Category Archives: Heritage

Singapore’s first NDP in 1966

A work by National Heritage Board, on Singapore’s first National Day Parade after the separation from Malaysia. Looking at 49 years later, when we have everything we could have imagine we could as a nation, it is good to remind of our humble roots.

Now:

ndp-show-segment-data

Then

NDP1966

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SG50 Jubilee Walk Trail

http://www.singapore50.sg/en/WhatsOn/2015/Launch%20of%20The%20Jubilee%20Walk.aspx

Singapore is entering its 50th of nation building in 2015. After celebrating its 49th birthday over the last weekend, more excitement is waiting for everybody in the coming year.

Period: November 2015

As a lasting physical legacy of our Jubilee year, a new Jubilee Walk that covers historic locations in the civic district and the Marina Bay area will be launched. It is a walking trail that incorporates a new pedestrian bridge that will stretch from the Merlion Park to Marina Promenade, in front of the Esplanade Theatres.

It will be marked by trail markers and four new public art works to commemorate SG50.

Spaces will be created along the Jubilee Walk for public events and performances, to draw Singaporeans and their families to the civic district regularly. The trail, together with the new bridge and artworks, will form part of the physical legacy of SG50.

To mark its launch, a mass walk is being planned, with groups starting the walk at different locations and converging at the Padang.

 

Jubilee Walk Trail — Esplanade Bridge

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/new-bridge-near-esplanade-provide-walk-remember

In about six months, a new, wider pedestrian bridge running alongside the Esplanade Bridge will be open to the public. The bridge will form part of the Jubilee Walk trail, which is among the SG50 commemorative activities next year.

Structural work on the bridge was completed early this morning. The last segment of the bridge, which links Merlion Park and Marina Promenade in front of the Esplanade, was installed just past midnight — a symbolic timing chosen to coincide with the Republic’s 49th birthday. With structural work complete, architectural fittings will now begin, such as the installation of tiles, railings and lighting.

The bridge is expected to be publicly accessible by next April, but will only be officially opened as part of the SG50 celebrations next November. The Jubilee Walk will cover historical locations in the Civic District and the Marina Bay area.

The curved 220m bridge connects the Esplanade Bridge at its middle, and will enhance the 3.5km waterfront loop that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had planned and built to connect visitors to attractions around Marina Bay.

The URA said yesterday that the pedestrian bridge is designed to provide barrier-free access so that everyone can enjoy the new direct connection. The bridge has also been kept intentionally simple and elegant in its design to complement and blend with that of the existing adjacent Esplanade Bridge, it added.

Central Area Masterplan

A video that summarises the development plans for the Central Area of Singapore!

Dakota Crescent – Where time stands still

A SWANKY new National Stadium rises in Kallang. Two years ago, the nearby Goodman Arts Centre opened its doors to a hip young crowd. One street away, a new condominium has been built on the site of Housing Board flats.

But amid these changes, time has passed by Dakota Crescent, one of Singapore’s oldest HDB estates, located off Old Airport Road. The 17 blocks of low-rise flats have hardly changed since being built in 1958.

No wonder, then, that their retro architecture and old-school playground make them a hot spot for photographers and artists.

“It’s rare to see such old flats,” said Mr Renalto Wong, 25, who was there on a Sunday, sketching a 54-year-old provision shop that recently closed down. “There’s something comfortable and nostalgic about this place – it’s almost like a hideout.”

The estate was named after the Douglas DC-3 Dakota, a model of plane that landed at Kallang Airport in the past.

Built by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) – the forerunner of the HDB – most of the 600 flats are leased to low-income families under the board’s public rental scheme. The flats are occupied mostly by elderly residents, who pay as low as $26 a month for a one-room flat and $44 a month for a two-room flat.

Scrap-goods buyer Ng Guan Swee, 68, has lived in Dakota Crescent since it was built.

“There was a fire in Cecil Street in the 50s and our house got burned down, so we were allocated a house in Dakota Crescent,” he recalled in Mandarin.

