Presiding over the festivities at Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre is the God of Fortune.
Get ready to welcome the Year of Water Tiger. The tiger zodiac sign is known for its power, courage and ability to do everything on a grand scale.
At Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre, the God of Fortune is ever ready to shower upon residents, shoppers and visitors lots of abundance and wealth.
The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are also out in full force, ready to meet everyone.
The Chinese New Year (CNY) Light-Up at Bukit Gombak organised by the Bukit Gombak Traders’ Association is on till 15 February 2022.
Over in Keat Hong, festive lights decking Blocks 449 to 464 get residents into the CNY mood and all primed up to usher in the New Year.
May the Year of Water Tiger bring vitality, strength and health to all CCK residents!
Fireworks, usually set off in the heart of the city centre on New Year’s Eve, has been brought to the heartlands for the second consecutive year. It was the crowd favourite for the Chua Chu Kang (CCK) Town Council’s First View of 2022 from Your Window Instagram contest.
The three winners, coincidentally all from CCK estate, submitted their first views of the New Year from their respective vantage points. They took home a $50 NTUC FairPrice shopping voucher each for their beautiful shots.
Early Bird Catches the Worm
Bryan (@_bryangraphy) won with 482 likes for his photo (above).
An avid photographer, Bryan Goh who bagged a prize with his dazzling photo of the CCK fireworks, had also won in the recent year-end CCK Town’s Snap & Win Photo Contest. Bryan’s shot of the serene Kranji Dam at sunrise which snared the second prize is featured in the CCK Town 2022 calendar.
Bryan’s submission of a serene Kranji Dam at sunrise (above) is photo of the month for September in CCK Town 2022 calendar.
The 44-year-old real estate agent loves taking photos of fireworks, and had been making annual trips down to Marina Bay for the New Year Eve’s fireworks in previous years. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the city centre fireworks being canned, Bryan said, the silver lining was that the fireworks instead came to the heartlands.
“Though the heartlands fireworks may not be as grand as the ones in the city centre, it is a nice change of scenery and makes for interesting shooting because not many people have taken photos of heartlands fireworks,” he said.
As it rained the whole night of New Year’s Eve till around 10pm, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to get a good photograph. But he still set up his tripod and DSLR camera and hoped for the best. His perseverance paid off and he scored the most likes with his shot of the fireworks rising above the HDB flats in the town.
With this snap of the fireworks from the comfort of her home, Sit Mei Qi (@mickey_mickey_qi) wishes her fellow residents peace and joy for the New Year.
Since resident Sit Mei Qi had decided to catch the heartlands fireworks from her doorstep, she thought she’d just give the contest a try.
“I wasn’t expecting to win but thought it’ll be fun to share my photographs with fellow CCK Town residents,” the accounts assistant said.
The 25-year-old has been a resident in the town for three years. If not for the pandemic, she would usually be visiting family and friends in Malaysia in December.
This year, with the vaccinated travel lane opening, she went home for a visit at the start of December, and was back in Singapore to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
“In a way, the pandemic has turned out to be a blessing because I don’t have to brave the crowds to catch the fireworks in the city centre, but can watch it from the comfort of my home,” she said, adding that winning the IG contest was a welcomed bonus.
No Place Like Home
After missing last year’s fireworks, Sharon Ong (@chi.buting) realised there is no better place than home to catch a glimpse of it.
The final winner Sharon Ong said that in 2020, she had gone to a nearby park to catch the CCK fireworks, but wasn’t able to see it. When she got home, her mother-in-law told her that the fireworks were actually visible from the comfort of Sharon’s home.
So this time last year, instead of heading out to hunt for it, the 32-year-old assistant accountant and her husband just watched the fireworks display from their living room.
And since she had taken a photo of the fireworks, she thought she’d just “try her luck” by submitting her photo when she saw the ad for the contest a few days later. Unexpectedly, she won.
“I do pay attention to the Town Council’s notices displayed in the digital lift panels, and have taken part in some contests and surveys. I find such activities that engage residents interesting and easy to take part in, especially when it is something as simple as the click of a few buttons on a survey or snapping a photo,” said Sharon.
Congratulations to our three winners, and thank you to all the other residents for taking part! Do watch out for other residents’ engagements coming your way in 2022.
Loving the beautiful photos showing off the nature and serenity of our Town in CCK Town Council’s 2022 calendar?
