Tuesday 22 September 2015

Wisma Geylang Serai civic centre to open by 2018

Work to begin on $55 million Geylang Serai civic centre
10,000 sq m hub will house CC, care centres for seniors, kids, other facilities
By Lester Hio, The Straits Times, 21 Sep 2015

Residents of Geylang Serai can expect a new civic centre come 2018, as work will start on the new Wisma Geylang Serai after a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.

The project, developed by the People's Association, will house the new Geylang Serai Community Club, the South East Community Development Council office, a Malay Heritage Gallery and arts facilities, along with senior care, childcare and family service centres.

Located where the Malay Village used to stand in Geylang Serai, before the heritage attraction closed in 2011, the five-storey, 10,000 sq m centre is intended to be a community hub for the area which reflects Geylang Serai's rich Malay heritage.

The multi-agency effort is estimated to cost $55 million.

These agencies include the Ministry of National Development, National Arts Council, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Health, and National Heritage Board.

Speaking to reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor for South East District, Dr Maliki Osman, said the centre was originally slated to open in 2017, but was delayed to 2018 as the design reviews had to get the approval of all stakeholders before construction could proceed.

"It took a bit of time to ensure that the needs of all the different stakeholders are met," said Dr Maliki, who is also Minister of State for National Development and Defence.

"It's taken a little bit longer than what we had hoped for, but nonetheless I'm very happy that today we're able to break ground and that the community can look forward to a brand-new hub."

Once complete, pedestrian pathways and bridges will link the centre to nearby amenities such as the Geylang Serai market across the road, Joo Chiat Complex and Paya Lebar MRT station.

The ceremony was officiated by guest of honour Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and three other MPs for Marine Parade GRC, which Geylang Serai falls within - Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef and Mr Seah Kian Peng.

Mail officer Rashid Ridza, 55, who has lived in Geylang Serai for the past 20 years, said the central location of the centre will make it convenient to hold various activities there.

"Rain or shine, there will be walkways for us to get here for activities," he said.

"And it will be convenient for people to come from all over Singapore, even tourists who want to visit."

This morning's groundbreaking ceremony, attended by ESM Goh, Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, MOS Dr Maliki Osman as well as MPs...
Posted by Wisma Geylang Serai on Saturday, September 19, 2015

The iconic Wisma Geylang Serai will move into the construction phase soon!The completed building will be home to the...
Posted by Wisma Geylang Serai on Thursday, September 17, 2015


* New Geylang Serai hub to open in May 2018
By Jan Lee, The Straits Times, 9 Apr 2018

For residents of Geylang Serai, Hari Raya Puasa will be a special one this year, with a new social, cultural and heritage hub opening its doors next month.

One of the first events to be held at the new Wisma Geylang Serai, which sits on the site of the former Malay Village, will be the Hari Raya bazaar and light-up on May 12, before the start of the fasting month on May 17.

The five-storey, 6,700 sq m complex will house facilities such as the Geylang Serai Community Club, the Geylang Serai Malay Heritage Gallery and the South East Community Development Council.

It will also have senior and childcare centres, a family service centre, a culinary studio, reading rooms, as well as food and beverage and retail outlets.

At the topping-out ceremony for the hub yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs and Mayor of the South East District, Dr Maliki Osman, said that Wisma Geylang Serai "is a symbolic realisation of the unique spirit and heritage of Geylang, but with a modern twist".

Wisma Geylang Serai sits on land about the size of a football field and stands beside the landmark Geylang Serai market.

The hub's unique architecture stems from its roots as the site of the former Malay Village. Key features from the village, such as wood panels from the original building, have been incorporated.

The Malay Village shut in 2011 after 23 years. It was meant to preserve and raise awareness of Malay heritage, showcasing the lifestyle of local Malays before the 1960s.

Wisma Geylang Serai was commissioned to replace it. It took three years to construct and has been estimated to cost around $55 million.

Dr Maliki outlined his hopes for Wisma Geylang Serai to be a one-stop space for cultural and community events for all Singaporeans.

He said that the hub will provide opportunities for small businesses to showcase their products using pushcarts and pop-up spaces.

Arts and dance studios have also been built to appeal to arts groups, he added.

