Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Haze: Season begins in Feb 2016

In Environment, Indonesia, Uncategorized on 22/11/2015 at 1:08 pm

Not in Aug/ Sept as is traditionally the case.. Or even like a few yrs back in May.

Enjoy the haze-free environment. Not that long more before next season begins.

This is what i posted a few weeks ago

The Indons tell us the fires will cease by the end of Neovember: rains are late this yr leh. What they don’t tell us: Louis Verchot of the Centre for International Forestry Research warns that El Niño may yet induce a second burning season, next February and March. Lax laws are part of the problem. Even more serious are official incompetence and corruption, which have allowed plantations to keep spreading on land that is supposed to be off-limits. A regional treaty designed to combat the haze was drawn up in 2002 that was full of grand promises but lacked teeth.

Rail corridor plan/ LKY

In Environment on 18/11/2015 at 4:33 am

This model [of part of the winning plan for the rail corridor] makes me think that there is a secret master plan (planning only leh) for a population of 8m. And fact that ST doesn’t photo highlight this in its article double confirms my suspicion. )))) — This was posted by my Facebook avatar, 

Another member of the Facebook group (pretty conservative: we believe that Amos Yee’s punishment was self-inflicated and hustified) ( added, “It’s ultimately 10m population we are planning for. Global city.”

In general, the presence of high rises buildings in the corridor annoyed commenters.

Must we have high rises everywhere? Add to reserves isit? While low rise structures or the absence of buildings raids our reserves?

Seriously, as one Harry Lee made S’pore a clean and green place, benefitting our pockets, we should forget about the high-rises, keep the area green and rename the corridor “LKY’s Way”.







Haze: Help? What help?

In Environment, Indonesia on 10/11/2015 at 4:55 am

A new law introduced in Singapore this year that aims to drag Indonesia’s fire-starters through its own courts may make more difference. Retailers in the city-state have already stopped selling products made by some firms under investigation.


But otherwise our fire fighting team has returned and no new team is going out.

The Singapore team helping to fight haze-causing fires in Indonesia returned Saturday afternoon (Oct 24) after more than 10 days in Palembang.

The return marks the completion of the Singapore Armed Forces’ two-week deployment, as requested by Indonesian authorities.

A total of 40 SAF and Singapore Civil Defence Force troops were deployed on Oct 10.  A Chinook helicopter with a 5,000-litre heli-bucket was also deployed. Over the two weeks, it had discharged more than 400,000 litres of water and extinguished more than 50 hotspots in Sumatra.


This blog has been pretty critical about the Indon officials false pride and BS but if S’pore has not offered to send another team and another to help, then our help is really “peanuts” and not worth accepting in the first place.

More than 20,000 firefighters are battling blazes across its jungles and peatland. So our one-time help of 40 fire-fighters and some eqpt is “peanuts” by any standard,

But maybe we did offer to send another team (and then another), but the Indons refused our help?

But then I’m sure that our ministers would have made that fact public.

Next haze season begins in Feb 2016

In Environment, Indonesia on 08/11/2015 at 10:50 am

The Indons tell us the fires will cease by the end of Neovember: rains are late this yr leh. What they don’t tell us: Louis Verchot of the Centre for International Forestry Research warns that El Niño may yet induce a second burning season, next February and March. Lax laws are part of the problem. Even more serious are official incompetence and corruption, which have allowed plantations to keep spreading on land that is supposed to be off-limits. A regional treaty designed to combat the haze was drawn up in 2002 that was full of grand promises but lacked teeth.

Haze: Why Indons getting serious

In Environment, Indonesia on 31/10/2015 at 11:06 am

A few days ago I wrote Haze: Huge Indon U-turn within a week

The Indon govt was changing its mind on calling a state of National Emergency despite saying it wasn’t on the cards a few days earlier.

The reason?

“Lately, clouds of haze have been drifting into the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, which normally escapes the smelly fumes. Cynics will wonder whether that helped persuade Mr Widodo to come home early,” Economist.

Widodo had cut short a US trip to deal with haze.

Haze is hitting the elite where it hurts, their home town and the place where upset people can make a difference.


Haze: Huge Indon U-turn within a week

In Environment, Indonesia on 29/10/2015 at 5:23 am

The British have a saying, “A week is a long time in politics.”

Yesterday CNA reported, Indonesia is considering declaring a national emergency over fires that have been smouldering across the archipelago for weeks, sending haze drifting across much of Southeast Asia, the vice president said on Tuesday.

The government would intensify efforts to contain the fires that have caused pollution levels across the region to spike to unhealthy levels, and forced school closures and flight cancellations, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said.

“The problem is too big,” Kalla said in an interview at his office in Jakarta.

But on 21 October, Companies will benefit if haze problem declared national disaster: Indonesian minister

The annual haze problem in Indonesia is about injustice, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for politics, law and security Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.

“When a company controls 2.8 million hectares of land, where is the justice? Then there are those that own 600,000 hectares of land but own not a single fire extinguisher,” he said in an interview in the Oct 25 issue of Tempo, an Indonesian weekly news magazine.

He explained authorities’ reluctance to declare the haze problem a national disaster, even though air pollution levels in some Indonesian cities have reached hazardous levels at more than 2,600 API.

“Should the government be dousing fires all the time? If we call it a national disaster, they will benefit from it,” he said, referring to land concession owners. “They have 500 million pounds sterling in London banks, but they demand that we douse the flames.”


The plantation owners could use  any declaration of a national emergency to declare force majeure on palm oil deals, even financing deals entered into with banks.

Haze: Only Indon officials do this

In Environment, Indonesia on 25/10/2015 at 4:23 am

Int’l conference of ministers in haze-ridden Padang.

Only Indon officials can be so cock. I assume that when this conference was scheduled, they tot the haze season would be over.

Correspondents … likely to be discussed at the talks is smoke from illegal forest burning in Indonesia that has blighted the air across much of South East Asia for several weeks.

Julie Bishop takes morning run before attending Indian Ocean Rim Association meetings in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, 23 October 2015

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will hand on the chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to Indonesia at a meeting in West Sumatra.

IORA consists of 20 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean and has been chaired by Australia since 2013.


Haze: Indon govt protecting plantation cos

In Environment, Indonesia on 23/10/2015 at 4:48 am

Our govt has officially requested Jakarta to provide S’pore with the names of those companies that are causing the fires. This would allow S’pore to take legal action against those responsible for the haze that has covered us, M;sia and now southern Thailand.

But Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Luhut Pandjaitan has given us us the finger on the issue (and in so doing tells us that the plantation cos are being protected), despite Indonesian officials regularly blaming S’pore-based (and M’sian based) cos for the fires.

Speaking to the media here after delivering a public lecture on Monday (Oct 19), he said Jakarta might consider releasing the names of the companies after they have gone though the legal process in Indonesia*.

Jakarta has said it is not yet ready to officially disclose names of plantation companies responsible for the forest fires in the country that caused the haze in the region.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Luhut Pandjaitan said releasing the names would create uncertainty within the country.

He added that the Indonesian government also do not want to create an uncertain situation within the country because of this. “Moving forward, they know that they are going to get punished by the government. I think this is very important.

“But next year, we have already given them a clear message: We are going to revoke their licence, no question about that. That I can assure you. They understand that fully.” 


So it seems that the companies are to be given yet another chance to avoid being named and shamed, and prosecuted here. Did money cdhange hands ?

Related post: Another Indon goof


*Legal process, what legal process? He said: “Well, we are not protecting (plantation companies). Like I mentioned earlier, we have not officially submitted the names to the court. So how can we disclose them to the public? It’s unfair. We’ll wait for the court’s final decision.” 

How can courts decide if the names are not officially submitted? So Kafkaesque    of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially :  having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality <Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays>

Did money change hands?


Swiss standard S’pore should introduce

In Environment on 17/10/2015 at 4:36 am

Cutting the level of noise pollution. What with plans for 6.9 people by 2030. surely in addition to building more flats and improving public tpt services (both works in progress), it’s time to lower noice pollution levels?

Making a din in Geneva will be more costly in future, after the authorities announced a steep increase in fines for noise disturbances.