More than 1,400 beautiful photos were received during the call for submissions, which CCK Town Council Chairman Ms Low Yen Ling said was “greatly heartening”.
“The impressive quality of the photographs submitted, coupled with the volume of entries — which was 5 times more than last year — made the job of judging extra challenging!” said Ms Low.
Despite the daunting task of judging, she added: “It was a joy to see our residents’ love for CCK Town shine through the many entries, which presented every-day scenery in a different light and through their eyes.”
Here are the top 3 winners of the contest:
1st Prize goes to Hong Kah North’s Yong Kuo Hoong for his photo of sunrise over Sungei Buloh’s Eagle Point, which is the feature photo for the month of June.
His prize, worth $528 and more, comprises $300 NTUC FairPrice shopping vouchers, exclusive CCK Town NETS FlashPay cards worth $80 and a one-year license for Microsoft 365 Family software worth $148. He also receives a HP printer.
Kuo Hoong also bagged the top prize with his shot of a tranquil sunrise over Kranji Dam last year.
2nd Prize is won by Chua Chu Kang estate’s Bryan Goh with his take of a serene and mysterious Kranji Reservoir, anchoring the month of September.
Bryan’s haul is worth $408 and more, comprising $200 NTUC FairPrice shopping vouchers, exclusive CCK Town NETS FlashPay cards worth $60, and a one-year licence for Microsoft 365 Family licence worth $148. He also receives a HP printer.
3rd Prize goes to Bukit Gombak’s Clement Lee for his shot of residents gearing up for their morning exercise at Bukit Gombak Stadium, anchoring the month of August in the calendar.
He walks away with $268 worth of prizes and more, comprising $100 worth of NTUC FairPrice shopping vouchers and exclusive CCK Town NETS FlashPay cards worth $40. He also receives a HP printer.
The remaining 9 winners each receive $50 NTUC FairPrice shopping vouchers. They are:
Chua Chu Kang estate’s Guo Shun’s photo of the playground at Choa Chu Kang Park kicks off the calendar in January.
Bukit Gombak’s Gina Ng Zhi Ting’s shot of the Rail Corridor graces the month of February.
In March, the calendar is anchored by Bukit Gombak’s Grace Zheng Yi Jie’s photograph of Bukit Batok Hillside Park.
The month of April is framed by fluffy white clouds over the iconic trees at Goodview Gardens taken by Bukit Gombak’s Lim Chiat Cheong.
Bukit Gombak Park graces the calendar in May – photographed by friend of CCK, Ong Yi Chao, who admires the town’s natural beauty.
Graceful lalangs against Brickland’s Keat Hong Colours estate in the backdrop is Chua Chu Kang estate’s Carlo G. Palma’s contribution for July.
Bukit Gombak’s Alwin Saji’s photo of Little Guilin seemingly awash in autumnal colours aptly features in October.
Magical sunlight through the foliage in Bukit Batok Nature Park is Bukit Gombak’s Teo Lee Kiang’s contribution for November.
Bukit Gombak’s Myron Tay’s majestic shot of a bird of prey closes the year in December.
Find out more about what inspired our top 3 winners in our feature story coming up in February.
View the digital version of CCK Town Council’s 2022 calendar here.
Getting a haircut or manicure at Keat Hong Shopping Centre? Or maybe you’d like to indulge in some durian from your favourite fruit seller at Bukit Gombak Shopping Centre?
You can do all these and more with your $100 CDC digital vouchers. More than 300 outlets in CCK Town accept these vouchers (as at mid-Dec 2021). Check here for the full list or just find the outlets nearest you by going to the latest CDC Vouchers Merchants Go Where (https://www.gowhere.gov.sg/cdcvouchersmerchants) page.
From mini-marts, to hawker centers and traditional Chinese medicine shops, there’s a wide range of heartland shops you can patronise and support with your CDC vouchers. Just look out for participating heartland shops and hawkers that display this decal (pictured).
Claim and spend your vouchers by next year, 31 December 2022.
How to Claim Your e-Vouchers
Part of a $900 million Household Support Package announced earlier at this year’s Budget, the CDC vouchers are given to thank Singaporeans for their solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic and to support hawkers and heartland merchants.
Up to 1.3 million Singaporean households are benefitting from this nationwide scheme.
