Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

My Photo
Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Aug 29, 2012

Ways Done in the Past - Factory Workers

A shoe-making factory in Geylang in 1953
This is a proxy blog for a 80-year-old neighbor who wanted to tell her 15-year-old great grand-daughter  how she once worked as a 18-year-old girl in Singapore.  However, she do not have any such photos to show about the rubber factory where she worked in the 1950s.  I do not know of someone with these photos as "memory-aid" to describe to the neighbor's great grand-daughter, a young student..

Thanks to the courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) with acknowledgement and to use these archived photos on the blog.

In this thematic series on "how ways done in the past" of  blogs, I am heartened to be approached by young students to discover old stuff about Singapore long before they were born, like the great grandmother to tell the old stories to her great grand-daughter.

On the contrary, please watch a 5-minute video clip "Downstairs", a documentary by Helmi Ali. Listen to the "ageist" comments of two young punks about old people  here at 10:00 minutes runtime after the start of the video.

How to be angry with these impertinent kids?  How did they know that many oldies are computer-savvy and these two kids should not judge the senior citizen by their appearance..."not to judge a book by its cover"?

Like Facebook to introduce friends about, a "Face Tattoo" should be used with tattoo on the foreheads of everybody with words like "I am a computer user", "I am a PhD", etc which nobody knows who they are by looks.

I would have more "advertising space" on top of my bald head without hair as other friends...

Back to this blog topic about factories and factory workers in the past.

Rubber factory in Singapore in the 1950

Metal component factory in the 1950s

Biscuit factory in the 1950s

Ho Ho Biscuit Factory Limited  c 1951
Thye Hong Biscuit Factory  c  1951

Cloth factory in Singapore in 1953

Noodle manufacturing factory in 1960s

Yeo Hiap Seng Sauce & Canning Factory in the 1960s

Sauce mannually bottled in the factory in 1957
Bottled sauce bottles manually packed in the factory

Quality control for clean bottles in the factory in 1961

Partial machinery processing of canned food in 1961
Singapore Steam Laundry

Singapore Steam Laundry at Delta Road in 1927
Singapore Steam Laundry at Delta Road in 1930

The Singapore Steam Laundry main offfice in 1953

My elder sisters were working at Singapore Steam Laundry in the 1950s until Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961. They later found jobs in the laundry of the local hotels.

From this photojournal blog, what have we learnt from the profile of  factory workers over the 5 decades in Singapore?

The people, the jobs, the factories, the economy of Singapore have moved from the third world to the first world country as we can see today.  What were to have happened if Singapore did not adapt to fit into global world for trade and investments,  the education and training for the suitable for the business world as needed and useful.

Thanks to the vision and pragmatism of the founding fathers of Singapore,  the cottage industries of "small medium enterprises (SMEs) with small pockets of factories located at various parts of small industrial estates converted  a swamp to the Jurong Industrial Estate by Finance Minister Goh Keng Swee, the "Father of Jurong" .  The rest is history, as people said.

According to my businessman friends to speak frankly, the businessmen are the most realistic people in the world.  They speak as accounting terms of assets and liabilities, of dollars and cents for the country's economy and job creation for the people.  The most important these international businessmen and investors are prepared to stay in Singapore a place to have safety, security, political stability,  law and order and a harmonious community... stand up to the National Pledge in every words as a mantra of every Singaporean.

"Majullah Singapura"!


Aug 20, 2012

Havelock View - "New Kids on the Blocks"

Google map of Havelock View, 2011
Havelock View, the "New Kids on the Blocks" in Bukit Ho Swee Estate in 2012.  There are 7 HDB residential apartment blocks and the multi-storey car park (MSCP). The HDB precinct concept with private condominium look-alike building design surrounded by Havelock Road, Indus Road and Ganges Avenue.

The street name of "Bukit Ho Swee" since the Bukit Ho Swee fire on 25 May, 1961.

