Lam Pin Min: I’ve No Intention To Mislead Residents

Three years ago in 2012, in a blog post, MP Sengkang West Lam Pin Min happily announced that a new big-time commercial mall to be built by SPH, was coming to his constituency.

The big mall, which was later named Seletar Mall, is situated next to Fernvale Point, a small neighbourhood shopping centre managed by HDB.

Dr Lam wrote on his blog (‘New Commercial Complex @ Fernvale – Coming soon‘):

HDB launched the tender of a commercial site at Sengkang West Avenue/Fernvale Road, next to Fernvale Point and Fernvale LRT station. The land parcel has a site area of 8,790.3 sq m and has a maximum allowable gross floor area of 26,370.9 sq m.

The tender exercise for this commercial plot attracted a total of 12 bids, with Earth Holdings, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), offering the highest bid of S$328 million

Immediately after his announcement, a resident asked him if Fernvale Point would be demolished with the launch of Seletar Mall, as he was working at Fernvale Point and he wouldn’t want to be unemployed:

Dr Lam replied confidently that Fernvale Point will not be demolished as it “still gas (has) many years to go”:

This was in 2012.

Fernvale Point closed in April 2015

Last month (22 Apr), the media suddenly reported that Fernvale Point would be closed by end April. It reported that without the wet market and neighbourhood shops, residents are complaining. Fernvale Point, managed by HDB, had a wet market, NTUC FairPrice, coffee shops and neighbourhood shops:

The closing of Fernvale Point came 5 months after the opening of SPH’s Seletar Mall in November last year. ST even wrote an article to hype up the launch of Seletar Mall (‘Fernvale all abuzz over arrival of new Seletar Mall‘):

“The opening of the gleaming new Seletar Mall on Nov 28 looks set to transform this corner in the north-west of Sengkang. Sited next to Fernvale LRT station, the new complex will offer more than 130 brands over four storeys and two basement levels.

Anchor tenants include supermarket FairPrice Finest, Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo, department store BHG and Shaw Theatres, which will be opening Sengkang’s first cinema.”

Fernvale Point provided cheap shopping

Note that when NTUC FairPrice moved from Fernvale Point to Seletar Mall, it has turned its supermarket to FairPrice Finest, catering to the upper end of the market. In other words, grocery will be more expensive there than before.

Indeed, many residents are not happy with Fernvale Point being demolished because it provided them with cheap shopping, especially the ability to buy food from the wet market. Many Singaporeans are already trying their best to cope with the rising marketing expenses, partly attributed to the high rentals incurred by shopkeepers and stall owners. Many wanted their wet market back and do not wish to see another condominium built on the vacated Fernvale Point:

Govt already reserves site for high-rise residential development

Some enterprising netizens managed to dig out the Govt’s plan for the vacated Fernvale Point site together with the open space next to Fernvale Point.

Apparently, the Govt has already reserved these 2 sites for “future high-rise residential development”:

A netizen wrote that many Sengkang residents don’t wish to see yet another condominium built at the sites. He also revealed that Dr Lam has been deleting postings on his Facebook page mentioning about the sites reserved for high-rise residential development (‘MP Lam deletes FB queries on Fernvale Point‘):

“A condominium is what most residents do not want because of the noise produced by the construction, and because it does not meet their needs. Fernvale is a small town that has already been squeezed with lots of high-rise apartments and scarce facilities to meet the needs of the young couples who have moved in. One resident voiced out that she did not want to see her town become a concrete jungle with no kampong spirit.

Why couldn’t Dr Lam tell them straight that the current development plan for that plot of land is to build yet another high-rise residential development. I do not believe that as the MP he is unaware of the intended use for that parcel of land. Why let them continue to have false hopes that they would get their market, childcare centre or community centre?

Furthermore, attempts by netizens to post the current development plan on Dr Lam’s wall have failed because comments that reveal the use of land for condominium building have been swiftly deleted.

Dr Lam says he did not mislead residents

In any case, he posted a message on his Facebook page recently saying that he has no intentions to mislead the residents:

So, what do you think? From promising that Fernvale Point “still gas (has) many years to go” to deleting Facebook postings which revealed Govt’s plan to develop high-rise residential units at the sites, has Dr Lam misled Sengkang residents?

Do tell us your views.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *