Opening Remarks at Phase 3 final session of Lim Chu Kang Master Plan Stakeholder Engagement
Opening remarks by Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, at the final session of the Lim Chu Kang Master Plan Stakeholder Engagement on 30 Oct 2021
Good morning, everyone. Today is our final engagement session in our collective journey to envision the future of Lim Chu Kang. I thought the farmer in the video said it aptly - “we are transforming Lim Chu Kang not for ourselves, but for the future generations so that their bowls may never be empty”. This has been and will always be our common goal. You can also see animated illustrations of ‘live & play’ elements of cycling paths & farmers’ markets, as well as the centralised shared facilities – these are some of the ideas that you have shared with us as your vision for Lim Chu Kang.
Once again, thank you for generously sharing your thoughts and time through this five-month journey, which have culminated in your presentations today.
Seeking stakeholders’ views to incorporate into the Lim Chu Kang Master Plan
The Lim Chu Kang Master Plan (LCKMP) Stakeholder Engagement series is part of the SG Together Movement where Singaporeans join the Government to collectively shape the future of Singapore. It is also part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, our whole-of-nation sustainability movement. I am heartened by the many passionate ideas that you have put forth and we look forward to your recommendations. I would like to assure you that we will assess your recommendations carefully and we will incorporate as many ideas and proposals as possible into our Master Plan.
LCKMP is an important piece of our Singapore Food Story. Singapore needs to produce more of our food locally to strengthen our food security. Transforming Lim Chu Kang into our flagship agri-food production hub is one of our key strategies. Besides producing the bulk of our local produce, we also want Lim Chu Kang to be a place that all Singaporeans can enjoy and spend time with our family and friends.
Because of the critical role of Lim Chu Kang, the views of our stakeholders, who are passionate and knowledgeable about agri-food production and sustainability, are important to us. Since the start of our engagement sessions, we have heard from hundreds of participants from all walks of lives, including: those from food and non-food farms, trade associations, urban food solution providers, institutes of higher learning, nature groups, master planning consultants, grassroots leaders, members of parliament, public officers, and members of the public. I would like to thank everyone who have joined us on our engagement journey and have given us valuable feedback, ideas and proposals.
Understanding different points of view
The engagement sessions have provided us with interesting insights from different perspectives. The conversations that we have had in the past five months enabled us to understand different perspectives and approaches from various groups, understand and appreciate the trade-offs and opportunities of each idea or proposal.
Let me cite you some examples. In a few of our engagement sessions, a few participants felt that a soil-based, ecological farming approach would regenerate the environment. However, some pointed out that this would require a lot of land to produce the amount of food needed to ensure Singapore’s food security. A few also pointed the scarcity of land in Singapore and allocating more land to soil-based farming will be at the expense of other agri-production types. On the other hand, some had advocated for high-tech, high-productivity farming systems that can produce the volume needed within our constrained space.
These discussions have brought to fore the strengths, weaknesses and trade-offs of each system. It has also prompted conversations between different groups to explore how a mix and match of high-tech/ high-intensity systems and soil-based farming systems could potentially achieve greater resilience.
I am grateful for the diversity in views expressed by all of you, as it generated greater awareness and understanding of issues of concern to various groups and offered fresh perspectives. What is important is how our continued conversations have led to a convergence of views and allowed us to come up with holistic proposals and ideas that aimed to address the trade-offs and issues and achieve a win-win outcome for all.
I am encouraged to hear that some of you have arranged additional discussions on your own accord to refine your proposals. Thank you very much for your passion, dedication and hard work, which underscores the value and importance you place on our food security and the future of Lim Chu Kang.
This series of engagements has been an act of co-creation – to imagine the future of LCK together, and how it can support the ’30 by 30’ strategy. A lot of work has been invested by you to imagining this future from multiple different perspectives. This diversity gives us a rich picture of future options, which can be explored for the master plan of the site in the coming years. Through the actions of industry, Government, community and academia, we can journey together to realise these benefits in the future. Today’s session is only about the start of an exciting journey ahead to transform Lim Chu Kang to an exciting and endearing agri-food production hub, and I seek your continued support in this meaningful endeavour ahead.
I look forward to hearing your ideas and hope to have a fruitful discussion with everyone today. Thank you.