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Mr Vinod Karunakaran is a 23-year old Singapore Armed Forces regular serviceman who was born and raised in Yishun. He shared with us about his love of Yishun town and aspirations for the place he calls home.

 

CHILDHOOD PASSION MAKES FOR SWEET MEMORIES

Mr Vinod enjoyed playing soccer and swimming in his primary school days. It helped that his living environment was conducive to developing his innate talents. Open spaces such as the void deck and grass patches below Block 766 Yishun Avenue 3 were his makeshift soccer fields – he played soccer almost daily – and Yishun Swimming Complex was the training ground for his weekly swimming lessons.

“Once my primary school friend boasted to me that he could swim, and jumped into the pool. The next moment he was struggling. Fortunately, the lifeguard saved him!” Mr Vinod related.

 

 

LIFT UPGRADING DRAWS NEIGHBOURS CLOSER

Prior to 2012, the lifts at his block only served levels 1, 6 and 11. After lifts were installed on every floor, it brought greater convenience – and friendship – to residents of the 12-storey HDB flat.

“Before lifts were built on every floor, I didn’t know who my neighbours on the fifth floor were. It was also rare to see neighbours talking to one another,” Mr Vinod, who lives on the fourth floor, said. These days, he shares the occasional chat with his fifth floor neighbours. They would also greet one another if they happen to be taking the same lift

 

 

ALL-IN-ONE SHOPPING MALL AND IMPROVED HEALTHCARE

Mr Vinod raved about the newly-minted Northpoint City, especially its gym facilities, and variety of food and shopping options.
“I used to travel all the way to Ang Mo Kio or Hougang for my gym sessions. Now 
it takes me only 10 minutes to walk to Anytime Fitness, which is located on the second floor of Northpoint City,” he said.

The new Yishun Polyclinic at 2 Yishun Avenue 9 is a pleasant upgrade from the one previously located at Yishun Central. Mr Vinod attributed the shorter waiting time – now only 30 to 45 minutes, compared to two hours in the past – to streamlining of operations and manpower increment. “You are allocated different floors for consultation in accordance to your age group, and this reduces waiting time significantly,” he observed after bringing his mother to the polyclinic recently. 

 

 

COMFORT FOOD A STONE’S THROWAWAY

Living in multicultural Singapore allows the taste buds to develop a taste for many cultures too, and Mr Vinod is certainly a living example. He let on that his favourite food is Chinese cuisine, and that he patronises the Hokkien mee and fishball noodle stalls at the Block 761 coffee shop frequently. “By 1pm, the fishball noodles will be sold out, so you must be fast if you really crave for it,” he said with a laugh.

 

 

HIS HOPES FOR THE FUTURE

Noting that weekly exercise sessions and community gardening are beneficial to the elderly, Mr Vinod also hoped that more activities can be organised for youths in his neighbourhood. “That will inject a certain liveliness to the somewhat quiet life here,” he concluded.

 

 
Mr Vinod (second from right), together with (from left) his mother Madam Sellammal Manickam, younger brother Mr Gowtham, and father Mr Karunakaran Suppiah, in their home.