The Straits Times
21st May 2013
|These low-rise blocks in Kampong Silat, opposite the site of the new childcare centre, are the island's second oldest surviving public housing estate. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG|
THEY may look unassuming but the 13 low-rise blocks that sit opposite the site of the new childcare centre represent a slice of history.
Kampong Silat is the island's second oldest surviving public housing estate.
It was built by the Singapore Improvement Trust - the Housing Board's predecessor - between 1949 and 1952. This makes it younger only than the Tiong Bahru estate, which was built in 1937 and 1938. All of its residents have moved out, after the site was selected for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme in February 2007.
The now-vacant area is earmarked for future residential development.
Dr Yeo Kang Shua, honorary secretary of the Singapore Heritage Society, said the area shows a piece of Singapore's residential history.
He added that people should not assume that the flats there will be torn down just because they have been earmarked for future residential use.
But Dr Yeo, who is also an assistant professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, said: "If we have to destroy the building, then I will opt to at least preserve the building through documentation, such as through measured drawings and oral history."