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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pulau Ubin


Last month when we took this pic at Ubin... I had this sudden feeling that we will soon see a swath of destruction and loss of another sanctuary in an ever reducing landscape of rideable trails for us bikers. There was a sudden chill looking at this pic as the feeling was much like when our bikes were hung up on a tree in Tampines Bike Park on it's very last day.

I'm not going to wax lyrical all over in this post.. just Google up on this island and its significance to Singapore... its all out there, but....

...Pulau Ubin is now at the forefront of discussion for a while. Ideas are filling in on how to shove it  with all the possible things to spruce it up. Nice to many urban city living folks who cannot live without their modern conveniences.

People who have forgotten or most of whom who never actually lived in places like this.
People who oooh and aahhh at the "amazing" Metal Trees built, NOT grown in the city

People who's nightly ritual is switching on the air con and even believe that chicken and eggs actually comes from refrigerators where old wooden hand painted signboards on the tranquil island probably looks like an abomination to them. Their latest GPS enabled smart phone would be better served to pinpoint their exact location on the island, lest they are lost. Alas mobile reception is poor or since we are so near to neighboring Malaysia.. the lines get switched to M'sian telco and thus makes them incur high charges while technically still in SG.

Oh what a bloody inconvenience Pulau Ubin is. Damn. Modernize the whole island.. Put in a cell tower every 200m. Paved up all the roads.. like how they have paved up the mainland. Yes yes yes-- pave concrete all the way into those natural green area so we can walk around and pick up any nice cute colorful seeds. .. and ask MOE to come here more often to spray and try to kill all the mosquitoes too...

It has always been the same...

First seed a dialogue/ feedback gathering session... paint in a picturesque image by one subtle means or another. 
Careful juxtaposing of the +ve and -ve in articles/ media such that it is skewed towards being  +ve for developing the place eventually.

Eg. Right at the start it say "AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want"
Note that the first 2 words are in caps. and "half" immediately sticks a huge margin...not said now but chances are "more than half" would appear in later articles as more feedback and "public education" of what this whole rig up is all about on the development of the island.

In the first place who are all the people or what percentage is made up of random person on the street who hasn't an inkling of what the place even is. How many of these people have actually have set foot on the island A  visitor, respecting the place as opposed to "Oh the last time I been to Ubin was when I was 10 and I am 45 now..." 

Further down, people are asking for more footpaths and wider roads. What were they thinking or comparing to when such were uttered. Have they even seen the roads and paths on that island before even making such statements?

Draw comparison to other places that has been "developed" now or in follow up articles as more "experts" have weighed in.

Or better yet, seed in a couple of lines that speaks of the lack of modernity in the place like electricity which one of the resident is hoping for. In the first place where does this lack comes from. Is there totally no electricity on this island. If there is, it is simply a matter of basic infrastructure not being built thoroughly enough or simply because it was not economically feasible. A few electricity-less souls is better than spending an inordinate amount of money to pipe electrons to them? What does that really say of the larger picture on the governing of Singapore when we can splurge a gazillion watts during F1?


Rave. Oh better yet, get a few "interviewees" to rave and followed by so called expert or people that supposedly is representative to put in their responses..

Objective: Convince the mediocre masses. 

Next: Start digging and building... and charging... -- and more destroying. Justification of the "development" leads to more justification of posh waterfront residential living justified by the land scarcity on an overdeveloped mainland needing to free up more space as time goes by. 


Of course for now there is a bit of tango-ing going on. Given how people can take to the various media to voice out their displeasure these days, there are certainly opposing voices that are featured.. but still it is just a matter of time. But see how people who opposed are being painted... "Purists such as heritage blogger and naval architect Jerome Lim..."

Tell me.. in reading the article and following the context leading to that line.. what connotation does the word "Purists" have in people's mind?  They are trying to paint people as being negative, narrow, only have their own little agendas in mind however "for the greater good" it may be in their argument. No?

All in the name of Progress & (more) Development. 

HUAT arh!

