Friday, October 25, 2013
The 160-year old wet market meandering around Graham Street, Gage Street and Peel Street. This is my favorite portion of posh Central (中環). The colors, smells, grit, blood and sounds that make up the daily rituals of the living. In preferably not summer, I like to pop by really early in the morning or in the evening just as the stalls are closing for the day. Plenty of photo opportunities and if you like it, to linger. Wear non-fabric covered shoes hor.
The Urban Renewal Authority wants to demolish the market to make way for, you guessed it, four swanky new (probably office/retail) towers. Along with the market, are the tenements that would be torn down too. The coalition of stall-holders and business owners in the area (中環市集商戶大聯盟) is fighting back. They've been fighting since 2011 and they're not giving up. If you can read Chinese, the message on the banner protests the demolition, and violently objects to the Urban Renewal Authority reneging on their promise and asks to renew their leases or agreements in order to serve the people. I'll be sorry to see the market gone. It really adds a unique dimension to the city in an area where the glass and steel skyscrapers could be easily found in any other...city.
You won't ever see a banner like that in Singapore. Except at Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park at certain events. Do we even understand what we're fighting for? Do we know the consequences of these actions? Civil liberties. And precedents.