Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Not Your Typical Case Of NIMB

It is important to highlight this instance of objecting to the building of an elderly centre has nothing to do with the not-in-my-backyard (NIMB) syndrome. The good folks at Jalan Batu are just cheesed off why the elected MP for Mountbatten didn't even know about the development at the void deck, and that there are more viable sites within the same vicinity. Such as:
  • -The open field between Blocks 10 and 11, which transforms into a humongous pond every time it rains;
  • -The water fountain near the blocks, which used to be a popular basket ball, now spewing water nobody cares to watch;
  • -The Katong Community Centre, euphemistically presented by one resident's prose: "This CC is a big white elephant. I've stayed here more than 50 years, but I haven't stepped inside it for more than 10 seconds." Except when the meeting was convened to point out what a waste of money it was to build it in the first place.
The void deck is a feature of HDB blocks as nobody wants to stay on the ground floor, the landing place for jettisoned litter originating from above. It has evolved into a focal point of community life, be it a Malay wedding or a Chinese wake. It's probably all Greek to MP Mr Lim Biow Chuan, but the resident of Block 11 says it best, "Our children play every day at our void deck. I feel so secure because when they play downstairs there are neighbours watching over them. They're not my race, they're not related to me, but the amount of bonding you have in the void deck cannot be found even in your own house." This is social integration in action, communal harmony at its finest hour.

Feigning ignorance (Lim: "I have absolutely no idea who authorised it") only made the gathered residents angrier, which drew jeers and the caustic rejoinder:"Without your consent, people are doing this. So, what are you doing?" Wait a minute, weren't Singaporeans supposed to be daft, and docile like sheep? MPs in white are supposed to be worshiped like gods, they alone can decide whether an estate turn into a slum. Something is in the air, the spirit of Hougang must be contagious.

Spoiler: Lim may remonstrate till he's blue in the face but, just like MP Sim Ann's "support" at Toh Yi, the final official response will be "the other alternative sites are not feasible as they are either too small, or have been set aside for other future development." 

The neglected fountain - all form, no function


  1. //.."the other alternative sites are not feasible as they are either too small, or have been set aside for other future development."//

    If LBC were to come back with the same excuse, then all those "engagement" spin are truly nothing but wayang.

  2. Simple reason to build in void deck. Saves cost tremendously which enhances Return on Asset. Think about it. No need to build roof, just add walls and windows. No need to build basic infractructure from zero too.

    Of course did not bother to factor in social benefist and costs. Not their problem or measureable KPI anyway.

    Problem in Singapore - Civil servants and decision maker approaches issues from their own needs and not the residents'. "They know best" all the time.

    Fountain simply looks good for their career and face although it serves abolutely no purpose and needs to spend money on. Perhaps it does improve fengshui in the area.

    1. You could say the same thing for that $1.2billion dollar river in Bishan-AMK.

  3. *clap clap

    One thing I hate about this government is how it must BUILD, BUILD, BUILD!

    As if there is a lot of money in the budget that must be squandered away.

    As if there is a need to BUILD to increase GDP.

    As if the residents are just as crass enough to appreciate man made constructs over open spaces of nature.

    At the minimum, build some sports facilities instead of superficial "beautifying" objects.

  4. Frankly the PAP MPs could simply tell the residents to f**k off as PAP do not need outside advice on what is best they have in plan for any of their projects.

    For example that historical graveyard land is a potential gold mine so maybe they rather now say it's for a road project because public acquisition would ensure only minimun compensation be paid out, just like when they acquired land MRT stations for a penny only to be sold years later as a goldmine to the highest bidder.

    You see PAP knows best, so nobody is to question their "best" intentions, however greedy they might be.

    1. That tactic worked in the past because people are poor and less educated. Shocking same tactic still used today. Are the top brains running out of ideas?

    2. This kind of simple 'local' issues also cannot handle, how to handle 'national issues' for the residents? He deserves the boot.

  5. Form of the fountain is clearly in the shape of "M". Function is Money and Fengshui LOL.

  6. Perhaps the CC is an elephant, so they are 'forcing' residents to go there for recreation and communal activities? That way, they can also enlist you to join in their RC, CC or whatever CCA and be a PAP recruit - eyes & ears in addition to cctv on the ground lah...

  7. //Feigning ignorance (Lim: "I have absolutely no idea who authorised it") //

    This sounds like a pre-amble to SMRT fiasco type of can that needs opening so that more worms can climb out, since this "driver" has a tendency to adjudicate this duties. But kudos to his honesty nonetheless.

  8. White elephant projects.

    Where does the money come from?
    Where does the money go to?
    Who benefits?
    What are their political affiliations, if any?

  9. There is a video done by local students about what you just wrote about void decks. http://vimeo.com/14353550