Thursday, March 19, 2009

Singapore Shopping Centres and the Singapore Community

I read in disbelief and amazement an article in the THE SUNDAY TIMES last week on the ‘soon- to- come’ opening of 7 to 8 new shopping malls in Singapore in the coming months.

“Singapore has already hundreds of shopping centres, why do we need more?” I mused.

Another shopping centre in this sluggish economic times is great as it will create some jobs for the thousands (and counting) of unemployed, increase spending in the economy which will be a booster for the economy, but beyond the economical metrics, are there any justifications in opening more new shopping centres?

“To meet the needs and expectations of an increasing population. To disperse the large shopping crowds in the city”, the authorities might have quipped. While I do accept some of these oft-cited reasons, I am concerned that our little island is building more and more shopping centres.

The construction and operation of the new shopping malls certainly harm the environment (think of all the pollution caused to the environment during construction and the increased electrical and utilities consumption that comes with an additional air-conditioned shopping mall.) This is one bone of my contention.

The other bone of my contention is that an additional shopping mall does not bring an extra value to the life of Singaporeans. Imagine the usual things one does in a mall: eat, shop, watch movie, read, buy, window shopping….. with his friends, family or relatives. No doubt shopping centres do provide a place for such bonding, what I would like to stress that is the uni-faceted, monotonous experience that shopping malls provide.

It can be boring to head down to the weekends again to do the same old things: eat, shop, read, buy… even at different shopping centres, but this is what many Singaporeans will do on weekends. Shopping will become uneventful to many Singaporeans ultimately though the hosts of many natural and sport locations do help to spice up the lives of Singaporeans…

Enough is enough. I hope Singapore will not build any more shopping centres. With more and more shopping centres, Singaporeans MAY become ‘isolated’ from our main community by ‘pigeon-holing’ with their peers in these places on weekends.

Thus lets stop building more shopping centres, let Singaporeans come out, mingle, interact and play with the rest of our community so as to foster an active citizenry.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Every medium sized neighbourhood in SG has their very own mall. Whenever we visit friends, relatives or family members, we always end up going for a stroll at the malls. A theme park like Disneyland would be a better alternative. It's fun for the whole family !

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