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Tuesday, November 29, 2005 

S&C and rental rebates for 700,000 households
By Sharon Tong, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The government will hand out rebates of up to four months on Service and Conservancy charges for Singaporeans living in HDB flats next year. It will also provide rental rebates of up to three months. These rebates will cost the government $48 million and benefit more than 700,000 households. This is part of the Goods and Services Tax offset packages announced in the 2002 Budget Statement. - CNA/de

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd

Note: You might wonder that this is one more sign that elections is coming, and you maybe right. Goodies always come before elections. But there is an added (and implicit) sign to this "freebies". I can't state this explicitly just to safeguard myself from any unwarranted accusations. Clue: Service & Conservancy Charges is received by each constituency's Town Council. Town Councils are not owned by the government, but by the Party that won that constituency. The conclusion and linkages, I'll leave it up to you. ;)

East Coast Town launches S$500m makeover programme
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia

East Coast Town, which includes places like Bedok and Siglap, is slated for a makeover over the next 5 years in a programme with a price tag of S$500 million. Bedok is an HDB estate primarily built in the 1970s. And as the area's existing 5-year estate renewal plan winds down this December, it is time for another plan to kick in from next year. And MPs brushed off talk of elections speculation, despite Aljunied GRC also announcing its S$160 million transformation plan recently.

Professor S Jayakumar, DPM, MP - East Coast GRC, said: "People will speculate but we, the MPs, felt that together with town council the time was right because the 5-year programme has ended and we have to embark on a new one. There'll be people saying we are doing this for the elections - never mind, it's for the people." And the people welcomed it. "Even though we are paying money, still we'd like to have a new lift - good for us," said one resident.

"During the upgrading, we feel uncomfortable because the surroundings are quite messy but after upgrading, we feel it's a better place to live," said another. The bulk of the S$500 million will be spent on upgrading - mainly lift upgrading ($200m), which will be accelerated and completed within the next 5 to 10 years.

The rest of the money will be spent on main upgrading programmes, hawker upgrading, and linkways among others. But it's not just about making the estate look better. A new mobile surveillance system will be put in place by March next year in places like lift landings and car parks in crime-prone and vandalism-prone areas to make the estate safe.

And with the area being a fairly mature estate, another S$200m will be spent primarily on Main Upgrading Programmes, finishing Interim Upgrading and Hawker Upgrading. And because these are generally more expensive programmes, that is also why the price tag for this renewal project has gone up to S$500 million, compared to S$380 million for the last 5 years.

The remaining S$100 million will be spent on creating linkways, upgrading playgrounds and providing new fitness corners. Of the S$500m budget, S$150m will come from the town council and the rest from the government. - CNA/ch

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd

Note: Need I say more if this is another sign of elections? In the post on Heng Chee How, I was telling at82 that before the elections, LHL will look East. There is a lot of interest issues that oppositions can look to and some of it is in the East. Just some clues on what I was implying: 1) "A township that was promised but never was", 2) "Changes and retirement", 3) "Demography of Residents & Leaders", 4) "Strink or Increase in the Value of Their Roofs?". Have fun guessing! I guess politics in Singapore is not that monotonous and boring after all.

wah so many riddles! how to guess all? lol

How big's the east? .... (1) sounds like Punggol though

yeahhhhhhh yeahhhhhh elections cuming lo pAP big win lo opp e most 2 seats la lol low may still carry on how abt chiam this cld be his last 1 any idea who taking over desmond? sin kek tong? or e young 1?

y do opp like to target e east? look @ past elections results n u will get e ans.

Hi there, this is Benjamin, a final year undergraduate at the School of Communication Studies, NTU. I am currently working on a research project on how bloggers in Singapore feel with regards to the recent happenings that have occured within the local blogosphere. The study is conducted by the Singapore Internet Research Centre, and Dr Randy Kluver is supervising the work. I hope to get in touch with you for your comments. You can email me at S8107175f@ntu.edu.sg - thank you;

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