The objectives of RCs as listed in the handbook issued by the RC Central Secretariat (1980) include:
To provide a better channel of communication amongst various authorities so as to enable the authorities to obtain feedback information and find solutions to the problems of the residents living in the housing estates;
To ensure better maintenance of the physical conditions in the housing estates inter alia taking prompt action to rectify defects in lifts, corridor lightings, public utilities, etc.;
To promote better social order and security such as prevention of crime, vandalism and other anti-
To provide assistance to personal and family matters such as helping families/residents in distress;
To promote a sense of neighbourliness and racial harmony amongst the residents through sports, social, cultural and other activities.
"Neighbourhood Leaders' Participation
in Community Development"
Times Academic Press: Singapore.
Residents' Committees (RCs) in Singapore began as an experiment with the concept of residents' organisations with the support of the Member of Parliament of Marine Parade Constituency in 1977.
When this scheme was assessed to be useful, it was then introduced to five other constituencies -
From the start, RCs came under the purview of the Prime Minister's Office which established the Residents' Committees Central and Group Secretariats to provide advice and administrative support. In 1993, support for the RCs was transferred to the People's Association (PA) under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development.
Between 1975 and March 1982, 230 RCs were formed in 69 constituencies in Singapore. As at July 1992, there are a total of 401 RCs with more than 6,000 members mobilised. According to the PA website, there was a total of 541 RCs established as of 1st August 2001.