Our little red hot spot, Singapore, is a young, supposedly lively, presumedly independent country that is most likely one of the sprightliest chilli padi powerhouses of Southeast Asia. Oh yes… And we all love to talk about “upgrading” and “progress”, and we seemingly are supposed to be progressing as well.

However, a curious affair is how we would rate our progression. Well, this depends on what we perceive “progression” to be, and I would think the deciding factor in this would not be some great technological advancement or political conquest, but rather the quiet, seemingly insignificant things happening to our landscape. This “progression” has lately reached my ulu and quiet home along Jalan Loyang Besar. 

More than a decade ago, it was said that a road was proposed to link Jalan Loyang Besar to Pasir Ris Drive 3, but up to now, this road is still non-existent. About 5 years ago, a large plot of forested area in between Jalan Loyang Besar and Pasir Ris New Town was cleared (creating lots of excitement among residents)…. Then was left to grow back over time. Just last week, more trees were felled along Jalan Loyang Besar, apparently to widen the road. Thankfully, some work would finally be done to progressively de-ulu-ise my place.

However, due to the “denudation” of the vegetation, Jalan Loyang Besar has now became more “open” and the HDB flats further inland are no longer blocked from view. This is in stark contrast to the original landscape, which looked like it was cut out from a 1970s photo. Sadly, as part of the “progression”, a “regression” of the unique atmosphere of a nostalgic, tranquil area has been disturbed.

It is inevitable that some of our beloved “possessions” are lost in the name of progress, but it would (very simply put) be nice to preserve at least some little pockets of our “lost world”s in their forgetten context, protected from the sands of time and the brutal uniformization and conformitarian policy of modern day capitalism.


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