Good evening, residents, grassroots leaders, ladies and gentlemen.
2 I am happy to be here at the launch of the Lift Upgrading Programme exhibition and polling for Blocks 153 to 159 Bishan Street 13. Many of you are eagerly waiting for the LUP to commence. But before that, let me share with you the benefits of this programme, especially for those who have yet to make up their minds.
3 The most immediate benefit of the LUP is that you will have lift landings on every floor. We will also upgrade existing lifts to make them faster. With a fast ageing population, the demand for direct lift access is now even more urgent. That is why the Government has stepped up the pace of lift upgrading.
4 These improvements mean greater convenience and mobility for all of you, especially the elderly residents and disabled, and your friends visiting you.
5 Some of you may be concerned about paying for the LUP. Let me assure you that there is no need to worry. The cost of upgrading is heavily subsidised, because the Government and Town Council will be paying the bulk of the total cost. I have asked HDB to consider using the new lift technology for this precinct so that residents can save about 10 per cent to15 per cent compared to using the current lift technology. When the costings for the new lift technology are ready, we will keep you informed.
6 There is also no need for you to pay now. You pay only after the lift-upgrading works have been completed. You can pay with cash or your CPF savings or a combination of both. You can also choose to pay in either one lump sum, or through monthly instalments over 5 or 10 years.
7 If you choose the 10-year instalment plan, it only costs between $14 to $20 for 4-room and 5-room flat owners of standard blocks and about $30 a month for executive flat owners, and 5-room flat owners of the segmented portion of block 158 (ie. units #XX-120 & #XX-122). This amount is value for money as you enjoy the benefits and convenience everyday.
8 Even if you do have difficulty paying your share of the cost, the HDB has several financial assistance measures, which includes extending the repayment period, or deferring the payment until the flat is sold. No one will be deprived of the benefits of the LUP because of financial reasons. Feel free to approach the HDB officers if you need advice.
9 The decision whether or not to proceed is now in your hands and also that of your neighbours. This is because the HDB will go ahead with the LUP only if at least 75 per cent of eligible residents vote for it. I hope some of you do not think that because your floor is already near enough to the floor where the lift currently stops, you will not vote for it.
10 We hope that you will spare a thought for your family members and your neighbours. You may be fit enough not to need the lift to stop at your floor today. But you never know that you may need it when you grow old.
11 I hope all of you will think hard about the vote and choose wisely for your future.
12 If you do not vote, or do not support this programme, then you will lose this valuable opportunity. There will not be a recount, or a second round of voting should the result turn out to be less than 75 per cent for upgrading. I do not know how long you will have to wait for the programme to be offered to you again, if at all.
13 Before I continue any further, I would like to make a special announcement. And that is: we will be offering the LUP to Blocks 160 to 167 of Bishan St 13. More Bishan residents will be able to enjoy the benefits and convenience the LUP will bring. The implementation details are being worked out now. When they are finalised, I hope the residents in Blocks 160 to 167 will give their fullest support to the LUP as well.
14 On this note, it is now my pleasure to declare the LUP exhibition and polling open. Have a pleasant evening.