In a Facebook post on Thursday (19 Nov), Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Dr Chee Soon Juan urged the Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JRTC) to review “rather dubious upgrading projects”.

The politician highlighted three of these projects that are proposed in the People’s Action Party (PAP)’s five-year master plan for Bukit Batok.

First is the proposed replacement of the yellow canvas roof at a neighbourhood basketball court. Dr Chee said that the did not see any visible signs of disrepair, adding that the roof seems to be in “good condition”.

“JRTC needs to tell residents why, if there are indeed problems, can’t the roof be repaired instead of replaced,” he stressed, adding that the bigger question is why the basketball court was built in the first place.

Dr Chee then questioned, “Why was the gallery seating-capacity so large for a neighbourhood basketball court? As it is, we are struggling to find enough spectators to fill the stands for S-League football matches.”

“Has the facility become another white elephant requiring costly maintenance and repair/replacement paid for by residents?”

The next point he raised was about the toilets in the facility and how there are plans to upgrade them.

“Users of the facility visit the toilets to do what they have to do, not luxuriate in’ there. Is there a need to upgrade the toilets when they look perfectly serviceable?”

The third upgrading works Dr Chee noted was the PAP’s proposal to rip up and replace the seats at tables at the void deck at Blk 175 dubbed the “cosy corner”, which he pointed out is still in good condition.

The post also included photographs of all three spaces to illustrate his point that they are in good condition, needing a good cleaning at least or some repair work at most.

“JRTC must review these rather dubious upgrading projects and present BB residents a real plan telling residents exactly what is to be replaced and, more importantly, why, and how much it will cost (including the cost of maintenance),” Dr Chee asserted.

He went on to say that “residents should not be seduced by these PAP Master Plans during elections”, adding that much of the plans “consist of nonsense projects that a waste of funds” coming out of taxpayer pockets.

Dr Chee ended his post by arguing that this “cost of needless construction” can be saved and used instead for programmes that are beneficial to residents such as providing retrenchment benefits, reducing service and conservancy charges, and lowering rentals of shops and stalls which will in turn lower the cost of goods and services.

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