The Party’s Bukit Batok branch celebrated its 50th anniversary on Dec 4 by doing what it has been doing best: serving Singaporeans and giving back to the community.
This time in particular, S$55,000 was raised and donated to 11 non-profit organisations serving in Bukit Batok.
MP for Bukit Batok Mr Murali Pillai said: “To commemorate 50 years of service, what could be more fitting than to take another step in serving our community? We have been partnering these organisations to better serve residents with different needs, and with this contribution, we want to help them continue to serve our residents and all Singaporeans.”
Mr Pillai was joined by Guest of Honour Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, together with Sustainability and the Environment Minister Grace Fu; Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Law Rahayu Mahzam and MPs Mr Shawn Huang (Jurong GRC), Mr Xie Yao Quan (Jurong GRC) and Mr Lim Boon Heng, former anchor minister of Jurong GRC (which incorporated Bukit Batok) from 2001 to 2011.
In his video address, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Jurong GRC’s anchor minister, urged the activists of Bukit Batok to continue serving residents with humility.
Paid tribute to predecessors
In his speech, Mr Pillai also paid tribute to his predecessors — Comrade Mr Chai Chong Yii and Comrade Dr Ong Chit Chung.
The late Mr Chai, who passed away earlier this year, served as MP for Bukit Batok for 16 years.
Describing Mr Chai as an unassuming man, Mr Pillai said that the former MP saw through the transformation of Bukit Batok from “a collection of kampungs, granite quarries & farms to a modern HDB housing estate”.
“He emphasised that the importance of us as a society to work hard for the common good and not be lulled into taking soft options that may make us weaker in the long run,” said Mr Pillai.
As for the late Dr Ong, who passed away in 2008 and served Bukit Batok for 20 years, Mr Pillai was his branch secretary and called him his “shifu”.
“One important lesson that I learnt from him is to forge a close teamwork amongst community leaders, partners and branch activists to ensure we can have sustainable programmes and enduring progress for our people.”
During his tenure, Dr Ong pushed for the construction of public facilities in Bukit Batok like the swimming pool and polyclinic; nurtured a strong corp of branch activists to serve residents; planted the seeds of a vibrant cultural scene; and started a number of welfare programmes.
Following Dr Ong’s sudden passing, former anchor minister of Jurong GRC Mr Lim Boon Heng stepped up and continued to serve Bukit Batok residents.
“One piece of advice that he gave me which I have kept close to my heart since is that whatever we do at the branch, we must ensure that our residents are the centre of what we do,” shared Mr Pillai.
Staying true to Party values
Mr Pillai also thanked branch activists for their unwavering sense of duty and residents for placing their trust in him.
“That our Branch is able to mark its 50th year of service in Bukit Batok is only because generations of Bukit Batok residents gave us the chance by electing the PAP at each election. Your Branch is humbled by your support. We certainly do not take this support for granted.”
He also said that he will deliver on his promises.
“At the last GE in 2020, I unveiled plans to rejuvenate our neighbourhood and strengthen our programmes for the benefit of all. We are well on the way to completing these tasks.”
In closing, he said that the Bukit Batok team’s efforts to improve the lives and livelihoods of Singaporeans are guided by “the Party’s core values of honesty, multiracialism, meritocracy and self-reliance; and core attributes, namely: reliability, pragmatism, unity, far-sightedness, decisiveness, compassion and resilience”.
“We pledge to stay true to our party’s values and attributes in our continued service at Bukit Batok and for Singaporeans.”
All photos from Murali Pillai / Facebook.