Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust

By now it is quite clear Bukit Brown is not just about making way for a new expressway, the plot of land is too lucrative an opportunity for real estate gains to miss. Could Rochor Centre, slated to be bulldozed for the North-South Expressway, be the latest sacrifice for another property development goldmine?

Residents like retiree Wong, 72, who has stayed there since 1978, will miss seeing the National Day fireworks from his 17th floor flat. Others lament the loss of convenience of the nearby supermarket, banks, eating houses and 3 communal facilities - kindergarten, community centre and a home for the aged. It remains to be seen if the advantages of the site will be enjoyed by the new occupiers of fancy high rise condominiums which foreigners are permitted to purchase.

The route for the new expressway is close to 4 MRT stations, namely Caldecott, Novena, Little India and Bugis. If accessibility is available by rail, why build roads to service the same locations? The LTA has made plain their intent cut the number of cars on the road, yet they embark on the exercise to shave driving time from the north to the city by 5 minutes. With COEs currently in the stratospheric region, only the filthy rich will benefit from the time saver. Anyway, what's 5 minutes caught in traffic for a guy whose other car is a Lamborghini?

On paper, relocation benefits are generous. A resident living in a 3-room 67 sq m HDB flat will be compensated $434,400 to $485,300 for their apartment. We are told a 3-room 67 sq m new flat in Kallang is estimated at $348,000 to $401,000.
Officially the average size of HDB flats has shrunk by 5 to 10 per cent over the last 20 to 30 years, the reality is far worse. Surely a 3-room Rochor flat built in the 1978 era can't have the same 67 m floor area as a new 3-room flat in Kallang. Recently HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean received lots of flak for asserting that "Smaller flats doesn't mean lower quality of living", her line of defence for "Hey honey, I shrunk the flat." Looks like somebody at LTA is about to be lambasted for another con job foisted on the people.


  1. Hi Tattler

    I had been a follower of your blog for the last 1 year although this is the 1st time I am writing on it.

    Many thanks for your refreshing/hillarious take on some of the very realistic issues facing us everyday; which are either shunned by the media or potrayed with very twisted logic which I can't force myself to believe in.

    Like smaller flats don't equal to lower quality of living.. What kind of logic is that!

    Eradicating all our memories, history, and living conveniences just to make way for more lucrative real estate which foreigners can buy and to save time for the rich by building expressway at the tax payer's expenses!

    I hope that there are more like you who can pierce through the bubble to give us more common sense instead of relying on the traditional media which can only spew propaganda

  2. The govt is not serious about lowering car population - cars are just making too much money for the govt.

    They will simply build more roads - construction boosts the economy too.

  3. I often wonder how SPH reporters always manage to find stupid residents who would pose and smile happily at the camera to support state propaganda. Are they hired actors or are they for real?

  4. My father and uncles are affected directly by this move. As they have shop space at rochor centre. Consider the meagre compensation. The shop keepers are at the losing end.

    For the record, this is the second time my father has to moved. The previous move was to make way for the raffles hospital.

    I think times are really difficult for small business owner and yet is also difficult to get a decent job.

    People please vote for change next time. Vote for one who csres for the lesser mortals !

  5. SPH reporters have expense accounts to facilitate news-making process. They like poor old folks the best, coz for just $10 they can turn those old folks into impromptu actors --- laugh or cry also can, whatever it takes to fit the story.

    Anyway, I bet those oldies voted PAP. So they got nothing to complain about. They got what they deserve and they should appreciate it.

  6. Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home will also be making way for the expressway. Which is absurb, as there will also be the Thomson MRT line running adjacent to the North-South line in the near future. What they are doing is to tunnel a road which only save a mere 5mins but pocket private land sales into their coffer for future sales.

  7. More development also means more concrete, less ground to absorb more intense rain, more flash floods to be expected.

  8. If the govt wants to acquire the prime land which Rochor Centre sit on for sale to the highest bidder later, just say so lah. What national development are they talking about? ST tries to sell the situation as a no-choice situation due to national development. Let's be clear, it's a no-choice situation because they're the govt, they set the rules, they want to fatten the reserves and their wallets and not because national development requires it. Thanks to the good work of SPH, Singaporeans are always seemed as contented people even when they are shortchanged. Are they really content or simply "bo bian"?

  9. Every move by the Government will generate advantages for the well-being of Singaporeans. The planned expressway will ave You time, fuel and let You reach your destinations faster somemore. Any revenue generated by any Government plans will also be used for subsidized housing, medicare and education etc.

