Posts tagged: Heartlands

2012 Community Dialogue – Sengkang West to Grow 80% by 2015

By , July 9, 2012 1:31 am

As a Grassroots Leader, one of the highlights of the year, is the annual Community Dialogue Day. Aside from the regular local ‘meet the people’ sessions with Dr Lam Pin Min, the Dialogue Day offers the opportunity for residents to share their observations or concerns, ask questions and feedback on issues that affect the community as a whole.

Mr Benny Thio (PBM, Chairman CCMC), Dr Lam Pin Min (MP Sengkang West and Grassroots Advisor), Mr Raymond Chua (BBM(L), Chairman CCC), Mr Peter Breitkreutz (Grassroots Leader, CCMC Member)

Mr Benny Thio (PBM, Chairman CCMC), Dr Lam Pin Min (MP Sengkang West and Grassroots Advisor), Mr Raymond Chua (BBM(L), Chairman CCC), Mr Peter Breitkreutz (Grassroots Leader, CCMC Member)

Along with the local MP, Dr Lam, Mr Raymond Chua, BBM(L) (Chairman of the CCC) and Mr Benny Thio, PBM (Chairman of the CCMC – of which I am a member), the group of panelists also included representatives from LTA (Ms Margarita Loh) and the AMK Town Council (Mr Chris Goh).

Panelists

Panelists

The morning began on Sunday, 8th July at 9am, at which time breakfast was served and residents and Grassroots representatives from the various Sengkang West zones were offered the chance to network and engage informally.

By around 10am, the Anchorvale Community Club Multi-Purpose Hall was quite full, and the dialogue session commenced.

Dr Lam began with a short presentation of the various activities and events that have taken place over the previous 12-months, along with insights into the significant number of improvements, constructions and beneficial changes that have occurred, are currently being undertaken or are slated to begin, looking out through this year, into to 2013 and out to 2015 and even 2018.

Although I consider myself well versed and knowledgable in what ‘has’, ‘is’, and ‘will be’ taking place in my local community, I must say I was nothing less than amazed at the various things covered off in this presentation of which I was not aware.

For example, I have always described Sengkang West to friends, colleagues and readers of my blog, as ‘one of the fastest growing communities in Singapore’. If only I had truly understood the speed at which we are growing!!

I learned today, that Sengkang West will grow in size (population) by a staggering 80% by the year 2015!! That is a huge increase by anyone’s standards.

Of course, I have seen the new estates and blocks pop up over the last three years, have been aware of the massive improvements in public transport, increases in covered walkways, and witnessed the many upgrading activities. But not until today, did I understand how much was still yet to come.

The following is a listing of the HDB estates being built just in Fernvale (the west side of Sengkang West, and where our home is).

New and upcoming HDB estates in Fernvale

New and upcoming HDB estates in Sengkang West

This does not include those opening up in Anchorvale, the H2O residences (first private condo in the constituency), the upcoming EC in Fernvale Lane (opposite our block on the Fernvale side and opposite Greenwich V on the YCK Road side) and of course, the new schools on the way in 2013, the hospital that will be completed by around 2018, the new shopping mall being built on the vacant block next door to Fernvale Point (which will be 2/3 the size of Compass Point), and to accomodate all of this, the further planned improvements to public transport, and even new roads being built – including the current construction to move traffic off Jalan Kayu and on to a parallel ‘feeder’ to the TPE direct from Yio Chu Kang Road.

GET YOUR HEAD AROUND ALL OF THAT, MY FRIENDS!!

Two new schools opening in 2013

Two new schools opening in 2013

At the outset of the dialogue, it was made clear to all that the day would be better framed as a ‘sharing and feedback’ session than straight ‘dialogue’. Residents were encouraged to pose questions to the panel and to share their observations openly and candidly.

All credit to everyone in attendance… the ‘sharing’ and ‘openness’ was in fact just that! It lasted until around 12:30pm in the afternoon, at which time lunch was served.

It is fair to say, that it would be easy for such a session to easily turn out to be an opportunity for concerned or dissatisifed residents to air any grievances in perhaps a not so ‘healthy manner’… once again all kudos to those in attendance for civility and contructiveness!

Among the issues raised and the questions posed, were concerns of a (new to SW) ‘working mother’ with child care opportunities in the area, school enrolments and inefficiency of transportation.