Until recently, the canton fined people up to 150 francs ($156; £100) after noise complaints, but under the new system that will be the minimum amount, the 20 minutes news website reports. Someone shouting in the street can expect the lowest fine, but if car horns wake up an entire neighbourhood the penalty could reach 1,000 francs, the canton’s Attorney General Olivier Jornot says.

Car owners whose exhaust silencers aren’t working properly can now expect a fine of 500 francs, rather than the 50 to 100 francs of old. And there will be limits on how long celebrations can go on after a sporting event, decided on a case-by-case basis, the website reports.

Haze: Indon officials that cock meh? Double confirm

In Environment, Indonesia on 09/10/2015 at 5:32 am

Further to this, I’ll let my fellow Facebookers speak for me on the u-turn in Indon policy

“Jakarta accepts foreign help to fight raging forest fires” ST today. Finally. Why didn’t they accept such offers weeks back when it was offered and when the situation was already hazardous? Was it pride or what? And here, neighbours numbering millions have been suffering due to the Indonesian government’s previous stance! Hopefully there will be some relief in the near future.”

“At last! They also accepted Russian help. If Russia did not offer assistance I doubt that their foolish pride would have allowed them to accept Singapore’s offer. But now that a huge country and P5 member is helping them it has become acceptable to accept an insignificant offer from a tiny neighbour. Another factor may be the impending ASEAN Summit which also entails meetings with Dialogue Partners. Their lack of capacity has been all too evident and they would have wanted to avoid criticism from world leaders.
‘In today’s ST page A6 there is a story about how the Indonesian government pressured major palm oil firms to roll back no deforestation pledges they made at the UN. I think this is actually a more important story than Jakarta’s belated acceptance of foreign assistance because it reveals something of the thinking and priorities of this Indonesian government.”

To the second comment, I’d add that there is a newspaper that a senior Indon official claimed that it turned down S’pore’s help initially because it didn’t want S’pore to claim credit for solving the problems.

Using that line of reasoning, one can assume that Indon officials will refuse to divulge the name of S’pore-based cos that it thinks is causing the haze. Doesn’t want S’pore to claim the credit for prosecuting them.

Which brings me to Terry Xu’s constructive suggestion to the S’pore govt.

“Zenata Putera, co-founder of local NGO, P.M Haze, said that while Indonesian authorities have said that there is a lack of information regarding the plots of land which companies own, NGOs have noted that such information is in fact available. He also said that it would be easier to work with the NGOs to resolve the haze-related issues than to go through the bureaucratic process.
What the Singapore government could probably do is to engage with the NGOs in Indonesia and to work out a plan to monitor errant companies. It could also help provide jobs for villagers who would be willing to work as firefighters and watchmen of the plantations to prevent fires or to testify against companies who run foul of the law.
The Singapore government has a duty to address the annual issue and to stop pushing the blame to “uneducated” villagers and companies that are almost never prosecuted in any way. The residents of Singapore deserves a better answer than being urged to bear with it and told that things are beyond our control.”

What Terry Xu is saying is this, “By-pass the Indonesian govt, work with the Indon NGOs to identify the criminals”

Good suggestion but following it will get the Indon govt further upset with us. Indonesia is so protective of its sovereignty that it refuses to provide the map co-ordinates of the areas where it alleges S’pore cos are breaking its law, when our govt wants the info to prosecute the alleged burners.

In dealing with the haze problem, there no win-win possiblities, only a choice of lesser evils.

Haze: La Nina riding to the rescue?

In Environment, Indonesia on 04/10/2015 at 4:25 am

So the Indon officials say they don’t need our help despite the VP sayinfg S’pore should help and despite firefighters saying they lack eqpt. Allah is sending in La Nina earlier than expected.

Coming in 2016, El Nino’s other half: heavy rains among other things.

Map: effects of La Nina on commodities

2025: LKY’s memorial unveiled

In Environment, Infrastructure on 25/08/2015 at 3:37 am

In a recent blog post,”Where will the energy business be in 2025?” the FT’s energy guru, Nick Butler gave scenarios of the world in 2025. One scenario mentioned us and our dear Harry.

