2/02/2015

Learning to Live with the Dead, Sick, Old, Young and Foreign.


The Singaporean Phobia of Living Together.

NIMBy Strikes Singapore Again.
The recent uproars by some Singaporeans against a columbarium cum temple being built next to their apartments signal the return of the seasonal NIMBy flu-like Syndrome.   

NIMBy is the acronym for Not-In-My-Backyard”.  The NIMBy Syndrome is an affliction which strikes some residents to cause them to object actively to certain amenities and socially desirable development proposals near or adjacent to their residential areas.  The NIMBy Flu Syndrome is non-contagious and can only be infected by voluntary subscription. It is available only in developed countries and arrived in Singapore sometime in the 1990’s and manifested in more cases at the turn of the 21st Century.

Many can recall other NIMBy cases involving foreign workers hostels, eldercare centre, nursing homes, facilities for the elderly, condominium towers, studio apartments for elderly, MRT construction launch shafts and international school.

NIMBy victims are often highly intelligent and imaginative. They usually cite good reasons for their seemingly “anti-social” conditions. These include noise and exhaust pollution from buses ferrying workers or students, a possible increase in crime (by foreign workers presumably), traffic congestion from school drop-offs and pickups, as well as higher noise levels from students’ play areas, sports facilities and canteen. Born again naturalists emerged to advocate preservation and prevent a forested area to be cleared for the 12-storey international school building; its tall shadow looming over mostly terrace or semi-detached homes notwithstanding. 

Current condominium residents in the Dairy Farm, Chestnut and Cashew areas should know that none of their tower blocks exceed 15 storeys because many earlier residents in the areas living in their low-rise as well as terraced and semi-detached homes did not want their however limited view of the Bukit Timah secondary forest blocked.  Seemingly avowed naturalists, they were also worried that plant and animal life could be harmed.  Also, any increased surface runoff would choke a nearby canal which already fills quickly when it rains. Many health and fitness enthusiasts are also upset that a planned road in the area (cancelled later) would cut into their popular canal-side jogging trail popular.

Nursing homes also have their capacity trimmed to placate the NIMBy patients. Other common reasons associated with the NIMBy Syndrome include noise pollution during construction, and traffic congestion on the roads that serve the affected areas.

Overall at the bottom-line, the unfounded fear of lower market value for their properties is the key reason for the unhappy NIMBy Syndrome.

TRUTH is: Singapore properties, both HDB and private as well as landed have all appreciated in value in spite of whatever reasons that the subscribers of NIMBy Syndrome have professed.

Do you know that some of the most expensive HDB flats are built on former cemeteries ie Bishan?  A big area of Bishan, Ang Mo Kio and Yishun are also former graveyards. There are also two columbariums adjacent to Bishan and Ang Mo Kio. Jurong was largely a mangrove swamp in the 1960’s. The “Mllionaires’ Row” of huge bungalows along Tanjong Katong Road and the East Coast also lost their sea and beach frontage years ago in order for Marine Parade to be built.

Hundreds of private terraced and semi-detached houses have actually been over-shadowed permanently by HDB flats and commercial buildings over the past 30 years.  None of their value has depreciated, but their property values have multiplied manifolds even as Singapore developed.

The NIMBy syndrome suggests a growing trend towards weaker community relationship as many become more selfish and short-sighted in their view towards Singapore’s social development.  Being a small island, the building of desirable social amenities must mean increasing density in land use.  Existing conveniences as well as views and forested areas may have to make way for the greater good for the benefits of a larger number of Singaporeans.  A NIMBy-oriented people makes children and our future generations the VICTIMs of NIMBy and they cannot therefore depend on their parents to build for them better facilities, better homes and better communities.  In the event, all the sacrifices of our pioneers and current generations will be for nothing.  Say “NO” and “Goodbye” to the NIMBy Syndrome on our 50th Birthday, please.

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14 comments:

Elephant said...

I might agree with the writer for most of the cases but once the it is in front of your house or next to it, I am sure the writer will also complaint! The Sengkang case is about "profit taking" of the private company n the Dead is really too close to it. You don;t want ghost at your multi-story carpark during the 7th month when the gate of hell is open up!

Anonymous said...

NIMBY.
I refuse to live with pigs.

agongkia said...

