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CCKTC defends the high futsal court rates at Arena@Keat Hong amid criticism from residents

SINGAPORE — The Arena @ Keat Hong, a popular mega sports facility in Choa Chu Kang, has come under fire from a resident who expressed dissatisfaction with its costly booking rates.

However, the Chua Chu Kang Town Council (CCKTC) defended the rates, which are “possibly the lowest or among the lowest rates in Singapore for the use of a court with an artificial turf”.

Taking to Facebook on 2 June, the resident voiced concerns regarding the charges imposed to access the futsal court.

The current rates for booking the futsal court are as follows:

  • Non-peak hours (weekdays from 9 am to 7 pm): S$30 for a maximum of 2 hours per session.
  • Peak hours (weekdays from 7 pm to 9 pm, weekends, and public holidays from 9 am to 9 pm): S$50 for a maximum of 2 hours per session.

In addition to the booking fees, users are required to pay a refundable deposit of S$100 to secure the futsal court reservation.

Individuals interested in making a booking can do so at the Chua Chu Kang Town Council (CCKTC)’s main office during operating hours.

This means to reserve the court, a minimum of S$130 is necessary, with the S$100 deposit being refunded later.

The resident questioned whether CCKTC expects young children to fork out such high costs just to play at the futsal court

The concerned netizen raised questions about whether the CCKTC expects young children to afford such high costs just to enjoy a kickabout in their neighborhood.

The resident also drew attention to the fact that the basketball court, badminton court, and volleyball court within the arena can be accessed for free.

The resident criticized the situation, saying, “No wonder our country’s soccer is in a dreadful state. Do you expect young kids to have a kickabout nowadays without having worry of being complained and the police coming down, causing them to scamper off in fear of being caught?”

In a sarcastic tone, the netizen further called out the CCKTC for potentially profiteering from the situation.

He suggested that the town council should consider building a mini-golf course at the arena instead.

“Why don’t build a mini golf course there instead…All that hype about this Mega Arena Playground but still want back money?”

Opening on 19 June 2022, the mega sports facility in CCK Town has become a prominent addition to the community.

This state-of-the-art facility offers a range of exciting amenities, including a mega playground, a futsal pitch, a basketball court, and a badminton court, among others.

The development of this impressive arena was made possible through the Keat Hong Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP), a significant initiative that allocated $15 million to enhance Blocks 401 to 428 in Choa Chu Kang Avenues 3 and 4.

The mega sports facility seeks to promote healthy living and active lifestyles. By providing a diverse selection of indoor and outdoor fitness and recreational options, it encourages individuals of all ages to engage in physical activities that contribute to their overall well-being.

CCKTC defended that the rates are “possibly the lowest or among the lowest rates in Singapore for the use of a court with an artificial turf”

According to a report by Mothership, the Chua Chu Kang Town Council (CCKTC) has come forward to defend the rates charged for the futsal court at The Arena @ Keat Hong, stating that they are “possibly the lowest or among the lowest rates in Singapore for the use of a court with an artificial turf.”

They emphasized that the fees collected contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of the futsal court while also promoting responsible usage among users.

The CCKTC further mentioned that they had observed a rise in regular bookings for the futsal court among residents, indicating the growing popularity of the facility since its opening a year ago.

However, a netizen commented, “This is just by my block. It was a concrete space (also gated off), and was in terrible condition. Now it’s nice and green… and still pointless.”

He added, “The lie that TC does anything for the people and not just pretending to do things for the people is embodied 100% here. Even the maintenance of the entire place has declined since the ceremony where the MP appeared. It wasn’t a field, but it was usable. Now it’s just another white elephant.”

TC offers complimentary sessions every Sunday

In an announcement made on Facebook, Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang GRC, revealed that starting from July 1, 2023, residents of Choa Chu Kang will have the opportunity to book the futsal court for a complimentary session every Sunday, from 9 am to 3 pm, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

However, it was not clarified whether a refundable deposit of S$100 is still required for booking.

Zhulkarnain further emphasized the exceptional features of The Arena @ Keat Hong’s futsal court, including its captivating artificial turf and innovative high-tech interactive wall for gamified play.

CCKTC chaired by the Mayor of South West District with hefty paycheck

The chairman of CCKTC is Ms Low Yen Ling, is also the Mayor of South West District since 2014.

Singapore Mayors earn quite a hefty paycheck, considering the size of the population they serve in each of the five districts.

According to the 2012 White Paper on Government salaries, Singapore Mayors earn an annual salary of S$660,000, on top of their annual MP allowance of S$192,500, excluding the annual variable component (AVC).

However, as Ms Low has held the Minister of State position in two ministries, namely the Ministry for Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) since 2020, she would be now paid a higher annual salary of S$770,000 instead of the Mayor’s pay.

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