There is high potential to turn Changi Point “into a vibrant recreational and heritage node” with its “colonial rustic charm”, said Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Heng Swee Keat.
In a Facebook post on Sunday (18 Apr), Mr Heng noted that he has always enjoyed the area, which is home to several government chalets like Fairy Point where the DPM has stayed in a few times over the years, as well as some modern restaurants and the old Changi Hospital.
Citing the history of the area, he wrote, “The hospital was built by the British and subsequently became Changi Hospital. But the buildings fell into disuse when Changi Hospital merged with Toa Payoh Hospital in 1997 to form Changi General Hospital in Simei.”
Mr Heng went on to encourage the public to share their suggestions for the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s ‘Charmingly Changi‘ competition.
The competition, recently launched on 15 April, encourages members of the public to share their ideas as part of a collective vision to repurpose the existing buildings at Changi Point, according to the website.
In his post, Mr Heng also encouraged residents to join in the East Coast Conversation this Friday (23 Apr) on how Singapore can preserve the area’s “heritage and old charm while creating new vibrancy and modernity”.
“This is one example of how we are working with you to build a vibrant East Coast,” he concluded.
Netizens wary of prospect of modernising Changi Point
Several commenters on Mr Heng’s post, however, were hesitant about the prospect of modernising Changi Point.
“We have very little places like that left in SG. It does not need to be another recreational hub,” one commenter said.
One person cautioned that if heritage spaces in Singapore continue to be repurposed and modernised, the country will eventually “be a country with no history” as all the old buildings are being replaced with shopping malls.