In 1787, Grigory Potemkin, a Russian minister and governor of Crimea, wanted to impress the Russian Empress Catherine II during her official visit to Crimea. He quickly directed his people to erect fake portable villages along the banks of the Dnieper River in order to fool the Empress into thinking that the Crimean area had become prosperous.
As soon as the barge carrying the Empress and ambassadors arrived, Potemkin’s men, dressed as peasants, would populate the village. Once the barge left, the village was disassembled, then rebuilt downstream overnight. In this way, he fooled the Empress into thinking that the Crimean region was better than it really was.
Later, the term Potemkin is used to describe having a false or deceptive appearance, especially when one is presented for the purpose of propaganda.
PAP learns to build “Potemkin villages” too?
The following is a picture of Block 1 Telok Blangah Crescent. It is situated on a small hill next to Henderson road, overlooking the Henderson overpass and AYE too. It is highly visible from both AYE and Henderson road:
As can be seen, many national flags were seen hanging at the balconies of the block (note that some of the flags were hidden because they had been blown inward by the wind).
However, if one was to venture deeper into the Telok Blangah estate, the situation looks quite different. Not many residents bothered to hang flags outside their flats (all photos taken on 8 Aug 2018):
(39 Telok Blangah Rise)
(30 Telok Blangah Rise)
(29 Telok Blangah Rise)
(32 Telok Blangah Rise)
(28 Telok Blangah Rise)
(26 Telok Blangah Cres)
(14 Telok Blangah Cres)
Could it be that the residents of Block 1 Telok Blangah Crescent are more nationalistic and satisfied with their lives in Singapore so as to show their happiness by hanging flags outside their flats? Or perhaps the PAP grassroots are more hardworking doing their “nationalistic” jobs?
If the flags in Block 1 Telok Blangah Crescent are hung by PAP grassroots, they should be commended for selecting blocks at strategic locations to hang flags while ignoring the rest deeper inside the estate.