Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre/ Neo Tiew Village Part 2

On my previous post on Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre/ Neo Tiew Village Part 1, there are some responds on my blog.

My friend, Michelle told me that she used to cycle all the way to Kranji and bypassed Neo Tiew Village and another friend, Eric told me that he used to stay there!!

I decided to ask Eric if he could able to accept my interview with him on Neo Tiew Village. And Eric accepted my interview. So, I decided to think of the questions for him to answer and also clear my doubt on Neo Tiew Village!

Below are some of the questions that was being interviewed with Eric Zhuo, ex- Resident of Neo Tiew Village. x-represent xfotojournal and e- represent Eric Zhuo via Electronic Mail.

x:How long had you stayed at Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre?
e: For about 5 years before I shifted to Yishun.

x: Can you share with us how was the life at Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre?
e: Life was simple back then since there isn't much amenities available in the area. Most of them goes to work in farms nearby while the others do some small businesses within the rural centre.

There was a Provision Shop, a Coffee Shop, an Aquarium, an Egg Wholesaler and one of the more famous one would be the Lim Chu Kang Clinic, previously used by Dr. Tan Cheng Bock (A candidate for Singapore Presidential Election) who used to see patients at.

x: Do you roughly know what was the population and the race of residents in Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre?
e: Population there was quite small. Approximately 80 families. Most of the residents there are Chinese, I can only remembered 1 Malay family and 2 indian families, the rest should be Chinese.

x: During the festive seasons, how do you all celebrated it? How was the mood like?
e: Typically, the village only celebrate Chinese traditional festivals in a large scale basis. Such as the hungry ghost festival, where there will be a big banquet where every family in the village is invited.

As per any other hungry ghost festival banquet, auctions and stage performance which known as Ge Tai 歌台 (dance and singing) will be staged.

x: Since the Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre was located in remote area, was the transportation quite troublesome?
e: People in the village seldom travel outwards, if they need to, there's a trunk bus services that brings them out to Choa Chu Kang (CCK) interchange/MRT where they can transfer to other routes.

x: What was the bus number at that time? And where do the buses heading to? Is the bus still exist till now?
e: Back then, there was a SBS service 175 that plies from CCK Interchange to Lim Chu Kang End Terminal.

Subsequently, all bus services in CCK Interchange were handed over from SBS Transit to SMRT, who renumbered the bus service to 975 which exist until today.

x: Was there any entertainment premises around? Eg: Cinema.
e: Nope. There isn't entertainment facilities available.

x: Was there any school around and how the children study if there was no school around?
e: There were no schools in the village. Students will need to travel out to CCK area to gain access to the nearest school.

x: Rather then Block 2 Market, was there any coffee shop around?
e: Yes. There is a coffee shop at Block 5, right beside the Car Park entrance. The coffee shop has a chicken rice stall, char kway teow stall, an economic rice stall and a malay food stall.

x: What was your favourite food at where and why?
e:  Particularly love the Fried Carrot Cake at the food centre. Carrot cake were fried in very small pieces in sweet sauce and it is slightly burnt but not charred, taste really good.

x: What are the famous food stalls around there?
e: Can't really remember.

x: Do you still remembered when did Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre enbloc and where did all of you moved to?
e:Don't remember when it was enbloc but all residents were asked to shift to CCK New Town, in a newer HDB development near Brickland Road.

x: Do you still missed Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre and why?
e: Yes. It is a place where you are hidden away from noise and bustle. The village is a very interesting setup as well, it resembles the kampung, where kampung spirit is strong and everyone practically know everyone else in the village.

x: Do you seriously like Lim Chu Kang Rual Centre if you have the chance to live here again?
e: Definitely Yes.

x: Do you have anything to add on?
e: As far as I know, after Enbloc, the 5 blocks were not demolished but was cordoned up and labelled as a protected area.

Old residents who is still working in farms nearby reported that they have seen SAF troops being brought into the areas and used the 5 blocks as a FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Area) training group until a proper FIBUA training facility was completed within the Western Catchment Protected Area, near Murai Reservoir.

After SAF's FIBUA activities stopped in the area. The place have been left vacant with no signs of redevelopment.

Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre/ Neo Tiew Village Part 1

As most of you might know that I am searching for people who used to live or had training at Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre/ Neo Tiew Village for short interview.

I had a great opportunity and honored to have exclusive interview with Jason Tan via electronic mail who had his military training at Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre.

Below are some of the questions that was being interviewed with Jason Tan. x-represent xfotojournal and j- represent Jason Tan.

PS: If you know any of your friends or you used to stay at Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre, please contact me as I would like to share your living experiences with everyone.

x: When did you last visited Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre?
j: The last time I visited there was last October (2011), during my ICT (In Camp Training).

x: How do you traveled by there?
j: Traveled by the army 5 tonner of course :p

x: What was your rank at that time?
j: Corporal (NS)

x: What are you doing there at that time?
j: We went there for an exercise called urban ops. In the past, it was called FIBUA (Fighting in built up area) and now the module has been revised to allow us to better tackle the treats of fighting in urbanized area during wartime.

x: Was the training tough and why?
j: Not only was it tough, it was also mentally draining as we had to attack and search the buildings for enemies or hostages and we had to cover for our team mates and we had to react fast whether to attack or to rescue. It felt like a real life "Counter-Strike" game.

x: How long was the training last?
j: It lasted one whole day.

x: I understand that Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre used to have Market over at Block 2, do you still managed to buy any food after your training? Or where did you buy your food from? How much was the food cost? Do you find it expensive?
j: It used to be a market but now it is just an abandoned shelter. The area was being used by us for our admin area.

x: I heard that their chicken cutlet was famous from one of the store, is it true? Do you ate it before, if true?
j: I've not heard of it before....

x: Do you have any weird encountered experienced that you wanted to share with us?
j: no weird encounters but it was pretty warm and non-windy when I was there.

x: Do you required to stay at Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre after the training?
j: no, we left in the evening.

x: Do you seriously like Lim Chu Kang Rual Centre if you have the chance to live here?
j: ha ha, I think its a pretty inaccessible place for anyone to like staying there.

x: Do you have anything to add on?
j: nothing to add on, thank you.