Finally some MP goes over and do a ribbon cutting ceremony, shaking hands with islanders. Cameras from the news will judiciously angle in on only happy smiling faces and edit in phrases of
"Yeah ... the changes very good", "Now the place much cleaner and nicer" yadda yadda.


Of course the above is only my own view. Feel free to disagree and go on to build an enclosed air conditioned travellator running the entire perimeter of the island.




Below article is taken directly from http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/wanted-more-modern-facilities-ubin

Wanted: More modern facilities for Ubin

AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want the rustic island of Pulau Ubin to take on some features of modern, mainland Singapore.
They said they would like to see more public facilities, including shelters, footpaths and toilets; attractions such as cycling trails and boardwalks; and the restoration of the island's kampung houses for overnight stays.

Their opinions were captured in an ongoing online survey, launched on Sept 8 by the Ministry of National Development (MND). This is part of efforts to gather ideas on how to preserve the rustic charm and heritage of Ubin, while enhancing public access sensitively.
The poll aside, some of Ubin's 38 residents have also told MND what they wished to see on the island. The wishlist included improved mobile network coverage; more street lights, a better waste disposal system and wider roads. Some had also asked for ATM machines, said an MND spokesman.
Mr Patrick Chan, 27, a commercial executive who did the survey, agreed with some suggestions. He said: "More signs and route markers will also be helpful to us 'mainlanders' who aren't as familiar with these 'country' roads."
But the suggestions worry heritage experts and nature enthusiasts, who said these have lost sight of the goal of retaining Ubin's laidback character.


Purists such as heritage blogger and naval architect Jerome Lim, who prefers leaving most of the island untouched, said: "Ubin should not be turned into yet another built-up and man-made place like Changi Village, packed with the modern conveniences of everyday life. We shouldn't be changing the destination into a kampung theme park to cater to hordes of people who may overrun the place."

Both Dr Chua Ai Lin, president of the Singapore Heritage Society, and Ms Ria Tan, who runs a popular wildlife site, said Ubin is already brimming with things to do.
For instance, Ms Tan said many are not aware of the "good spectrum of built trails, natural trails and untouched nature" across the island.

Meanwhile, Dr Chua said better communication is needed so that Singaporeans know what is already available there.

For instance, information on the island's heritage needs to be integrated into visitor information websites and collaterals provided by MND and NParks - the island's manager.

She pointed out that the National Heritage Board also has detailed write-ups on its website about the 10.2 sq km island, including stories about its early inhabitants and granite mining days.

An Ubin resident, Madam Kamariah Abdullah, 54, who owns a century-old Malay kampung home there, hopes that electricity can run through the island so she can keep food in her refrigerator fresh.

Islanders currently rely on solar and biodiesel energy.

But she called the rest of the suggestions "ridiculous".

Said Madam Kamariah: "Singapore has enough big roads and ATM machines. It shouldn't be about residents' convenience alone but about preserving the natural environment for the long term.

"There is no fun at all if Ubin becomes as perfect as Singapore is. Bigger, flatter paths would take away the challenge of the bumpy and wild terrain. We must experience it like our ancestors did."


What's wanted
- More public facilities such as toilets, footpaths and shelters
- Restoration of kampung houses to be used for overnight stays
- Better mobile coverage LMore street lights
- Better waste disposal
- Wider roads
- Automated teller machines

AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want the rustic island of Pulau Ubin to take on some features of modern, mainland Singapore.
They said they would like to see more public facilities, including shelters, footpaths and toilets; attractions such as cycling trails and boardwalks; and the restoration of the island's kampung houses for overnight stays.
- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/wanted-more-modern-facilities-ubin#sthash.xg4AY4hC.dpuf
AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want the rustic island of Pulau Ubin to take on some features of modern, mainland Singapore.
They said they would like to see more public facilities, including shelters, footpaths and toilets; attractions such as cycling trails and boardwalks; and the restoration of the island's kampung houses for overnight stays.
- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/wanted-more-modern-facilities-ubin#sthash.xg4AY4hC.dpuf
Wanted: More modern facilities for Ubin
Wanted: More modern facilities for Ubin

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