Climate change remains a serious and unresolved issue because of the continued use of coal but the focus of attention has shifted to the impact of climate volatility and extreme weather conditions. Insurance premiums for low-lying areas that could be hit by flooding have tripled. In 2025, Singapore announces that it will proceed with the construction of the 40km Lee Kuan Yew sea wall surrounding the island, which can be raised and lowered according to the level of risk.

The Great Wall of S’pore begins construction on the 10th anniversary of him becoming the 9th Immortal. DSC_0029

Yup cybernuts in TRE and TOC Land, in 2025, the PAP is still ruling S’pore. Grave dancer Oxygen and friends, go bang yr balls and cry. Harry rules OK. DSC_0011

Make a wasteland, call it rat-free

In Environment on 23/03/2015 at 4:07 am

Image result for Bukit Batok rats + hillImage result for Bukit Batok rats + hill

Image result for Bukit Batok rats + hill

“They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace,” Tacitus quoting a Caledonian chieftain fighting a Roman invasion of his poor country.

“Did we have to destroy the town in order to save it?” a US Marine Captain on the battle for Huế. His answer was “Yes”.

HDB has promised re-turfing. Let’s see if they live up to the promise.

When dogs roamed the hill, see how green it was. But the rats were lurking underneath. Proves LKY’s point that we must always remain paranoid (OK! OK! “Vigilant”) against unseen threats hiding in our society.

Image result for Bukit Batok rats + hillImage result for Bukit Batok rats + hillImage result for Bukit Batok rats + hill

Cause of plankton bloom?/ Three cheers for Tessa Wong

In Environment, Malaysia, Media on 10/03/2015 at 5:43 am

Several fish farmers told the BBC that rapid development in the western part of the strait in Johor, the Malaysian state closest to Singapore, was one of the factors affecting the water quality.

“The plankton bloomed this fast because the nutrient content in the sea is so high. And where are all these nutrients coming from? Land reclamation in Malaysia,” said Frank Tan.

[Err these guys must be shell shocked by the losses, deaths and stench; water from Western Johor I.e. Iskandar can’t flow East because of the Causeway]

But tiny Singapore has also reclaimed parts of its northern coast, and dammed up estuaries in the northeast to create reservoirs. It has pumped millions of dollars into the fish farming industry to boost its domestic food security.

Latest government figures show there are now 117 fish farms in waters surrounding the island, spread out over 102ha – twice the amount of space compared to a decade ago.

Typical of the PAP administration under Ah Loong: one part messes up the sea in the NE by damming estuaries and reclaiming land, another promotes fishing farming in area. Looks like more work for Grace Fu’s cordinating unit? She will be bitching* for more pay?

Btw the BBC reporter, Tessa Wong, was formerly from ST. Shows that ex-ST journalists can be fearless, objective after they leave ST. Until I read the BBC piece, I didn’t understand how bad the situation had become because our constructive, nation-building media focused on the dead fish and the losses to the farmers, not on the wider ecological and environment situation.

Oh and M’sia can tell us to bugger-off if we complain about M’sian land reclamation etc affecting S’pore. It can, rightly say, “If you can damage yr environment by yr reclaimation and other projects, why can’t we?. Not as though you guys are doing right by the environment.

*In January 2012, she expressed concerns over the planned 36-37% income cuts for ministers, saying that if ministerial pay was further reduced in the future, it would “make it harder for anyone considering political office”


Ang Moh longs for Chinatown slums and polluted river ’cause they got character?

In Environment on 30/11/2014 at 4:28 am

This appeared in the favourite reading material of people with leftish leanings in the UK and elsewhere in response to a very banal, rubbishy piece on the S’pore arts scene

Singapore is a considerable economic success, largely thanks to the iron control, long term planning and discipline of the People’s Action Party government over the decades, but this has been achieved at the cost of an almost robotic society, continually told what how to behave by Big Brother campaigns run by a government which feels the need to micro-manage everything. If this obsessive control has marginally improved in the past decade, it remains generally true.

The country’s historic Chinatown survived Japanese bombing but didn’t survive the People’s Action Party, nor did the character of the Singapore River – once bustling with traditional boats but now clinically empty. A vast swathe of tradition and history was scythed down in the name of progress and modernization, producing one of the blandest cities in the world. Malaysians may be envious of Singapore’s economic success but their nickname of Singabore is not without substance.

