Sunday, August 24, 2014

Second city for S'pore makes long-term sense

AUG 22, 2014

THERE has been a recent surge of property projects in Johor Baru and Iskandar Malaysia targeting Singaporeans.

As the world is becoming borderless, more of us will be investing in businesses and properties abroad.

Developments in the region, in some ways, complement and widen our economic opportunities.

But we should also put more efforts to redevelop Singapore.

As Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has said, we have to compete against cities, not countries, to survive another 50 years.

In 50 years, our population could have grown beyond 6.9 million.

Many regional cities would be more populated and, perhaps, more modern and bustling than Singapore. [Relevance?]

Is our single-city urban model the best or only way for Singapore to compete? [WTF is a "Single-City Urban Model"]

Our sole city already is one of the most expensive globally. [Again, relevance? Are you saying if we build another "City" (however you define it) in Tuas, Singapore will become cheaper?]

Building more MRT lines leading to it would only result in attracting more offices there, increasing rental and land prices. [No. No. No. you're reading the map wrong! The lines don't lead TO the city (by which you mean the CBD?), it leads OUT of it. Then there is the Circle Line, and the Thomson-East Coast Line. One goes around the city, and the other goes in and out of the city.]

This would make the city less attractive or viable for future developments, other than office skyscrapers and high-class apartments and hotels. [So what do you want to build in the CBD? HDB flats?]

Besides offering lower rental, a second city built at the other tip of our island will divert traffic to the opposite direction during rush hours - the best strategy to tackle traffic congestion in our city-state in the long run.

[Ah! solving the wrong problem. Good. Good. Good. ]

We should incorporate unique features and facilities and state-of-the-art technologies into the second city, making it one that other global and regional cities would envy.

[Tech to solve problems? How about... telecommuting? No need to go to work. Or telecommute for the first two hours, travel to office after peak hours, work til 2, have lunch then, avoiding the lunch time crowd, then head home, and log in two more hours of telecommuting/working from home?]

It is one of the best ways to tap our citizens' ideas and resourcefulness for Singapore to compete and survive for 100 years and beyond.

Ng Ya Ken

[I'm sorry. This was the stupidest forum letter I could find in the last few days. And really, it is not really "stupid". "Inane" would be a better descriptor. 

First, there are several misrepresentations or irrelevancies. (See above) Let me just take the "SG is expensive" point (?... 'argument'?). Let's concede the point that SG is expensive. So? How will having a "Second City" in Tuas make SG cheaper? 

Second, he does not define "City" but seems to imply "CBD" in the para where he says the MRT lines all lead "to the City". If by "City" he means "CBD", then his idea or suggestion is even more inane and uninformed.

Singapore has already been trying to decentralise the CBD, but short of executive fiat, where business want to locate is very much a commercial and private sector decision. On the part of the government, they have moved ministries/stat boards to Buona Vista, Jurong East, Thomson-Novena, Holland Road,  and Paya Lebar (planned).

The fact is, there will always be synergies and status to be located in a cluster. Shenton Way is a prestigious business address, just as Bt Timah is a prestigious residential area.

Third, he peppers his letter with lots of irrelevancies, and "motherhoody" meaningless drivel. Like
"The world is becoming borderless..."
"more... investing in businesses and properties abroad..."
"Compete against cities not countries..."
There is no relevance in much of this letter. He mainly had an idea ("let's build a second CBD!" not a "city") and then toss in some helping words he found in the recent media - Iskandar; the world is becoming borderless; compete against cities.

And then hope no one realises his idea has absolutely no substance, no thought, no logic.

It was a brain fart.]

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