In a first, CCK Town Council is launching an Appreciate Our Cleaners Week on 19 April, in conjunction with the Public Hygiene Council’s SG Clean Day which falls on 25 April.
All across CCK Town, cleaners like Ismail (pictured here) work quietly behind the scene to keep our estates clean. Read on to find out more about this Keat Hong cleaner.
This month, you’re invited to nominate and recognise your estate cleaners for their service.
Show Your Appreciation to Cleaners
The top 10 submissions will win prizes for both the nominating resident and nominated cleaner.
Each cleaner will receive a $50 cash voucher and each resident a $30 cash voucher.
- Sending in your words of appreciation or sharing heart-warming stories of your experience with a CCK cleaner (no word limit), or
- Submitting a photo of OR with the cleaner you wish to nominate and share in your caption why he should win.
How to participate
Send your entries to CCK Town Council by Friday, 30 April 2021 via:
Do remember to give the name of the cleaner and the block and constituency he works in, as well as your name, address and contact number.
To help you identify your cleaners and know more about them, we’ve posted in the lift lobby notice board posters of the cleaners in your block.
CCK Town Council is also partnering the community to hold activities to appreciate the estate cleaners, We’ll keep you updated.
Send in your nomination and appreciate the cleaners in our CCK town!
Going Beyond the Call of Duty
Clean the estate, check. Retrieve valuables, check. Fight fire, check. Ismail, 30, has done all these and more, going the extra mile for the past 4 years in serving residents of Keat Hong estate to the best of his ability.
Ismail, a Bangladeshi, supervises the group of cleaners for Blocks 476A to 476D, 483 to 486 and 487 to 490 at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5, in Keat Hong estate.
He first came to Singapore 8 years ago when his family needed money following a crisis. The oldest of three children, Ismail, who was in his second year of college studying accountancy, dropped out of school to support his family.
His favourite part of the day is meeting the children in Keat Hong who greet him every morning. Unlike his peers who had some residents shun them due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Ismail is thankful for the friendly residents who continue to greet him and show appreciation for his work.
Ismail has been commended for a variety of good deeds, including putting out a fire recently. He singlehandedly pushed a burning recycling bin away from residents’ cars to save them from damage and put the fire out. He earned praises from residents and the police for his brave and quick-thinking act.
Always ready to go the extra mile, Ismail has also searched rubbish bins at odd times of the day to help residents retrieve valuables such as mobile phones, car keys or even wallets discarded by accident.
On why he goes beyond the call of duty, he said: “I understand the pain of losing something precious. I want to do whatever I can to help my residents avoid that. Even if I get dirty, I can always clean myself up after the search.”
Also, Chua Chu Kang is like his second home. Majority of the residents treat the estate cleaners well, dropping by to check on them when they noticed someone’s absence or even giving them food, clothes or shoes, Ismail added.
In his free time, Ismail enjoys cooking, reading, watching Bollywood movies and meeting members of his family who are in Singapore.
His second brother joined him here in Singapore 3 years ago. The 25-year-old also works as an estate cleaner in Tampines. The brothers meet on their rest days and make video calls home to catch up with their parents and youngest brother whom they are putting through school.
Doing his job well and keeping the estate clean makes him happy, Ismail said. Though there exist challenges which sometimes make his job more difficult. For example, dealing with litter, bulky items left at the void deck, or smouldering cigarette butts that pose fire hazards.
“If there is less littering, then we can do our jobs very fast and then we can do more also,” he said. Always helpful, Ismail has been spotted giving residents a hand to move heavy items and putting back fallen street banners on his own accord.
“It is only human nature to help when you see someone in need,” he said.
The Choos’ favourite ‘pak tor’ spot in CCK Town is right at home in their four-room flat in Teck Whye!
For date night, there is nothing more romantic and relaxing for Josiah and Denise than to kick back their heels, tuck into a good meal (delivered to their doorstep) and pick a good show on Netflix after putting their 11-month-old daughter, Jenica, to bed.
This way, they can unwind and have some couple time, and also be available to tend to Jenica if needed.
“It is the best place to have a date. We don’t even need to go out physically,” said Denise. Killing two birds with one stone!
Their winsome photo entry, which shows the couple carrying their baby in matching outfits in front of their home, garnered the most likes in CCK Town Council’s Valentine’s Day photo contest.