Bukit Ho Swee fire on 25 May, 1961
Bt Ho Swee Estate ear-marked for development in 2008
This photo shows the way to the future.  The sign of change in the direction when the photo was taken in 2008.  It points to the area of the Bukit Ho Swee Estate under construction to transform the plot of vacant land into an estate with seven residential blocks of 25, 35, 36, 38 & 40-storey HDB apartments. Looking towards the future of Bukit Ho Swee Estate — with Blk 22, Havelock Rd hidden by the tree.

Bukit Ho Swee Estate in 2012

Bukit Ho Swee - 50 Years Ago

Both old photos of Bukit Ho Swee from Dr Loh Kah Seng, courtesy of Mr Wong Pok Hee with thanks and acknowledgement.

Bicycles and cars move along the one-way Havelock Road. On the left is the dominant Malayan Chinese Association Building, while across the road, partially obscured, are wooden houses and small businesses.
Please note "Chew Dispensary" in both photos (above & below).


Construction work begins...

Building construction in progress...

Two years later...

Please sit back, be comfortable, relax, and watch the Flickr slideshow of Havelock View to share this photo journal compiled on my memorable trip to Bukit Ho Swee, photos taken by me on 11 April, 2012.

This personal blog to express Bukit Ho Swee, the birthplace where I was born at Havelock Road, took me almost 3 years to complete, childhood memories to walk down memory lane many times, including an unforgettable Walk Down Memory Lane - 62nd Birthday  together with my nostalgia friends Unk Dicko, Dr Loh Kah Seng and Peter Chan to celebrate my 62nd birthday and reminisce. Thanks for the memories, guys!

I hope you could share my memories and sentiments of this labour of love for Bukit Ho Swee.

Dr Lily Neo, Member of Parliament of Tanjong Pagar GRC, visited the newly completed  Havelock View housing estate  to welcome the new residents and their families, young and old.


Photos on this blog with acknowledgement and thanks to Dr Lily Neo.

 Fabrications About The PAP
Like This Page · Saturday

Excerpted from The Straits Times 28 May 2011 – Insight: High 5 for LKY - A SHELTER, A BULWARK

It (HDB) started with one man's conviction of the great value of home ownership more than 50 years ago. Then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew saw it as a quick way to cement national belonging amid staggering income disparity and at a time when the Republic was struggling to muster an army to ward off external threats.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew wrote in his 2000 memoir From Third World To First: "After independence in 1965, I was troubled by Singapore's completely urban electorate. I had seen how voters in capital cities always tended to vote against the government of the day and was determined that our householders should become home owners, otherwise we would not have political stability. My other important motive was to give all parents whose sons would have to do National Service a stake in Singapore their sons had to defend. If the soldier's family did not own their home, he would soon conclude that he would be fighting to protect the properties of the wealthy. I believed this sense of ownership was vital for our new society which had no deep roots in a common historical experience."

While Singapore's public housing system tackled pressing problems, it was also part of a grander scheme. Large tracts were compulsorily acquired from landowners to build flats that were sold at a subsidized price, amounting to a systematic redistribution of wealth. Through this, Mr Lee and the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) recast the bottom-heavy social order by putting assets within the reach of ordinary citizens.

He (Mr Lee Kuan Yew)  told PAP Members of Parliament in 1981: "No Singaporean will lose out on his HDB home because he was born later or got married later." For a government ostensibly against handouts, housing formed a key plank of its social welfare programme. With a large chunk of retirement savings used up for housing, the flat quickly became a hedge against inflation and a store of retirement income. Starting about 20 years ago, at the suggestion of Mr Lee, the Government shored up the value of ageing flats by upgrading them.

Mr Liu Thai Ker, the HDB's chief executive officer from 1979 to 1989, remembers how Mr Lee would visit public estates with HDB staff three to four times a year. Mr Lee, said Mr Liu, was willing to pursue unfashionable decisions based on logic. "The style of Mr Lee and his Cabinet is 'clarity equals courage'," he said.

In the 1970s, for example, high-rise public housing was written off by many governments as slums in the making. But the HDB decided to forge ahead with highrise dwellings. Mr Liu said: "If we could not go for that kind of density, we could not deliver on home ownership... We would have run out of land a long time ago."

Today, quality, affordable housing continues to form a key part of the PAP Government's promise to successive generations of Singaporeans."