PM Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister at Nee Soon South Community Day 2010 cum opening of ABC Waters

SM Lee Hsien Loong | 27 June 2010

Speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Nee Soon South Community Day 2010 cum opening of ABC Waters at Lower Seletar Reservoir 27 June 2010.


Mr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
Ms Lee Bee Wah, MP for Nee Soon South
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Happy to see so many people gathered at this beautiful spot

a. Warm welcome to overseas friends here for the Singapore International Water Week

2. Here to celebrate two events

a. Annual Community Day
b. Opening of the Active, Beautiful and Clean Waters (ABC Waters) project at Lower Seletar Reservoir

3. Fitting to celebrate both events together

a. ABC Waters project create more spaces for community bonding
b. Community involvement critical to sustaining our waters and greenery

4. ABC Waters is our long-term masterplan to transform our waterways and reservoirs

a. Convert drains and canals into beautiful streams and rivers
b. Open up our reservoirs for sports and recreation
c. Create vibrant community spaces for all to enjoy

5. Masterplan progressively taking shape

a. Completed projects – Kolam Ayer, Bedok Reservoir and MacRitchie Reservoir – have become popular venues for recreational activities and community events
b. Marina Barrage has received more than a million visitors, and is a new lifestyle hotspot in the Marina area

6. Lower Seletar Reservoir is first ABC Waters project in north-eastern Singapore

a. Family Bay here allows public to interact with water

i. Multi-purpose stage for performances like the Vietnamese water puppet show you will see later
ii. Stage also doubles as a children’s playground

b. Rower’s Bay on the other side is a new location for competitive rowing or quiet picnic amidst lush greenery

7. As we enjoy these facilities, we also must be responsible for them

a. Keep the waters pristine
b. Maintain a clean and beautiful environment for all to enjoy
c. This requires constant effort by all parties

8. Singapore is an island in the tropics

a. We get lots of sunshine and rainfall, enabling us to build a city full of “greens and blues”
b. But we also have to contend with heavy storms, which can cause problems for us
c. Two recent episodes:

i. On 16 June, we experienced two intense bursts of rain within an hour. Orchard Road became flooded
ii. On 25 June, heavy rain caused localised flash floods in a number of areas, including Bukit Timah, Thomson Road and Tanjong Katong. Floodwaters subsided within 30 minutes

9. We must learn from these episodes and upgrade our infrastructure and systems

a. PUB has an ongoing drainage improvement programme, which has over the years reduced the severity and incidence of floods
b. It will continue to implement new drainage works, and improve their design to deal with more intense storms
c. But cannot expect Singapore to be completely free of floods
d. To do so will require large tracts of land set aside for drainage, and high infrastructural costs
e. Realistic objective is to prevent widespread and prolonged flooding, and limit the risk to lives and damage to properties

10. We can all play a part by keeping public places and waterways clean

a. Prevent litter from choking up our drains
b. Ensure litter does not get washed into drains and canals, find its way into this reservoir, and pollute our water supply

11. Happy to note that many organisations and individuals have stepped forward to help protect the environment

a. Special thanks to the [five] organisations who have volunteered to “adopt”
b. Lower Seletar Reservoir

i. Republic Polytechnic
ii. Nanyang Polytechnic
iii. SCDF 3rd CD Division
iv. PA Water Venture
v. Nee Soon South Citizens’ Consultative Committee

b. These adopters have pledged to care for the reservoir and make this place a lively community venue

12. Hope all Singaporeans will likewise take joint ownership over our reservoirs and waterways, parks and gardens

a. Together, we can make Singapore a vibrant city of gardens and water