Thursday, June 14, 2007

Heritage no more... Oasis no more...

I was shocked to read the headlines from TODAY, that the Oasis Building at Kallang Basin will probably be acquired for the upcoming Sports Hub. The 38-years old Oasis Building has been a hallmark of Singapore history. It has been famous since the 1980s-1990s for being a place where good dining and entertainment meets. The building played host to many stunning performances of music and art by famous celebrities of that era. Along with that, the chinese restaurants were also venues for many traditional wedding banqeuts. Presently, the many restaurants still never fail to serve an excellent feast to welcome visitors from around the globe. Such restaurants are the No Signboard Seafood Restaurant, Thai Village Restaurant, Oasis Taiwan Porridge Restaurant and more. You can say that the Oasis Building is one place that all Singaporeans will never wish to see demolished, though there is still no confirmation that it will be.

With the closure of the nearby National Stadium, another hallmark of Singapore's history, we are already losing a large part of our heritage and culture. Although the Oasis Building might not be one building of impressive architecture, but it has undoubtedly it has become a landmark for the bay and unknowingly become an icon of Kallang Basin and of Singapore's dining scene. Restaurant operators fear that they might lose customers when they shift to another location. I feel otherwise, as there is always the great tv programme on Channel 5, 'Makan Places Lost and Found', hosted by Gurmit Singh and Michelle Chia. Losing this building does not mean losing good food, but it means losing the 'spirit of dining good food IN Kallang'. I really hope the developers will withdraw the idea of acquiring this building and continue to let the business run. Everybody needs food, even sportsmen too.

With all these old buildings vanishing, what does that leave us?

Modernized and artistic facade with zero heritage and culture. We will have nothing to boast about our history. Seems like our country will never make it into the UNESCO list. It is no wonder that our travel businesses thrive, since many locals are already sick of modernised architecture such as the 'giant durians', and need to travel to other countries for a dose of heritage and culture.

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