The Singapore Democratic Party will hold two rallies today which is the last day for campaigning. The lunch time rally at Boat Quay next to UOB Plaza is at 12pm (Raffles Place MRT is nearest station) while the party’s grand finale rally at Woodlands Stadium is at 7pm (Woodlands MRT is nearest station). Tomorrow is the so-called ‘cooling-off’ day but you, as the voter, can spread the word by telling your family, friends and neighbours about the SDP!
Dr James Gomez unveiled the Sembawang GRC Re-Generation Plan: Creating Jobs, Building Community plan in a speech during the party’s rally last night at Woodlands Stadium. See also my posts about the party’s Shadow Health Plan and Peoples’ Plan.
The constituency of Sembawang GRC has economic potential that can be unlocked to serve Singaporeans. Additionally, elements that pertain to social cohesion, community development and conservation will also be integrated. This plan like the “Peoples’ Plan” is presented to the voters of Sembawang GRC as a discussion document for their feedback. It has been assembled based on the SDP’s Sembawang GRC team’s review of resident needs. It will be finalised by residents at SDP’s Town Council’s first Town Hall meeting after elections. The SDP Team at Sembawang GRC upon successfully election as MPs will be strongly advocating for a re-generation plan for Sembawang GRC to bring in jobs and businesses into the constituency and to build a local community.
Below are our key proposals.
Woodlands Regional Centre
Back in 2001, the PAP government released Master Plan 2001 and in it Woodlands was earmarked to have a Regional Centre. Many Singaporeans bought HDB flats in this area because of the promise by the PAP government to develop Woodlands into a Regional Centre. Today, 10 years and 2 General Elections on there is no longer talk about the Woodlands Regional Centre and the area set aside for it is still as pristine and green as 10 years ago. The PAP Khaw Boon Wan’s team in Sembawang GRC have proposed the usual upgrading carrots but have quietly evaded this issue. Your SDP MPs from Sembawang will ask and advocate for a Woodlands Regional Centre. Where are the promised commercial and retail developments? It had taken so long that Causeway Point (the major shopping centre here) needs to undergo major renovations and revamp today. The so-called grand Master Plan announced 10 years has not materialized and Causeway Point is getting more crowded.
Building a Local Economy
Meanwhile, efforts will be made to stimulate a local economy and business environment in Sembawang GRC to create jobs for Singaporeans.
· There are a variety of installations such as correction facilities (Khalsa Crescent Prison), military camps (Sembawang camp) and others within the Sembawang GRC. This plan will look into the feasibility of providing support services to these establishments. These can range from catering, house-keeping and maintenance services.
· There are also factory spaces and light industries located within the Sembawang GRC industrial zones. Efforts will be made to monitor the nature of business to ensure that it does not become an exclusively foreign worker industrial zone. Strategic efforts will be made with industry partners to locate appropriate industries and business that will create jobs for Singaporeans in Sembawang and elsewhere and not just foreign workers.
· Another area where jobs can be created and revenue generated is by showcasing the several key tourist attractions such as the Kranji Cemetery, Sungei Buloh, Wak Hassan Kampung, Sembawang Beach and many others which are located within the Sembawang GRC. Tours, activities and events that can generate revenue will be looked into and jobs created in this area for Singaporeans.
Sembawang GRC is an area with rich flora and fauna, however conservation has been neglected.
· Presently, there are private housing developments that have crawled right up to the waterfront of Sembawang beach that will change character and nature of this beach strip.
· An example of physical evidence will show that industries that are located near the end of Kranji Road are contributing to pollution around the beach area. This has to be looked into immediate to prevent further pollution of this beach area and its surrounding waters..
· Remove the eyesore of the run down military barrack and buildings along Kranji Road. These building have been left unattended for awhile and are a serious fire hazard.
· Provide accesses in an eco-friendly manner to the area around Sungei Mandai Kechil so both residents and visitors to Sembawang GRC can be closer with nature.
Overall, the re-generation plan will look into monitoring the situation and ensure proper conservation steps are observed and implemented.
Places of Worship
We will look into the existing places of worship, especially those located in industrial estates, those on lease land and listen to the local community to see if there are sufficient places of worship for their faith.
· Several places of worship have been moved or are located at industrial estates, for example, the Sivan Temple once along Woodlands road is now at Sungei Kadut industrial estate or the Hong Tho and Chai Kong temples along Woodlands St 13 at Marsiling Industrial Estate Road and others. We will monitor and communicate with officials at these places of worship on the state of affairs of having them at the industrial sites.
· We will also look into the future of the mosque (Masjid Tempatan Melayu) at Kampung Wak Hassan, Jalan Mempurong to ensure it does not run the risk (currently on a extended temporary lease) of making way for other developments in that area.
· We note that places of worship are located within private properties in several parts of the Sembawang constituency (Jalan Kemuning). We will also looks into the needs of these communities.
· Around the areas of HDB developments, especially in the vicinities of Block 19-20, Marsiling Road, the need for more car parks will be looked into. Presently cars are forced to be parked illegally and dangerously because there are not enough lots for patrons to access the hawker centre and market there.
· Additionally, we will also monitor very closely any moves to enbloc HDB properties and the like to ensure that this in the interest of the present owners and future developments have a strategic benefit for the residents of Sembawang GRC.
· A range of private property developments have started around the Sembawang GRC are underway. We will monitor these developments to ensure that the interests of the community are protected and served in terms of local property prices
Residents who are living in the areas of Admiralty, Sembawang, Marsiling and Woodlands of Sembawang GRC will know that under the PAP, the developments in the constituency have not been significant. I strongly recommend residents to endorse both the SDP team’s Re-generation Plan and The People’s Plan for Sembawang GRC (private feeder bus service at a lower cost,extensions of polyclinics at void-decks, etc) and make us your voice in Parliament.