6/29/2009

A transient society

Seah Chiang Nee wrote about the transient nature of our society in www.littlespeck.com. Everything is transient and changing, from the traditional kopitiam to the population. Soon the original Singaporeans will be a minority in the island, at the rate new citizens and PRs are coming in. The original Singaporeans built this island from the leftovers of what was a British colony. The vestiges of our colonial past are well preserved and would probably be there for a longer while. Some of the old buildings in the clusters of Chinatown, Bugis and Little India may still be there to remind us of our inglorious past. When most of the original Singaporeans are gone, would the new Singaporeans, the more materialistic and in a hurry to make it good, feel any emotion or attachment to the things of old? Would they just wipe them off and build another phase of modern and high tech infrastructure? Would they harbour any misgivings or distaste for the less able Singaporeans and their history and think of economic and material progress, and erase all our past for a futuristic Singapore? Things are changing fast and our progress and economic development are built on the premises of pulling down the old and rebuild into new. For there is hardly anything or land left to generate more revenue. So build, destroy and rebuilt will be the key to keep the economy going. Don't be surprised one day a new batch of Singaporeans, hungry for growth, will tear down Chinatown, Bugis and Little India for the good of the country.

16 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

So what's new?

From the day, it was founded by good ole Raffles when he landed near Clark Quay, it has been a transient society all along. Just look at the place where he stepped off his boat. Drunks, whores, tourists are aplenty.He will be turning in his grave if he knew what became of his "discovery".

The only sure thing in this world is impermanence and change.

Who would have thought that a communist China would become the greatest capitalist country in the world never mind that the PRC still claim they are communists.

The key to survival is to adapt to changes. The chameleon stays alive because it changes colour to blend into the environment. So too must we.

All of us hanker for a bit of nostalgia but progress is change. It is how you manage the change that will soften the transition.

Anonymous said...

As one who subscribes to the philosophy of impermanence, I see conservation of anything as redundant. As for sentimental values, they fly in the face of pragmatism and practicality.

We see before our very own eyes, the diminishings and evaporating of filial piety, loyalty, fidelity and propriety, the Core Values. What else will society retain when the rots go right into the Core ?

patriot

Wally Buffet said...

No wonder my wife says to me often:

"They don't make husbands like you anymore!"

And I say to her:

"And they don't make wives like you anymore!"

Hehe, that sure makes my day!

Matilah_Singapura said...

All societies are transient lah. Why so much brain-processing to come up with such an obvious idea? Too much free time ah?

redbean said...

agree, but why give it away so easily to foreigners when we owe it to our children and descendants?

Matilah_Singapura said...

No one owes anyone anything — past or future generations. If you are alive in the present, you are responsible for what happens in the present.

The foreigners know something S'poreans are avoiding: If you want something, you'd better step up to the plate to get it. No one is going to give it to you.

"You don't ask, you don't get"

redbean said...

we are a state with citizenships. membership has its privileges. if we forget this formulat, that the members will give up their membership.

Anonymous said...

Hi Redbean;

going by your logic, then PAP Members should have priority in and for all privileges as this is an oligarchy state rule almost entirely by one political party.

Sorry to say that most Singaporeans today feel that not only foreigner settlers are being treated better here, the Locals feel 2nd class and lower in being citizens. The male citizens have to do national service and as a whole, most citizens have to slog to survive.

Incidentally, much of the problems citizens face in this country have been very well narrated and reflected in your write-ups. Kudos to You Sir !

patriot

Wally Buffet said...

"Kudos to You Sir !"

I'll second that!

:-))

redbean said...

ah, this i am not sure. do we have platinum card, gold card, silver card?

redbean said...

matilah, nothing is finite and exclusive. we do not leave this place and think we are not part of it. what we do today will become the cause of what will become tomorrow.

our shit will stink if we don't wash it away. the cause and effect, the karmic formula, continues in an everlasting cycle.

we are responsible for the future of our actions now.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean, there you go twisting my words again

WTF? Where did I imply "permanence"? My original post Do you understand what the word "transient" means?

> we are responsible for the future of our actions now.<

Absolute bloody Nonsense.

Future generations are responsible for themselves. To stay in the present is to be fully right here, right now. To consider otherwise is simply untenable. For e.g. are you going to blame past generations for their "mistakes"? Great, no need to take personal responsibility. Just blame it on long-dead motherfuckers...

Sheesh!

redbean said...

eh bodoh, where did i mention or imply permanence?

i am saying that we don't exist in a vacuum. our acts today can affect the lives of people coming later. saving gaia is a case in point. we pollute the environment, the future pays.

we bring in more migrants, it will have its price to be paid. we jack up housing prices, some will benefit some will pay dearly.

Matilah_Singapura said...

eh bodoh

our acts today can affect the lives of people coming later

Absolute fucking nonsense. You action today MAY have a future effect — you have no way of being sure.

Dumb Buddhist fuck!

redbean said...

one thing i am sure. if our present generation poison all the rivers and the oceans, all will be dead.

Matilah_Singapura said...

How can you be sure that:

1 the present generation will actually "poison" (you have not specified what the poison/s might be nor how this mass poisoning will occur) ALL the rivers and oceans

2 That the "poisoned" rivers will actually kill ALL

Can you even come close to proving your fatuous claim?

No?

I thought so.