These are all examples of how successful we have brought up, a generation of selfish , poothowkia and ungrateful Sinkies .
It also shows that many overpaid top people are no brainer and do not know how to get their plan executed without getting much protest.
There should not be any protest on the columbarium
if one know how to have it built it discreetly.
If only I am given a chance there should not be any issue at all from the start.
I am one who will welcome the columbarium to be built in my neighborhood.
Walking distance to pray to my love one or ask for blessing at the columbarium every morning .

Many do not appreciate that the houses or flat they stay or planning to stay are originally the land occupied by the deads who sacrifice their land due to resettlement and enable them to have a roof.

Many are ungrateful and cannot let the dead stay near them.Majority to me are believe to be Peter lim and Jane lee and I hardly understand how the school taught them.
Sigh....

agongkia said...

These are all examples of how successful we have brought up, a generation of selfish , poothowkia and ungrateful Sinkies .
It also shows that many overpaid top people are no brainer and do not know how to get their plan executed without getting much protest.
There should not be any protest on the columbarium
if one know how to have it built it discreetly.
If only I am given a chance there should not be any issue at all from the start.
I am one who will welcome the columbarium to be built in my neighborhood.
Walking distance to pray to my love one or ask for blessing at the columbarium every morning .

Many do not appreciate that the houses or flat they stay or planning to stay are originally the land occupied by the deads who sacrifice their land due to resettlement and enable them to have a roof.

Many are ungrateful and cannot let the dead stay near them.Majority to me are believe to be Peter lim and Jane lee and I hardly understand how the school taught them.
Sigh....

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi elephant, welcome to the blog.

As for Agongkia, we are so successful that we need to sleep next door to the dead. I think a better idea is to build HDB flats with build in columbarium for 3 generations in the bomb shelter cum store room, a 3 in 1, when columbarium is included.

What do you think? No need to leave the house can visit the dear dead ones. If feeling loving, can bring them out to hug anytime you want.

agongkia said...

Please lah,Uncle
How can you suggest that our ancestors' ashes to be kept in a HDB store room.
I have my ancestors' tablet placed in my hall and i pay respect to them daily unless I am working long hours.
A columbarium is a plus to people like me.
Within walking distance many can pay their respect there if they do not keep their ancestors' tablet at home.
This practice will indirectly make Sinkies remember their roots ,become someone who know what is gratitude ,not only to their ancestors but also to our pioneers who help to built up our country from a fishing jungle village to what we become today.

Columbarium is good.Should built more in all neighborhoods.
There is a way to do it if only one know how,without protest.I dun need a million dollars to make this successful.
And one day,Sinkies will beg for a place to be alloted a space in their neighborhood columbarium there.
Sengkangites miss a good chance to enjoy such facility.Sigh.

patriot said...

Haha.......

Thought I read somewhere that it was suggested that rooftop be made into cemetery.
This should I say will make Sinkies like Agongkia very happy. He would be able to pray to his love ones and ancestors anytime he likes.

patriot

agongkia said...

@Patriot
Rooftop turn into cemetery is not a good idea.
IMHO, 40% of the space can actually be turn into something beneficial to the residents without compromising security and safety.
Maybe can consider to utilize it as a columbarium and allow resident staying in the block to book a place there.

patriot said...

Columbarium is downsize cemetery la.

patriot

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Cemetry on roof top? Revolutionary indeed. The dead live on top, the living live below.

Matilah_Singapura said...

NIMBY occurs in all cuntrees. That's why somethimes the Singapore govt deserves cheers of approval when it decides unilaterally---"Yes, most definitely in your backyard, fuck you if you don't like it, we are the govt, we'll do it OUR WAY, to hell with your feelings and opinions".

Sometimes that authoritarian dictator "knuckle duster" approach is what is needed to smash and wallop the entitled fuckwit citizens into line.

Anonymous said...

No need to worry lah. By the time 6.9m are here, you can have all your neighbourhood and you will have a bit of everything. There is just no space for privacy unless you live in Tanglin or Bukit Timah.

Better get use to filth and you know what. You would not have the chance to distant yourself from shit like MS. Once you get use to him, you can live with any kind of shit.

b said...

The gov is not smart to build such buildings in the mainland singapore. Buildings that do not contribute to add much value to the economy should all be built from land leased from all the neighbouring poor countries. The people are right in protesting.

b said...

Likewise, all those landed properties should give way to expensive condos else they should be given very heavy property tax. Why should tax payers subsidizing those landed properties owners?