindhearted soul to open I for them? Or the long wait for some buses at Bedok interchange? or the fact that Simei has grown and grown but has no proper hawker centre or library? These and lots more are the sorts of issues where the incumbents have not done a good job and where you can offer to do more!!! All the WP candidates, especially the Aljunied team, must start to offer specifics to the voters!! That is the only way to get people to vote for you. Don’t just harp on transport, crowded trains, foreign talent etc. There are enough of you speaking at the rally. One can do voting secrecy, one an talk about first world parliament and all your other macro issues but at least one person must offer specifics on local issues. Otherwise you are sure to lose and lose big! Please!!! My friends and I want you to win!!

  17. Dear Mr Yee,

    I am your party supporter, I may have a point that is worthy for you to bring it up as a matter of interest as the subject below may be in Joo Chiat or East Coast GRC or Marine Parade GRC (not sure which estate it should come under).

    There is a jogging track in Haig Road estate, one end of the track brings you to Dunman Road the other brings you to Changi Road. The track is poorly maintained, surrounding air smell bad at times. When you reach the end of the track at Dunman Road, across it there is another track that brings you to Katong Shopping centre. This track is a world of difference… world class standard, surrounded by greens and designer potted plants. My point is who is maintaining these 2 tracks… Nparks or the respective Town Council? Why the disparity…. is it because one its sandwhich by HDB flat and the other sandwhich by private propertity. Whenever I jog along these 2 track, I question myself is there a different treatment for the well off and the commonors. Hope you do walk the ground, visit the track I mentioned and have a feel yourself.

    • Thanks for being a party supporter. This area now comes under Marine Parade GRC. SM Goh should have some solution for this 🙂

      I think the Marine Parade MP should be able to address the issue. I don’t think it’s an NPark issue.

  18. I read with interest the write up in today’s papers on both candidates. While I agree, parking and accessibility of transport are key issues, I wish to highlight that Joo Chiat in particular Telok Kurau where I stay is not as clean and tidy as both candidates seem to make it out to be. Just look at the drains in the estate and you will find more often than not that they are clogged with debris, weeds and filled with stagnant water. It is no wonder we have high incidence rates for dengue fever and a tendency to flood. The fact of the matter is that PAP ward can also have clogged drains, will a WP MP who used to stay in Telok Kurau and now in Siglap be able to manage this issue better? Appreciate your views in this regard.

    • Hi Geraldine

      My comment to ST was not reported in total. What I meant that cleanliness was not a main issue is in the context of his question of how I would continue to maintain the estate as an opposition MP, given challenges faced by existing opposition wards Hougang and Potong Pasir. My comment was that private houses are not like HDB where the town council has to maintain the cleanliness. The private houses are taken care by their own MCSTs while roads and drains are maintained nationally. So I don’t see problems at all coordinating with various government dpartments and contractors to rectify problems in cleanliness. If there are issues, these can be solved without need for any town council fiunds.

      As local resident myself, if the companies contracted to do the job are not doing their work, I will jump on them more quickly as I live inside Joo Chiat.

  19. Hi Mr Yee

    I like your ideas for revamping Joo Chiat. Having lived in the area for 22 years, your ideas seem targeted to bring a ‘soul’ back to the area, specifically in building up community spirit again. Community organization work is critical in helping local communities, as evident in the inspirational work by President Obama in Chicago when he was active in community organizing.

    I was wondering if you have any ideas on two areas. First, do you have any plans to tackle the sleaze along Joo Chiat road in the evenings? Our retiring MP has tried, but doesn’t seem successful. My poor 70-year old father was solicited three times in one evening while he was waiting to cross Joo Chiat Road. For families who live in and around this wonderful area, rich for its heritage, culture, and food, need to feel safe as they stroll down the spacious five foot-ways. Second, Joo Chiat is a small but dense neighbourhood. You, as well as the PAP, have spoken about improving the environment. As an environmentalist, my sense is that we need to go beyond changing the physical environment, to nurturing attitudes that embrace sustainability, so that everyone can tap into current resources and the environment without compromising the needs of future generations. Do you have any ideas on how you, together with the local residents, will be able live, work, and undertake leisure activities in Joo Chiat in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way?

