Updated: 05/18/2012 22:10

Help revive kampong spirit in HDB towns: Khaw

Help revive kampong spirit in HDB towns: Khaw

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is stepping up efforts to build stronger community ties, by recreating the old kampung in the housing estates. 

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan described the HDB's effort as a campaign to simply "love thy neighbour". 

In his latest blog entry on Friday, Mr Khaw reminisced about the days of the old kampong, which is the Malay word for village. 

He urged residents to help revive this old way of life and the spirit of sharing and caring. 

For a start, they can be considerate neighbours, he said. 

"This can be as simple as giving the uncle who walks by your corridor a simple smile, or helping the auntie who struggles back home with her groceries. In the old kampong days, many families lived close to one another. Neighbours shared their everyday delights and looked out for one another's children. Every child was the community's child," he said. 

Mr Khaw said Singapore lost a bit of this kampong spirit, due to modernisation. 

He said that besides the recent fires in cluttered corridors, more residents have been complaining about noisy neighbours. 

So his message is: "Love thy neighbour and be awed by the power of love as it radiates through the neighbourhood!" 

Mr Khaw pointed out that this is not a new mission and stressed that the HDB is now giving it greater emphasis. 

He said this will be the key focus of this year's inaugural Community Week, which starts on 21 May. 

It wants to reach out to one key group - young people. 

Mr Khaw hopes that through the various activities, young Singaporeans will learn about being considerate neighbours and doing good deeds for strangers. 

He also hopes they'll be more involved in their local communities and even become ambassadors for eco-living in their housing estates. 

Mr Khaw noted that Singaporeans are house-proud, which comes naturally. 

But what's less natural to some is being proud of the common areas of their flats. 

Mr Khaw pointed out that it's "unfriendly" and "dangerous" to clutter and obstruct the the common areas. 

He said the recent fires in HDB towns are sharp reminders to residents to treat common spaces with respect. 

"We had five decades building HDB homes. Now, we want to build community among the residents. The task of building community is harder but much more important," said Mr Khaw.

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