Sunday, August 19, 2012


Recently there was a column in our local newspaper (unfortunately no links here) that was talking about old buildings in Singapore. I only glanced through the article so what I am commenting on is based on an impression, rather than a actual deconstruction.

The main point that stuck in my head relates to the balance of preserving the old and clearing the way for the new. The writer's pragmatic advice is that clearing away those without significant offering to nation building is acceptable. Practical, very business like and with precision calculation of worth. It would seem logical when land space is at a premium.

Now I hate doing social commentary as it tend to follow with you-say I-say devolving into I hate you, you hate me. This topic of conservation vs modernization happen to intrigue me, so I shall attempt in this post to crystallize my thought. (Hey it's my blog! Why should it bother you! Shoo!).

My perspective in the face of new malls sprouting like mushrooms and massive road works is this: All those old buildings are like memories. At the rate things are changing, I go around Singapore muttering "Hey wasn't such and such building here before?" I bet this is a taste of how dementia patient feel.

Is ripping up and tearing down so many like the onset of national dementia? I can't help but feel so much like a stranger at home at times. The speed which it happens at is also the problem. I can visit a town in UK almost a decade apart and still know my way around, three months here and I can get confused.

Here is to being a stranger at home. The Rochor center, which will be a mere memory in 5 years time, is so familiar to geeks in Singapore.

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