Commentary: Cherishing old places like Thambi newsstand won’t hold us back from moving on

Commentary: Cherishing old places like Thambi newsstand won’t hold us back from moving on


However, there is another viewpoint, and that is that the closure of locations like the aged Raffles Junior College Mt. Sinai school is both inevitable and important. It suggests that one must continue to advance, and that being romantic about the history does not do anyone any favors.

This view also casts progress ( often economic ) and pastness ( often cultural ) as polar opposites. The history, couched in thoughts of memories, lacks purpose and effectiveness. Particularly where things are neglected or lacking in innovation for monetary gain, this is true. Nostalgia becomes an army that stymies society’s development.

Of course, this perspective is superficial and disregards the very real significance of the past for our daily life. Many individuals and companies, like the Singapore Heritage Society, have advocated for preserving statues, organizations and sites that are seriously connected to our Taiwanese history.

Past, mainly places of heritage, makes active and ongoing contacts to who we were and who we became. The feelings of losing a place, perhaps a neglected one, don’t just been dismissed as emotion. Instead, that sense of loss is largely about losing a sense of stability, an buoy to something or elsewhere.

Fortunately, there have been many instances in the last few years where the recent has taken primacy over a “development at all costs” or” full bleu” approach to places and sites in Singapore. The Old Police Academy‘s protection of a number of houses along Thomson Road is a prime example of this thinking.

I even ran into the Toast Box tree, which had recently taken control of the Music Book Room’s space, while walking through Bras Basah Complex. The coffee shop has a music-inspired design and has preserved elements like the signage and flooring at the Music Book Room.