The Straits Times
Online Forum Section
June 30, 2009
SADLY, Singapore still has a long way to go before it matures as a society, even if it has done well economically.
Hotel 81 - which is a hotel, not a brothel, by the way - in Tiong Bahru bears this out.
Like the issue of housing dormitories for foreign workers in Serangoon Gardens, some residents are saying 'somewhere else, but not here'.
Presumably, it is okay in Geylang.
It is also okay in Chinatown, and many other locations not considered inordinately prone to 'vice' (for the complainants have not, as far as I know, protested against the very existence of Hotel 81).
'But hey. I came to live in this pleasant neighbourhood. Put it somewhere else.'
Unfortunately, there is no social or government contract when you buy a property or choose to live in a particular location, for you to 'expect' things to be exactly how you want them.
Like the recent online letter by Mrs Bendjenni Udiana Jamalludin about how some men dressed well but lacked social graces ('They were well-dressed but behaved like louts', last Saturday), Singapore can develop economically but fall well behind in social development.
Perhaps more can be done in school to ensure the next generation 'grows up'.