It is thus understandable that the SIngapore Tourist Board should wish to recreate something culturally distinctive and appealing, but these new galleries appear to share the same ethos and attraction as the profusion of unoriginal corporate-brand shops which choke Orchard Road, and the very spirit of what used to be a fascinating country – half a century ago. Mammon is the God of Singapore, and there’s little room for any Art which does not bow down before it.

I don’t dispute that much character and history has been erased, with sterility and blandness replacing them . I personally miss the boats in S’pore River that serviced passing ships. Some even provided aunties for the sailors.

But I remember the river as a dirty, oily place too. And some of the buildings on its banks, as filthy rat-infested places, even within walking distance of the AG’s Chambers.

And Chinatown while colourful and full of character was a horrible place for many who lived there. If anyone thinks the dorms of FTs are bad, the living quarters of elderly folks were terrible.

It would be nice if we could have retained the colour and character but got rid of the squalor. But we could argue endlessly on whether this is ever possible in practice.

But rather than moaning and fighting past battles, let’s try to remove the blandness from the present scene, rather than long for a past that never was: a past dominated by the memories and views of ang mohs.

The great thing is there are people who are trying. There is a lovely park situated between two urban areas.

It’s empty most of the time despite its position. It could be like London’s Hyde Park, but it isn’t. Someone is trying to change this: Founder and chairman of Waterways Watch Society (WWS) Eugene Heng has dreamt up an ecovillage on a 400m stretch of the park to ignite a green spark in park users.

The environmental group is the first non-governmental organisation to sign an agreement with the National Parks Board (NParks) to organise and run activities in a park.

– See more at:

I hope the ang moh tua kees who are grumbling about the loss of colour, and the sterlity of modern S’pore follow Mr Heng’s example, and do something about it. But I’m sure they prefer to moan and groan. It’s the ang moh (pleb version) way after all.




Haze: VivianB has the luck of the devil

In Environment, Indonesia on 22/11/2014 at 7:57 am

Despite, me being able to smell the haze almost every evening* for the last few days, the anti-PAP paper warriors and do usual do-gooders have been quiet. The air pollution readings must be OK even if the haze is present. I don’t usually bother to check the readings because high levels are a health hazard only if there is “prolonged exposure”, something which the PAP administration refuses to highlight. Kinda dumb I think to let the usual suspects to get away with propogating rubbish. wake up Yaacob and earn yr salary.

For that I suspect the wet weather (usual around this time of the yr) has a lot to do with the lack of noise.


*And this morning too. Update at 8.12am.

Urban planning: a constrasting tale of UK cities & S’pore

In Environment, Infrastructure on 12/08/2014 at 4:21 am

As I’m still in a celebratory mood about past achievements, let’s remember a UK prophet and his prophecy of urban planning

This appeared in the Economists’s obituary on Sir Peter Hall, a leading UK urban planner:

At first, Mr Hall was an enthusiastic supporter of that top-down, rational approach. One of his early books, “London 2000”, published in 1963, argued that London and the south-east should be comprehensively rebuilt, with vast areas of the inner cities bulldozed and replaced by blocks of flats, winding streets by a rectilinear system of motorways and on-ramps, and pedestrians segregated from traffic by walkways in the sky. Detroit, the spiritual home of the motor car, was his guiding light. The planners, in their patrician wisdom, would determine where the people would live, where they would work, and how they would spend their leisure time.

Sounds familiar? He would have loved the PAP govt’s HDB programme which has won global accolades though not from anti-PAP cyber-warriors who missed out on the rise in HDB apartment prices and are banging their balls and cursing the PAP and the 60% who voted for the PAP in frustration.

But this top-down, rational approach didn’t work in the UK, He soon changed his mind. Wherever that approach was tried—in Birmingham, or Glasgow, or around the elevated Westway in north-west London—it caused exactly the sort of ugliness and alienation he had hoped to banish.


In the 1970s he began arguing that one way to deal with urban decay might be a bonfire of regulations; the idea, he said, was to “recreate the Hong Kong of the 1950s and 1960s inside inner Liverpool or inner Glasgow”. That sort of fertile chaos, he came to believe, was exactly what made cities so important, and such exciting places to live. He was an early advocate of the view—these days the received wisdom—that by allowing people to form connections with like-minded colleagues, cities are the engines of a country’s economic, cultural and artistic life.

