Monday, August 25, 2008

Meeting on the repainting of Tiong Bahru - 6th September 2008

Kelvin Ang has just emailed out to every possible residents within the Tiong Bahru Estate to keep them in the loop about this important up-coming meeting to discuss about the repainting issues:

Dear Neighbours and Friends,


1. I am pleased to inform all of you that the Tanjong Pagar Town Council will be, and is pleased to be organizing a session for the paint consultant to share their thinking behind their current paint schemes, as well as to provide a platform for all other residents to share their thoughts and ideas on the current schemes up for voting, and also alternatives suggestions that they might have developed that they would like to share with other residents. (for possible re-voting)

2. All residents of the Pre- and Post-War SIT estate are welcome to attend. The Town Council will also be inviting the members of the Seng Poh Residents Committee to the sharing session.

3. Tiong Bahru CC at Eu Chin Street is the host and venue of the sharing session, and the details are as follows:

Date: 6 September 2008, Saturday
Time: 1pm to about 2.30 pm
Venue: Tiong Bahru Community Centre, Conference Room
ground floor, just after the entrance at the Tiong Poh Road Entrance)

4. A lap-top and projector will be provided by the CC, and those of you who wish to share your ideas are welcome to present them in a short computer presentation, e.g. Powerpoint, of no more than 5 minutes.

5. If you do wish to share your ideas, do let me know by 30 August, so that I am able to collate the information for the CC to help in planning the event.

6. Please also do think through if you have suggestions/preferences on the following:

a. Voting system – some have mentioned that it may be better to ask residents to rank their top 3 choices instead of just having to choose 1, as there would be more consensus on the final chosen scheme,

b. Whether the option of retaining the existing scheme should be one of the options, and

c. Whether if you prefer the Pre- and Post War estate to have the same colour scheme instead of 2 different schemes.

7. We would also appreciate if you could spread the word to those of your other friends and neighbours who would be interested and would like to attend the meeting on the day. It would be a great chance to get to know both old and new neighbours!

8. And, please RSVP by 2nd September 2008, by emailing to me

9. Thank you one and all for your interest in the 'hood!

Yours sincerely,
Kelvin Ang

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tiong Ma-Lu Part II

Mr Peter Chan continues to guest blog about Tiong Bahru at Good Morning Yesterday Blog.

I was so glued to his stories about old Tiong Bahru that I'm already craving for more.

Let's hope Mr Peter Chan will continue to share with us his valuable recollection about this wonderful estate.

If I may borrow Swenson's TV ad's line : I'm so looking forward to Part 3!

Meanwhile, here's the PART 2 which all of us can slowly savour and delight in.....for the time being: Tiong Ma-Lu Part 2

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good Morning Yesterday

Mr Peter Chan has just guest blogged about Tiong Bahru at the "Good Morning Yesterday" blog.

(Good Morning Yesterday blog is a finalist in the Best Individual Blog category of S'pore Blog Award and the creator of that blog is Mr Lam Chun See.)

He recalls the many stories his grandfather told him about Tiong Bahru while he was growing up at the Pre-War Tiong Bahru section.

Mr Chan also included some very valuable pictures of Old Tiong Bahru as well as a 1963 map of Tiong Bahru!

Eng Hoon Street was also mentioned in his post and I never knew that street was used by the retreating Aussie and Indians soldiers during WWII.

That street was later used by the Japanese as part of the "SOOK CHING" operation.

On the lighter side, Mr Chan also mentioned about a famous Teochew comedian he had for a neighbour.

Read all about it here at : Tiong Ma-Lu

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lee Keng Kiat (1851-1917)

This is another road within the Tiong Bahru Estate that is named after a Strait-born Chinese from Malacca.

ee Keng Kiat (1851-1917) was born in Malacca and educated in Penang.

After his graduation, he came to work in Singapore and later joined the Straits Steamship Co as a sub-manager.

He contributed much to the Straits-born Chinese community.

He is the son of Lee Quee Lim.

Lee Keng Kiat had two sons, Lee Chin Tuan and Lee Chin Huk.

