Recycling, energy-saving to figure in green plan

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday urged Singaporeans to play their part in protecting the environment. He also planted a tree to launch Ang Mo Kio Town Council's clean and green campaign.

An updated blueprint to keep Singapore clean and green in the years ahead will be unveiled this week, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

Mr Lee said he would withhold details till the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint is out, but hinted at what it might involve at his constituency's annual Tree Planting Day and start of its environmental awareness campaign.

Residents ought to be more conscious about recycling what they use and conserving energy, from using less air-conditioning to turning off the lights and even broadband when not at home, he added.

"The 'Cleaner, Greener, Together' campaign we are launching here in Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West SMC will contribute to our national vision," he said in a speech.

The revised blueprint will outline Singapore's environmental priorities and guide its sustainable development until 2030. The original blueprint in 2009 set targets for things like energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Lee said the new blueprint was "a plan which all Singaporeans will be part of. It's the way to create a home that we can all be proud of".

Yesterday, he harked back to Singapore's original greening efforts, and urged everyone to play their part, noting that it has been more than 50 years since Mr Lee Kuan Yew planted a tree at Farrer Circus for the first Tree Planting Day, which has since become a regular event in all constituencies.

"That was 1963. Fifty years later, we've planted millions of trees all over Singapore," PM Lee said.

"But we also have to do more than just plant trees: we also want to make the whole of the environment sustainable, friendly to people, and also (for Singaporeans) to be friendly to the environment."

Residents should think before they put something away as trash, and look at ways they can reduce waste, he added.

Mr Lee noted that waste and ash from incinerating trash all went to Pulau Semakau. The sole remaining landfill is 8km south of Singapore island and "only so big", he said.

"Pulau Semakau will become Bukit Semakau" should it fill up, he added, alluding to the scary prospect of the island becoming a mound of ash.

Mr Lee, in opening a community garden, also reminded residents that they had a part to play in stamping out mosquito breeding and keeping their town clean.

Also present at yesterday's event was Dr Koh Poh Koon. The defeated People's Action Party candidate in the 2013 Punggol East by-election, who is a surgeon, said he was invited by MP Seng Han Thong and would help out more in Ang Mo Kio.

"I'll probably spend a bit more time on the ground, just to see what are the areas that I can contribute in," he said.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.