Stories By: RICE (154 Articles Found)

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The plight of Dover Forest, and one secondary school teacher’s fight to save it

Though he’s wearing a threadbare military tee from his NS days, it’s hard to imagine Chua Chin Tat crawling through the mud with a semi-automatic weapon. He is calm and deliberate when he plods, heron-like, towards Dover Forest.…

I, a millennial Singaporean, became a fish farmer for a week

Admittedly, there had been a slight sense of romanticism and a considerable chunk of cheekiness when I pitched this assignment. What a fish out of water tale it’d be, I laughed. Joke’s on me, though — I was…

Sadly, farming games can never match up to real life farming

For most of us, life often goes something like this: work, eat, sleep, repeat. In this game of life, unfortunately, much of our time is dedicated to the pursuit of money. Increasingly though, people are seeking meaningful and…

The secret beauty of Ubi, uncovered in 24 hours

Industrial parks are commonly misunderstood for being utilitarian urban jungles, a stark contrast to the glamorous glass towers and accompanying nightlife of downtown Singapore. Word on the street is that things have changed—quaint cafes and hip stores have…

Finding softness in a place: A portrait of Jalan Hang Jebat

It’s a Wed morning in the first days of 2021, and I’m walking down a row of British military houses. This was not a country fighting a war, nor was it a country still under colonial rule, so…

Before there was Dover Forest, there was the Lower Peirce golf course saga of 1992

Just minutes at the Lower Peirce Trail will remind you of the ordinary magic of paying attention. When I get out of my Grab, Bing, the photographer, is crouched in the vegetation lining the trail entrance, observing something.…

Singaporeans will have access to stem cell-based seafood very soon

Regardless of whether the ethical treatment of animals matters to you, it is disconcerting to know that the seafood we are currently consuming might be predisposing us to serious illness. Fortunately, in about a year from now, we…

Hawker culture on UNESCO’s Heritage List means nothing if no one takes over

“We’re a new breed of hawkers armed with fresh ideas, but still rooted by the past.” Caught between the old ways and new techniques, young hawkers face an uphill task of changing Singaporeans’ set notions of what defines…

One last walk down Lorong 3 Geylang

A stillness fills the air as I turn onto Lorong 3 Geylang, which is quietly tucked away in between an industrial loading bay, a canal, and a HDB block. The only crackle of sound within earshot comes from…

Forget the TraceTogether data. Can we trust the government to keep their word?

What a start to the year. On Mon, the inaugural Parliament livestream triggered a real-time outcry over the collection and use of TraceTogether data. Contrary to prior assurances that TraceTogether data would only be used for contact tracing,…

Escaping Singapore’s rat race at the most ulu resort in Kranji

I’m standing outside Kranji MRT station, waiting for the 1:00 PM Kranji Express Shuttle. If you’re travelling with young kids or the elderly, I strongly recommend paying the extra gas money to drive, or renting a car for…

Is Canberra the new ghost town of Singapore?

Every neighbourhood in Singapore has a reputation: Bukit Timah is old money, Sentosa Cove is new money, Marine Parade is for the beach lovers, Sengkang is for the young liberal middle-class families, Joo Chiat and Tiong Bahru are…

Forget sentimental value. What’s the real value of Golden Mile Complex?

With the recent announcement that Golden Mile Complex (GMC) was to be gazetted for conservation by URA, Singaporeans reacted with a curious mix of nostalgia, apathy, and resentment. “This ugly building you save, but you tear down the…

How far have we come in tackling homelessness in Singapore?

In 2019, Dr Ng Kok Hoe (currently Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) conducted Singapore’s first-ever nationwide study on homelessness. The study found that there were approximately 1000 homeless people in Singapore,…

Travelling to Little India means seeing it with new eyes

The colours of Deepavali are everywhere, but the mood in Little India feels far from festive. The tourists have disappeared. So have the elderly Indian uncles, who used to linger at cafes and restaurants, reading the paper and…

“it’s a ghost town”: At Lucky Plaza, hollowed out by entry curbs, a community goes into crisis

To a mall, there is no sound more terrifying than silence. Silence means a lack of bodies, which means a lack of business, which means danger. It means restaurants without customers and hair salons without clients; unsold goods…

Can ‘Domestic Tourism’ in Singapore ever be more than just staycations?