Also, a non-working mother asking about subsidies; Residents seeking clarification on the GST credit program; questions surrounding CCTV in elevators and how to curb bicycle theft in particular estates; how one local high school will be cutting Tamil and Malay classes in 2013 and another local primary school leaving the exhaust fans on in their kitchen areas late at night causing enough noise that some residents have lost valuable sleep – All of which were answered well by Dr Lam and the panel and with an intimate amount of knowledge. For a couple of items, clarification will be sought by the appropriate departments / functions and the residents will be advised of the response and actions.

Quite a large number of residents of all ages were in attendance

Quite a large number of residents of all ages were in attendance

A couple of common themes surrounded transportation (notably the 163 bus service), and how the operators will cope with the huge increase in population by 2015, and health services (the three ‘M’s).

Nearer the end of the session, one gentleman hailing originally from Beijing and now a 10-year citizen of Singapore, put forward his concerns over many issues from over-crowded transportation and taxation thresholds to importing of foreign talent. All points were noted and very well answered and dealt with by the panel.

As well as gaining personal value and insights from the entire session, I was very glad to meet up and have some 1-on-1 time with residents that I already knew (surpringly, quite a large number), as well as quite a few I was meeting for the very first time.

Thani, Dr Lam, Sourajit and Pete

Thani, Dr Lam, Sourajit and Pete

Also encouraging, was the large number of attendees (in a non-election year) – it goes to show you how passionate this community of Sengkang West is. We may be growing at a huge rate of knots, but with the input and feedback of the people on the ground, Sengkang West will be able to pre-empt the waves before they hit the shore.

It is quite clear to me, that the constituency is already way ahead of the curve, and it makes me proud (as I have always said) to shout the catch phrase out loud – “Sengkang West – Our Home”!

Click here to view more photos from the Community Dialogue Day

Source: Aussie Pete

Breaking News: Australia Invades Singapore!

By , March 14, 2012 11:42 pm

aussiesoldiers2Any residents of Sengkang West (specifically in the Fernvale area) could be completely forgiven for thinking that our local area was being ‘invaded’ by Aussie Ang Mohs the Saturday before last!

In fact, it was a sight to behold – the infamous ‘Singapore Wombats’ Australian Rules football team had their first training session of the year, not at their home ground at Turf City, but rather they graced our presence on the open field opposite Fernvale Primary School.

Although it’s been a couple of seasons since I donned the footy boots and hit the paddock with the Wombats myself, I’m still on the mailing list and a fan of the Facebook page. There are quite a number of new (and younger) faces these days, but also a good many of the ‘old boys’ as well.

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My wife and my orthopedic surgeon have both banned me from playing this brilliant hard full contact sport (the 6-week stint with a numb arm and chronic back pain saw to that), but when I saw the email and Facebook update that training would be happening at Fernvale, I immediately pumped up the footy and got Jaime and Casey fired up for a run and kick.

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The locals might also have looked on in wonder as the football kicked around the park was oblong in shape as opposed to round, and that the players were constantly touching it with their hands – considering the field is most commonly used for soccer, the bewilderment would be understandable.

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It was great to catch up with my mates again – I was impressed to see them make the trek to the heartlands – and my own boys had a great time… it’s very obvious they’ve got ‘Aussie’ in their blood, displaying an uncanny ability and skill that seems to pass from generation to generation in my culture. 🙂

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I’m also impressed at how tough Casey’s head is – when the hard ball was kicked some 40-metres and landed smack in the middle of his noggin’, it bounced off again… knocked his hat to the ground, but he remained on his feet – cried for about 5 seconds and then laughed at the fact that his sunglasses remained intact.

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In all, I reckon that the boys thought they were at a fashion parade – a couple of the Wombats said they looked as though they were part of a K-Pop band – hats and glasses – but in fact, Jaime was worried about the heat and glare, and once he dons the cool shades his brother Casey always has to follow suit 🙂

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Footnote: Not long now until Jaime is old enough to join the Auskick (junior kids aussie rules footy) over here – hopefully I can get to sign him up next season!

Click here to view all photos in this set

[View Original Source]

Community Bonding in the Heartlands

By , November 2, 2011 10:27 pm

Just a very quick article to applaud the hard work of a group of very focussed and talented young Singapore Polytechnic students. Also to thank all the rest of the volunteers – grassroots people (CCMC, RC and Sub-Committees) and all of the other student helpers.

The atmosphere was electric

The atmosphere was electric

The ‘2011 Halloween Spooktacular’ at the Anchorvale Community Club at Sengkang West took place on Saturday night (29th October) and featured the first ever ‘Heartlands Halloween Haunted House’.

