How Indignity & Abject Poverty Drove Dr Liu Thai-Ker to Become The Architect of Modern Singapore

Source:,Andrew Koay

As Liu Thai-Ker reels off descriptions of old Singapore in vivid detail, his audience shudders.

This one anecdote from a rainy day in an undeveloped Redhill area is filled with an account of human faecal matter flowing down the streets and huts with plastic sheets for roofs.

“Water was dripping into the interior. That was the condition that people used to live in, in those days.”

Sitting down with Mothership in his office on Scotts Road, it’s hard to imagine a time when Singapore was like that.

Not when nearby Orchard Road is lined with air-conditioned shopping malls and fancy hotels — all forming a steel and glass guard of honour for the flow of modern cars that pass through the area on a daily basis.

It’s an immovable testament to the lifework of the man known as the architect of modern Singapore.

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