Mr Lee Keng Kiat died in 1917 at the age of 66.

Today, Keng Kiat Road is just a Cul De Sac within the Tiong Bahru Estate and it leads to nowhere. (It was probably a road that goes into a small kampong behind Tiong Poh Road till the early 1980's. The kampong was cleared for the Central Expressway.)

The "Karang Guni" people thought this would be a good place to congregate and collect container loads of cardboard boxes from all the uncles and aunties who are trying to eke out a living from their own recycling programme.

At times, this Cul De Sac is also used by the nearby temples to burn their "offerings".

Since whatever is done there
does not get in anyone's way, no one really mind what people do there as long as they don't mess up the place.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Remember the Brick Walls!

I’ve got something for everyone here to ponder.

Within the Pre-War section in Tiong Bahru, there are some blocks of flats that have “exposed bricks” for a facade.

The previous time the Town Council did a re-painting job in Tiong Bahru, they had carelessly painted over those exposed brick walls at Block 79 & 80 Chay Yan Street.

At that time, Tiong Bahru Estate has yet to be conserved and people living here at that time basically do not give two hoots about what was being done to their estate.

But things are so different this time around and the town council would have found out by now that they cannot try to pull wool over the resident’s eyes that easily.

One thing I cannot understand is the yellow and blue option which was given to the residents here.

Perhaps the colour specialist did not even walk around the Tiong Bahru Estate and basically planned the colour scheme in the comfort of their office.

I can only speculate that they probably conjure up the colour combination based on the pictures given to them and since those pictures did not have the brick facade and they may have overlooked that completely!

Those bricks are reddish brown in colour and the suggested colour has to be in the same family of colours right?

Correct me if I’m wrong here, reddish brown, baby blue and pastel yellow are not of the same group right?

Not unless the town council intend to paint over the brick walls!

These bricks had been around for the past 70 years! Please leave them alone!

I hope the town council will work around those brick walls and not just paint them over to suit the new colour scheme.

Everyone please help to keep a look out and make sure they do not conveniently paint them over.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Idiot Proofed

Finally, after 3 days of sending every concerned Tiong Bahru residents into a tailspin, the town council has finally 'idiot-proofed' the process.

See the picture below

sorry for the poor quality coz it was 8pm and lighting was poor and my
phone camera is no SLR quality

They even point out the direction to the mailboxes.

During the last 3 days, everything at the street level in Tiong Bahru Estate looks normal. It was business as usual.

But in the email world, the momentum was quite different.

I am glad to see so many concerned residents who made their opinions known.

And I even saw an email that was forwarded to Prof Koo, Indranee and Simon (pardon my ignorance, who is Simon?)

And we are grateful to Kelvin Ang who alerted the right department to get their processes right.

(The Town Council people were still putting up the colour scheme pictures in every available notice boards in Tiong Bahru. I saw them while I was on the way home from my in law’s place at Guan Chuan Street at about 10pm just now)

At the moment, I'm still having very mixed feeling. To me, it was not so much the poorly executed processes but the lack of REAL choices offered to the residents.

The whole choice thingy is something akin to our Muslim friends' predicament when they walk into the Tiong Bahru Market.

Despite people calling this a food haven, they really only have 2 stalls to choose from.

The Malay stall and the Indonesian stall!

And for people who crave for some Mee Goreng or Roti Prata, they have to walk over to either Kim Tian Road or Tiong Bahru Plaza as there ain't any here at this food haven.

So far, it seems that the blue and yellow Combi does not go very well with everyone I know.

But we haven't check with the Uncle, Aunties, Ah Chek and Ah Soh.

They may actually find those colours refreshing and vote for it.

And let me remind everyone here, they are still the majority....according to Wikipedia.

Living in an Obiang Blue or Pale Yellow flat remains a strong possibility for me.

And if Tiong Bahru is split up into 4 colours, we can organize competitions and literally compete based on 'house' colours....just like primary school days.


Monday, August 11, 2008

The Great Tiong Bahru Mess

The town council has finally got their act together.