To say the event was a resounding success would actually be an understatement! Just a few short weeks ago, we were getting worried that we had only sold just over 300 tickets for the night. Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and we had to put a freeze on ticket sales (around 1,070 sold) or we would have risked not having enough goodie bags.

An early arrival in costume

An early arrival in costume

The event was due to start at 7:30pm, but by 6:30pm – while it was still daylight – the first of the residents began showing up. This enthusiasm and excitement continued into the evening. With other walk-ins, the number of attendees was well in excess of what we ever could have imagined. By 8:00pm, the plaza area was completely full of people and the queue to get into the haunted house at the multi-purpose hall was already stretching as far as the eye could see.

Jack-O-Lantern Decoration competition

Jack-O-Lantern Decoration competition

If attendance alone was not enough, the atmosphere was just electric. I’m guessing almost half of the residents came in costume, some of which must have taken hours (if not days) to prepare… and everywhere you looked, there were people bonding, laughing and having a general ‘blast’ of a time.

Winner of the best dressed competition

Winner of the best dressed competition

The demographic of the crowd was also very interesting – everyone from the young families – parents and children, senior citizens and of course, the young adults… teenagers and early 20’s. It really was a complete cross-section of our close-knit community in Sengkang West… In my Grassroots leadership role, I couldn’t help feeling quite proud and excited as one of the key organizers of perhaps the most successful and fun event ever in our constituency!

Absolutely – this was Community bonding at it’s best!

Congratulations to everyone involved…

Click here to see hundreds of pictures from the event

The picture below, is my family with the Guest of Honour, Dr Lam Pin Min (yes, I’m the one in the mask – quite an improvement to my everyday look, right?):

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A Sea of People

A Sea of People

Putting on a brave face in front of a very frightening Snow White in the Haunted House

Putting on a brave face in front of a very frightening Snow White in the Haunted House

Source: Aussie Pete

A Singapore First? – Heartlands Halloween Haunted House!

By , September 23, 2011 1:50 am

Not afraid to get your ‘scare’ on this Halloween? Don’t know where to go? – Have I got a scoop for you!!!

‘Trick or Treat’ in Sengkang West

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Well, it’s actually not all that scary really, and in fact the event is being completely geared up as ‘family friendly’. That is, we’re catering to the young and old alike. There’s going to be heaps of family fun and bonding activities for all ages at the Sengkang West ‘Halloween Spooktacular’ at the Anchorvale Community Club this October.

In what we believe will be the first ever ‘Heartlands Halloween Haunted House’, you’ll be able to see all of your favourite fairytale characters like you’ve never seen them before, in the ‘Happy Never After’ twisted tales in the multi-purpose hall.

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If this isn’t your cup of tea or you would rather keep the kids away from anything bordering on a little frightening, there will be a huge number of activities happening in the plaza area. From the best dressed competition, the Jack-O-Lantern designing competition, to any of the on-stage performances and off-stage fringe events and games, this is the event of the year that can absolutely not be missed.

Goodie bags, mummy-wrapping, face-painting, shrink art, cheer-leading performances… just to name a few. Take a trip to the heartlands and see why residents and families are proud to call Sengkang West ‘our home’.

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Event Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sengkangwesthalloween

EVENT DETAILS:

Halloween Spooktacular @ Sengkang West

Where: Anchorvale Community Club
Date: Saturday, 29th October, 2011
When: 7:30pm to 10:00pm
Tickets: Available From Anchorvale CC @ $2 / pax

The Day I Met The Prime Minister of Singapore!

By , April 3, 2011 11:11 pm

Source: Aussie Pete

Any of my colleagues or people that know me (in real life, or in the social media space), are probably tired of me reminding them that today was the day that the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, was to pay a visit to our small but very close-knit community in Sengkang West.

The day I met the PM - Jaime, Aussie Pete, PM Lee and Dr Lam Pin Min

The day I met the PM - Jaime, Aussie Pete, PM Lee and Dr Lam Pin Min

After many weeks of planning and the tireless efforts of a small group of people from the Residents Committee (RC, Zones E & F) and the CCMC (Anchorvale Community Centre Management Committee), the ‘Wellness Day’ event was a ripping success!

Following on from our final organizing meeting yesterday morning, we all met at Blk 437 for a final briefing and breakfast this morning at 8:00am, before heading over to Fernvale Point to put the finishing touches on the location and to ensure all of the logistics were taken care of.

