Speech by DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, at the Launch of Punggol Digital District (PDD) Masterplan and Exhibition on 21 January 2018.
My Parliamentary Colleagues,
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information,
Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development,
Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Education,
Ms Sun Xueling, Member of Parliament,
Prof Tan Thiam Soon, President Singapore Institute of Technology,
Colleagues from our public agencies,
Pasir-Ris Punggol Grassroots Leaders and Volunteers,
Residents and Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am happy to join you this afternoon to unveil the Masterplan for the Punggol Digital District.
Over the years, we have all seen how Punggol has grown from a fishing village to now a vibrant new town that is now home to around 200,000 residents. We have the beautiful Punggol Waterway here, the Waterway Point, new polyclinics, the new Town Hub, hawker centres, community centres and the new Sengkang General Hospital not far from here - they are all taking shape.
Punggol is also Singapore’s first “eco-town”. We have many initiatives for sustainable living, such as for clean energy, water and waste management. All these developments have brought us closer to the vision of Punggol as an exciting and sustainable Waterfront Town.
Now, we are ready to embark on a new phase - to develop the new Punggol Digital District. Our agencies have been working closely with companies, education institutes and also the Punggol community to develop this Punggol Digital District, which is Singapore’s first digital district. We welcome your views and also your suggestions to help bring this vision to life.
Punggol Digital District is also a key element in our plan in Singapore to build a Smart Nation.
More Jobs closer to Home, Learning Opportunities and Innovative Community Spaces
So, what does this Masterplan mean for our Punggol residents? It means more future jobs closer to home, more learning opportunities closer to home, and also bringing new vitality to Punggol.
First, we will have more job opportunities for our residents close to home. Punggol will be a hub for key growth sectors of the Digital Economy, such as cyber security, data analytics, artificial intelligence and other digital technologies. We expect these key growth industries to generate 28,000 new jobs when the first phase of the Digital District is ready.
Our agencies, JTC and IMDA, will help develop Punggol as a choice location for technology players. We are also studying to relocate some of our key agencies, such as the Cyber Security Agency to make use of this cluster of expertise in the Punggol Digital District. This will help create a new cluster of cybersecurity and technology firms in Punggol. Our residents can therefore look forward to many exciting jobs of the future closer to home, here in Punggol.
Second, we will have more learning opportunities with the new centralised campus for the Singapore Institute of Technology (or “SIT”), which will be located in the heart of the Punggol Digital District. Now, we will have SIT together with the Singapore University of Technology Design (or “SUTD”), in the northeast and the east of Singapore – two of our most technologically-advanced universities, to complement the other universities in Singapore. SIT will support skills upgrading and continuing education with its suite of applied courses.
There will be many opportunities for students and teaching staff from SIT and industry practitioners in the Digital District to interact and exchange ideas, and use the Digital District and Punggol as a test-bed for new technologies. For instance, energy efficient technologies to save energy and carbon emissions, new ways to deliver healthcare, especially with the new Sengkang General Hospital not far away. And also cybersecurity and technologies to support smart transport systems.
Third, we will continue to improve connectivity and facilities for our residents here in Punggol.
I am glad that we will have a new Punggol Coast MRT station on the North East Line to be completed by 2023. This new Punggol Coast Station will serve the residents in the northern part of Punggol as well as the many workers and students in the Digital District. Overall, it will make it more convenient for our residents and it will cut travelling time by 10 to 15 minutes compared to taking the LRT or a bus today to or from Punggol MRT Station.
We will also improve road connectivity. Major projects include the new TPE and KPE road interchange linking to Punggol and Pasir Ris, which is now under construction and scheduled to be completed by 2019. We will also have the new TPE and Seletar Link Interchange, to be completed by 2021. These improvements will ease the traffic and public transportation situation in Punggol and ensure that there is sufficient public transport and road capacity to provide our residents and Digital District users more options to travel within Punggol, and to and from other parts of Singapore.
We will also make sure that the Digital District fits in well with the natural environment that our residents love. Our residents can enjoy the green surroundings, and a new park, Campus Heart. A new pedestrian street along the Campus Boulevard will link various parts of the Digital District to the waterfront area.
Old Punggol Road will be transformed to a pedestrian walkway and a Heritage Trail. Do take time to rediscover all these interesting places within Punggol with your family, friends. You can also make use of HDB’s new mobile app “Our Heartland Trails”.
With this Punggol Digital District, we take another step to make our Waterfront Town even more vibrant and smart.
And this will help prepare Singapore for the future, with SIT, and help create jobs of the future in Punggol This town of the future - eco-friendly, sustainable, and digitally-connected. In this exciting journey, do give us your ideas, support and suggestions on how the future Digital District can serve you better, and make Punggol a better home for all of us.
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