Important to inject dose of reality into idealism

An artist's impression of One Pearl Bank.
An artist's impression of One Pearl Bank.PHOTO: CAPITALAND

I was somewhat bemused by Mr Toh Cheng Seong's letter on the idealistic concepts for One Pearl Bank, such as being "inspired by the mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon" to be "the marker of green tropical biophilic architecture" (One Pearl Bank should be a mixed-use project, June 8).

It is easy for bystanders, who do not have to worry about or be answerable for the cost-effectiveness and future sustainability of a $728 million investment, to offer ideas and suggestions about "remaining invested in a mixed-development complex and nurturing its soul".

While idealism is one of the catalysts to progress and development in society, it often has to subjugate itself to reality.

The play of forces that ultimately determines the success or failure of any project is so complex that it sometimes even befuddles experts.

Our Government, with its deep pockets and many ideas gathered by extensive overseas tours, often failed in its efforts.

The history of Golden Mile Complex in Beach Road and the various attempts to rejuvenate Chinatown are examples of failed efforts.

Perhaps it is wiser to leave complex projects such as this to the experts and just let the pearl be banked.

Peter Kwan Hoa Kun

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2019, with the headline 'Important to inject dose of reality into idealism'. Print Edition | Subscribe