Tag Archive | Mandarin Hotel

New GSF or Great S’pore Flood

With the heavy downpour this morning causing the most visible damage to the high profile and very famous crossroads of  Scotts Road and Orchard Road, many a doomsayer and climate/environment buff was quick to claim that we ain’t seen nothing yet, because of all the harm that us careless humans have done to Mother Earth.

This was exactly what a greenie claimed to me gleefully in an email after I 4warded her an album of photos sent to me by the indefatigable Narayanan, known affectionately as Raju, showing the mess from the flood waters.

“U ain’t seen nothing YET…,” my greenie pal declared. “U should have been there last Sat at EArth Day, Climate Change conference to listen to Prof/Dr Art Ong Jumsai (NASAA scientist and founder of Sathya Sai school in Thailand) and seen his SLIDES…”

I’m no doomsday prophet and have no intention to let Greenie get away with it, since I do remember at least two other occasions when Singapore seemed to be under The Deluge.

Once was a long time ago, belonging in Once Upon a Time land, when Singapore was newly independent and part of my family was living in Rangoon Road and the other part in a flat directly behind in Starlight Road. (To show how long ago, both properties have since been demolished to make way for new buildings!)

The second time I saw an equivalent of today’s  flash flood was when I was living behind  Lucky Plaza, in Kim Sia Court, in the early 1980s and certainly be4 September 1983 when I  moved out.

I remember that flood particularly well. My car was trapped in the swirling flood waters because I was silly enough to try to make it through Orchard Road after coming down Jalan Jintan and Nutmeg Road. Those were the days when I was such an eager beaver employee who die-die must get to work, come hell or high water!

I failed to make it through Orchard Road. Instead, my tiny Honda Civic bobbed about like a little canoe in the waters once I hit Orchard Road, sailing right past Fitzpatricks Supermarket (where Tong Building now is) and then slowly floated across the road into the Mandarin Hotel’s street-level carpark.

I had help for the final lap, as kids and adults eagerly waded into the waters to help steer my car out of the waters onto firmer ground. And no, they didn’t hang around waiting to be rewarded. They were pure Samaritans who after ensuring I was safe, waded back into the waters to help other motorists similarly caught.

Of course, after that my car was never the same again and was sold off soon.

When I shared this story with my Greenie friend, it triggered one from the recesses of her memory.

“Ha! ha!, ” she replied. “That must have been quite traumatic …like when I tried to 
follow a bus when Newton circus was completely flooded…and my car  floated up andI had to swim out of the window..to be rescued by my laughing husband in his car in outer lane!”

There Greenie, today’s flood has little or nothing to do with climate change. Singapore does have the occasional memorable flash floods. First world country or no. So, let’s not do a rain dance about it.

Instead enjoy the experience and remember to reassure rather than alarm others when the next flood floors us all of a sudden.

Meanwhile, keep today’s event fresh in mind with this Youtube reminder, even though the flood water has subsided and the cleaning has been done! When the next flood occurs, be blase. Been there; done that!

civil defence knight rescues fair lady in the flood? Pix courtesy of Raju's pal


I spied with my little eye more

Singapore’s who’s who..

Starting with the scion of a very well-known Singaporean lunching with a woman who isn’t his wife at the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) Kent Ridge cafe.

I mustn’t jump to conclusions because his dad in his young days too used to escort young women to meals at places such as the Stables (alas all those fillies have become old nags) at the Mandarin Hotel but he never philandered.

Also having a meal at the same clubhouse but away from prying eyes today (8 Sep) were Professor Tommy Koh and Professor Arthur Lim.

They had obviously been hosted by the NUSS committee and management because when I saw them they were being sent off by the NUSS president Johnny Tan and a committee member (also ex president and ex NMP), Chandra Mohan, with much Korean-drama courtesy (ie a lot of bowing).

Prof Lim was escorted all the way to his chauffer-driven car by Mr Tan while Prof Koh made his own way to the reserved car-parking lot for his. Well, at least a lot had been reserved for him in front of the Guild House!