Local Chinese daily Shin Min Daily News interviewed Nee Soon GRC MP Henry Kwek Hian Chuan.
In an article headlined “Henry Kwek focuses on residents”, Shin Min reported that Henry Kwek’s father Mr Kwek Theng Swee has been helping farmers and SMEs his whole life. Henry recalled that as his father was Chinese-educated, whenever his father needed to write to the authorities to appeal for these people, he would help. Naturally, he continued to serve the community as an adult. “When my father knew I was thinking of running for MP, he advised me, ‘Always focus on the residents and never forget your heart to serve’.” Henry Kwek revealed that he has done 3 rounds of house visits and is most concerned about ageing issues. “40% of our residents are Pioneer Generation and 20% Merdeka Generation, and there are 240 seniors living alone.I hope to help them before the silver tsunami hits.” He revealed that he started The Hope Collective in Kebun Baru, which has over 600 volunters and over 30 programmes to help the needy.
Lets residents design their estate in “bottom-up” manner Henry Kwek said that there are 5 rental blocks in Kebun Baru. Blks 244 and 245 are due for upgrading, so he is collecting residents’ ideas in a “bottom-up” manner. He also mentioned that Kebun Baru has about 300 needy families. He has launched programmes which help them, including teaching them financial management.
3 plans to help to elderly enjoy silver years Henry said he will continue to fight for – eldercare leave – flexible work arrangements for elderly who are still working – more home care arrangements He mentioned that the upcoming Mayflower MRT station will have 7 entrances and exits, one of the largest numbers among local MRT stations. They will all have barrier-free access for the elderly in the area. “Our rebuilt CC, Thomson Nature Park, and the upcoming North-South Corridor will provide more convenience and fun for residents.”
In an innovative segment, Shin Min got Henry to hand-write his answers in Chinese.
The questions and handwritten responses were: “What are you most proud of?” Starting the Hope Collective which lets the kind-hearted organisations and individuals work together to help the needy in Kebun Baru.
“Most unforgettable resident?” Mdm Izam was a single mother with financial problems. When attending our mentoring programme, she learnt financial management and met some friends in similar situations. She is doing much better now and even volunteers to help other residents.
“Biggest challenge?” Helping the sandwiched class and SMEs coping with the economy’s transformation.
“Change you most want to see?” For all elderly Singaporeans to live with independence, peace of mind and dignity.