The Choos won a pair of Natureland spa vouchers which they hope to use for massages to unwind all the knots in their backs that they have earned as new parents.
They got into the habit of enjoying their “me-time” at home when they were jet setting cabin crew. Whenever they were back in Singapore, all they wanted to do was to stay home for some much-needed R&R.
Even though Josiah still works as a cabin crew, Denise has since become a personal assistant. Then with Jenica born shortly before the Circuit Breaker period last year, staying home became the norm.
And with the Covid-19 pandemic still ongoing, the couple prefers to spend time at home together, except for the occasional grocery or shopping jaunts to Lot One shopping mall nearby. Home is a four-room flat that the Choos share with Denise’s mum and brother.
Living with the family has been a boon, said Denise, especially since everyone has been working from home. It means that not only has she been able to bond more with little Jenica, but she also has more help from her husband, mum and brother.
Denise said: “Home is where we really spent a lot of our time since last year, and it’s a very comfortable place for us.”
Every year, organisations and individuals all over the world pledge to turn their lights off for an hour at the end of March to mark Earth Hour.
This global grassroots movement, started by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), aims to increase awareness and spark global conversations on protecting nature, fight climate change and ensure our own health, happiness, prosperity and even survival.
This year, let’s go beyond turning off the lights between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on 27 March 2021 and practise some of these green tips to save the Earth. And if you’re working from home, these eco-friendly measures will help you save some money too!
5 Tips to Save the Earth (and Your Wallet)
1) Eliminate Energy Vampires
Did you know that your electrical appliances such as televisions, TV set-top boxes, speakers and microwave ovens continue to suck power on standby mode? Switch them off totally when not in use and you can save an additional $25* a year.
And leaving your storage water heater on after your shower can further bump your annual electricity bill up by an additional $110*!
Switch everything off at the power source when not in use and voila, you would have just saved yourself $135* a year.
2) Keep It Cool at 25°C
Using a fan instead of the air conditioner to keep cool can save you about $400* a year.
If you must use the air con, set the temperature no lower than 25°C for maximum energy and cost savings. For example, you can save $15* every year simply by raising the temperature from 22°C to 25°C. .
Or enjoy the best of both worlds by running the air con for about an hour, and then switch to using the fan to stay cool. This hack will save you $340* a year!
3) Save Those Precious Drops
Ask for a free water saving kit from PUB and save as much as 5% from your monthly water bill.
Each kit comes with 4 water thimbles for taps and 2 for showerheads.
Each thimble has 3 and 4 holes, which help regulate your tap and showerhead’s flow rates and cut down on water waste.
4) Turn the Computer Off When Not in Use
If you are not using your computer for more than 30 minutes, turn it off! Mother Earth (and your wallet) will thank you for it.
Case in point: leaving a 300W desktop computer switched on overnight for 8 hours will cost you $240* a year.
5) Use the Thermos Flask
Need a hot drink as a pick-me-up? Instead of using an electric air pot to keep your water on a constant boil, why not switch to a vacuum flask instead? This simple move alone will save you $300* a year.
*Cost calculated based on electricity cost of $0.27 per kWh of electricity.
Tips are adapted from National Environment Agency & PUB
What’s up, CCK? – Check out what’s ‘growing’ in Chua Chu Kang in this series that uncovers little known facts about your neighborhood.
188 trees from 4 tree species, which can grow locally, were planted in Choa Chu Kang Grove as part of a reforestation exercise on 22 November 2020.
Start keeping your eyes peeled to be the first to discover the fresh biodiversity that these reintroduced tree species, all native to Singapore, will attract to your neighbourhood.
You will also have something rare growing in your hood as all the 4 species planted are not commonly found elsewhere in Singapore and are at risk of becoming extinct here without help.
Find the trees here.
We will have our first-ever street tree planting exercise along Choa Chu Kang Central on 20 March 2021! Sign up here.
Watch this space to sign up for other upcoming tree planting exercises in CCK.
A quick lowdown on these endangered trees:
- Nicknamed island lychee, the fruit of this tree looks like a longan but tastes like a lychee. Its seeds can also be eaten too. Roasted or boiled, take your pick.
- Its bark, according to the Malays and Indonesians, can be used to treat sores and wound infections.
- It can grow up to about 20 storeys tall and has white to green-yellow flowers.