When the news that all Singaporeans above 18 were getting $100 in SingapoRediscovers vouchers broke, it seemed everyone I met that day was already planning their next staycation. Contrast this to a month ago, when the S$45 million…

Customers love their furniture shop. So why are these sisters fighting to save it?

We just signed a one-year lease with our landlord. That was in Apr when Covid was widespread. We appealed to him: please, can you reduce the rental by 10%? He said no. He even wanted to increase the…

Under one roof: How the covered walkway conquered Singapore

In Dec last year, I was returning home from Yio Chu Kang swimming pool when I saw something which took my breath away: a brand new covered walkway. Not any regular ol’ covered walkway, but a covered linkway…

The surreal experience of travelling in and out of Singapore during Covid-19

Changi Airport looked like a ghost town. Less than half a year ago, you could barely walk through the airport without bumping into someone you know. The non-stop human traffic was a testament to its reputation as one…

In Phase 2, migrant workers battle financial fears and a mental health crisis

The last time Feroz set foot outside his dormitory was in early Apr. For nearly four months, he has not been to Little India, the shipyard where he works, or even the other end of his dormitory compound.…

There is no ‘work-life balance’ without the office

In the modern workplace, it’s hard enough to achieve the mythical work-life balance (WLB). But without the option of heading into the office, WLB becomes impossible. This is precisely why the office is essential to the physical and…

Is Sengkang all that it’s made out to be? We went for a walk to find out

Since GE2020, and the WP’s victory, Sengkang has turned into something of a meme. Less concrete-and-rebar town. More of a metonym for political change, democracy and all that good stuff. The reality, however, is much more banal. The…

Transforming the hawker industry into a digital one: Is it possible?

At Tian Tian Fatt Rice and Porridge at Toa Payoh Lorong 8, customers don’t stop streaming in even at 3.30pm on a weekday. Mrs Ng and her sole assistant diligently serve up orders, all while collecting money from…

Should Singapore let foreign investors buy permanent residency?

Singapore is currently debating our migrant worker policy, but the other end of migration—investment migration by HNWIs, has received far less scrutiny. Most might not even be familiar with what “investment migration” means, or aware that Singapore has…

They launched their businesses smack in the middle of COVID-19. Crazy or unlucky, you decide

Even when the first case of Covid-19 hit in Jan, the business climate in Singapore still looked promising. MNCs were shifting operations from the politically-entangled Hong Kong to Singapore, and growth opportunities seemed to be concentrated in Southeast…

The jobs may be essential, but the people doing them are not

The recent ST survey on the public’s perception of “essential” work caused quite a lot of buzz. I am glad that people are finally recognizing the importance of our essential workers, but even before the pandemic, we have…

Are our fears about the TraceTogether token justified? We asked a data privacy expert

The government’s recent announcement that it will be rolling out wearable TraceTogether tokens has sparked furious debate and opposition. At the time of writing, a petition against the tokens has already gathered over 42,000 signatures, with many Singaporeans…

The Sultan and his sisters: How 2,300 corals travelled to Sisters’ Islands Marine Park

In the coastal waters of Singapore, life finds a way. Upon the seawalls of Sisters’ Island Marine Park, for example, thousands of coral colonies in different colours and shapes manage to thrive under increasingly difficult conditions. And their…

Essential but underpaid: reflecting on work during and beyond COVID-19

Most Singaporeans hardly think about our waste after disposing of it at public litter bins or down the HDB rubbish chute. Yet even during the current pandemic, waste mgmt services have miraculously continued to function. Real people continue…

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