PUNGGOL town will soon see a new Safra club on its waterfront as the Government ramps up efforts to recognise the sacrifices made by national servicemen.
Details of the $57.3 million facility, located in the north-east of Singapore and slated to be ready in early 2016, were revealed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the ground-breaking ceremony yesterday.
Mr Teo also announced that the Government will be building a Safra club in the north-west, as well as revamping two of the five existing ones.
The club in Tampines will be redeveloped to offer more sports facilities, while Safra Mount Faber will be turned into an "executive lifestyle club", which promises a new mix of tenants.
"The Safra club house is an important symbol," said Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security.
"(It) will be a constant reminder of what our NSmen are defending - our homes, families and the special Singapore that we have built together.
"It (also) allows us all to show our appreciation for (NSmen's) efforts and sacrifices, providing them with a wholesome environment to enjoy quality time with their loved ones."
Membership at Safra clubs are open to Singaporeans who have done their national service, and their families.
The other three existing Safra clubs are at Jurong, Toa Payoh and Yishun.
Safra Punggol will be a five-storey, 19,430 sq m club located in Sentul Crescent, perched next to the Punggol Waterway and a few minutes' walk from the upcoming Sam Kee LRT station. It will feature Kidz Amaze, a first-of-its-kind 23,000 sq ft indoor water playground that spans three storeys, as well as a large eco-themed childcare centre.
Major (NS) Terence Quek, chairman of Safra Punggol's development committee, said these facilities were designed to address the needs of young NSmen, many of whom might be raising children in the near future.
More than 70,000 NSmen are expected to be living in the area by 2016.
Hougang resident Stratford Teo, 34, said the club in Punggol would be more convenient to visit than the Mount Faber one he goes to now. "I will be able to save travelling time and spend it instead with family and friends," he said.
But not everyone is keen on the new Punggol Safra club. Said Punggol resident James Wong, 35: "Although it is a nice gesture, not every NSmen goes to these clubs. I would much prefer the funds be channelled directly to us."
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