By now, all would have heard how People’s Action Party’s likely candidate for Bukit Batok SMC, Mr Murali Pillai has announced improvement programmes for the SMC.
In his announcement, he said that a three-generational park would be built for the precinct at Blocks 140 to 149, Bukit Batok West Ave 4, “The three-generational park (will) allow our grandparents to bring their grandchildren to play while they can exercise,” he said. “We are also improving the number of sheltered linkways to protect the elders from rain and shine.”
Residents were surveyed late last year by the Jurong-Clementi Town Council to get their views on how the neighbourhood can be enhanced. Murali also noted that the plans are part of a Neighbourhood Renewal Programme.
Murali said, “The three-generational park (will) allow our grandparents to bring their grandchildren to play while they can exercise,” he said. “We are also improving the number of sheltered linkways to protect the elders from rain and shine.”
He added that 17 blocks will be connected by sheltered linkways to the market across the street, which is a “major project”. He said: “So we’ll continue to do more for residents, but the key is to get their feedback and understand what their needs are, so we can cater properly to them.”
His other plans is said to be revealed in due course before Nomination Day on 27 April.
Murali also said he would ensure the plans are implemented well. But he added that he would only have the mandate to carry on if he was elected on 7 May.
Misleading statement by Mr Murali?
The thing is, even if Murali is not elected, plans for Bukit Batok’s improvement plans would still proceed as according to plans set by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) (see plan). This would be the case, should another candiate, like Dr Chee Soon Juan from Singapore Democratic Party is elected.
URA writes in its brochure published in 2013, “Bukit Batok will see more new housing developments in the next five years to give young families the opportunity to stay in familiar surroundings and near their parents. Existing and new residents will continue to enjoy a good quality living environment with better facilities, more recreational opportunities and enhanced transportation network.”
The brochure documents the proposed plans of new parks and other facilities. Only thing different between Murali and URA’s plans is the covered linkways.
So why is Murali giving an impression to votes in Bukit Batok SMC that if he is not elected, they can forget about all the upgrading plans that he has proposed?
Mainstream Media reinforces Murali’s advisory message
Lianhe Zaobao writes
Murali states, if receive the mandate of the voters, will be able to carry out the plans.
Straits Times writes
But the PAP-run Jurong-Clementi Town Council – which currently looks after Bukit Batok – will only be able to carry out these plans should he be elected, he added.
“Let me just say that this plan we are presenting is a plan by the PAP Jurong-Clementi Town Council. So it’s really up to our residents.
“We would only have the mandate to carry on if we are returned in the next by-election. If we don’t have the mandate, then we don’t have the ability to carry on because we can’t form the town council,” Mr Murali told reporters during a visit to the ward on Sunday.
Channel News Asia writes
“We hope to get residents endorsement for these plans and once we get them, we plan to implement it well, so ultimately they get whatever they expect,” he said.
All these reports carried Murali’s “advisory” message without mentioning that URA has already planned for improvement works to be done at the old estate.
Would residents and voters be aware of this if the media do not explicitly make this known to them or would they be misled that if indeed Murali is not elected, they will have to say good bye to their long deserved and anticipated upgrading work?
Readers can be the judge.