Channel NewsAsia

Community learning campus to open at former Bottle Tree Park

The campus will nurture leadership with craftsmanship, urban farming, design thinking, heritage and the arts.

SINGAPORE: A new community learning campus will be built at the former Bottle Tree Park in Khatib. The remaining land at the park has been leased out to an operator that plans to have a recreation centre at the site.

The campus is expected to cost S$6 million. Named the Kampung Kampus, it is an initiative by non-profit organisation Ground-Up Initiative (GUI).

Spanning 26,000 square metres, or 4.2 football fields, the campus will nurture leaders through craftsmanship, urban farming, design thinking, heritage and the arts. It will also help build communities that are more gracious and green.

Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, who is also MP for Nee Soon GRC, was present at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new campus.

"It's a very good initiative. And we were impressed because of the amount of energy and enthusiasm that young people show for this,” said Mr Shanmugam. “Beyond looking at things from a commercial perspective, it brings people very much in touch with something that they yearn for in an urban environment like Singapore - nature, doing things with your hands, the spirit of self-reliance."  

Mr Shanmugam also weighed in on the incident involving Mobile Air - a shop at Sim Lim Square that allegedly scammed a tourist. Mr Shanmugam said there are laws that can deal with that kind of conduct.

He said the Attorney-General's Chambers are working with the police on the issue.

He was asked if there could be changes to the law as Sim Lim Square's Management Committee has said it is unable to deal with errant retailers, as current laws do not empower them to reject unethical tenants. In response, Mr Shamugam said the matter needs careful study.

"Whether we should go further and broadly look at laws between landlords and tenants, we need to be careful and study it properly,” he said. “There are hundreds and thousands of tenants in Singapore. And if it becomes easier for landlords to move them out on a variety of grounds, that could have substantial implications.”