The road is wide, there will be heavy vehicles, so any covered link way will need to be minimum 4.5m high, which means rain will still come in. It will cost millions to build a link way that may not even be effective in providing shelter. This is the problem infrastructure planners faced across Singapore.

In Sembawang, we did an experiment a few weeks ago. We left umbrellas on each side of the road, and invited residents to take them for shelter and return on the other side of the road.

Alas! A few hours after its launch, all the umbrellas were gone. I think some residents thought a product promotion was going on.

Our community volunteers topped up the umbrellas, and stationed themselves at the crossing, and explained to residents how the program works.

And an amazing thing happened. Residents started to contribute their umbrellas. I took four from home and contributed too.

With a variety of colors, residents now instinctively know these are for sharing.

Two days ago, when it was raining, I stood quietly at the road side and saw residents carrying the umbrellas to and fro, putting them back onto the racks.

One volunteer saw a young man gazing curiously at the umbrella and asking ‘where’s the QR code?’ The volunteer explained it’s a free umbrella sharing scheme.

There is a spirit of sharing and cooperative in our communities. I will monitor the scheme further, before expanding to other parts of my constituency.

Source: FB post by Ong Ye Kung


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