    Underground tunnels can actually save low lying buildings in a great flood like that one in Thailand. At least the water can flow into the tunnels instead of collecting on land. Maybe the water can be recycle later for good use.

  10. To Anonymous 12:23 PM

    I and a lot of people don't drive (what with the price of COEs and cars in general, not to mention the taxes), and there is already an MRT serving that route, so .... meh.

    As for the tunnels helping in floods, well, we already have lots of tunnels (NSL, NEL, etc.) in our little island,but it didn't seem to have helped any during the last few floods ... so /shrug.

  11. What I cannot understand is that why can't they change the course of the road at Thomson so that we can save the old folks home. Yes, it is important to have a staright road but I am sure many would not be upset for a good cause. Listen to people rather than deciding for us. Thought that was the promise after elections?

  12. //Could Rochor Centre, slated to be bulldozed for the North-South Expressway, be the latest sacrifice for another property development goldmine?//

    That's exactly what it is...they are doing a slow striptease show.
    First they say is about the highway..then is residential development...but the time public has vented..ta da..the master the entire redevelopment of yet ANOTHER business hub..that links to current City Hall/Suntec area. What they pay out to those residents are peanuts when they can rake in billions of business , offices, investment houses, high end residential for more foreigners. Screw your country. Is just another Mega-City build on capitalism and where everyone is a digit. Everything on this island has a price tag. Start planning your retirement in country side called JB. Do not for a minute believe the zen-like-looking Khaw or sweet-mom--looking HDB chief are not in cahoots. If any middle-class singaporeans are not at least getting a 20% raise every year from your employer, you can go jump into any nearest lakes/reservoir.

  13. The land at Thomson is underutilised if only house old folks, who rightfully should be in JB and not taking up precious space. Condos can be profitably built there to house more productive and cheaper FTs.

    The grand plan is to export useless citizens and import productive FTs. The privilege own this place; the rest of us are just economic digits temporarily housed here.


  14. Sorry to break this news to everyone. Even sorrier to see how the entire citizens are being held hostage by this government in the pursuit of endless growth.

    By 2025 your GDP should be around 91k/pax and your population 5.4m or more. But I suspect your govt is not being honest with you because they are not contend to be middle-weight city, but want to get to the leader board of "megacity".

    Go to Interactive report, click region, select your territory & see for yourself.
    Your invincible & invisible policy makers really have a lot to answer to you people. Is your country, I hope you fight to have a say how you want to live here, and not turn it into another blandness, faceless, soulless city filled with skyscrapers and malls.

  15. First they compensate the owner around S$400K+ for a 3 roomer, then offer to sell them the new flat also at around S$400K+ which probably costs them less than half as much to build, so that means at least S$200K profit for HDB. Can well afford to throw in a few goodies to hook them in.

    And then they still have that piece of premium land to sell to the highest bidder, maybe at least another couple of hundred million.

    So who is having the last laugh, laughing all the way to the bank ... Ministers who are happily looking at their bank or CPF accounts.

  16. Another "town" bite the dust.

    I think we have to leave this new 'newer' town to look for new 'old' town.
    All the shared memories are gone from one generation to the next. It couldn't even make it to the 3rd generation.

  17. So does the relocation of rochor electorate to kallang electorate benefit any PAP GRC, in the name of growth?

    Now that they have secured both their majority seats in Parliament + Presidency seats, they are firing away all their unsavory and unpopular plans from IPS migration to Bt Brown/Rochor to Transport fares etc..And the only difference I see, those nameless policy makers are coming out to do the selling, but still ignoring the feedback from the people. They just want to do the talking, and pretend to listen, then in the end, still tell us "bobian" must go ahead!?!! Good..good for 2016.

    I hope Singaporeans wake up by now. You have put ALL your Rotten Eggs in one basket. That's what you deserve. Rotten policies where you have no say once again.

  18. "Like smaller flats don't equal to lower quality of living.. What kind of logic is that!"

    It seems that if people can even accept twisted logic such as "GST hike is to help the poor" without any "protest", any other twisted logic by SIN govt can be justified.

  19. REminds me of the Jews gotten rid by German soldiers to make way for the Rightfully Deserved . Rochor will be a town build for foreigners who can pay $20 for a meal, yes every meal.

  20. The compulsory eviction of the Rochor Complex HDB residents is plain proof that we HDB dwellers CANNOT be called PROPERTY OWNERS! We slog and slave to pay for our HDB flats which the majority of Singaporeans call home. Yet, at the whim of the powers that be, our homes are forcibly taken away from us. If we were truly the owners of the HDB flats, this would not have happened so easily.