The Colour proposals for the PRE-WAR section could be found on the notice board in front of the Resident Committee at Blk 48 Moh Guan Terrace (Just as it was stated in the survey form)

As you can see from the notice board, there were no headings or any mention of what the 4 pictures were for.

The Town Council assumed we all knew what the pictures were there for.

To make matters worse, the HDB’s colour proposals are not placed alongside with the PRE-WAR Colour Proposal.

They are instead placed at a notice board along the pathway in between Blk 46 Seng Poh Road and Blk 48 Moh Guan Terrace.

This oversight is going to create A LOT more confusion for the residents!

I only realised this confusion may arise when my sis-in-law gave me an incredulous look when I told her I’m going for Proposal D for the HDB section.

She thought I was going for the PRE-WAR colour scheme.

(I was thinking of this Proposal D)

(My Sis-In-Law thought I was talking about this Proposal D)

This has serious implication for Tiong Bahru!!!

Let’s just assume everyone who was given a survey form shows up at the RC notice board.

Looking at the 4 proposals there, they will probably think that those 4 proposals presented there are THE PROPOSED COLOURS.

Nothing is on the board to prompt them that they are looking at the WRONG pictures.

So let’s assume the Tanjong Pagar Town Council got a lot of votes for PROPOSAL A from the HDB folks.

Instead of getting this colour scheme:

Of which the resident thinks will turn out SOMETHING like this:

They will END UP getting this!!!!!:

And the town council can cover their rear-end by showing everyone that the residents here actually chose PROPOSAL A!!!!!

Since the survey is so badly EXECUTED, it should be scrapped and be redone again.

There must be no margin for error.

Right now, we MAY POTENTIALLY end up with 4 groups of colour within the Tiong Bahru Estate!!!!

Group 1: Pre-War Tiong Bahru
Group 2: Tiong Bahru Market

Group 3: Blk 17 – Blk 29 HDB Walk Up
Group 4: Blk 33 – Blk 50 HDB Walk Up

Welcome to the TECNICOLOUR town of Tiong Bahru.!!!!!! Screams the future billboard at the Entrance of Tiong Bahru.

Why can’t we synchronised the Pre-War and HDB colours so that both sides will complement each other? how they complement each other now?

I cannot help but feel that the whole colour survey exercise was conducted just for "show" and it is a waste of everyone else time and resources.

To be safe, may I have PROPOSAL E?


After looking at how the whole exercise is conducted, we better err on the side of caution than to let some colour specialist "beautify" our estate!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The future Tiong Bahru Colour

I saw these survey forms today while i was conducting viewings for some tenants.

The HDB section may possibly have 2 sets of different colours scheme since they are split into 2 groups.

I’m sure glad that the town council is making some effort to ask the resident about the choice of colours they would like for our estate.

The following are the given choices:


Proposal A

Proposal B

Proposal C

Proposal D


Proposal A

Proposal B

Proposal C

Proposal D

By the way, I walked over to the RC at Blk 48 Moh Guan Terrace and found nothing there.

So I’ve got to walk around the estate to piece those pictures together.

Happy National Day Tiong Bahru

I was alerted to a YouTube Video by Marquis_De_Sade this morning.

It was the NDP 2003 Theme Song - A Place in My Heart

Funny I don’t recall this NDP song at all!

Almost 3 quarter of the footages has Tiong Bahru as the backdrop.

You can almost call it the Tiong Bahru Theme Song as it contain very little non Tiong Bahru images.

Too bad the roti prata man at Blk 65 Tiong Poh Road (Ah Chang Porridge Coffeeshop) is gone...and so is the bird corner at Blk 53 Tiong Bahru Road (Now the Link Hotel).

Marquis_De_Sade, thank you once again.

And to every Singaporean, Happy 43rd National Day.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Noticing the Notices

Today is a typical day for me.

It is a Friday and it is the usual day I go around slotting my flyers within the Tiong Bahru Estate.

To make my routine a little more interesting today, I thought I will snap all the notices that are pasted all over Tiong Bahru today.

