Following the footsteps of the Woodlands group who objected to the building of an elder-care centre at the void deck of their HDB blocks, residents at Toh Yi estate were protesting last evening against similar intentions for a plot of land at the junction of Toh Yi Road and Toh Yi Drive. Plans for the construction of 130 studio apartments were announced last month, before heckles were raised at Woodlands. Designed to be fitted with senior citizen friendly grab bars and anti-slip tiles, these apartments are open for application only to those aged 55 and older. To many, it brought back haunting images of the notorious death houses at Sago Lane.
Said retiree Loh, 66, "These old people are living there alone. It's almost as if they are sent there to just wait to die."
To appease the objectors, HDB explained that the block will have a playground and exercise corner on the second floor, which will be open to all residents in the estate. The facility will have a place for the young and the old. Cringing before the loud noises raised, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Sim Ann made the token support argument, "every existing amenity is precious to our residents." She was referring to the $120,000 spent by the town council to build the jogging track and garden at the same plot of land just last year. Another instance of what the right hand of the government not knowing what the left hand is doing. She added, "I fully understand why some residents may be reluctant to see these go - in fact, having invested effort and resources in the site, we in the grassroots feel exactly the same way."
Lest you think the Toh Yi crowd has a genuine supporter in their ranks, here's what Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohammed really feel: "Some think that the Government will try to appease residents who didn't vote for them. But it will be dangerous if the Government gives in to populists demands." The brigadier general also made some pleasant sounding remarks about Bukit Brown, but the bull dozers are still moving in.
|No Country For Old Men|