Photo from sinarmasland.com

The seedier side of “retail” in Orchard Road

Given Singapore’s recent investment in rejuvenating the lagging retail sector in Orchard road, I wonder what it would make of the “sex, spas, sleaze” also found in plain sight in Orchard Road. In paying out millions to an Aussie based consultancy firm to analyse what can be done to give Orchard Road a makeover, has the government also decided on its plans for the seedier side of Orchard Road?

To be clear, I have no issue with this side of Singapore as long as it doesn’t lead to disturbances for those who do not want to be involved. As far as I am concerned, what consenting adults choose to do among themselves is of no concern to me. That said, if Singapore is spending so much cash on this plan to rejuvenate Orchard Road, has it also considered what it plans to do with this other side of Orchard Road? I dare say that this side is thriving even if the shopping is not!

Given that the government does not deem it necessary to discuss big ticket spending in Parliament, I hope that the government is at least mindful and strategic when it does decide to spend. There is no point spending big bucks to refresh Orchard Road’s look and vibe if it doesn’t also consider what it plans to do with the seedier aspects? Unless of course, its plans include this sector of “retail” as well?

While I do not have any objections to what consenting adults choose to do, I do have concerns if the government is spending millions without a full picture of what it is they are trying to achieve. If Urbis have not been briefed on this other side of “retail” would they be able to come up with the best strategy on how to boost the shopping strip?

I just hope that in the interests of ensuring that the money is not thrown down the drain, the Singapore government has put Urbis on notice of this other side of Orchard Road so that whatever plans they come up with takes into consideration what it plans to do with this seedier side of “retail”