Singapore Old Images and Lost Memories

28 Dec, 2009

Singapore has a colourful past and I am most nostalgic about its past while appreciative of the convenience and affluence of the new Singapore. Seeing the photographs below, you will notice some areas are well preserved by the Singapore Government especially the City Hall area while other are lost forever such as the hustling and bustling of Chinatown and the Singapore River (present Boat Quay and Clarke Quay). I do not have much memory about Orchard Road (too poor then), but I do have a fond memory of the place I lived which was near Lau Pa Sat and the scenes of the Singapore River and short houses are still vivid despite I was about four or five years old then.

I used to live in a kampong (Malay word for village) where your neighbours are often your best friends. We have Malay and Indian friends playing spiders and soccer and my Malay neighbour taught my mother how to make Satay (a Malay delicacy). Social harmony was at its best. I also remember most of the houses did not have a door, meaning I could just walk in and visit my neighbours anytime. The secret: most houses had a few dogs and they recognised familiar faces. Now, most people live in a flat (or I call pigeon holes) and most people prefer to maintain their privacy and somehow the relationships are often superficial.

The kampong I lived was called Ang Sar Li (red zinc sheets, present Lorong Ah Soo area), it has rubber plantation, vegetable farm, pig farm, rivers, wells, cats, chickens, ducks and dogs and the scenery was just stunning. One of the most stunning landscape was the sunset scene at the now Chua Chu Kang kampong, too bad digital camera had not been invented back then, anyway I would have no access as I was on a camping assignment while doing National Service. The other night I was with my 10-year old daughter and was telling her about my kampong life and I asked her what would she tell her child next time about her childhood, it looks like it is going to be reading story books, playinging computer games, watching TVs and visiting other countries. That is how pathetic our children are nowadays. The government should have preserved some of the kampongs for our children and their children. No land? you must be kidding, just look at so many empty prime land plots in many MRT stations outside the CBD. BTW the last two remaining kampongs in Singapore are Pulau Ubin and Lorong Buangkok.


The old charm of Chinatown could have been a prized tourist attraction instead of the indignant sneer by the tourists of the squeaky clean Chinatown now in name but have no substance, see the old Singapore Chinatown’s charm:


Human emotion is a very strange thing, the older you are, you get nostalgic. When you are young, you want everything new, you hate the old stuff. I were young once but now my heart aches every time an old building get demolished. The latest one being the 7th Storey building along Rochor Road that was demolished this year. So sad 🙁

Other nostagic links:

Share with us your comments here. Enjoy the photos, source: Flickr.

