Chief of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), Dr. Chee Soon Juan (Dr. Chee) has urged Peoples’ Action PArty (PAP) member of parliament (MP) for Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC), Murali Pillai (Murali), not to “waste of residents’ money” in  “nonsensical projects which often turn into white elephants”.

Dr. Chee, who contested in Bukit Batok SMC last year, has posted over a series of past posts on his Facebook page, pointed out “the folly of some of the proposed upgrading projects in Blks 188-299 of the constituency”.

While the ideas for this precinct  have seemingly been dropped, Dr. Chee highlighted the fallacy of the original plans.

“The initial plan included converting a pavilion into a linkway that, quite literally, links to nothing or constructing a playground and BBQ area just a few metres from existing ones. (See https://www.facebook.com/cheesoonjuan/posts/10160936832108849)”

As Dr. Chee had repeatedly asked the Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JRTC) to consult residents when it comes to drawing up such neighbourhood renewal projects, he expressed that he was glad that the town council had recently drawn up a feedback form to solicit ideas from residents.

However, he noted that many of the ideas suggested in the form were either: the same old suggestions such as void-deck seating areas, games courts, playground, BBQ area, drop-off points, etc., which are amenities that already exist and in other words, add nothing new; or, vague.

He mentioned the suggestion of an “Activity Plaza” which may end up being unused .(https://www.jrtc.org.sg/announcement/nrpbbb12/)

Dr. Chee has reiterated calls for a linkway from Blk 187 to the bus-stop on Ave 1. He states that will be highly utilised and worthwhile pursuing. According to Dr. Chee, residents have repeatedly expressed that they want to see such a walkway built.

There is currently no pathway there for residents to walk on, forcing pedestrians to walk on the grass or, worse, on the road used by passing vehicles and Dr. Chee said that he had  personally witnessed cars coming dangerously close to pedestrians.

It would seem that the current MP for Bukit Batok SMC, Murali has, so far, refused to build the linkway citing cost concerns and has requested for people to use a convoluted pathway that residents have said is impractical.

Yet, it would seem that he has proposed to build a linkway at Blk 642 BB Central that is just a few metres away from an existing one.

Dr Chee has urged the town council to construct facilities that the residents want and need rather than vanity projects such as “landmark structures” and suggested for the town council to set up an online forum for residents to discuss their ideas and debate the pros and cons of proposed projects to not only produce the best possible ideas but to foster community building.

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