The Editor recently caught up with Chairman of the Pasir Panjang Private Estate Association (PPPEA), Mr. Tan Hui Nam.  Following are excerpts of the conversation:

What is the PPPEA all about?
PPPEA is a neighborhood committee representing the interests of people in the Pasir Panjang area.  Our most important function is to promote neighbourly living, and to improve the amenities of our area.  If there are community issues, the PPPEA committee will discuss as a group how best to address them.  It’s a way of being more self-reliant as a community.  We also host events that bring people together, such as our annual Lantern Night celebration which has been held at Kent Ridge Park for more than ten years.

What are some of the main issues that get addressed?
One very common issue is traffic management, especially congestion, accident-prone stretches of road and illegal parking.  We also deal with estate management issues related to health, cleanliness, security and safety.  We meet to discuss and achieve a consensus view on such issues, then represent that view to the relevant government agency.  Where appropriate, we do sometimes also represent to the government views on broader national issues.

Which agencies does PPPEA most commonly engage with?
NEA, NParks, PUB, MPA, LTA and the Police.  For example, in recent we years had regular meetings with MPA on the expansion of container ports facilities at Pasir Panjang.    Another example is a recent meeting with our MP, Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, on proposed redevelopment of a row of shophouses along Pasir Panjang Road near South Buona Vista.  Our role was to ensure that the voice of the community was heard.  A final example is recent dialogue with Singapore Tourism Board on potential future redevelopment of Haw Par Villa.

What is the relationship between PPPEA & the People’s Association?
We’re basically the same as the Residents Committees that exist in HDB estates – a volunteer grassroots association.  Our role is to serve the needs of residents in private estates featuring primarily condominiums and landed properties.

How is PPPEA funded?
We receive a small amount of monies from various community groups including the CDC.  We use such sums carefully and seek to supplement via donations and sponsorships.

How does one get involved?
We meet approximately bi-monthly – or more often if there are special events or projects – at the Telok Blangah or Dover CC.  Visit one of these CCs and inform the officer on duty that you’d like to become involved. You can also find details of our meetings at our Facebook page.  Everyone is welcome.

How time-consuming is it?
It’s as much or as little as a person is willing and able to contribute.  That’s the spirit of volunteerism. 

Who should consider becoming involved?
Any resident who cares about their home, family and community.  It’s a great way to give back to the community.  It’s also very satisfying when one has a sense of making a difference, and establishing connections that enrich one’s life.  We meet a lot of good people and have fun along the way.  I enjoy it.

Copyright 2011 by Pasir Panjang Private Estate Association. All rights reserved.