    Thanks!

  20. Dear Karen (Karenlw286@yahoo.com.sg)

    Regarding the sleaze in Joo Chiat, the part of Joo Chiat Road now comes under Marine Parade GRC ie under Goh Chok Tong. Perhaps you can direct this question to his facebook page. I am puzzled why they redrew the boundary that way.

  21. First, do you have any plans to tackle the sleaze along Joo Chiat road in the evenings? Our retiring MP has tried, but doesn’t seem successful. My poor 70-year old father was solicited three times in one evening while he was waiting to cross Joo Chiat Road.

    unfortunately, Joo Chiat Road is no longer part of Joo Chiat SMC. so this question is more for the Marine Parade GRC candidates?

    for parking problems, i think it will just get worse as long as car ownership in Singapore continues to increase. in private residential estates across the island, neighbours fight for parking space along the streets for their second, third or even fourth vehicle. & many (both residents + non-residents) park on pavements, forcing pedestrians to walk on the roads (remember the deaths along Upp Thomson Rd?). think this is something that might be better tackled at a national level, as HDB dwellers are also facing a similar problem with lack of parking space (season pass holders have trouble finding lots near their flats). we might have to consider doing something similar to other countries (think one such place is Tokyo?), where people have to show proof of ‘ownership’ of a parking space before they can buy a vehicle. such measures won’t be popular, but it would be much easier to implement them if we had a public transport system that is far more efficient that it currently is (or claimed to be).

  22. Hi Mr Yee,

    I disagree that we should be jumping on contractors and cleaners when we see dirty drains and dirty areas. On a national level, there seems to be an increasing disregard towards keeping public areas clean. I’m not sure if this is due to the influx of foreigners, or simply because we singaporeans don’t care – because every morning before 8am, an army of cleaners (foreigners) will wash away and sweep up the entire Singapore from left to right up to down so that the sun rises on a clean and green singapore.

    Have a look at Singapore at 4am and you will realise how filthy it actually is, litter everywhere. If I vote you in, I hope you can address the ROOT of the problem instead of using the PAP’s solution of increasing the number of cleaners (ie, employ more foreigners) and jumping on the cleaning companies. We should instead focus on education and outreach for anti littering, clamp down harder on litterbugs (I’ve not seen or heard of CWO for so many years, NEA, NPARKS, and the other agencies have to step up the effort to hand out CWO to people who consistently dirty the environment). If it were CWOs who clean up every morning instead of the foreign army, the problem would be reduced since the same people will not want to be stuck in a cycle! (Litter in the day, CWO next morning = Stop Littering)

    The current mindset of “Litter anywhere, someone else will clean it up. If they don’t, the MP will hold the cleaning company responsible, I can continue to litter, dirty, and rubbish my surroundings as much as I want” is a horrible mentality!

    Honestly, Singapore is our home, please help us take care of it.

  23. All the best in this Election. Your constituency also has many non-Singaporean expatriates and professionals, and their families. It is a safe, quiet and mostly private place. Not certain if voters have any burning issues with their home turf, which means voters may vote not for you directly, but for your party as represented by you.

  24. Hi,
    It is a pity I was not around when you called at my place last night. My daughter gave me the materials you handed out. I’m glad you came. and it would have been the second time we have met. I have not seen Mr Chong, and before him, never in 20 years seen his predecessor Mr Abdulah on a walkabout. You have my vote.

    I know the current regime has trained voters to ask competing would-be MPs, what can you do for me. But I ask – what can I do to help you make the plans for Joo Chiat come true?

    GP

  25. Mr Yee,

    Hope to see you coming by telok kurau again as I missed the chance to speak to you the last time you walked by. Have personally not seen Mr Chong and there is no way my family will vote for someone who doesn’t even bother walking by during election period. I understand that we can’t stop the building of new apartments, but is there any form of restriction so that my home (should we choose not to sell our property) does not get towered by the taller apartment buildings from all sides? Furthermore, I wonder how frequently does NEA checks on these construction sites as they are potential dengue breeding grounds. We had a serious dengue issue back in 2005, we have since stepped up on national education i.e. via television adverts. However, last year, I saw a banner along koon seng road (I understand that’s under marine parade now, but probably applicable to the whole area including telok kurau as well) informing us that there had been >10 dengue cases (the number was 14 if I remember correctly). That bothers me and makes me wonder if the profileration of construction sites have been hampering attempts to solve this problem.

