December 7, 2010

This should be left standing………………….

Location: Tanjong Pagar KTM Railway Station, Singapore (1° 16′ 22″ N, 103° 50′ 17″ E)
Date: 3 August 2010, 8.35am
Camera: Canon 400D with Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5

The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station located in Singapore is the terminus station of the Malaysia Railways (Keretapi Tanah Melayu). The land on which the station and the railway tracks in Singapore are situated is held by KTM on a 999 year lease. The station entrance has statues of white marble, allegories of Agriculture, Industry, Commerce and Transport. Inside the station, there are panel paintings of Malayan scenes: rice planting, rubber tapping, shipping activities, tin mining and so on. Singapore was part of Malaysia until they separated in 1965; when the border control was established after separation, both the Malaysian and Singaporean Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) officers were stationed at Tanjong Pagar for immigration clearance of railway passengers even though the station is in fact deep at the other end of Singapore. In 1998 Singapore moved its CIQ functions for railways to Woodlands, which is at the point of entry into Singapore but Malaysia continues to maintain its CIQ functions at Tanjung Pagar. This created a situation whereby rail travellers leaving Singapore actually got checked into Malaysia (technically the station and the railway tracks are Malaysian territories) before they are cleared out from Singapore at Woodlands. This confused state has persisted for the last few years; as a result of a recent agreement between the governments, Malaysia will move its CQ to Woodlands as well by 1 July 2011. The Singapore Government has not being decided as to what will happen to the magnificent Railway Station after the relocation; I personally hope that the station architecture and sculptures will be kept intact.

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