The National University of Singapore (NUS) has received a generous gift of S$5 million from Mr Frankle Widjaja, his wife Mrs Jehnny Widjaja and their daughter Ms Deborah Widjaja. The gift, which will be made over five years, will support initiatives under Health District @ Queenstown, a first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder collaboration to increase healthy longevity, enable purposeful longevity, promote intergenerational bonding, and support a community for all ages.
The Housing & Development Board (HDB), the National University Health System (NUHS) and the NUS, with an expanding list of partners from the public, private and social sectors, are working together to address these goals. As highlighted by the US National Academy of Medicine’s Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity, multiple systems within society will need to be activated, transformed and coordinated to address all aspects of life.
The gift was presented by the Widjajas to NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye and NUS Senior Vice President (Health Innovation & Translation) and NUHS Senior Advisor Professor John Eu-Li Wong.
Prof Wong said, “This philanthropic gift, in support of the Health District @ Queenstown, will go towards scalable and sustainable initiatives that address the multiple determinants of health to improve physical, mental and social well-being, strengthen intergenerational cohesion, and develop a community for all ages. We are deeply grateful to Mr Frankle Widjaja, Mrs Jehnny Widjaja and Ms Deborah Widjaja for their generosity and unwavering support, and for sharing our commitment to benefit the community around us. We are truly inspired by the support from not only the Widjaja family but the whole of Singapore, and this gift is yet another demonstration of how individuals can uplift the community.”
Mr Widjaja, who is Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Bund Center Investment Limited, and Chairman of Shanghai Golden Bund Real Estate Co. Limited, said, “It has always been a key priority for my family and I to support whole-of-society initiatives – such as the Health District @ Queenstown – that could bring about transformative changes in the community and society. I am confident that the positive impact of this initiative will benefit communities beyond Singapore, and we are excited to lend our support to this meaningful endeavour.”
Noting that the recent global events have shown that things cannot be taken for granted, Ms Widjaja emphasised the need to be future-ready. She said, “Being future-ready means being proactive and creating a better future. The Health District @ Queenstown is testament to this as it encourages one to look outward and forward. We are the change that we seek. The strength of individuals across all ages, working together – now that makes a change.”
“Today’s decision makers are investing in young people because they are convinced that it will provide the longest and most effective dividend towards meeting future goals. I hope our young people continue to be civic-minded and play an active role in shaping our future,” added Mrs Widjaja.
Co-creating a healthy town for all
Health District @ Queenstown aims to increase healthy longevity, enable purposeful longevity, promote intergenerational bonding and support a community for all ages. It will focus on four key areas to achieve its objectives:
- Preventive Health and Care Delivery: Encourage uptake of preventive health recommendations and shift care delivery from hospital to or near residents’ homes.
- Purposeful Longevity: Enable purposeful longevity by providing opportunities for residents to work, volunteer and participate in lifelong learning.
- Planning and Design: Implement planning and design solutions to support ageing in place, social and mental well-being, and for an active lifestyle.
- Technology: Co-design affordable technological solutions with the community to improve residents’ lives.