Saving a Sexier Island : Saving a Sexier Island
With Singapore evolving at blistering pace, old Singapore is being left behind, neglected or just plain dying? As a result, active citizenry is taking off like never before with Singaporeans campaigning to save Bukit Brown, Joo Chiat HDB flats, Rochor Centre, with Jalan Besar, Balestier and Tiong Bahru championed for their history/heritage. Basically, as Singapore becomes more of a global metropolis, the search to save its soul has been taken up like never before.
Nostalgia is spreading through the country. Old Singapore has never been more hip, more trendy as Singaporeans cling to the last vestiges of what actually makes them Singaporean. The race is on to save an even sexier island. So as the nation celebrates its 50th anniversary, Neil Humphreys heads off on a tour of old Singapore to find 50 sights and sounds that are at risk of being overlooked, forgotten or even bulldozed and lost forever. Some are historically significant (like Queenstown or Tiong Bahru). Some are environmentally significant (like Pulau Hantu or Lazarus Island). Some are culturally significant (like Cafe Colbar and Thieves Market). Some are politically significant (like LKY's house!). And some are just quirky and a tad surreal (a remote bus stop, a viewing tower in Upper Seletar, Haw Par Villa and Zouk). But Humphreys tracks them all down in a funny, insightful and unashamedly sentimental search for what's left of Singapore's soul.
Neil Humphreys is one of Singapore’s best-selling authors with 27 titles to his name. His works on the country – from Notes from an Even Smaller Island (2001) to Saving a Sexier Island: Notes from an Old Singapore (2015) – are among the most popular titles in the last 20 years. Writing as NJ Humphreys, he is also behind the highly popularPrincess Incognito middle grade children’s’ series. His illustrated Abbie Rose and the Magic Suitcase adventures are funny eco-adventures about a smart, feisty girl on a mission to save endangered animals. He is also a prolific crime fiction writer. His titles include Match Fixer (2010), Premier Leech (2011), Marina Bay Sins (2014), Rich Kill Poor Kill (2016) and Bloody Foreigners (2021).