07 January 2007

The eye that popped up from nowhere

Virtually out of the blue, a giant ferris wheel was set up and inaugurated in Kuala Lumpur, giving Malaysia a headstart over the Singapore Flyer. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alex, I found this comment of yours interesting: "I am afraid to say, never impressed me with the quality of their construction work."

I am afraid that, as a foreigner here, I am not all that impressed with Singapore's construction either. Although I don't fear that the buildings in Singapore will collapse (at least if they are not called Nicoll Highway), let me point out some of the things that I don't like:

I have been in a number of HDB flats and have seen the bathrooms. There is often water pooled up in places. How hard is it to build a floor that slopes to a drain for the whole room?

I have seen new HDB flats with bathrooms vented directly into kitchens, so that all the toilet sounds can be heard quite easily in the kitchen. Lovely to hear when you are cooking/eating and your guests are using the toilet.

Too many public buildings have inadequate exit safety. Visit IKEA on a weekend and see for yourself. See how they have it laid out? Lots of twists and turns to the tiny exit, and so many people crowded in there. Don't you have a fire code?

I think I would be more forgiving of little problems in HDB flats (even condos), but the selling price of these flats is so high! Paying so much for a flat and putting up with such low quality is beyond me. How can someone pay $200k or higher and then live with light switches in inconvenient places, water pooling up in a bathroom corner after a shower?

The last thing that gets me is contractors. They need constant monitoring, and when we had a condo painted they dripped paint everywhere. Then when our dryer broke some electrical repairmen came over. They saw that we were white and, thinking we are rich, were discussing to each other in Chinese (which my husband can understand) how high they can charge us for the work above what they normally charge. I remember them settling on 3X the normal price. This experience left a lasting impression about Singaporeans.

When we lived in Malaysia, we never had this kind of experience.

KiWeTO said...

Grounding the Singapore Flyer

Since you raised it, let me redirect your wise and contemplative readers to my earlier diatribe on the potential contributability of the Singapore Flyer to tourism in this country.

Just click on the title bar above to see why I thought we were shot down before even taking flight by our own sister IR project.

Such wonderful vision.


Anonymous said...

Most contractors here are Malaysians, You have just highlighted their Bad workmanship.

Yuri said...

This might be the result of allowing a handful of bureaucrats to involve themselves in a project which demands hand-on and in-depth field experience. Unfortunately, you cannot erect an object(pardon the double entendre!) with success just because you are permitted to do so.

When business acumen is in lacking, one cannot but scoff at the so-called "success rate" of the project. Ahhh... politics and bureaucracy never cease in making me laugh.