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.

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