In a bid to increase tourist attractions in Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board announced that they are considering a gay parade at Orchard Road, copying Australia’s Mardi Gras.
Coordinating across three government agencies involving the tourism board, Urban Redevelopment Authority and the National Parks Board, the three government agencies issued a press release saying they are copying ideas from other countries to lift falling sales figures at Orchard Road
“A Mardi Gras or Halloween parade, and underground walkways to link every mall along Orchard Road.”
Retail sales figures in recent years have been sluggish as consumers turn to online shopping for better deals. Laden with exorbitant rent and falling revenue, retail shops in the city area have been shutting down and shopping malls like Far East Plaza seeing fewer tenants.
Former Trade and Industry Minister S Iswaran in 2017 first proposed to “rejuvenate Orchard Road”, but the PAP minister was merely giving lips service and achieved nothing for Orchard Road.
The new Trade and Industry Minister is former army general Chan Chun Sing, but the amateur politician who has never worked in the private sector has not done anything for the local retail scene either.
Property developers and stakeholders have blamed the government for doing nothing for the shopping district and refusing to expand underground links between various shopping malls. International Property Advisor’s chief executive Ku Swee Yong rapped the government saying:
“We would like to see every mall in Orchard Road connected via an underground walkway so that pedestrians will not be exposed to the weather elements. (But) The cost of building the underground linkways should be borne by the authorities since it is an infrastructure project.”