PM Lee Hsien Loong opened Kampung Admiralty, Singapore's first retirement community, on 12 May 2018.
Members of parliament, residents, friends, good afternoon to all of you! 大家下午好! Selamat tengah hari! Very happy to be here with all of you for the official opening of Kampung Admiralty.
This is a modern kampung. HDB came up with the idea of this project more than four years ago. Our population was growing old, and we wanted people to lead active and meaningful lives. HDB had looked for new ideas to develop new designs which would fit an elderly population; to build flats, common areas, neighbourhoods that promote strong social support and community bonding, and to let people in their silver years to stay socially engaged, and live safely, healthily and happily.
Many government agencies and partners have come together to plan this ‘vertical kampung’. The flats themselves are designed with elderly-friendly features built in from the start, like retractable clothes drying racks and induction cookers. This project has adopted Universal Design extensively, bearing in mind the needs of residents of all ages and abilities. This is the first public integrated development to do so.
The flats are not just flats, but are also co-located with healthcare facilities which are readily accessible to the residents. There is an Admiralty Medical Centre, run by Yishun Health Campus which provides health education, organises health checks and fall-risk screening. NTUC Health has an Active Ageing Hub which offers day care and rehabilitation services at the centre, and home care for seniors who cannot leave their homes.
Most importantly, Kampung Admiralty is designed to be integrated with the rest of the community. Many community services and amenities are under one roof, like My First Skool childcare, Foodfare hawker centre, NTUC supermarket – all in partnership with NTUC Social Enterprises, which is why Mr Lim Boon Heng is here today.
As you can see here, we have a community plaza for residents, friends and relatives to hold activities together, like this one. This is not just about convenience for residents, but also to encourage old people to come out of their homes and socialise with the neighbours and friends. Chit chat over kopi at the hawker centre, hopefully kopi-c, share gardening tips and harvest at the community garden, and take part in group exercises and gatherings at the Community Plaza like this today.
The MPs tell me that we are off to a good start. I was chatting with Minister Khaw Boon Wan just now, he says everybody is happy; the residents are happy, the businesses and activities are up. I think there are examples of that. Mr Heng Gee Choo and the Kangs, Mr and Mrs Kang Eng Hock, were among the first few families to move in here. They make it a point to meet and welcome their new neighbours, and actively participate in community activities. In fact, more than 50 community activities have been organised since residents first moved in ten months ago. There are fitness sessions, cultural events, and “Share-a-Pot” makan activities, of course. Residents of all ages; old, not so old, and young, not so young, even those who live outside Woodlands town, have taken part in these activities.
The childcare centre and active ageing hub are tying up to provide parent-child volunteerism, so that the kids and help to buy and deliver groceries to the elderly residents, especially the ones who are not so mobile. These joint and regular interactions encourage the young and old to bond together. It is a wonderful way for the young people to learn empathy and respect, and also to lift the spirits of the elderly, when they see the children’s joy and vitality, they too will smile and perk up – and perhaps laugh, sing and dance as well.
Over time, as residents get to know each other better, I hope and I am sure that we can live up to the name of Kampung Admiralty and strengthen the ‘kampung spirit’ where people of all ages interact and look out for one another. This is a small kampung, I think only 110 units – modest in scale but bold in ambition. We will make it succeed, and when it is successful, we will build more kampungs like these in future HDB estates.
Keep the Kampung Admiralty spirit high. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, I wish all mothers and grandmothers a very Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you very much.
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