Havelock View - "New Kids on the Blocks"
|Google map of Havelock View, 2011|
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|
|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
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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."