Mr Rahmat Sawie, 64, who works as a contract procurement executive for pre-schools, has lived in Geylang Serai for 38 years.

He is looking forward to visiting Wisma Geylang Serai.

"After the Malay Village closed down, it felt like we lost a focal point for Malay activities. So I'm really looking forward to the new hub being our new focal point," he said. "And I hope that it can hold more cultural activities to complement the business aspect of the hub as well."

Also at yesterday's ceremony were Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing; two MPs for Marine Parade GRC, Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef and Mr Seah Kian Peng; and chief executive director of People's Association Desmond Tan.

**  Official Opening of Wisma Geylang Serai on 28 January 2019

Newly launched Wisma Geylang Serai to be a social and cultural hub for all Singaporeans: PM Lee Hsien Loong
By Rahimah Rashith, The Sunday Times, 27 Jan 2019

Geylang Serai is no longer an enclave, but has become a well-integrated community that reflects Singapore's multiracial and multi-religious society, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

In the same spirit, Wisma Geylang Serai (WGS) was conceived to be not just a symbol of heritage and nostalgia for the Malay community but also a vibrant centre where all are welcome, and which reflects the diverse interests and continuing progress of the Malay community, he noted.

In his speech at last night's official launch of the social and cultural heritage hub, PM Lee also pointed to how it will strengthen the cultural identity of the precinct, with its intricate architecture and traditional pitched roofs, and its mix of tenants and activities.

"WGS' aspiration for the future is to build a social and cultural hub in Singapore that brings together the different Malay/Muslim organisations, social and government agencies under one roof. This will allow WGS to provide various programmes and convenience, and this will better fulfil the needs of the community," he said.

Plans for the centre, located in Engku Aman Turn, were first announced by PM Lee at the National Day Rally in August 2011.

Since then, multiple government agencies such as the People's Association, National Arts Council, National Heritage Board (NHB) and various ministries have engaged residents and communities for feedback on how to make the centre part of a modern, vibrant community.

At the launch, Dr Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, said that the hub is a culturally distinctive and inclusive civic centre that celebrates the heritage of Geylang Serai and serves all Singaporeans.

Dr Maliki, who is also the Mayor of South East District, where Geylang Serai is located, said the area "has always been a part of the Singapore fabric, reflecting the heritage of the Malay community interacting with their non-Malay counterparts".

Wisma Geylang Serai will be the centre stage for a variety of services, programmes and community-based activities, and facilities for every segment of society, he added.

Following its official opening, several community facilities and services are now available. They include NTUC First Campus' My First Skool at Wisma Geylang Serai, a senior care centre operated by NTUC Health Co-operative Limited and a family service centre run by the Singapore Muslim Women's Association and organised by the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

Another highlight of the centre is the Geylang Serai Heritage Gallery, which opened its doors to the public yesterday. It showcases the history of the area and traces its growth from an outlying settler community in the 19th century to the suburban residential and business precinct it is today.

"We hope that visitors will be enthralled by these lesser-known stories of Geylang Serai, and be inspired to contribute their stories and items to this gallery, as well as upcoming community galleries," said Mr Alvin Tan, NHB's assistant chief executive of policy and community.

Following PM Lee's 2018 National Day Rally announcement to make Geylang Serai a culturally distinct precinct, Dr Maliki said that plans are under way to enhance it further, starting with public consultations to garner ideas.

To commemorate the opening of the centre, there is also a three-day festival, which ends today. It showcases the Malay community's arts, culture and lifestyle with fireworks, outdoor multimedia displays and festive bazaars.

Housewife Yasmin Razak, 52, who visited the festival welcomed the one-stop hub. "To have so many facilities at one convenient location that everyone in the community comes to is brilliant."


• It is five storeys high and covers an area of 6,700 sq m.

• Decorations include features of Malay traditions.

• It houses Geylang Serai Community Club.

• There is a prayer room.

• The Kurnia@WGS office, a one-stop service centre for eight Malay Muslim organisations, is there.

• The centre can be used as a wedding venue.

• It is the training venue for the Singapore Malay Orchestra.

• A childcare centre will start operating soon.

• There will be a senior care centre.

• There are arts and cultural spaces, including the Malay Heritage Gallery

No comments:

Post a Comment