Citing a resident’s complaint over the lack of consultation before moving ahead with reconstruction works, Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan took to Facebook on Thursday (17 December) to highlight the importance for Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JRTC) and Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai to engage residents in discussion before proposing any changes in the constituency.
Dr Chee noted that a resident of Blk 621 at BB Central sent an email to him recently revealing that HDB is proposing to change a rooftop carpark into a “garden”.
The only issue with this proposal is that the carpark is a space that residents use for their recreational activities, the resident said. Therefore, she added the need for HDB to speak with residents before making such a move.
“The problem is that the carpark has become a ‘well-loved space’ by the residents – people take walks in the morning, exercise, walk their dogs, play ball games with children, etc. It has become part of the fabric of many residents’ daily lives,” he wrote.
He added, “As such, the resident feels that HDB should consult residents who use that area even though she acknowledges that the carpark is not intended for recreational use”.
In the post, Dr Chee also stated that the resident mentioned to him that if the garden is built as per HDB’s proposal, then there will be only a narrow footpath for residents to do other recreational activities.
“She (the resident) emphasizes that there have been no attempts to engage the residents on this issue. She says that she has tried to get involved by asking to be included in the discussions but the RC has been unresponsive,” the SDP chief wrote.
He continued, “Even though there will supposedly be a poll done, she asks how can residents make an educated decision if they have not discussed the pros and cons, and the alternatives”.
Dr Chee went on to state that while the authorities’ intentions are not wrong, but it is still important for JRTC and Mr Murali to “make a genuine attempt to consult residents and seek their views before going ahead with the reconstruction”.