Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bukit Brown MRT Station

Following a private email response to my Sunday Rantings (previous blog), I just want to show some evidence of Bukit Brown MRT Station, which is not usually indicated on most official transit maps.
It is situated between Caldecott and Botanic Garden on the Circle Line.

The Bukit Brown MRT station is located at an empty plot (at the moment) at Jalan Mashhor, near Andrew Road where I work.
It is only a 'shell' station, i.e. the station concrete form has been built but not fitted out to function as an operational platform.
When it will be operational is subject to the development of the area around the station.

Mediacorp is moving out in 2016 and that will also free up a huge plot of land nearby.
The Bukit Brown station is adjacent to and sandwiched between the 2 huge cemeteries there;
the Bukit Brown Cemetery and the Chinese Cemetery at Mt Pleasant.

This is the Bukit Brown MRT Station as it stands today 2011.

Like Marina Bay MRT Station, where the station was built years before the surrounding Financial Centre or MBS was conceptualized, the Bukit Brown area will eventually be developed, cemeteries not withstanding.

Here is another official LTA map showing future MRT stations.
You might want to consider buying some real estate nearby?

Click on map for detailed view.

Update on Bukit Brown blog. 16 Dec 2011.
I was on the Circle Line yesterday from Serangoon to Holland Village and had the chance to 'pass through Bt Brown underground. 
About 1 min after leaving Caldecott station, you start to hear a change in the sound of the rushing train due to the air space at Bukit Brown.
If you sit facing the starboard (right) side windows, you can see part of the space that will be Bukit Brown Station. It's just an empty space and you can see right across to other other tracks going in the opposite direction.

Sunday Rantings. 27 Nov 2011

At my age, my circadian clock automatically gets me up at 7 in the mornings.
The daily routine would be morning ablutions followed by light brekkie and morning papers.
On Sundays, the routine changes slightly as I have to factor in morning Mass at St Mary of the Angels.

The thing I like about Sundays is to grab the Sunday Times and read the commentaries at a slow pace and read what the commentators write.
My favorite writers being Sumiko Tan, Sandra Leong and Ignatius Low.
I also look out for "Letters from Kyoto" by Janice Tay and Colin Goh's ramblings about his life in New York.
What I like about Sunday papers is the easy reading feature columns rather than the newsy articles.

Today, some articles I just want to add my 2 cents to.

Sh*t! that was why I had to incur extra costs for my taxi ride to the University Town yesterday!
The PAP was having their convention at the University Cultural Center but how was I know that?
My cab had to make a detour when we came head to head with a CLOSED road entrance to the University. Had to do a U-turn and double back to Dover Road to enter the Uni Town. Cost me an additional $2.50 in fares.

Hey, I thot PAP was a party organisation and not government body? So how come seems like half the police force and lots of military ambulances on standby at the convention? Using public funds for party functions? Ok ok, I guess party head honchos are also top public figures so they're entitled to some public protection and security services.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia standardizes the rules and conditions for the 17 Catholic columbaria. All niches are on lease for 30 years, subject to renewal!   

Is nothing is sacred anymore? Whatever happened to 'Rest in Peace' ?

Phew, thank God (Amen!) that I have already booked my niche years back and the rules won't apply in my case. My niche #6022 at the Franciscan Columbarium is set for life, or should I say, afterlife. Forever and ever, Amen.
At least till the govt thinks fit to acquire the 'land' ?
#6022 is reserved for ever and ever. Amen

Yaawwnnn. Next please.

Lina Chiam, NC Member of Parliament
"Even if one ant dropped into my water, I would not want to drink it"
Please, Lina, your tap water doesn't come straight from the Bedok Reservoir. It's purified first. (I hope)
You should re-assure your voters about water safety rather than harp on floating dead bodies.

Another salvo in the on-going Bukit Brown War.
This time from the Executive Committee of the Singapore Heritage Society in response to the URA's " one raised a ruckus when plans highlighting the area's intended future use were displayed for feedback in 1991 and 2001, when the Concept Plans were released "

Humma Kavula !! Reminds me exactly of what happened in Douglas Adams' book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (My all time favorite novel, by the way).
When asked why the officious Vogons destroyed Earth to make way for an intergalactic bypass, the reply was "the plans have been published for the past 2 million years. You should have read it by now"

Has anyone ever wondered why Bukit Brown MRT station was built right in the MIDDLE of the Bukit Brown Cemetery?  Doesn't that give you a clue as to what is going to happen in that area?
The MRT station is completed (or at least the shell), just that it's not open for business as ghosts don't need to ride the trains, so the trains just bypass the station.
Think back Potong Pasir MRT Station that was built and mothballed till developments around it reached a sufficient level to justify it's operations. Duh?

In line with this, I just want to add to the LTA's justification to tear down 500+ housing units at Rochor Centre just to built a bypass so that motorists from Ang Mo Kio can save 5 mins driving to the city.
NICE. Thank you.
Appreciated that more unaffordable CO2 emitting cars can be put on the roads. Just go easy with the ERP gantries ok? Nevermind the residents, they'll get new houses at 'subsidized' prices.

Sunday Times Bonus for me! Elephant Parade pictures.
I am so into this at the moment.
Personally I've been around to snap 130 of the 162 elephants on display all over the city.
The only places I have not been (or rather will not go, since i have to pay to enter to see the elephants) are:
Mandai Zoo, Asian Civilisation Museum & Philatelic Museum.