    Also, there have been two men going around the area, looking through thrash we throw out to find items they can sell/keep. They often clean up the mess they create, but sometimes miss out on items that end up on the street instead of in the bin. I have no issues with them looking through our thrash, but we also need to ensure that they don’t leave our streets dirty.

  26. Hi Mr Yee,

    Its hearterning that you have mantian this website so that you can hear some of the concerns of the residents staying as part of the Joo Chiat SMC and I am sure it does help for your consolidaton of feedbacks if you are elected as MP. I like to particularly highlight the issue of dengue fever that has happen in the vincinity. As of the previous MP Mr Chan Joo Sen, I believe he is aware of dengue fever happening in the vicinity more than a few times. I myself am one the victim and I remembering Mr Chan Joo Sen did make a visit to residential grounds to check and show some care and concern.
    But I am wondering how can the next Joo Chiat MP elected do more to prevent dengue fever from breeding in this area again? Of course, most of the time other than just informing NEA to take action only after when the dengue mosquitoes breeding has already taken place whether in construction sites or households (due to some irresponsible owners), just wondering what else would you do if you are elected as the MP? As you are promoting community and pro family programmes and activities to make Joo Chiat a more lively and communal place to stay in which I do support heartlily, preventing dengue fever from breeding will also be a good initiative to make your ideas work.

  27. Dear Mr Yee,

    After reading many posts here, I can conclude that Joo Chiat residents urgently need something done about the physical infrastructure of this area. I live in Telok Kurau and the parking situation here irks me daily. My choice of vote is very clear – it will go to the person whom I think can do a better job improving the parking situation.

    The plans you listed here about enhancing grassroot activities, community development, education… admirable as they are, do not count as much as environment. We all know about the constraints of limited land space, population growth, and the bureaucratic red tape concerning inter-agency cooperation. What I would like to see is demonstration of thinking skills that can circumvent those constraints. In other words, the guy in charge here must be able to think “outside the box”. For example, to solve limited parking space, I notice every empty plot of land here goes to residential development. Old houses are torn down and new condos are built on that same plot. Surely if this goes on, we will end up with imbalanced proportion of land use for residential and non-residential and we will forever have cars are spilling out into the streets blocking entrances/exists. Why not question the URA what’s their reasoning/formula about the provisioning of land use. Why not press the authority to buy back the old houses and convert them into multi-storey carparks. If they can do that for building expressway, why not for parking? If the authority feels that the money they collected from ERP and fines are insufficient for land purchase, press for constant traffic enforcement here and collect the fines for building carparks!

    My last remark may have gone overboard but I hope you get the message – “out of the box” problem-solving skills instead of complaining this cannot, that cannot.

    So the Joo Chiat candidate that can demonstrate this ability – my vote goes to him.

  28. Hi Mr Yee,

    I’m very glad that you have a blog to reach out to singporeans more easily. I’m surprised you mentioned about break ins because my family lives in siglap and we experienced a break in about a year ago and no progress has been made about the case. I don’t know if many other siglap residents suffered from break ins but I’ve been rather disappointed with the police there was never any follow up about my home’s break in. This may be a national issue but I’m glad you are addressing it and I hope your plans for joo chiat would bring about great and better changes.

    I would also like to see joo chiat transform into a bicycle friendly place. The drain covers on the road should be orientated perpendicular to the direct of the road instead of parallel as bicycle wheels could get trapped in it. Also, I know new pavement has been laid down in siglap and though it’s aesthetically pleasing, it doesn’t quite make practical sense as it curves around and it’s totally retarded to make people walk along it when they can just walk straight.

    I also wish there were recycle bins in the area.

    Thanks,

    I wish you all the best.

    • My parents’ home was burgled a few years ago and reported in the papers. Burglers not caught. Now the neighbours help each other look out, especially when a family is travelling overseas.