The following are what I found today:

This notice is pasted from Blk 17 to Blk 29 in Tiong Bahru

Found this pasted at Blk 81 Tiong Poh Road

This notice is pasted throughout the PRE-WAR section. Littering continues to be a problem here as there is no rubbish chute within the homes. Some inconsiderate residents just leave their litters all over the places other than the bins provided.

This notice is pasted along Tiong Poh Road as SP Power is digging up the road. StarHub was digging up the same stretch 3 weeks ago! Why can't they all dig at the same time?

One of the many RENOVATION notices that could be found pasted within the estate.

A notice by one very annoyed owner who is fed up with people who continuously dump rubbish just outside his home.

Another notice by another annoyed owner

This notice shouldn't even appear here as no one should ever park their motorcycles along the walkways. What if the motorcycle catches fire? Tiong Bahru is hot property but not in that literal sense.

This owner even leaves a phone number for the litterbugs to contact him or her.

This is Singapore most famous guy and is probably constantly on Mr KS Wong's mind.

I applaud this owner's effort in doing up a nice poster.

I hope this dog owner has found his or her puppy by now.

Call Fion if you share the same interest.

Curiosity kills the cat....I might just call to find out about this miracle.

So far I've never stopped by a lamp-post and suddenly decides to buy my wife flowers. Today may be just the day I do something crazy. It is after all 08/08/08 right?

Call this number at your own risk!
You've been warned!

This is fantastic advice! YES! Call ONLY the professionals.
The number above may not be "professional" enough. Do your homework well or you'd be sorry.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I supposed these chains were put up by the town council today.

Looks like there won't be any more unauthorized traffic zipping across to terrorize some old ladies into giving way.

Out of concern, I think the chains are a little inconspicuous.... especially in the night when lighting is poor.

Those unwary motorists may trip over these chains and hurt themselves badly.

It would be good if these chains are made a little more noticeable.

Now that these chains are put up, I wonder how the town council's “buggies” are going to zip around to clear the garbage now.

I supposed they have to stop and unlock and lock the chains every time they need to enter this sector.

It is so troublesome…..if only everyone use these pavement responsibly, we will not need to chain it up in the first place.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Singapore Song

We will be 43 years old in a few days' time.

And everyone is busy making their own plans on how to spend that holiday.

National day has different significance to every one of us.

I guess those that braved through those pre-independence day will find this day especially meaningful while people like me will always seems to take what we have now for granted.

We will probably treat this day as just another day to take a break and some might even take the opportunity to scoot off for a short holiday.

Mr Rony Tan of
Lighthouse Evangelism does it a little differently.

He wrote a song to celebrate our independence. Though the song sounded like a hymn, I’m still touched by his effort in putting this video together.

And I’m amazed that he is able to find so many old footages of Singapore.

For those who do not like old stuff, here's a funnier version by Hossan Leong

And here're the official NDP 2008 versions :



Sunday, August 3, 2008

What a TREAT!

What I treat I had when I was conducting a viewing yesterday evening.

I think my home buyers were pleased too!

We were standing at the balcony of this home which I am currently marketing when were heard the sound of helicopters.

Lo and behold, we saw a huge Singapore flag being dragged through the sky by a helicopter.

Too bad we couldn’t spend another 2 hours in this home; otherwise we would have a clear view of the Black Knight’s aerial display and the mesmerising fireworks.

Bet you never knew you could actually see the whole National Day thingy from a low rise estate such as Tiong Bahru.

This particular unit is unique because it overlooks the rest of the Tiong Bahru Pre-War estate since most of those units are about 3 storeys tall at the most.

The unit we were at was the signature block of the Tiong Bahru Estate as some columns of this block is 5 storeys tall.

So anything on the 4th and 5th storey would offer the home owners a fabulous view or the city and the occasional fireworks display treats.

The work has begun

Yesterday, I was on the way for a viewing appointment when I saw these men working tirelessly in the hot sweltering sun.

It was about 35 degrees and I was melting.

A notice pasted above the letterboxes revealed what they were tasked to do.

They are water-proofing the end wall of the buildings.

I’m so glad that improvement works are being done to the estate. I take this as a sign that this Post War Estate will be around for a while longer.