Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Land of a Basket of Flowers

Recently, URA announced the Jurong Lake Masterplan 2008 to transform the Jurong Lake District into a unique lakeside destination for business and leisure. This plan will work towards to make over this place into West region's most alluring lake scenery.

Between year 2002 and 2004, I used to reside in Jurong East's HUDC area. Opposite my place reveals the alluring sight of Chinese and Japanese Garden. During my stay there, I published two poetry books. Looks like the conducive environment has fired up my imagination to come out with exquisite work. However, the economy was at its downturn due to the SARS period at that time. I was also probably at my most downcast period.

Actually, ever since I got married, I have always stayed in the West. Traffic jams are minimal in the morning and traffic is smooth towards the evening. Coupled with many well-known learning institutes, Singapore's two Government University and two polytechnics gathered in the West as well. However, as the West is filled with industrial parks, people who are worried of air pollution chose not to reside in this area. In actual fact, there is ample rainfall in the West thus air pollution problem is brought under control. The only problem is that there are many heavy vehicles on the road and therefore traffic accidents may be rampant. Other than these, residing in the West should not pose much of a problem.

The situation seemed to have changed lately because more can be seen residing in the West. Sometimes, I wonder if Singapore's last paradise will be destroyed after so much large-scale revamp.

Singapore's west region is seen as the dragonhead that has once brought about a turning point economically. However, many industrials have started to venture out. Coupled with the introduction of both light and heavy industrialization, the beauty of Jurong seems to be misplaced. But then again, the purity and simplicity of Jurong area linger.

Through my work, I realized that friends who reside in the East are extravagant in terms of renovations whereas people who reside in the west seek simplicity and do not invest much on renovations. This is how the East and West differ from each other. As both Jurong East and West sit towards the South-West of Singapore, the luck cycle will also help to bring about a change for the better. However, the population residing in this area is not large thus its expenditure is also not as significant. How is situation in Jurong going to improve?

After the vigorous development of shopping malls such as IMM and Jurong Point, it further led to an increasing number of people residing in the West. In addition, there is also a large influx of immigrants that further contributed to the development of Jurong area. Till date, luxurious shopping districts, hotels and cafes are still lacking in the West. The Government hopes to develop Jurong into both a tourist attraction and business district. In hope of bringing new vibrance to this area, good management is essential or the masterplan will not be a success.
In fact, fashion design, delicacies, lifestyle, business, industrial, housing properties and relaxation are the hypes today. There is a need to strike a balance among these things and to come up with a comprehensive plan to enhance development.

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