Singapore Modernisation

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Introduction Singapore has prided itself on being an ever modern and continuously developing nation. Though this is undeniably true, it is unfortunate that this modernisation has come at a price. Singapore’s fixation with continuous economic growth through modernisation has unfortunately also allowed for the favouring of landscape change in the name of achieving efficient and competitive progress (Jones & Shaw, 2006). As a result, Singaporeans are no strange recipients to the news that yet another part of their landscape is being altered to be replaced with state-of-the-art modern facilities to keep up with the nation’s image. Singapore’s landscape has continually changed over the years and old buildings have been rapidly replaced with steel…show more content…
In accordance to the capitalist system of consumption, Singapore has concentrated on the production of services, shifting away from the production of goods (Connerton, 2008). In line with this capitalist system, Singapore continuously changes its landscape so as to make way for new innovative projects. Therefore, an erasure of the past through demolishing heritage filled buildings such as the one on Stamford road is seen as essential to keeping up with the need to further Singapore’s capitalist agenda. With the ever increasing acceleration of innovation for the purpose of consumption, Singapore has resorted to discarding old buildings that serve no practical purpose in the management of one’s current identity (Connerton, 2008). Therefore, forgetting as planned obsolescence is seen as an essential ingredient in the production of the capitalist…show more content…
It is important to note that this nostalgia is not just for a geographically defined place, that is the national library building itself, but rather a state of mind – which in this case, refers to the social meanings that the library symbolized (Chua, 1995). The national library building which previously garnered little, if any, interest among people became elevated to the status of a national monument, albeit unofficially, in the face of demolition. Nostalgia was enhanced even further when the national library building was seen as a site of memory due to its material, functional and symbolic aspects in Singapore society (Nora, 1996). People saw it as Singapore’s first major educational institution and thus, this perspective did not only just highlight its material and functional aspects but also its symbolic aspect. The fact that people seemed to remember it as a site of heritage and history, symbolizing the nation’s early years, tied this nostalgia to patriotism as well (Lowenthal, 1975). Thus, remembering the building in such a way caused demolition to be equated with a loss of Singapore’s past as well as a loss of local identity. This undeniably triggered nostalgia for both a time and a place when heritage and history was paramount, unlike the present (Yeoh & Kong,

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