Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't allow Tiong Bahru to turn into a red-light district

The Straits Times
Online Forum
June 11, 2009

I READ with concern Monday's report, 'Planned budget hotel causes a stir', on the Hotel 81 being developed at 1-9 Eng Hoon Street in Tiong Bahru, and how some residents worry it will give a sleazy image to the neighbourhood.

I have lived in Tiong Bahru for the past four decades.

This is a clean and green estate with a tranquil environment and unique buildings, such as the pre-war flats that have been conserved.

Singaporeans who appreciate the charm and identity of these buildings have even suggested that the estate be a nominee for Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site.

People from all walks of life and different locations come to Tiong Bahru for its good food.

The wet market has also been featured in The Straits Times' Life! section.

The estate draws tourists and even celebrities.

In fact, not too long ago, former Thai prime minister Samak Sundarajev visited the Tiong Bahru wet market.

We cannot allow the estate to be turned into a red-light district, as this would destroy its heritage and historic charm.

Florence Chua (Ms)

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