Only 1 person per household needs to login using Singpass to claim the $100 digital vouchers here, before sharing it with household members.
The vouchers come in denominations of $2, $5 and $10, and are accepted at over 11,000 participating hawkers and heartland merchants islandwide.
Residents who do not own a smartphone or need extra help in claiming their vouchers can seek assistance at community centres or clubs. Where needed, hardcopy vouchers may be printed out.
Claim and spend your CDC vouchers, and support our heartland merchants and hawkers!
We’ve made it through two challenging years with Covid-19. Let’s welcome 2022 with a fresh outlook.
Capture the first view from your window on New Year’s Day. Whether it’s the New Year’s Eve countdown and fireworks display over CCK Town, the first sunrise over your estate or the sight of a merrily-chirping bird – share with us your picturesque first views!
Caption the photo with your hopes and wishes for CCK Town. Share it on Instagram and tag us at #MyCCKHome.
The top 3 posts with the most likes will win FairPrice shopping vouchers worth $50 each.
Send your entries by 2359 hours 6th January 2022.
CCK Town Council wishes all CCK Town residents a very Happy & Healthy New Year!
See Terms & Conditions here.
Ready to welcome 2022? Get ready to mark your dates in the CCK Town Council’s 2022 Calendar!
A showcase of residents’ love for CCK Town, our 2022 calendar will reveal interesting nuggets about your fellow residents’ and MPs memories and connection to the town.
Latifah Hasan who has lived in Keat Hong for over 20 years said the Keat Hong Community Club (CC) is like her second home.
“(The CC is) where my ‘Aunty Kakis’ (friends) and I would often hang out and makan (eat). From durian-tasting, bowling and dancing sessions, to National Day and countdown to New Year celebrations and catching the World Cup live – some of my fondest memories are of the time spent with my family and friends at the CC,” she said.
Did you also know that MP Don Wee and Keat Hong resident Joon Barua and his family have something in common? What might it be?
MP Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim also has some interesting connection to our town that he will share in the calendar.
All these and more will be unveiled soon. Look out for your copy coming your way.
Stumped for ideas on how to spend the December school holidays? Why not take a refreshing green holiday right in CCK Town?
Here are some suggestions for an eco-December.
1) Check Out all the Park Connectors in Town
Stroll, jog, roller blade, skate or cycle your way through the various Park Connectors that run through CCK Town. Get some fresh air and exercise while reducing your carbon footprint by using an eco-friendly way to get around.
The 5.4km Choa Chu Kang Park Connector linking Choa Chu Kang Park to Bukit Batok Town Park is the longest. It has a particularly scenic 1km stretch along Brickland Road which will delight nature lovers with the sight and smell of lush greenery and bright, colourful flowering plants that bloom all year round.
Fitness enthusiasts can jog or cycle along the 2.05km Hillview Park Connector connecting Bukit Batok Nature Park to Dairy Farm Nature Reserve. Drop by the Rail Mall for a breather and some snacks and drinks before you continue further.
Those who are more adventurous can even attempt the 150km Round Island Route. More details on the Park Connector Network can be found on the Nparks website.
2) Learn More about Sustainability & Be an Eco-Warrior
Have you visited the revamped CCK Public Library with its indoor garden, hydroponics room and new digital learning tools?
Themed around (Re)connect with Nature, visitors can learn about urban farming and take part in various other activities. Visitors can see plants growing in the hydroponics showcase and embark on an augmented reality trail to learn about the wildlife and natural landscapes in Singapore.
Designed with sustainability in mind, the library is fitted with lower shelves to allow more natural light to enter, and many of the new fittings, such as the tiles and carpet, were made from partially recycled materials.
Participate as an individual or as a family and show off your eco-living chops in National Library Board’s Eco-Warrior Competition.
Look out for The Great Make-Over Project CapitaLand Hope Foundation which will be seeking your ideas and solutions to reimagine and reinvent spaces for sustainable living.
3) Upcycle Household Waste into Useful Items
Upcycle your household “waste” such as glass bottles, plastic files and paper into nifty gift bags, pretty lamps and useful mask holders.
Check out these videos for a host of useful gifts and items that you can make by reusing these items. Do it as a family and enjoy the bonding time which will not only save you some money but make you an eco-warrior too!