At that time, Mr Ng’s grandmother had bound feet – as was the custom in her day – and the family requested a ground-level unit. Theirs, at Block 20, has been home to Mr Ng and his sister for more than 50 years.

“When we came in 1958, there were no streetlights,” said Mr Ng, sitting amid old laser disc players, hi-fi sets and other vintage items in his home. He remembers traversing the dark streets to go to the nearby Guillemard shophouses for snacks.

But in the 1960s, as more families moved in, a market sprang up opposite the estate.

“Almost every unit in this estate was occupied. Neighbours knew one another and our doors were always open,” said Mr Ng. “Those were good times.”

Madam Yong Fong Keow, 64, who moved there in the 60s, also misses such communal life.

Gesturing at a new condominium, she said in Mandarin: “There was a bakery there. At 3pm or 4pm, we would smell the aroma of freshly baked bread. That’s when you grabbed some money and a neighbour and went to buy bread.”

But now, communal life in Dakota is a shadow of what it used to be. Only about 60 per cent of the units are occupied. Of a row of four shops, only two – both Chinese medicine clinics – remain.

Neighbours started moving out in the 90s, some to live with their children.

Then, a new wave of tenants moved there in 2005 when the HDB leased empty units to private operators, who, in turn, rented them to foreign workers.

“You could hear Thai accents, Filipino accents and Chinese accents around the neighbourhood, it was like a mini United Nations,” Mr Ng joked.

While some residents got used to these new faces, others did not.

Madam Amy De Silva, a long-time resident in her 60s, said: “Some of them were rowdy and you could hear them coming home late at night. Their living habits just didn’t suit ours.”

The HDB’s agreement with the managing agent ended last year and the foreign workers have since moved out of the Dakota estate.

However, at Block 32, an empty unit is littered with cardboard boxes and clothes. Mr Y.Y Goh, 57, a resident, said foreign workers live there but they do not disturb anyone.

One empty unit in Block 12, though, has become a party spot for teens. “They drink, eat, smoke, and mess the place up,” said a resident who wanted to be known only as Mr Zhang.

When The Straits Times visited, there were drink cans, chip packets and cardboard boxes in the unit.

In another vacant unit in Block 16, graffiti was scrawled on the walls. Some residents suspect teenagers sniffed glue there – some were spotted going into the unit with bags over their noses.

The HDB said that it has received complaints about crime and mischief in the area and informed the police.

But Dakota, now somewhat of a ghost town, may soon be more crowded again. The HDB said it is offering empty units as interim housing to needy families awaiting new flats. They were expected to start moving in progressively from last month. It has not indicated any long-term plans to develop the estate, however.

Although Dakota has been dubbed an “old people’s estate”, the few young faces who live there have no complaints.

“It’s a five-minute walk from Dakota and Mountbatten MRT stations, we have the Old Airport Road hawker centre and I hang out with friends at the Kallang Leisure Park nearby,” said Mr Kartigesan Saravanan, 20, who has lived in Dakota for the past 13 years. “It’s really a good location.”

Indeed, resident Bill Koh, who is in his 50s, said: “So many new buildings are coming up around us, it’s hard not to worry what might happen.

“People always come here and say how nice this estate is. There’s lots of green space between these old flats. It’s a pity if one of Singapore’s oldest estates is gone – maybe they should consider conserving it.”
– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/case-you-missed-it/story/suburb-where-time-stands-still-20131104#sthash.FKBJBMLk.dpuf

Istana Open House for Hari Raya Puasa and National Day to be held on Sat, Aug 2

Istana

In view of the close proximity between the Hari Raya Puasa and National Day holidays this year, the Istana Open House for the two public holidays will be combined, said the President’s Office in a statement on Friday morning.

The Hari Raya and National Day Istana Open House will be on Saturday, August 2. The Istana ground will be open to members of the public from 8.30 am to 6pm.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/istana-open-house-hari-raya-puasa-and-national-day-be-he#sthash.M1P6YELk.dpuf