Recently, there’s been controversy over a private corporation building a columbarium near an up-and-coming public residential development. Beyond being a NIMBY knee-jerk reaction to an island nation constricted by space, the establishment enlisted the help of a minister cycling in to nurse a gross, open wound before the Internet vultures set in to canibalize on the game.
Why the need for constant self-renewal? We having already paved over our history to modernise ourselves, and we have been consistently doing so since our independence. There’s always a keeness to clear the spaces that are not used effeciently (i.e. Bukit Brown), and fill spaces (i.e. that Private Columbarium in Sengkang) more effeciently just because we are small. In fact, the same guy who stepped in for the said controversy also brooded the idea of multi-storeyed places of worship, because efficiency. And thus, we have become victims of our Singaporean brand of effeciency.
Can’t we simply have open fields, and spaces purely for people to just… hangout? NO! because spaces are meant to be purposedly filled according to the master plan. Control courses through our Singaporean blood, and anything that does not conform has to be squared away. Even when in ashes, your final resting place is a pottery predetermined by the establishment. Whether it’s for-profit or not-for-profit, it doesn’t matter. Really. Woe is me, the Singaporean whose end is ever the inevitable.