The HDB programme worked because we had pretty gd planners, a sheepish population (emigrants from Animal Farm?), and one LKY whose gang was not afraid to bang heads to make sure that the sheep people behaved responsibly in the new environment: rememer the punishments for littering and killer litter.

Funnily, the govt is now trying to diktat Sir Peter Hall’s “fertile chaos”* idea. Maybe taz why the SPF allowed the Little India riot to happen? And allow ang moh FTs to get drunk and to beat up locals? And PRC FTs to litter, dirty MRT stations?

Related posts:

LKY & greenery

Green S’pore


*Btw, HK city in the 50s and 60s was not a pleasant place if one didn’t live in Repulse bay or on the Peak.

Public housing: a brickbat, two cheers & constructive suggestions

In Environment, Political governance on 07/02/2013 at 6:25 am

As the population target “worse-case scenario” or “projection” of 6.9m as envisaged by the White Paper will require a lot more public housing, here are some constructive, nation-building ideas from me on how to avoid rabbit hatches, or battery-hen housing, in the sky. We can live like pigs in a modern-day Danish farm: comfortable, hygienic surroundings. Danish farmers believe that happy pigs produce the best bacon: something the PAP govt should take to heart, “Keep the exploited happy, and they will remain happy to be exploited”.

But first I want to analyse two “buah tahan” comments that irritate me.

Who comes out with the most stupid comment on the row on Executive Condos? No it’s not Khaw, surprising; but one Jaimie Chong, an EC penthouse owner. She thinks she  will still get permission to cover the “open” space: EC0001. Her agent says so. How dumb can this rich gal get?

And secondly, our dear leader said, ” If government did not get involved in housing, it would be like Hong Kong: overcrowded and subject to high prices …” Is it not surprising that the usual S’pore self-haters who populate the pages of TRE, TOC and Facebook didn’t challenge him on this?

He is telling us a Hard Truth (perhaps the only one) that is grounded in fact: in housing, the PAP govt does more for S’poreans, than the HK govt.

— “In 2012, HDB offered a record number of 34,237 new flats comprising 27,084 new flats under the Build-To-Order (BTO) system and 7,153 balance flats under the Sales of Balance Flats Exercise … HDB had earlier announced that at least 20,000 BTO flats are planned for 2013. HDB is finalising its building plans for 2013 and will now target to launch at least 23,000 BTO flats. These projects will have a good geographical spread in various towns/estates which compares with 75,000 completed over the past five years.” (HDB)

— Contrast this with what HK’s CEO said last month as reported by the BBC, “He promised action to address a property crunch that has seen some residents forced out of the property market and even into tiny so-called “cubicle homes”.

Land would be both re-zoned and reclaimed so it could be developed for housing, leading to a greater supply, he said. A target of 100,000 new public housing units would also be set for the five years from 2018.

“As long as the housing shortage persists, we have no alternative but to restrict external demand and curb speculative activities,” he said.”

The 20,000 a year HK programme starts in 2018.

But it’s only two cheers for PM, because by comparing our public housing programme to that of HK, he is forgetting that dad was a “social democrat” (dad said that in his books), not an ang moh lord or HK property tycoon: social democrats believe in raising living standards. So, of course, the govt had to get involved in public housing.

Now to the constructive, nation-building part on how make us as happy as Danish pigs, not as unhappy as battery hens.

Try this Dutch approach, Khaw? No not land reclamation. Architects in Holland are creating prototype neighbourhoods of sustainable floating houses. Their aim is to have new cities entirely out at sea as an alternative way of living. We got plenty of sea too, and the weather’s a lot nicer.

And best of all, we can retain the central catchment reserve, Ubin, the mangrove swamps (so beloved by mosquito-lovers) and the golf courses (that ministers and senior civil servants, and their private sector pals play on).

And floating towns will allow S’pore the possibility of experimenting with an alternative to 50-storey HDB coops flats. We could have hutong-style community housing (high density, low rise buildings) in the new sea towns. Plenty of room to expand sideways there. I read somewhere that London is experimenting along the lines of high density, low rise buildings . Can’t locate the link to story.

