Mailbox: Second city for S'pore makes long-term sense

Mailbox: Second city for S'pore makes long-term sense

There has been a recent surge of property projects in Johor Baru and Iskandar Malaysia targeting Singaporeans.

As the world is becoming borderless, more of us will be investing in businesses and properties abroad.

Developments in the region, in some ways, complement and widen our economic opportunities.

But we should also put more efforts to redevelop Singapore.

As Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has said, we have to compete against cities, not countries, to survive another 50 years.

In 50 years, our population could have grown beyond 6.9 million.

Many regional cities would be more populated and, perhaps, more modern and bustling than Singapore.

Is our single-city urban model the best or only way for Singapore to compete?

Our sole city already is one of the most expensive globally.

Building more MRT lines leading to it would only result in attracting more offices there, increasing rental and land prices.

This would make the city less attractive or viable for future developments, other than office skyscrapers and high-class apartments and hotels.

Besides offering lower rental, a second city built at the other tip of our island will divert traffic to the opposite direction during rush hours - the best strategy to tackle traffic congestion in our city-state in the long run.

We should incorporate unique features and facilities and state-of-the-art technologies into the second city, making it one that other global and regional cities would envy.

It is one of the best ways to tap our citizens' ideas and resourcefulness for Singapore to compete and survive for 100 years and beyond.

Ng Ya Ken

This article was first published on August 22, 2014.
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