ALTHOUGH the concerns raised by residents are not baseless, approval of a hotel development in the area is in line with demand for more hotels as Singapore gears up for the integrated resorts launch and major events like Formula One and the Youth Olympic Games.
It is shortsighted to claim that an hourly hotel will encourage vice in the area. Vice can be conducted in any hotel. Major five-star hotels see engagements between high-class call girls and their high-net-worth customers. Tiong Bahru residents may have overlooked the fact that the area was once home to drug peddlers and loan sharks. It was not exactly wholesome to begin with.
Hotel 81 started next to Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre in 2007 in the midst of landed properties and HDB flats. I have lived in this area for more than two decades and even after the opening of the hotel, there have been no vice activities.
AS NEW home owners in Tiong Bahru, my wife and I are naturally anxious about the imminent presence of Hotel 81 in Eng Hoon Street.
The crux of the matter is that if the hotel institutes hourly and transitory rates, it sets environmental conditions and encourages vice activities.
We choose to live in Tiong Bahru because of its vibrant community, rich history and robust heritage.
I find it difficult to appreciate the evolution of the neighbourhood without being critical about what this means to residents and how changes affect the community’s values and way of life.
In an estate with conservation status and tremendous cultural legacy, it is perplexing that there is a distinct lack of collaborative and consultative approach by the authorities in planning and developing the neighbourhood.
Source: Straits Times, 26 June 2009