- Known also as nipis kulik, you can recognise this shrub through its deep blue or dark purple flowers.
- There are less than 250 of this specie left in the wild.
- Its leaves can be eaten like a vegetable but its fruits, though edible, are generally tasteless.
- This tree, also called the sentul, is another one which can grow up to 20 storeys high.
- Its pinkish-yellow, yellowish-green or white-yellow flowers are fragrant and bear ball-shaped yellow or brownish fruits which resemble the langsat on the outside but look like the mangosteen on the inside. You can eat the fruit raw or use it to make marmalade, candy or fermented beverages.
- Various parts of the tree are also used in folk medicine recipes to treat various ailments such as diarrhoea and fever.
- If you see trees with trunks that are orange, grey or white, chances are, you’ve spotted the river tristania. Check if it has tiny white flowers.
- This tree can grow up to about 12 storeys tall.
- But don’t try to eat anything from this tree as its fruits are not edible.
Parents, are you looking for something interesting and educational to do with your children this March holidays?
Get your kids to fill up this quiz for a chance to meet Water Wally & Sally in an educational NEWater tour. There are 20 sets of 4 tickets up for grabs.
Location: NEWater Visitor Centre*
Date: 20 March 2021
Time: 9am and 10.45am
*Visitors must be aged 4 years old and above
This exclusive tour is organised by CCK Town Council and PUB to mark World Water Day 2021. Observed internationally on 22 March, World Water Day highlights the importance of freshwater.
See & learn how NEWater is made
Recycled water, known as NEWater, is Singapore’s third national tap to cushion the nation’s water supply against climate change and move Singapore towards water sustainability.
The NEWater plant recycles treated used water into ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water.
There are currently five NEWater plants supplying up to 40% of Singapore’s current water needs. By 2060, NeWater is expected to meet up to 55% of Singapore’s future water demand.
NEWater tour participants can experience what it is like to be a water molecule and be transformed into NEWater.
Kids will get to learn how they, too, have an equally important role to play in conserving water and ensuring Singapore’s water security.
Get water smart together with this quiz
Do this easy quiz with your kid and get water smart together! Clue: It’s based on PUB’s 5 W.A.T.E.R. tips which can be found at https://www.makeeverydropcount.gov.sg/save-water/
Send your answers by email to email@example.com by 10 March 2021 to win a chance to meet Water Wally & Sally at the NEWater tour in March!
Sign your kids up for free perks with PUB’s Water Wally & Sally Club
Let your children ages 1 to 12 learn all about saving water and how to use this precious resource responsibly with PUB’s new kids’ club.
Through books, videos, interactive online games and more, club members learn about the importance of water conservation and how to use it wisely.
Membership is free and members will receive an exclusive welcome pack, invitations to special events and activities with mascots, Water Wally and Water Sally. The welcome pack includes 3 special edition books on the adventures of Water Wally and Sally by local author Adeline Foo — best known for The Diary of Amos Lee . Aimed at pre-schoolers, the storybooks chronicle Water Wally and Sally helping their animal friends overcome challenges caused by the misuse of water and other resources. These stories are a great and fun way to teach your kids about water sustainability.
Members also receive a membership card which can be used to redeem extra perks, including discounts to indoor playgrounds like Kidztopia and Amazonia, children’s bookstore My Greatest Child, enrichment lessons in speech and drama, dance, taekwondo and more. See this list for full set of privileges and find out more about the club here.
Join Wally and Sally by signing up now.
Post a photo of your favourite or best “pak tor” (dating) spot in Chua Chu Kang Town on Instagram and stand a chance to win you and your loved one Natureland’s award-winning full body therapy massage and foot reflexology for 2 (worth $246).
The picture can be of the romantic spots in CCK that you’ve captured, or a photo of you and your date at your favourite “pak tor” place in CCK Town. You may also opt to include a Valentine’s Day dedication to your loved one in your submission.
Post the photo on your public Instagram account, tag @MyCCKHome with the hashtag #MyValentineMyCCK #CCKHome. Do so before 22 February 2021.
The post with the most “Likes” will be the winner. Winning photo and select shots from the contest may be featured on @MyCCKHome and other Chua Chu Kang Town Council assets. Read contest Terms and Conditions here.
Share the hidden romantic gems of Chua Chu Kang today!
