Parliament: Major changes to expect in Singapore


 - Commuters can expect shorter wait times on the MRT during peak and off-peak periods because:

 - More new trains will be added from the middle of this year. By 2019, 99 new trains will be added.

 - Repair and replacement work will be progressively completed by 2018.

 - More stations will be opened progressively, starting with Stage 2 of the Downtown Line (first quarter of 2016) and ending with three stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line by 2019.

 - Bus commuters can expect an additional 450 more buses under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme by 2017.

 - Joo Koon Integrated Transport Hub will be operational by the third quarter of the year.

 - The vehicle population growth rate has been reduced from 0.5 per cent per annum to 0.25 per cent and will likely be lowered to zero per cent in the future, meaning that car ownership is unlikely to be a low-cost transport option.


 - From May, half of all two-room flats in future Build-To-Order projects will be set aside for singles.

 - From April, the Lease Buyback Scheme to help elderly homeowners monetise their HDB flats will be extended to four-room flat owners. They can also choose the length of lease to retain, from 15 to 35 years.

 - The Ministry of National Development (MND) will study a new two-room flat scheme, which offers varying lease tenure and terms. The new scheme, if implemented, will unify the existing Studio Apartment and two-room flat schemes.

 - MND will also study ways to help more public rental tenants own their homes, including those who have previously enjoyed housing subsidies, but now no longer qualify.


 - There will be increased enforcement against littering, with surveillance cameras to monitor high-rise littering and body-worn cameras for National Environment Agency (NEA) officers to deal with uncooperative litterbugs.

 - There will be a Cleaner's Appreciation Day where town councils will set aside a day for residents to clean their own neighbourhood. NEA will also work with organisers of major events such as the National Day Parade to remind participants to bag their litter.

 - To meet growing water needs, a third desalination plant will be built at Tuas and more are being considered.

 - By 2020, there will be 35 silver zones - areas with enhanced road safety measures for the elderly. There will also be more seats along walking routes for seniors to rest, wider footpaths and more barrier-free facilities.

 - Construction of 200km of sheltered walkways between MRT stations, bus interchanges and popular amenities all over Singapore will begin this year and will be completed by 2019.

 - Every HDB town will be provided with a cycling path network to form an islandwide off-road cycling path network reaching over 700km in length by 2030. The networks in Yishun, Changi-Simei and Taman Jurong will be ready by the end of this year.


 - Another 10 new hawker centres will be built by 2027, in addition to the 10 centres that are already being built. To ensure food prices are kept low, all stallholders have to operate their own stalls and no sub-letting of stalls is allowed.

 - As part of the SG50 celebrations, the Civic District will be transformed. This includes restoration of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, revamping of the Asian Civilisations Museum and National Museum of Singapore, and the soft opening of the National Gallery Singapore, housed in the former Supreme Court and City Hall.

 - In addition, the upgraded Esplanade Forecourt will reopen in August.

This article was first published on Mar 17, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.