The reason why i choose this heritage trail is because Singapore river is a place with rich culture, valuable historic buildings and most importantly values to learn from. Starting from Raffles Place station and ends at Boat Quay shop houses. Along the trail I have also visited Cavenagh bridge, Anderson bridge and Stamford Raffles landing site.
These are 3 of the many bridges above the Singapore river. From the oldest being Elgin bridge and the youngest being Anderson bridge. These bridges are built to connect both side of the river which in the past lives different communities. This then allowed the business along the Singapore river to flourish and communities to interact more freely and easily.
This statue of Stamford Raffles who many consider as the founder of Singapore marks the location in which Stamford Raffles first step foot in singapore. When i took this picture, the background of the statue stood out to me. It is high rise buildings standing tall and proud. Displaying that singapore did not fail it’s forefathers in building Singapore better than it was.
The shop houses along Boat Quay really depicts the picture Singapore was in the past. I believe that these shop houses along Boat Quay holds a lot of historical value in Singapore as it is one of the few remaining places in Singapore that we can see how it was back in the past. I am very glad that the government did not demolish the shop houses, instead allow cafes, gyms, restaurants and other business to be set up.
We can also see from the picture that the shophouses was one of the first few buildings in singapore to have the covered walkway. The covered walkways provided shelter for the public during rainy weather and killer litter from above. This concept was adored by the public and later adopted into Singapore’s HDB flats. This example further supports our claim that historic places have valuable things that we can learn from.
We all know that the Singapore river is clean and beautiful today but did you know that the Singapore river was once very polluted. This was majorly due to the urbanisation and increase in trade activities in the past resulting in the river being heavily polluted with garbage, sewage, oil spills and other industrial waste.
picture taken from:www.straitstimes.com/singapore/5-interesting-facts-about-the-singapore-river-clean-up
But who took up the initiative to clean the Singapore river up? the answer is Mr Lee Kuan Yew the former primer minister of Singapore. Mr Lee Kuan Yew urged the government to clean the Singapore river as water resources is scarce and a dirty river is bad for the environment around the river. It took the government a decade and 170 million to clean the river up. Now, singapore river is no longer a trading hotspot but a tourist hot spot and that would not be possible without a clean river.
I was lucky to be able to catch one of the boat(picture on the left) that is used to clean the floating rubbish along the river and the rubbish catchment area(picture on the right) to prevent rubbish to enter the Singapore river through waterways. This constant efforts from the government shows that we have to use measures such as these to maintain the cleanliness of the Singapore river. This also reveal a huge underlying problem in Singapore which is the people not being responsible for the rubbish they dispose. I have also heard people saying that Singapore is the cleanest city because of the cleaners not because of it’s citizens attitude towards keeping the environment clean.
I believe that it will be important to have the right attitude in keeping the environment clean as a dirty and polluted environment is a threat to our health and the health of the people we care.Hence, i would like to suggest some solutions that we all can adopt to improve our attitude towards keeping the environment clean.
Firstly, I would suggest that we participate more on social programmes that allow volunteers to pick up rubbish around the sea shores. This would let us experience how troublesome and tiring it is to clean the rubbish up hence deterring us from causing this trouble to others.
Secondly, I would suggest that we remind our friends to dispose rubbish in the correct venue and bins when they decides to just throw rubbish wherever they please. When your friend is reminded politely, I am sure they would pick it up and throw at the correct venue and bins. This would help your friend to know that it is wrong to dispose the rubbish anywhere they please.
Lastly, I would suggest that we return the trays after having a meal at a restaurant or a food court. This would help us to develop a good habit of being responsible to clean up before we leave.
After the trail, i learned more about Singapore’s history and the culture it possess through the monuments and my own research. The contrast between the new high rise buildings and the old shop houses really showed me how far singapore have progressed. This encourages us to not let the forefathers of singapore down and build Singapore to be a better country than it was today. Also i am able to better appreciate the clean and safe water that is coming out of the tap after understanding how much effort is been put in to keep our water sources clean. Hence, i will make sure that i am more responsible in keeping the environment clean.