Speech by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong at the Opening Ceremony of Limbang Shopping Centre on 3 February 2024.
My Parliamentary Colleague Sim Ann,
Deputy CEO of HDB,
Fellow Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Advisers,
Residents and friends
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to join you today for the official opening of the revamped Limbang Shopping centre.
Let me continue with a few words in mandarin, before continuing in English later.
Friends and residents, we are just about a month into 2024. I hope all of you have had a good start to the year. Chinese New Year is just around the corner.a. It is a time for new beginnings. An opportunity to refresh and renew things in our lives.
b. That is why the opening of the new Limbang Shopping Centre – refreshed edition – marks an auspicious start to the year
Many residents would remember the original Limbang Shopping Centre, which first opened almost 30 years ago.a. Was built around the same time as the Limbang estate.
b. Had a distinctive design inspired by our peranakan shophouses.
c. Back then, the only nearby alternative was Lot One and Yew Tee Square. But these were some distance away.
d. And that is why Limbang Shopping Centre, with its wet market, food court, and shops, has been an important fixture in our community – a place where you can get everyday necessities, located close to home.
After 30 years, the entire Shopping Centre was in need of a refresh.a. Building was getting on with age
b. Lifestyles and preferences have also changed over the years.
So HDB decided to do a major upgrade.
a. Started planning for this as far back as 2017, collecting feedback and ideas from all of you.
b. In 2020, we commenced upgrading works. But COVID-19 struck and we all had to delay the construction.
Took some time, and led to some inconvenience. But now that everything is completed, I think you will agree it was all worth it.a. Because in this upgraded, refreshed Limbang Shopping Centre, we have 50% more shops now, including a bigger NTUC Fairprice with a wider selection of groceries and household items.
b. Many of you had also asked for more food options. So we have more than doubled the number of F&B options.
c. We brought the supermarket, wet market and food court closer together – all on level 1 now – to make it more convenient for residents.
d. To encourage more community activities, we have a new community plaza for events.
Apart from that, in terms of design, it has a new, fresh modern look.
b. Best-in-class in terms of energy efficiency.
c. Yet at the same time, it retained some of the elements of the original building, to help preserve the memories many residents have of this place.
I know many people were involved to make this new shopping centre a reality.
b. So let me thank all of you for your contributions.
This is not just about Limbang. If you look around Singapore, what we do here is a good example of how we keep our HDB estates all over Singapore vibrant and liveable. We work closely with the community, we systematically review and update our older estates.
b. This is happening all over Singapore.
- HDB recently completed upgrading works at nearby Sunshine Place (located at Choa Chu Kang Ave 3).
- More centres to be upgraded in the pipeline over the next few years, including Yew Tee Square, Fajar Shopping Centre, and Dawson Place, just to cite some examples. So it is a continual process of upgrading and making our shopping centres better.
c. Of course all of you will be familiar with other upgrading programmes, including the Home Improvement Programme for our homes, and Neighbourhood Renewal Programme for our larger neighbourhood.
Beyond that, we have even larger-scale rejuvenation plans for our older towns, under the Remaking our Heartlands (ROH) programme.a. Choa Chu Kang town, which includes Limbang and Yew Tee, is covered in the latest round of ROH.
b. Announced the plans in Oct last year.
c. We want to provide more neighbourhood amenities, enhanced green spaces, and greater connectivity for residents in the whole of Choa Chu Kang.
d. Most notably, there will be a new polyclinic and hawker centre at an integrated development at Yew Tee. Over at Choa Chu Kang Town Centre, there will be another new hawker centre, a pedestrian mall, as well as the new Choa Chu Kang Station on the upcoming Jurong Region Line.
e. These will complement the many new amenities we have already been working on these past few years, e.g. the refreshed CCK Sport Centre, and the new SAFRA CCK at CCK Park nearby as well.
These are plans we continue to do, not just in Choa Chu Kang, but all over Singapore. These upgrading plans do not happen by chance. It is not as though overnight, things automatically get upgraded. They happen because of a commitment by the government to plan ahead, to deliver on our long-term planning. They happen because of the close partnership between the government and our many stakeholders, including community groups, businesses, and all the different partners we have on the ground. This is how, together, we continue to build Singapore – year in, year out – to make this little red dot better and more liveable.
b. I am confident that if we continue to work together, there remain many exciting things that we can do.
c. So let’s all do our part, working hand in hand, to build a better Singapore, and to make this truly a place we will always be proud to call home. Thank you very much and Happy New Year once again.
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