Singapore is getting more and more crowded. This is being made more so by the influx of migrants.
I was just at Orchard road the week before Christmas and as usual, the malls are packed with shoppers and the link between Wisma and Takashimaya was so packed that human traffic came to stand still.
This got me thinking. Does malls in our country has to pass any Fire Regulation test? Is there a maximum number of people allow to be in a particular building?
Please note that many countries have fire safety regulation to their malls.
In Taiwan and Japan, there is always a sign at the entrace showing what is the maximum number of people this building is licensed to have and there is a counter showing you how many people are in the building now. This is to prevent the building from being overcrowded and make safe evacuation possible in case of fire or emergency.
This is definite lacking in Singapore.
The matter is made even worst with temporary push-carts and store blocking walk ways and exits of malls.
I really doubt a safe evacuation is possible for our malls during emergencies especially during weekends or festive seasons.
So why is Singapore, being a First world country, chose not to look into this matter?
Well, firstly, I think your life and my life is cheap. You won’t see Minister shopping in a crowded shopping center right?
Secondly, land is expensive in Singapore, so as a mall owners, I will packed as much stores I can into my building and even create temporary stores during festive period so I could get my return in investment ASAP.
So folks, be careful when you go to crowded malls the next time. Always keep a look out for the nearest exit because it is just a disaster waiting to happen in Singapore.