There are some places that I frequent every summer when I’m back in Singapore, so for these places, the changes that have occurred do not shock me as much. For instance, 313, DTL works at Little India station, Yew Tee Point, Bishan, Chong Pang. But there are many other places that I’ve just not managed to pass by in the last few years. Now that I’m back here for good, and actually start venturing into places which I had previously been before, but not in the last four years, I’m shocked by how much things have changed. To the point, where it feels like a different place altogether. I can’t remember what things used to look like before, and it almost feels as if it didn’t exist.
To be honest, I hate all this demolishing of buildings to build bigger, better ones. I know it is in the name of progress, but ‘things’ are not just mere things. They connect people through shared memories. They form and maintain a community. They give people a sense of belonging. By removing them, you’re removing something that ties people together, and people feel cut off, left adrift.
Yes, we are small, but let’s live with it. Let’s live with the fact that our tiny market size will be nowhere near as attractive as anyone else in the region. We are nothing compared to other countries. So let’s not compete on the number of people, but rather compete on some core things that we do best. Efficiency, innovation, research, service. Its not that I’m xenophobic, but rather, I mourn the loss of green spaces and peace, that comes from a densely populated place.
We are not like other cities that have hinterland where city folks can escape to. For people in Singapore, escape is out of the country. Given that, for a group of people, is Singapore really a place where they want to build a life?