Yishun, the town of cat killers, cow sightings, giant caterpillars, fatal stabbings, and a wall with cacti and durian. Over the past year, Yishun's reputation has been dragged in the mud too many times to count - it has even earned itself a special feature on horror show Stranger Things.
However, Yishun residents can soon rejoice.
Things are looking up, with a new community-friendly hawker centre in the works and tales of kind residents brightening up their neighbours' lives making their rounds on the internet.
Community-friendly and innovative hawker centre
The Yishun Park hawker centre opens for business in September, and will feature pinball machines and arcade games, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a statement on Wednesday (Jun 14).
Managed by Timbre Group on a not-for-profit basis, the hawker centre will also boast family-friendly features, such as child-friendly toilet facilities and family-friendly seating arrangements.
The hawker centre will also host weekend activities to promote community and family bonding. On selected days, sports matches will be aired on large screens to promote community bonding.
Timbre Group was selected to operate the hawker centre as it fulfilled NEA's call for a socially conscious operator, which would ensure quality and affordable meals while at the same time improving the centre's operational efficiency.
To ensure meals are affordable for residents, each of the 45 cooked food stalls will have at least one basic meal that is priced at $3. Timbre will also bulk purchase ingredients to defray the costs incurred by hawkers.
Furthermore, in a bid to sustain the hawker trade and support new entrants, two 'incubator stalls' will be set aside for potential hawkers. These hawkers will undergo an incubation period of up to one year, and Timbre will subsequently help to place them in its network of food and beverage outlets, or refer them to NEA to apply for a stall in other centres.
Timbre is also looking at implementing a 3-in-1 mobile application that allows patrons to order meals electronically and make cashless payment. A Radio Frequency Identification tray return system is also being considered, which will streamline the tray return process and reduce the cleaners' workload.
Well, now we know where the new heartland hawker haunt is going to be!
Anonymous neighbours brighten residents' days, one block at a time
A group of Yishun residents have taken it upon themselves to spread good vibes around the neighbourhood, by leaving a surprise "little bag of goodness" on their neighbours' doors.
On Sunday (Jun 11), Reddit forum user shiguoxian posted a set of images of the bag that had been left hanging on their door. Consisting of two packets of Milo powder and two Sunshine Cookies & Cream buns, the bag also had a note from the mysterious strangers, titled One Block at a Time.
The note read:
"In light of all the Yishun news that has been making headlines, a small team of individuals passionate about anything that says good vibes has decided to come together to surprise a whole block overnight, in the small ways we can.
"We hope you enjoy this little bag of goodness of whatever we can afford and that it will make your heart smile.
"Love, Your Neighbours."
Reddit users were impressed by the initiative, with many applauding the anonymous do-gooders for their kind act.
As they say, there's always a rainbow after the rain. For all of the bad press coverage that Yishun has amassed, this just proves that Yishun's not all as bad as people make it out to be.
Good on you, Yishunites!