The creation and allocation of more spaces for neighbourhood shops and childcare centres are among the top priorities of the Workers’ Party (WP)’s Sengkang group representation constituency team should they be elected to Parliament.
Delivering his speech in a constituency political broadcast on Tuesday (7 July), economics professor Jamus Lim drew attention to the “limited number of neighbourhood shops across Sengkang”.
Residents in older estates, in contrast, can “find these every few blocks, and meals and provisions are typically a short walk away”, he said.
“Singaporeans love to eat, and we love to shop. These are central to our identity. So when we fail to provide places near our homes where we can gather for kopi or bubble tea, we lose more than just convenience. We lose a sense of community and belonging,” said Dr Lim.
Neighbourhood shops serve as social places, and their absence will inevitably cause the connection “to the places that we call home” to be torn apart, he stressed.
WP’s Sengkang GRC team, he said, aims to push for more spaces for neighbourhood shops should they be elected to Parliament.
“We don’t want just more of the same — more covered walkways, more lift upgrades. We also want to tackle issues that truly matter to the people in Sengkang — relieving bottlenecks in childcare centres, dedicated paths for bicycles and PMDs, and more neighbourhood spaces,” said Dr Lim.
Social activist Raeesah Khan, one of Dr Lim’s teammates, highlighted in Malay that the ban on personal mobility devices (PMDs) posed restrictions on food delivery services despite the high demand of such services in Sengkang.
She also noted that there are only 23 food places across Sengkang, not including three shopping centres.
“We at the Workers’ Party wish to expand commercial spaces meant specifically for F&B [the food and beverage sector],” said Ms Khan.
She added that WP aims to push for the prompt and rapid development of infant and child care centres in Sengkang.
“The waiting time for infant care services is too long at present and are not being allocated according to the proximity of homes from the care centres,” said Ms Khan.
She also noted that Sengkang has the highest number of young children, with around 17,000 children below the age of four and 17,000 between ages five and nine as of June last year.
Dr Lim said that such projects will be undertaken “with a new Town Council”, and will “draw on the experience of our history in Punggol East” as well as WP’s “management of other Workers’ Party wards, which are just as good, if not better, than those run by the PAP”.