Valentine’s Day – CCK romantic spots photo contest. Submission period: 8 to 21 February 2021
Five CCK seniors share their favourite Chinese New Year (CNY) shopping haunts in their neighbourhoods and their celebration plans to welcome the lunar new year.
Mrs Peramaisuari M. from Chua Chu Kang estate
Favourite spot: Sintolee Confectioner at Block 144 at Teck Whye Lane
Her family might be Hindu but Chinese New Year is a big affair for Mrs Peramaisuari M. Why? Because of her Peranakan Indian heritage. In fact, her daughter speaks Mandarin fluently, having taken Chinese as second language in school.
For Chinese New Year this year, Mrs Peramaisuari, affectionately known as Mrs Sue to her friends, is thankful for the lights and decorations that Chua Chu Kang Town Council has put up her in neighbourhood. She said that when the lights come in the evening, her estate becomes very beautiful.
“They make the mood so much more festive and bring the old folks a lot of joy,” said Mrs Sue, adding that her husband’s grandmother spent a long time admiring the lights one evening from their home windows.
Mrs Sue will be whipping up her own reunion dinner with dishes such as chicken curry and more. And she will be doing her CNY shopping within the neighbourhood stores around Teck Whye. “No need to travel or carry very far”, she said.
Traditional CNY goodies like bak kwa and pineapple tarts are must have for her. And Sintolee Confectioner is one of her favourite bakeries which she has been shopping for over 20 years.
Mdm Chua Siok Eng from Brickland estate
Favourite spot: Keat Hong Shopping Centre
Instead of jetting overseas for her annual vacation with her husband, Mdm Chua will be cooking up a storm this Chinese New Year.
Previously, she would usually have reunion dinner with her children in advance so that her husband and she can take advantage of the extended CNY public holidays to go overseas.
Since she is not travelling, she has invited her family for the usual steamboat reunion on CNY Eve.
“You can get everything you need from fresh groceries to banana leaf wrapped nian gao from Keat Hong Shopping Centre. Otherwise, the provision shops downstairs are very well stocked too. There is no need to go very far to get anything,” said Mdm Chua in Mandarin.
Mdm Koo Moi Lan, Bukit Gombak estate
Favourite spot: Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre
With a huge extended family, Mdm Koo said she will need to plan how to celebrate safely this year. Like most Singaporean families, CNY reunion dinner will be steamboat.
With two supermarkets as well as other HDB shops selling everything from fresh meat and vegetables to snacks nearby, she said she can do her shopping easily without having to leave the estate.
Mdm Ling Geck Hiok from Hong Kah North estate
Favourite spot: Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre
Reunion dinner will be a smaller affair this year with fewer members coming by her home, said Mdm Ling.
Besides stocking up on fresh seafood from Jurong Fishery, where her husband used to work, she will be looking at frozen options too as she’s anticipating a shortage and higher prices due to the recent bad weather. A wise move!
Mdm Doris Cheong from Keat Hong estate
Favourite spot: NTUC FairPrice at Lot One Shoppers’ Mall
A fortnight before CNY, Mdm Cheong will be watching out for the daily offers put up by NTUC FairPrice at Lot One. Only then does she intend to stock up on her snacks, drinks and other groceries.
“The offers are very good, up to 50%. Many people know about the offers, so you will see a long queue of people waiting to enter at 7am. Usually by 10am, the offer items will be sold out, so you must get there early,” she said.
It is very convenient to be able to buy everything under one roof within the estate, so she does not have to lug her heavy groceries home or deal with long public transport rides. Instead, her trusty shopping trolley would do the trick.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and the winning entries to Chua Chu Kang Town Council’s (CCKTC) inaugural photo contest are proof that beauty can be found anywhere if one knows where to look.
CCKTC attracted 274 entries for the contest which invited residents to discover and show off picturesque spots unique to their town. Of these, 6 winning entries were selected to be featured in the 2021 CCK Town calendar.
Winners walked away with printers sponsored by Epson and cash vouchers from CCKTC.
We got the top 3 winners to share more about their winning entries.
1st Prize: Mr Yong Kuo Hoong, 38, teacher , West Ridges Resident
Tranquil sunrise in Kranji Dam
Mr Yong, a photography enthusiast, has been to Kranji Dam many times for night camps and visited it to see what sunrise might look like at the dam on the day he took this photo.
