Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jun 24, 2012

Home of Visual Arts

Looking towards the future...Home of Visual Arts in 2015

In my previous "Capitol Theatre - Then and Now" blog, I discussed about the physical changes in the near future "akan datang" (Malay translation "coming soon") at the junction of  Stamford Road and North Bridge Road in Singapore.

On this blog, I move on to The City Hall (Chinese: 政府大厦; Malay: Dewan Bandaraya; Tamil:  நகர மண்டபம்) in Singapore located in front of the historical Padang.  Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

The City Hall, Singapore c 2006
Aerial view of Supreme Court and City Hall, Singapore  c  2006
City Hall was built from 1926 to 1929 and was known as Principal Building. The building was built by G.D. Coleman in the 1830s. During the World War II, when the Japanese occupied Singapore, they managed the civic issues from the Municipal Building but political affairs were already being conducted in the building. In 1943, leader of the Indian National Army, Subhas Chandra Bose, rallied for the Japanese support to let India to be independent from the British rule at the Municipal Building. British prisoners-of-war were rounded up in front of the building for a march to POW camps at Changi Prison and Selarang. On 12 September 1945, the Japanese General Itagaki surrendered to Lord Mountbatten in 1945 to end World War II in Singapore. In 1951, it was renamed to its present name as it was to mark Singapore as a city, after being granted city status.

During self-government, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew declared self-governance in Singapore in 1959, the playing of the new national anthem and the first time the people of Singapore saw the national flag as well as Singapore's independence from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965.

In 1959, Mr. Lee and his eight cabinet ministers were sworn into political office in the chamber of the City Hall before the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara, Inche Yusof bin Ishak, whose oath was taken at the City Hall.

Installation of the Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Yusof bin Ishak on 3 December, 1959.

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew read out the Malaysia Proclamation at the City Hall in 1963, and declared that Singapore was no longer under British rule. The people celebrated the first Malaysia Day at the Padang which is outside the City Hall. The first National Day Parade was held there in 1966 and subsequent years. The steps of the City Hall is use as a VIP seating area at National Day Parades held there. (Source: Wikipedia).

Group photo of  senior citizens on the City Hall steps on January 19, 1990 - "River Hong Bao 1990".

Closed-up photo of the senior citizen group at City Hall steps.

I found an archived photo of me and my 2-year-old son at the same spot on the Padang almost 30 years ago...surreal !

Same Place. Same People. Different Times. Different Memories...

A little rambling here as I blog to express personally on my trip in the time-machine.  You may wish to skip this part of the blog,  but most welcome to share my collective memories and experience here.

In "Discover Questions in words and wordsplay" at Yahoo:

What does "time stands still" mean to you?

Mickey D wrote:

NO, it is usually applied to an isolated area, or even setting, in which old cultures, habits, or activities, continued without modern influences. When you visit an Amish community, you might think it was as if time had stood still because they still do things as they did two centuries ago.

You might walk into a laboratory that used old equipment and procedures. It would be "as if time stood still" because they still pour reagents out by hand and notate results instead of use computers.

The English legal system very often appears as if time had stood still to an American where customary procedures have given way to more so-called "modern" ways of doing something.

So time stands still in that way, only figuratively, of course, but you get the meaning now I'm sure.

Do Amish use technology?

Find out more here while watching an informative YouTube video about the Amish culture.

The futurists and the historians are from their different schools of thoughts. Past vs Future.

Historian Niall Ferguson vs Futurist Peter Schwartz

Niall Ferguson said, "I think our difference is that I'm a pessimist and you're an optimist".

Peter Schwartz noted that since his parents were in slave-labor camps in World War II, and he was born in a displaced-person camp after the war, "It would be churlish not to be an optimist." Ferguson said, "That would make me skeptical about technology. The world leader in science and technology in 1940 was Nazi Germany."

Before getting too deeply into this kind of academic debate to change the world, lets just take a look at the changes and transformation in Singapore and what the same City Hall building will become in 2015 as the "Home of Visual Arts".

Singapore doesn't stand still in terms of the developments of our country which is always work in progress, non-stop and everything from blueprints to completed projects for delivery.

Time doesn't stop in Singapore. Everywhere and everyone are working for the future, for the next generation.  Our founding fathers have been grilling into us for decades not to work only for next year, or next five years.  As long as our kids are growing and for them to survive for a better future in Singapore, the mission of every Singaporean goes on...God willing!

(Psst:  I heard mumbling noises in the home: "Hey, its late, you need to go to sleep, and have a rest lah...).  Just kidding !

For some fun, I would like to play around with the nostalgia blog format in reverse.

In the past, the standard arrangement of the content and "memory-aids" of photos, videos and appropriate links for reference from yesterday to today to tomorrow, or "then and now" format.

The style has been changed to "terbalek" (Malay translation for backward or in reverse) ...tomorrow to today to yesterday : )

Singapore Municipal Office  c  1900

 The Municipal Building, Singapore, which was renamed City Hall in 1951.  Photo Credit: National Archives of Singapore (NAS) with acknowledgement and thanks.



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