25 April, 2011

民声 · Voices from the Ground

随着大选的脚步逼近,到处都是许下承诺的人选。

General Elections is just around the corner and there are plenty of people out there in heartland areas willing to promise almost anything.

其中无论是平民百姓还是高职大官,无不强调对民声的重视,并且通过走访地区等与民接触。对此,以下是我作为平民的基本要求,究竟有多难办到呢?

The constant emphasis from high-ranking MPs and average citizens is the high regard for the voices from the ground. And the former has been on walkabout at constituencies to interact with the people. As such, I see no better a chance to talk about my basic expectations as an average citizen, just to let people think about how hard it is to make life better for people.


第一、翻新固然不错,但不要建一些不好看又没有用的设施。
Firstly, stop spending money on useless and visually-unimpressive "neighbourhood upgrades".


就以以上为例,新增的架子不是有盖走廊,下雨时毫无作用、晴天时无能遮避阳光,外形又不好看,建的意义不明,浪费资金。

Taking the picture above for instance, the new metal construction can provide neither shade nor shelter during rain and shine, and it isn't a piece of visual art either. I don't see why such a construction is required, and not an "upgrade", just a mere waste of money.



第二、把天桥还给我。
Secondly, return me the overhead bridges.



左边是普遍的天桥,而右边是在新建筑工程中的完工例子,在友诺士组屋区、榜鹅、实龙岗北部等都可见。这是无障碍设施的一个改变,但对于赶时间或平时提着大包小包从菜市场回家的阿嫂来说,是多么地不方便!

What you see on the left is a typical overhead bridge you see being built in Singapore over the years, and the one on the right is the new design you see in areas like Eunos, Ponggol, Serangoon North Village, etc. I understand that such a change is brought about with the aim of a wheelchair-accessible Singapore, but have they considered what an inconvenient detour it is for people in a rush or the aunties with the bulky groceries?


无障碍的努力没有错,但错就错在设计不实际,给大部分(也就是非残障)的人民带来更多的不便,得不偿失。看到这样的设计,可就别怪人们要非法过马路了。

It's not wrong to improve Singapore to be wheelchair-accessible islandwide, but the problem lies in changes which brings more inconvenience to the majority who are mobile, and doesn't really do the handicapped much help. Seeing such design, they can't actually blame the people who cross the road illegally.



第三、无障碍设施不人道。
Thirdly, consider how inhumane the slopes/ramps are.


以上是我亲自到后港拍摄的画面。

The picture above is a scene I captured personally at Hougang.

试想一个坐轮椅的老人独自出门,还要左右转弯七次才能到车站,这是何等的不人道而折腾。很难想象所谓的知识分子会允许新加坡各个地方有这种不切实际的设计,唯一的利益或许就是建筑商用的材料增加能从中获利。

Think about an elderly person trying to go outdoors by himself, and actually has to turn SEVEN times down the slopes before he gets to the bus stop from the void deck. Did anyone designing or allowing such a construction consider how tormenting and inhumane it is? It's hard to believe any educated (or just sane) person would allow such designs to be executed. The only party I can see benefiting from such design is the construction company which may get to charge more for the amount of material and labour work into creating such rubbish.

我相信一个月内使用次数不上十次。

I believe that that slope above is used less than 10 times a month.


第四、重新探讨巴士设计的改变是否弊大于利。
Lastly, re-evaluate the 'improvements' of public buses.



就以服务线的灯而言,新的橙色灯光在白天几乎看不到,到了晚上又因为字体太小而看不到。另外,是否有顾虑到闪光近视的人民呢?

Taking just the service line number boards as example, the new buses with the orange lights are actually causing problems when it is hard to see in daylight, and too small a font to see at night. In addition, how about those who have visual difficulties?

等巴士已经很痛苦了,看不到服务线显示等,真的是自作聪明而让人雪上加霜的改变。

It's already a torture to wait for the never-seem-to-come buses for school and work, and with such "improvements" by the smart-alecks, I think it's making life harder for people.