“On the morning of my shoot, I was lucky to find the two kayaks onshore and they anchored my shot nicely, in the water against the morning light,” Mr Yong said.
His wife spotted the ad of the photo contest on the lift digital panels and encouraged him to join. He took part because he wanted to show off some of the hidden gems waiting to be discovered and enjoyed in Singapore. Kranji Dam, where he has seen people kayaking, is one such spot.
Mr Yong was pleasantly surprised to win, as he felt there were many other good submissions. When asked for a tip from his successful win, he said patience is a quality all photographers must have.
Some of his other favourite spots in CCK are Sungei Buloh and Little Guilin.
CCK Town Council Chairman & MOS Ms Low Yen Ling presented the top prize to Mr and Mrs Yong
(Prizes won: Epson EcoTank L850 printer (worth $589) + $50 cash voucher)
2nd Prize: Mr Seto Zhenqiang, 35, analyst (Keat Hong Division)
A gentle morning mist floats over mystical Tengah
Second prize winner Seto Zhenqiang, 35, did not even have to step out of his home in Keat Hong Division to take his winning shot of the mystical morning mist over Tengah. He said: “I chanced upon [this scene] from my window and wanted to capture this rare and beautiful moment.”
The CCK resident of almost 20 years said his favourite places in the town are Lot One shopping mall and the park connector along Brickland Road and Keat Hong Mirage.
(Prizes won: Epson EcoTank L805 Epson printer (worth $449) + $50 cash voucher)
3rd Prize: Mr Wee Khang Ping, 43, education officer (Bukit Gombak Division)
Like a beacon of hope, this tree stands strong in Goodview Garden estate
For Mr Wee, beauty can be found everywhere, so his winning entry featured this hidden gem of a spot in Goodview Garden.
The decade-long resident of CCK said Bukit Batok Nature Park is one of his favourite places in the town.
(Prizes won: Epson PictureMate PM-520 printer + $50 cash voucher)
1st Prize EcoTank L850 ($589) + $50 cash voucher
2nd Prize EcoTank L805 ($449) + $50 cash voucher
3rd Prize PictureMate PM-520 + $50 cash voucher
4th to 12th will receive $50 cash voucher each
Top 3 printer prizes sponsored by Epson Singapore Pte Ltd
Terms & Conditions
1. This contest is open to all – Singapore citizens, PRs and foreigners.
2. Photograph(s) submitted BY the contestant must be original to and taken by the said contestant in Chua Chu Kang Town (Chua Chu Kang GRC and Hong Kah North SMC).
3. All entries must be submitted to https://www.facebook.com/307927513191611/posts/687502938567398/?extid=0&d=n or firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 November 2020. Late entries will not be accepted and shall be disqualified.
4. Photograph(s) should not include any objectionable content. The Organiser shall have sole and absolute discretion to decide on whether content is objectionable, and its decision is final. Photograph(s) deemed to be objectionable shall be disqualified.
5. This is a free contest with a maximum of 3 submissions.
6. The organiser reserves the sole and absolute discretion to exclude or disqualify any submission(s) and/or entry from the contest.
7. Photographs that are intended to be used for any kind of commercial purpose must not be submitted.
8. Digital manipulation that distorts the reality of the photographs is not allowed. Only basic enhancements such as sharpening, contrast adjustment, conversion of colour images to be black and white are allowed.
9. Each photograph entry must be submitted digitally in landscape JPEG format and be no larger than 5MB in size. The longest side of the photograph must be at least 2000 pixels in JPEG format.
10. By participating in this contest, the contestant warrants that he/she has not trespassed into any areas closed to the public and has put the welfare of the subject (if applicable) foremost and has not obtained the photograph via any unethical means.
11. Winners may be interviewed by the Organiser. All winners consent to public DISCLOSURE of their names and the results of the contest.
12. Upon submission, the contestant gives the Organiser (and their employees, representatives, agents, and those they work with) an irrevocable, royalty-free and non-exclusive worldwide license to:
a. use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations or adaptations);
b. communicate, publish, publicly display and distribute,
such photographs in any format or medium now known or later developed, including digital media, software-based or online formats on the internet and/or social media, for the Chua Chu Kang Town council’s publicity, promotional and/or marketing purposes.