  29. Dear Mr Yee,

    Let me first start by saying I am heartened by your political conviction and dedication to stand for election, and I admire you for that.

    After reading many posts here, it is no surprise that Joo Chiat residents urgently need something done about the physical infrastructure of this area. I live in Telok Kurau and the parking situation here irks me daily.

    The plans you listed here about enhancing grassroot activities, community development, education… admirable as they are, they do not count as much as environment. We all know about the constraints of limited land space, population growth, and the bureaucratic red tape concerning inter-agency “cooperation” (if I may use this word). What I would like to see is demonstration of thinking skills that can circumvent those constraints. In other words, the guy in charge here must be able to think “outside the box”. For example, to solve limited parking space, I notice every empty plot of land here goes to residential development. Old houses are torn down and new condos are built on that same plot. Surely if this goes on, we will end up with imbalanced proportion of land use for residential and non-residential and we will forever have cars are spilling out into the streets blocking entrances/exists. Why not question the URA what’s their reasoning/formula about the provisioning of land use. Why not press the authority to buy back the old houses and convert them into multi-storey carparks. If they can do that for building expressway and MRT, why not for parking? If the authority feels that the money they collected from ERP and fines are insufficient for land purchase, press for constant traffic enforcement here and collect the fines for building carparks!

    My last remark may have gone overboard but I hope you get the message – “out of the box” problem-solving skills instead of complaining this cannot, that cannot.

    So the Joo Chiat candidate that can demonstrate this ability, coupled with real “action” – my vote will go to him.

  30. Hi Mr Yee,

    I posted on my status a few days ago that I was heartened you included “dog runs” as one of your action items. This garnered quite a few “likes”, so while it may seem inconsequential to some, there are people who know it is all the small yet thoughtful things that come together to make a community great.

    I just moved out from the Joo Chiat SMC and am now living in Kembangan (although I will still be voting under Joo Chiat). Another comment above regarding bus service 42 reminded me that plans the government had for extending the service’s route to Siglap Centre fell through although this has been requested repeatedly by the community in Kembangan. It is strange that the Siglap area is “so near yet so far” because of a simple lapse in planning a proper route for the only service that runs the inner roads. Hopefully we will see changes soon?

    I’m looking forward to voting and to put a “X” next to your name. 🙂

  31. Dear Mr Yee,

    I too am a fellow Siglapian and has lived in the ‘Joo Chiat’ area my entire life. Reading your blog has shown me how much more in tune you are to the problems of Joo Chiat as compared to your opponent, Mr Charles Chong, who has had all but a few months to familiarise himself with the area.

    Your point about the 4 blocks of HDB flats struck me, and if you win the elections, I do hope that you will especially take note of the plights of its residents. I never bothered about those HDB blocks until a taxi driver living in one of the flats enlightened me on their situations one day when I took his taxi.

    Joo Chiat consists of mostly middle to high income earners. However, there are many living in those HDB blocks who have lived there for decades and are very poor, some even on government assistance. Not only is living in a rather expensive neighbourhood difficult for the poor (Siglap is a newly rich area. Prices have increased significantly only in the last 7 yrs or so) , it is even more straining monetarily on people like my taxi driver who do not qualify for government assistance because his income is just above the threshold. In such a position, he cannot qualify for housing subsidies which will require him to pay only a minimal sum each month for rent (he quoted $50). Instead, he has to pay for rent that is over $1000 a month and incur the higher food/service prices that the area has as compared to the heartlands. The taxi uncle was even contemplating earning less in order to qualify for housing subsidies. More needs to be done to improve the plight of people like that taxi uncle who have been left out by government policies.

    There aren’t any major problems in Joo Chiat SMC. Most of the constituency is made up of private housing, our systems work fine and traffic is a bit of a problem but nothing major. Other than fulfilling basic functions, maintaining the constituency and providing more frills to improve the lives of residents further, there is no major problem that needs solving. Therefore, I hope that more time and effort can be devoted to helping those residents in the HDB blocks that really need help. With only 4 blocks, it is not difficult to listen to their problems and help solve them.

    Last, should you become MP and need help, especially with our neighbours along East Coast Road, I will be more than willing to offer any assistance.

    Regards,
    Maria Yee

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