PM Lee and our local MP, Dr Lam

PM Lee and our local MP, Dr Lam


For anyone visiting our community for the first time, it would be quite understandable if you were to assume that this usually laid-back pocket of the heartlands had become the fashionable place to hang-out on a Sunday morning. With literally thousands of people out to enjoy the day and a shared excited anticipation at the upcoming treat of PM Lee’s attendance, the entire area was literally ‘abuzz’!

And nobody was disappointed!! The agenda and event went off like clock-work. I could start naming people responsible for the meticulous planning, but I fear if I did, I may miss one or more people in doing so. These wonderful givers to the community know who you are, but I do think a special shout-out needs to be given to Peter (not me) and Mickey.

Although PM Lee arrived a little earlier than planned, it was no concern or isssue for everyone involved. Upon being greeted by Grassroots leaders, the PM, accompanied with the very popular Dr Lam Pin Min were treated with a fabulous welcome and performance from around 325 children of the various local PCF (PAP Community Foundation) kindergartens.

325 Students from PCF Kindergartens performed for the PM

325 Students from PCF Kindergartens performed for the PM

Shortly thereafter, Mr Lee met with many of the residents, many of whom seized the opportunity for a photograph with the charismatic leader – ‘yours truly included’ – which was no simple task let me tell you, given that my ‘official role’ for the day was that of photographer for the CCMC and RC’s… I managed to off-load the camera to my wife in a well-rehearsed play, swooped up my son, Jaime, in my arms, and managed to get to actually not just meet with the PM, but also had a very meaningful conversation with him. Dr Lam introduced us, and described my involvement in the Sengkang West Grassroots and CCMC. Then PM Lee proceeded to display genuine interest in my time here in Singapore… and my son, although overwhelmed at the time, has not stopped speaking about how we met the Prime Minister – I think he’s got some serious ‘showing off’ and boasting ahead of him tomorrow at kindergarten (he asked me to print off a photo for his ‘show and tell’ already) :p

A very down to earth and charismatic man - Lee Hsien Loong

A very down to earth and charismatic man - Lee Hsien Loong

Welcome and pleased to meet you!

Welcome and pleased to meet you!

Following on from a walkthrough around the various establishments within Fernvale Point and meeting the shopkeepers and vendors, we had a simple but very delightful snack at Koufu – and managed to cool off a bit in the process… it was a very warm and humid morning.

Soon after, it was time to say farewell to PM Lee, and although I suspect that the organizing teams took a collective sigh of relief, it was definitely accompanied by a real sense of accomplishment… and very well deserved.

This event, my first as a member of the organizing committee of any community event in Sengkang West, was a roaring success – in our eyes, as well as that of the community. The smiles and genuine admiration and happiness shown by our local people will be etched in my memory – this is why I love getting involved in community activities and why I have decided to take an active role in our local community – our HOME – SENGKANG WEST!

We All Love Sengkang West

We All Love Sengkang West

To see the galleries of pictures I took on the day, just click the following links – with great effort, I managed to somehow reduce the number of pictures to less than 400 (so I could fit in two albums on Facebook):

Click for Wellness Day – Gallery 1

Click for Wellness Day – Gallery 2

Wellness Day at Fernvale Point – 3rd April, 2011 – a day to remember! The Day I Met The Prime Minister of Singapore.

Guest of Honour - Lee Hsien Loong

Guest of Honour - Lee Hsien Loong

Early Xmas at Ang Mo Kio – Exclusive Heartlands Pictorial

By , November 30, 2010 12:48 am

If you haven’t checked it out yet, let me give you the heads-up now!! Be sure to take your kids to AMK Hub in the early evening and let them live the fantasy that is Singapore’s North Pole. The decorations just seem to improve every year, and this time around it’s quite spectacular.

Jaime at home getting himself ready for the evening at AMK Hub

Jaime at home getting himself ready for the evening at AMK Hub

I took the family out on Sunday night and also seized the opportunity to get in some practice with our new Nikon D90 camera. The most difficult part is knowing which photos to print, post online, embed in a blog or simply upload to Facebook or our digital photo frame… I was just ‘click happy’. Also, the resolution and image size makes for such wonderful memories, but unfortunately I need to reduce the pics right down to get them across the social network.

So here you go, dear friends – let me take the opportunity to wish you all the very best of our blessings for a happy and joyous festive season with your loved ones!! 🙂

EARLY XMAS AT ANG MO KIO – A PICTORIAL

Panorama Theme by Themocracy



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