In a Facebook post on Wednesday (14 October), Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan has called out Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JRTC)’s “dubious projects” for Bukit Batok and urged the Bukit Batok Member of Parliament (MP) Murali Pillai to serve the residents’ interest instead of his own interest.
Dr Chee started off his post criticising that the JRTC’s 5-Year Master Plan for Bukit Batok “seems confusing” as a pavilion which initially was slated to be turned into a linkway “for quite incomprehensible reasons” would now remain.
“At some point, this idea was changed. The pavilion, it seems, would now remain. Instead, two linkways would be built to connect it to two blocks of flats (Blks 192 & 193),” he said.
On Monday (12 October), the SDP chief highlighted his concern on his Facebook post, noting that the linkway to be built near Block 192 and 193 was not connected to any building or structure.
“What is the linkway connecting? The spot on which it is to be built is currently a stand-alone pavilion. It is not connected to any building or structure. Why on earth would anyone think of building a linkway that starts and ends nowhere?” he wrote on his post.
Commenting about the change of plan on his post yesterday, Dr Chee said, “Whether this alteration makes any more sense is another question.”
He then reiterated his concern asking, “Why would the TC build two linkways that connect flats to a desolate pavilion? What purpose does it serve?”
Mr Pillai ought to get funding to build the pavement to serve residents’ interests instead of being unreasonably obstinate, says Chee Soon Juan
And contrastingly, the request of building a pavement for the sake of residents and pedestrians was refused by the authorities and Mr Pillai, according to Dr Chee.
He said that the residents are “crying out for a much-needed pavement” along a route from Block 187 to the bus-stop along Ave 1 as the pedestrians currently have to walk along the road with motor vehicles passing by dangerously.
“But Mr Murali refuses to build the pavement, giving excuses which have been thoroughly debunked,” he added.
He continued, “Instead of being unreasonably obstinate, here’s what Mr Murali ought to do. All the projects proposed in his party’s 5-Year Master Plan need to get funding from the Community Improvement Projects Committee (CIPC).”
Highlighting that all these projects are “still in draft form” and “nothing has been finalised”, Dr Chee also asked Mr Pillai to put in a funding proposal to build the said pavement for residents rather than proposing to build linkways that serve little purpose or a playground or BBQ pits that already exist.
“Mr Murali must listen to the residents and serve their interests, not his own interests. Blocking the residents’ needs and wishes is demonstration of uncaring and lazy leadership. BB deserves better,” he noted.
Chee Soon Juan vows to continue highlighting Bukit Batok’s residents’ concern
Earlier, Dr Chee has vowed to continue to come forward with the concerns of Bukit Batok’s residents regarding the municipal matters, especially on the People’s Action Party (PAP)’s proposals made in its 5-year masterplan during GE2020.
“Why do I do this? The short answer is that residents have the right to seek transparency and accountability (get those in office to explain what they’re doing and why they’re doing it),” he noted.
He has previously criticised Mr Pillai’s reluctance to fulfil Bukit Batok’s residents’ request for more sheltered walkways.
In a Facebook post on 23 September, the SDP chief said that it is “disappointing” that Mr Pillai “continues to offer excuses and distractions rather than valid reasons”, despite “earnest and reasonable” requests from residents for a pavement from Block 187 to the bus-stop “for safety reasons”.
His remark came after Mr Pillai said on his Facebook post on 17 September that building a linkway will require Bukit Batok residents to absorb 10 per cent of the construction costs and the entirety of maintenance costs.
The MP added that constructing a sheltered linkway “when one already exists may simply not be the best way to weigh competing needs”.
Earlier in August, Dr Chee also urged JRTC to construct a pathway for pedestrians in an area surrounding several housing blocks in Bukit Batok after he observed that the lack of pavements has forced residents to walk on the grass patch or walk on the road that endangered their safety.