Early in September, a 16-year old student in Bukit Batok preparing for her O-Levels reached out to Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)’s Chee Soon Juan to say that there were no study areas in the BB Community Club and asked if he could help raise her concerns to the relevant parties.
Recounting the matter in a Facebook post on 26 September, Dr Chee noted that public libraries have apparently disallowed students from studying there, likely due to COVID-19 prevention measures.
The politician then revealed that he had written to the CC on the matter and that they subsequently set up study rooms for students.
He added, “Not sure if CCs do this every year or whether they were responding to my email but whatever the situation, I want to thank the Community Club for setting up the study areas.”
In the comment section of his post, Dr Chee also shared a screenshot of the email he received from the student — with permission — which was sent on 8 September.
She said in the email to Dr Chee, “Every since the library have been closed, there have not been many places to study at. There is no study room at the BB CC Central and the library does not allow us to study”.
In his post, Dr Chee shared a photo detailing the opening hours of the newly opened Study Room at Bukit Batok CC, as well as other study rooms nearby that students can use if the one at Bukit Batok is full.
Curiously on 1 October, Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai shared in a Facebook post about the opening of the Bukit Batok Community Club study room which he says was opened on 1 September.
Mr Murali said he was approached back in November 2019 by someone named Krys who suggested that the Community Club would benefit from more study rooms for students. With the support of the CCMC Chairman Alfred Chua and other, the plans to create more study rooms commenced, with planning and sourcing for funds.
“By March 2020, the renovation and refurbishment of the study room was successfully completed,” said Mr Murali, although the opening was delayed due to the pandemic.
“We managed to open the study room on the 1st of September 2020, after implementing the appropriate safety measures,” said the MP.
Now, taking into account the timeline of events, why wasn’t the student who emailed Dr Chee on 8 September about a lack of study rooms in BB Central unable to use the new refurbished study rooms that Mr Murali said were opened on 1 September?
We have reached out to Mr Murali for his comment.
We also note that the Bukit Batok CC Facebook page announced only on 16 September a list of available study rooms in the Bukit Batok CC and nearby CCs, noting that there are limited seats in the room to ensure safe distancing.