Media Release – 31 January 2013

PUNGGOL EAST SMC – PRELIMINARY UPDATE ON HANDOVER OF TOWN COUNCIL FUNCTIONS

Arising from the outcome of the Punggol East SMC by-election on 26 Jan 2013, the Workers’ Party has commenced preparations to take over the town council functions from Pasir Ris – Punggol Town Council.

Preliminary discussions commenced on 29 Jan 2013 between the outgoing and incoming managements, and more status updates will be given in due course.

The incoming management will be applying for Punggol East SMC to be merged with the existing Aljunied-Hougang Town to form a new town consisting of Aljunied GRC, Hougang SMC and Punggol East SMC.  This proposed merger will give rise to a mutually beneficial relationship between Aljunied-Hougang Town and Punggol East:

1. The proposed Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council will now be bigger in size, giving greater flexibility to achieve higher operational efficiencies through process re-engineering, centralization of functions and specialization of work. While Punggol East SMC will be able to leverage on the economies of scale of a bigger town council, likewise, the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council will potentially be able to enjoy further cost savings arising from this merger.

2. Being part of the family, the Punggol East SMC will be able to benefit from the pooled experience and resources of both Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC in town council management. For example, the existing standing committees of AHTC which are helmed by the various Members of Parliament, will be able to advise on the calling and award of contracts, financial matters, estate maintenance and improvement, etc.

A key aspect of the handover is the need for the incoming management to have office premises within Punggol East SMC to operate from as soon as possible, to effect preparatory works.  As the existing town council office at Blk 156A Rivervale Crescent is within the boundary of Punggol East SMC, having the incoming management take over the office would be the most obvious option.  We will work with the Housing and Development Board on this issue urgently.

We thank the residents of Punggol East SMC for their support and look forward to serving them in the coming years.

LEE LI LIAN, MP-ELECT, PUNGGOL EAST SMC
SYLVIA LIM, CHAIRMAN, ALJUNIED-HOUGANG TOWN COUNCIL

31 January 2013