For waste that you cannot upcycle, why not recycle them? Don’t forget that CCK Town has 19 and more than 740 blue recycling bins conveniently spread out across the town. Plus Cash for Trash and Recycle N Save stations too!
If you have more ideas and suggestions on how CCK Town residents can spend an eco-December, do email us at email@example.com
Have a green December and happy holidays!
A new addition in parts of CCK Town has a ‘dampening effect’ — and residents couldn’t be happier.
Top and Bottom photo: Sound barrier between Choa Chu Kang Ave 1 and Ave 4 from Bukit Gombak to Choa Chu Kang MRT Station.
The completed railway sound barriers along the tracks at CCK and Bukit Gombak MRT stations have reduced railway noise levels by some 5 to 10 decibels.
Commenting on the improvement since the barriers have gone up, CCK estate resident David Er said: “In the past, if we were listening to the news on TV when a train passed by, the newscaster would get drowned out and we would miss the most important news point. That was frustrating.”
Such an occurrence, fortunately, is a problem of the past, solved by the installation of the railway noise barriers.
In fact, David, a CCK estate resident for almost three decades, feels the noise barriers have reduced the sound of passing trains by up to 60%.
He explained that residents like him who live near sections of the MRT track that curve have had to live with more noise than normal because the trains have to brake to slow down, hence creating more sounds.
His family coped with the higher decibels by taking measures such as closing the windows during nap times when his three children were younger. When the kids grew up, they would head out to the library when studying for their exams.
He laughingly said that everyone in his household had grown so used to the noise that it felt strange not to hear the trains so clearly when the noise barriers first went up. Ultimately, they are grateful for the noise reduction.
David is one of many residents across Singapore who has benefited from the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) noise barrier programme for elevated sections of the North-South and East-West MRT Lines.
Sound barrier along Bukit Batok West Ave 5 from Bukit Batok to Bukit Gombak MRT Station.
Over 2km of noise barriers have been installed in these three locations in CCK Town, between:
- Bukit Batok St 31 to Block 395 Bukit Batok West Avenue 5,
- Bukit Batok Street 52 and Bukit Batok Avenue 5.
- Choa Chu Kang Avenues 1 and 4.
Another 560m stretch of the railway track from Block 805D Brickland Road to Choa Chua Kang Avenue 1 is expected to be completed by 2024.
In total, about 27km of noise barriers would have been installed across Singapore as a result of this programme – a welcomed improvement for many residents, especially those staying near the MRT tracks.
Did you know that Keat Hong and Brickland estates have hidden gems? They are much-loved by many residents there.
Uncle Ong Chin Hing and Uncle Jamadi Bin Meron are our estate cleaners who have become old friends to residents in the precincts they serve.
Uncle Ong’s work is so thorough that even visitors to Keat Hong have noticed how clean it is, and envy residents for having Uncle Ong take care of them.
Uncle Jamadi, on the other hand, is well-loved by the littlest residents in Brickland.
Going the Extra Mile and Beyond
Uncle Ong, who has served Keat Hong residents faithfully for the past 13 years, has been ill and away from work in recent weeks. Residents say the cleaner, whose dedication to his work is well-known in the estate, has been sorely missed.
Uncle Ong has been taking care of Keat Hong for the past 13 years, and residents say they are lucky to have him.
The popular estate cleaner in his 70s received the most nominations for CCK Town’s inaugural Appreciate Our Cleaner campaign.
Resident Lee Kaixin, who nominated Uncle Ong, said she has known him for more than a decade, since she moved into the estate. She admires the way the quiet cleaner is meticulous in his work.
“He will sweep each and every corner of the common space outside my unit such that it looks even cleaner than inside my home!” she laughingly said.
As someone who is rather shy herself, Kaixin said the Town Council’s campaign to appreciate cleaners gave her an opportunity to express her heartfelt gratitude for Uncle Ong.
Another nominator, Tan Pheck Luang, is not even a resident of Keat Hong, but is so impressed by Uncle Ong that he felt compelled to put in a good word for him.
Pheck Luang, who often visits his granddaughter in Keat Hong, said the thoughtful and caring cleaner would always remind residents to take extra care when walking on the wet floor after he has mopped it.
Not only does Uncle Ong clean the common areas on the ground floor, but he also goes the extra mile to sweep the corridor of every floor. Pheck Luang added: “The way he sweeps is like a person taking care of his own house, not missing any corner or space. I envy the residents living in the blocks under his care. They are lucky to have the best cleaner taking care of them.”
