Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Singapore's Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal at nightIf I am not mistaken, one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, is a monument that Shah Jahan built in memory of his dead wife. It is, in other words, a mausoleum or a grave. So when I read yesterday in Today a reader likening Singapore's proposed IR to the Taj Mahal (IR can be S'pore's Taj Mahal), my blood froze. I wasn't sure what it meant. Was the reader suggesting what first came to my mind, that the IR will be a white slap of marble dedicated to the dead? If so, it is a most uncomplimentary comment for a mega-billion development touted to revive and spur the Singapore economy in the years to come. Are we building another white coloured creature (again?) Is the Taj Mahal a good imagery to use as comparison and a draw on tourist traffic? I am not so sure. But from an oriental perspective, it certainly is not auspicious to cast the IR in the image of a mausoleum. I am sure that Harrah's, Sands, Genting and MGM Mirage would not want their respective proposals to come across as a glorified grave. So the reader's choice for comparison was unfortunate, to say the least.

Upon careful reading, I was relieved to note that the reader meant that the IR should be visually as beautiful and appealing as the real Taj Mahal. I suppose he had in mind the wish that the Singapore IR should eventually be crowned the 8th wonder of the world. Well, if this were to happen, the local tourism body overseeing this project will be more than gratified and the people pushing for and agreeing to the IR project will be vindicated. Its sad, though, that we won't have a Mr Tan Soo Khoon in Parliament singing the praises of the 8th Wonder of the World.

1 comment :

Sleepless in Singapore said...

You are right. It is uncompliementary to compare the two. One is motivated by love. The other by greed. Luring people to gamble just to earn tourist dollars is shameful.