SRI MARIAMMAN HINDU TEMPLE AT SOUTH BRIDGE ROAD 1900SOUTH BRIDGE ROAD - SRI MARIAMAN TEMPLE  1950bq-08 bq-09 bq-07 bq-1920 bq-1956a bq-06bq-11 bq-1904 bq-1903 bq-1930 bq-02 bq-03 chinatown-1955 CAR PARK HAWKER CENTRE AT ORCHARD RD bq-1964-airclifford_pier-1966bq-1904abq-1946c bq-1946 ALHAMBRA THEATRE AT BEACH ROAD 1948 AMBER MANSION AT ORCHARD ROAD, SINGAPORE C1920 AMBER MANSIONS & MUNICIPAL GAS DEPARTMENT AT ORCHARD ROAD battery_road-1969 BEACH ROAD 1910beach road 1963 02 bq-04 bq-13 chinatown-01 bq-15 bq-1850 chinatown-1940 bq-1907 bq-1911 CHINESE TEMPLE 1900-1 CHINESE TEMPLE 1909 THIAN HOCK KENG 1911 bq-1980bq-1980d  bq-1980e bq-1980f bq-bridge-01 bq-buildings CLARKE-QUAY-06 clifford_pier-1950 CollyerQuay1 clifford_pier-1964 clifford_pier-1940 clifford_pier-1900clifford_pier-1969-02 clifford_pier-1954 CliffordPier COLLYER QUAY - ROBINSON RD CollyerQuay3GOVERMENT, OFFICE, VICTORIA MEMORIAL HALl 1979empress_placeFAR EAST MOTORS LTD, ORCHARD RD fiahing_kampong-pulau_ubin general_post_office-1953-battery_road clifford_pier-1945 general_post_office-battery_road geylang-1979 CHRISTMAS LIGHTUP IN ORCHARD RD geylang-AERIAL VIEW OF KAMPONG GEYLANG SERAI geylang-GEYLANG SERAI, MALAY KAMPONG HAVELOCK ROAD - FLATS 1973 04 ORCHARD ROAD AND QUEENSTOWN FLATS-1969-b HIGH ST TOWARDS FORT CANNING, SINGAPORE LIDO THEATRE AT ORCHARD RD marikasha station MACDONALD HOUSE, ORCHARD RD - AERIAL VIEW-b NAGORE DURGHA TEMPLE 1906 NEIL RD, C 1900-1930 NEIL RD, SINGAPORE neil road PRIVATE BUILDINGS_HOUSING ESTATES orchard road-1905-killinay_road SEMBAWANG-1940-SERGENTS MESS ORCHARD ROAD AND QUEENSTOWN FLATS ORCHARD ROAD AND QUEENSTOWN FLATS-1969a ORCHARD ROAD AND QUEENSTOWN FLATS-1969-c ORCHARD ROAD AND QUEENSTOWN FLATS-b ORCHARD ROAD FROM THE JUNCTION OF GRANGE ROAD orchard road-COLD STORAGE ON LEFT,CATHAY BUILDING orchard road-shopsorchard road-street-2 orchard rotd-1903-market orchard toad-900 ROBINSON ROAD - VIEW FROM ANSON CENTRE-1973 ROBINSON ROAD CPF BUILDING-1975SHENTON WAY, ROBINSON ROAD-1973 robinson road-1shanton_way-19-- SHOPHOUSES ALONG NEIL RD robinson road-19-- robinson road-19--- robinson road-19---- robinson road-1952 Rustic-house-pilau_ubin orchard road-1900-a SINGAPORE VIEW FROM FORT CANNING 1970 04 SINGAPORE VIEW FROM FORT CANNING 1970 05 SINGAPORE VIEW FROM FORT CANNING 1970 06 TANJONG PAGAR - CAIRNHILL 1958 TANJONG PAGAR BY ELECTIONS  1957 TANJONG PAGAR  1957 SINGAPORE VIEW FROM FORT CANNING 1970 09 TANJONG PAGAR  road 01 1900 TANJONG PAGAR POLICE STATION 1953 TANJONG PAGAR RAILWAY STATION TANJONG PAGAR RAILWAY STATION AT KEPPEL ROAD TANJONG PAGAR ROAD 1960 thian hock keng temple -1880 singapore-01 singapore-02jpg singapore-03jpg TROLLEY BUS TRAVELLING DOWN TANJONG PAGAR ROAD singapore-1967 SINGAPORE RIVER SCENE LOOKING TOWARDS FORT CANNING 1900S VICTORIA M. HALL  1975 VICTORIA M. HALL  1975 02 VIEW OF SINGAPORE FROM FORT CANNING HILL 1900s SINGAPORE VIEW FROM FORT CANNING 1966 02 SINGAPORE VIEW FROM FORT CANNING 1966 03 SINGAPORE VIEW FROM FORT CANNING 1970 chinatown-1950abugis_streetMRT CONSTRUCTION WORKS IN RAFFLES PLACE -1987 NationalTheatreclifford_pier-1969 Image1 CollyerQuay4HOUSES ALONG NEIL RD 01 HockLamStreetvan kleef clifford_pier-1960 MEN WORKING UNDERGROUND AT DHOBY GAUT MRT STATION



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