BTW, watch this 2011 BBC video clip on S’pore : Urban plan S’pore style The architect who wants “more space” must be very upset with Khaw’s “worse-case scenario”.

Urban farming here

In Environment on 05/02/2013 at 5:23 am

All this talk of a population of 6.9m (“worse-case scenario”, “projection” or “plan to dilute locals to 55% of the voting public”) reminded me of this BBC article

Today, there are only a handful of farms left, most of which are located in agrotechnology parks that take up less than 2% of Singapore’s total available land.

In recent years, the government has tried to diversify and secure Singapore’s food supplies, though much of its food still comes from nearby Malaysia and large producers such as China.

Singapore has been widening its use of contract farming and overseas food zones, where local buyers can control everything from production to processing.

Closer to home, in 2009 it set up a food fund worth 5m Singapore dollars (£2.6m; $4.1m) to support local farms and invest in research and development.

The government has also been trying to promote more creative methods of growing food, such as the urban farming projects similar to that run by Mr Ng, where residential or commercial areas can be used to grow fruit and vegetables.

Use the roof tops of high rise blocks

Imagine this local vertical farm on a HDB roof

My S’pore: A greener & more pleasant land

In Environment on 19/06/2012 at 6:01 am

Swiss Gardens in the Sky

A few weeks ago, a Swiss architect suggested in a newspaper article that S’pore creates gardens in the sky using our high-rise buildings. I tot, “What a lovely idea” and had visions of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon with flowering creepers on the sides of high-rises, and fountains, formal gardens and ponds on the roofs. Yup, very decadent fascist visions of greenery.

Well the reality in Switzerland is more prosaic and just as wonderful : Living roofs recapture what is now essentially negative space within the city and turn it into a chain of rooftop islands that connect with the countryside at large.

This being S’pore, we could use HDB roof-tops to be self-sufficient in basic veggies, and range-free eggs.

And lest we forget, LKY was all for green and pleasant spaces before they became fashionable among the local chattering classes

If he were running S’pore, I’m sure he would crack the whip, and spur the serfs  to convert existing roof-tops into oases or, if you prefer, islands, of greenery especially as it would make S’pore cooler. He loves cooler temperatures. I’m with him on greenery and cooler temperatures.

Why keep the ex-railway corridor green

It can together with the Swiss-style gardens in the sky be our”unofficial countryside”.

Richard Mabey has memorably called the “unofficial countryside” – Britain’s roadside verges and railway cuttings, canal towpaths and brownfield sites. This also includes the million or so acres of private gardens … and bigger than all the nature reserves in Britain put together.

These places – many of them in the heart of our towns and cities – provide a vital oasis for Britain’s wild creatures, a haven as important as anywhere in the British Isles for supporting a diverse range of plants and animals. Perhaps because of the wide range of wildlife found in our urban areas, and the frequency with which we encounter these city creatures, urban Britons are just as connected to nature as – arguably sometimes more so than – their rural neighbours. The countryside and those who live there no longer have a monopoly on nature.

While we won’t have tigers, tapir and deer; and don’t want wild boars; we could have civet cats, mouse deer and “padi” mice in the corridor.

Warren Buffett: Planet wrecker investor

In Environment, Investments on 18/02/2012 at 5:19 am

His investments are wrecking the world

Lest we forget: MM’s responsible for our greenery

In Environment on 10/12/2010 at 5:22 am

What has having a green environment do for us?

Well A Dutch study suggests every 10% increase in green space can postpone health complaints in communities by five years. And a US study is regularly cited to suggest patients that have a view of nature through hospital windows recover better after surgery.

And as this is S’pore, where moneytheism  is the be-all and end all of life.

It is almost an accepted wisdom that a property positioned on a pretty tree-lined street surrounded by shrubbery is more appealing than its counterpart on a concrete-clad bare and barren road.

Some British and US surveys suggest a lush lawn or well-landscaped yard can improve property prices by as much as 15%.

BBC Online article

Younger S’poreans might not realise that in the 70s, one LKY started the green campaign, which included planting more tress. As an NS man, I was not impressed, weekends were burnt planting trees.


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