Latest CNNGo.com "Say What? with mrbrown" column: If Singapore floods, escape the five-star way
We used to pity Jakarta and other cities for their "Third World" style flooding, safe in our super-efficient infrastructure and modern facilities. But after a few recent floods, most notably along Bukit Timah (a rich man's residential estate) and Orchard Road (our shopping belt), we should be turning that pity on ourselves.
After the Bukit Timah flood, we waited for a robust response from our government, something like, "This flooding is not acceptable and we will cast out the demon of poor drainage, and restore peace, balance and dryness to our society!"
But instead, we were told by Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Environment and Water Resources, that the Bukit Timah flood was an event that "occurs once every 50 years", a freak event of more rain than usual.
That was in November 2009. Then months later, another once-every-50-years freak event happened (time moves very fast in Singapore) and Orchard Road flooded.
A newly opened Wendy's and a Starbucks at the basement of Liat Towers were submerged in water. A Hermès store was hit too. Many women I know wept at that last bit of news (nooooo, not the poor little Birkin bags! Send in the Navy Divers!). (cont'd)