I will shoot the balance when all 162 are gathered together at the Botanic Garden at the end of the exhibition.
They are really nice to look at. Go see my Youtube video and blog about the Elephant Parade!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seeing Pink Elephants!

It's the time of the year when we tend to over-indulge and imbibe just a little too much for our own good.
It's all in the spirit of Christmas I suppose, religious or commercial, whichever you prefer.
If you are out at your favorite watering holes in Orchard Road or Marina Bay, you may be forgiven if you start seeing pink elephants after your night out.

The Elephant Parade is in town!
The Elephant Parade is a phenomenally successful charity event in support of the endangered Asian elephant.
The open air art exhibition is in Singapore now. The very first Asian country to host the event.
Previous hosts were mostly European cities like Amsterdam, London, Copenhagen, Milan, etc.

The elephants are all designed and painted by famous artists and celebrities and will be auctioned off by Sotheby's to raise funds.

If you have not seen the elephants yet, I suggest that you make a beeline to catch them before they are all auctioned off after the exhibition. You may not get the chance again in Singapore as there is a long line of cities waiting to showcase this event.

The painted elephants are really nice. Go get your picture took with them.

I really enjoyed myself wandering around the city looking for each of the 162 elephants on display.
(some of them are further out at the zoo and at NUS, which I don't think I will be there tho').
If you don't have the energy, then your last chance will be when all 162 pachyderms will be gathered at the Botanic Gardens on 9 January 2012 for a mass display.


Related links:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shame the sin, forgive the sinner.

Shame, shame, shame on you.

Which do you feel is the greater shame?
Gawking at girls in skimpy bikinis.
Exhibiting your body in public.
Calling people names, or
passing derogatory remarks about others?

Not since the June general elections has a single topic garnered so much response from netizens.
There must be well over a thousand entries in blogs like Stomp, InSing and Hardwarezone over this issue of foreign workers having a day out at Sentosa!

Stomper Cheryl had posted a complaint about the hordes of foreign workers descending on Sentosa Island each weekend. Her main grievance was that these foreigners were photographing and recording videos of women in skimpy bikinis suntanning on the public beaches.

The deluge of responses came from both sides of the fence but most were xenophobic anti-foreigners sentiments.
These range from name callings like perverts, aliens, black heads to downright crude remarks like ban them from Sentosa, fence off the place and or charge them $100 for entry. Derogatory terms included polluting the air, racist piece of shit, retards and mental rapists. A good number laid the blame with the government over its immigrant policies.

I have not been to Sentosa Island for quite some time and I don't know the real situation, but judging from the pictures on the blogs, I presume that Sentosa has become another of those places where the foreign workers congregate during their day off.

There are now more than 2 million foreign workers of all nationalities working in Singapore. All these people need some outlet away from their work routine. Unfortunately, their tendency to flock with their own kind has led to some very uncomfortable situations for others as in the Sentosa situation.

However, it still doesn't bode well for locals to resort to name calling and making derogatory remarks.
It easy to blame others for the predicament we find ourselves in; the overcrowded trains and buses, the long queues at the supermarkets, being served by foreign sounding staff in the shops and food courts, etc.
Unfortunately, there is a social trade off if we don't want to do the menial or 'low grade' work ourselves.

Of course, others would argue that the point is not the people or race but rather the behavior of these people when they congregate.

I feel sad that all that simmering pent up feelings might one day just boil over.
I can understand the local sentiments. I too am guilty at times especially with my pet peeve about PRC cyclists on the pavements disregarding pedestrians.
Let's just all hope we don't sink to a lower level of shameful behavior on all our part.
I pray our society is not beginning to unravel itself with this foreigners issue.

Related links:
InSing news
Stomp post
Hardwarezone forum

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wait, the meaning will be clear...

In 2009, we had Phua Chu Kang with his crass rap on the trains.
Last year we had the Dim Sum Dollies annoying us with "train is coming ..train is coming..."
But this year's jingle takes the cake!

From the brickbats of the past 2 years, I guess SMRT did learn a little about public irritation with their song and dance jingles.
So this year it was a more 'reality' message of courtesy but the most idiotic thing they did was to get a schoolboy shouting in Singlish.

Wei !  Wei !  Wei !

That was about the only English vocal in the revised commercial and they fluffed it with poor English diction!
What does it mean?
Here listen to it yourself. Be warned: it's grossly irritating.

The clip loops every minute and if you are waiting at the station you'll go nuts listening to this irritating jingle.

Find out what happened when Hitler learned that SMRT made a new courtesy video.

Related links:
Phua Chu Kang jingle
Dim Sum Dollies
Train is coming...train is coming

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Keeping Singapore litter free.

What better way to wake up on a lazy Sunday morning then with a good laugh.
The Sunday Times had a serious article with unintentional hilarious snippets.

More enforcement officers deployed, littering increased by 101%.
Put up banners on the penalties of littering, littering increased by 105%
Put up environmental messages: littering increased by 61.5%.
They observed how often the bins spilled over - 22 times ;
they added more bins - the spillage stopped.  Duh?
After a year of study, the results? "Inconclusive"

Click on the picture for detailed view.

Singapore has been oft praised as the cleanest greenest place anywhere, but the recent study found that 4 in 10 respondents admitted to littering, with 1% being hard core litterbugs!

The truth is that Singapore is kept tidy and clean not because most citizens do not litter but that the streets are swept and tidied by a huge battalion of foreign workers.
They are the unsung heroes of keeping Singapore clean and spotless.

Photo by Euyah from
I shall not venture to add any further observation of my  own.
You can read the 179 page study here.
Click the pix for the study results.