Monday, April 03, 2006

Upgrading and kiasuism

Mr KiasuI do not live in the Hougang or Potong Pasir constituencies, which are currently run by the opposition parties. From what I heard and read, their MPs have tried their level best for the constitutents regarding civil upgrading works, but have often hit a wall with the incumbent government's sense of prioritization. The PAP is dangling the promise of upgrading these constituencies pronto should they be returned to power in the next General Election. Is it a good thing to upgrade every and anything? These two constituencies are aging in terms of facilities, but would we want to re-develop, say, Holland Village until its old world charms disappear? I think there is a place for everything. What this means is that there are places that you don't necessarily want to 'over-develop' to the point of sameness.

When everyone has the same thing - the shopping centres look and feel the same, the parks and cycling tracks have a certain stamp of a particular party, etc., the place loses its distinctive character. Common-ness generally reduces the value of the place when supply is more than demand. Moreover, as some sensible people in Potong Pasir have pointed out, upgrading comes with increased costs and leads inevitably to increased prices.

But in kiasu Singapore, kiasu Singaporeans always want what his fellow Singaporean already has. Prove me wrong.

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