As Uncle Ong has not been well recently, he has not been at work and could not be interviewed for this article.
Residents hope that Uncle Ong will get well soon!
A Hit with the Kids
Friendly Uncle Jamadi is a ‘kid magnet’ in Brickland.
Brickland, on the other hand, has a ‘kid magnet’ who is none other than the friendly estate cleaner Uncle Jamadi.
Children at the nearby PCF Sparkletots preschool greet him “good morning” or “selamat pagi” without fail whenever they meet him.
Uncle Jamadi Bin Meron is popular with the children in Brickland. The kids will wave and stop to chat with him whenever they spot him.
They love to chit chat with him and show him their art and crafts. Their parents do not hurry them, giving the preschoolers plenty of time to interact with the 65-year-old.
Some parents will even buy extra snacks to offer to him when they pick up their children from the preschool. Often, Uncle Jamadi also has children waiting patiently to give him fruit or drinks whenever he goes by their homes on his duty rounds.
The father of three grown kids said he doesn’t know the ‘magic’ behind his popularity with the youngest residents. He said it could be because he smiles at the children whenever they walk to school, and they see him as a friendly and familiar figure in the neighbourhood.
After working as a cleaner for a condominium for over a decade, Uncle Jamadi started working for CCK Town Council in the last 1.5 years. He said he enjoys working in HDB estates because of the increased interactions he has with the residents and their children. They make him feel like he‘s part of Brickland estate.
Brickland resident QB Wong and her 2-year-old son Kai He with Uncle Jamadi. Kai He is one of the many children in the estate who love saying hi to the friendly cleaner.
It especially warms his heart when residents get their children to greet him whenever they meet him. He’s touched by their attention and respect, something cleaners like him really treasure.
Resident Nur Atikah, who nominated him, said Uncle Jamadi starts work as early as around 5am. The cheery and affable cleaner will always greet her when they meet.
She appreciates how hard Uncle Jamadi works to give residents like her a pleasant living environment. Not wanting to take his contributions for granted, Nur Atikah is happy that Uncle Jamadi has been recognised by the Town Council’s award and hopes that it will be a constant encouragement to him in his work.
Deepavali falls on 4th November this year. Contrary to popular misconception, Deepavali or the Festival of Lights is not a celebration of the Indian New Year, which usually falls in April. Instead, Deepavali marks the triumph of good (and light) over evil (or darkness).
As with most Asian festivities, food is central in the celebrations.
Many Indian families will be stocking up on desserts called ‘mithai’ in Hindu or Urdu, to give as gifts or to serve family and guests.
No meal or celebration is complete without a generous serving of ‘mithai’.
Made from base ingredients of milk, sugar, ghee and flour, ‘mithai’ is suitable for vegetarians. The addition of other ingredients such as nuts, spices, rose water, etc, create amazing varieties of very tasty desserts.
Most Indian sweets are cooked over stovetops, not baked. A thick-bottomed wok which ensures a slower transfer of heat to ensure that nothing burns is essential in the making of ‘mithai’.
Some common Indian ‘mithai’ are:
- Jalebi: a sticky-sweet snack made of fried batter soaked in sugar syrup that originates from Baghdad in Iraq
- Ladoo: a ball-shaped dessert made of chickpea flour to which chopped nuts and/or fruit are added.
- Ras malai: a soft cottage cheese dumpling soaked in rose-infused milk syrup. The name of this Bengali dessert is a combination of two Hindi words: ‘ras’ (which means juicy) and ‘malai’ (which means cream)
- Gulab jamun: a round rose-scented snack made of fried milk solids which has its roots in a Persian (modern day Iran) dessert
After this primer on ‘mithai’, are you ready to test what you have learnt?
Take the quiz:
Q1: Indian desserts are known in Hindi/Urdu as:
Q2: Which ingredient below is not used to make ‘mithai’?
b) Rose water
c) Chickpea flour
Q3: How are Indian sweets cooked?
c) Cooked over stovetops
Q4: Where did ‘jalebi’ come from?
Q5: Which dessert has a name which means “juicy cream”?
b) Ras malai
c) Gulab jamun
Q1: b. In Sanskrit, ‘sharkara’ means sugar, whereas ‘khanda’ refers to candy.