Canning River

Canning River is a seriously good test for Singaporeans who are considering Perth as their migration destination. If you come here on a cold winter afternoon and the first thing you say is, "Come here for what? Nothing here leh," then Perth may be a very boring place for you indeed. I'm not sure how long you can survive here with your sanity intact.

To me, this place is magic. The region slaps right in the middle of a busy (for Perth's standard) town. You can almost see cars from Albany Highway zipping past from a distance. Yet. Yet, when you turn your back to the hustle from civilisation, the place is conserved enough to ooze goodness from nature from all fronts. The chirps of birds seemed to echo from a very high place, which reminded me of the magical forest of Pemberton that we stopped by when Jen and I brought along my parents for a short road trip down the Albany. Of course it was not half as good, the beautiful birds of vivid colours that weren't afraid of humans were nowhere to be seen. But, the chill winter made the experience close enough.

Most people would not appreciate the murky looking river as shown in the picture. Nature does not have to be calendar picture-perfect to be good. It's poison to some, meat to another. Take our Singapore mangroove for example. Our natural habitat is such so but we chose to clear the coast to make way for 20km or so artificial beach along East Coast Park. 20 odd years on, the coast has be mercilessly eroded. Some areas of East Coast Park has been eroded to almost the jogging track. Rejuvenation intentions have been shelved since 2005 because we ran short of friendly neighbours willing to sell sand to us. The government did the right thing to use sand from Myanmar for more urgent use, such as building of public housing.

Making Singapore a 'garden city' is someone's brainchild. I am not disputing it is a good campaign. But I'll like to remind our leaders that there is a limit nature will compromise and yield to a human's ego. At the end of the day, a place like Sungei Buloh tells of our heritage. Not East Coast Park or Sentosa. Which of us Singaporeans really appreciate Sungei Buloh? Most of us would rather the government fill the mud up and sanction the area for public housing. Well that's because we are seriously running out of space. Maybe it is our destiny to reach economical peaks and fall apart and be talked about in the same breathe as Babylon by the future generations. 

Constraints aside, let's be honest how many of us really appreciate places such as MacRitchie Nature Reserve or Sungei Buloh?

If these things are not for you, you'll miss out 90% of what Western Australia can offer you. This is not a place for us to drive hastily to one place, grin, take photos and move on to the next 'hot spot'. Perhaps Sydney sounds like a more rational place for you to be. Nature is not meant to be digested this way. It is a chance for you to stop completely on your tracks and synchronise with the environment. A chance for you to respect the wisdom of the elements that has been around way longer than anyone living human that you know.

Back to Canning River, surprisingly the afternoon ended up with Stephen, Joni and Patrick joining us for a late afternoon picnic spontaneously. These 3 were 'super on', responding to a 'oei come leh, join' call rather swiftly when we already warmed the benches for awhile. Before they arrived, I had long quiet time with Albany at my torso, enjoying the still winter chill watching ducks swam by. I whispered things to Albany and assumed she understood what I told her. She gripped my finger tightly with her tiny hand and cuddled.

The river bank engulfed by civilisation

Ladies having their home-made fusion popiah
Alone but not lonely
The river that looks different at each season


  1. I don't like it that you keep putting Singaporean down like a test tube babies. There are much more Singaporean whom maybe you have never met that appreciate things more and definately seen the world more than you did.

    So stop bashing Singaporean at every turn and post.

    1. i think you have completely misunderstood my message. Which sentence exactly suggested i 'bashed singaporeans?'

      i wrote this as a warning to singaporeans who commented in the blog or emails that they want to move over because someone like me did. I feel there is a need to be responsible and tell them Perth is very different from what they expect.

      A lot of singaporeans don't even realise singapore is the place they want to be, not anywhere else but they left and don't fit in anywhere. That's all im thinking of and my conscience is clear. You can interpret my message your way, i can't stop you not that i am able anyway.

    2. To the original poster who first commented - you must have failed your IELTS badly. Buck up on your reading compre first, bro.

    3. Hi SingaporeSon or whatever you call yourself,

      You mean you don't even know you are bashing our own people? Let me give you an example of the words you use.

      "Which of us Singaporeans really appreciate Sungei Buloh? Most of us would rather the government fill the mud up and sanction the area for public housing."

      Don't you think this is a singaporean bashing? I seriously don't know anyone here who wants to fill the mud up. Be it guy A or guy B. I have never heard of anyone who talk to me that wants this to be filled up. It's ok to give your opinion, everyone has one but another to just sterotype and bashing anyone else in your path. I don't think you even realise there are now 40% people who disagree with our gov on certain policy. Maybe you are already so far away that you forget these are the people who are still the singaporean you mention in the same breath.

      I don't even need to bother digging back on your previous post on how much you bash. You want me to put them I can.

  2. There is certain degree of truth if you are willing to see.

    How many people will visit parks or the "wild" sungei? In my previous comment, I saw more FT and families in civilized AMK-Bishan (it is currently renamed). This has revealed the truth in the above post.

    Most of us tend to indulge in air-conditioned malls and all blame the humid and sunny climate.
    Come on, the malls are built for them to spend their hard-earned money. That's the reason why they want so hard. Parks and reserves? Oh, maybe to the zoo or lower pierce reservoir to tease the monkeys.

  3. feel free to speculate, on a scale between nature loving and mall loving, the general disposition of singaporeans.

    as one myself, i'd estimate that we're 80% in favour of mall loving.

    i put it down to our "culture". the upbringing, the education, and the expectations.

    sure, there are a few who appreciate the other aspects of life to a greater degree. those who are able to see beyond pure material or social status.

    i'd say asingaporeanson is one of those few.

    as for one who has seen more of the world and worked stints in those parts? check out limpehft. hopefully u can take the brutally honest posts regarding the average singaporean.

    there are reasons why singaporeans are "bashed".

    unlike the prc who called us dogs, these bloggers take the time, effort and research to present their views.

  4. I guess people who comes to this blog are full of themselves (singaporean themselves) that they feel the need to bash Singaporean to elevate their own ego. Firstly why is mall loving wrong? Is the nature loving the "correct" way to life? Everyone goes to nature park once a while but would like to go mall more often because it's nearer and it's cooler. Is that wrong?

    I don't take side for mall goers or nature lovers or even tree huggers but does you need to put in words that attempt to bash people who are not in the same thoughts as you?

    It's so easy to see why. Most of you guys are no longer in Singapore and no longer desire to be back. Yet keep putting words into people who stay here, to do what? To justify you are right in leaving singapore? Say what you want. You don't need to bash anyone to make a blog.

    1. In S'pore, I used to be a mall goer as the weather is hot and humid but not now anymore as most malls are packed with people particularly foreigners, unable to "walk straight" due to heavy human traffic and not enough space to shop comfortably.
      In Aust, I love to drive around for sight seeing, go to the beach and park as the weather (summer not included) and scenery is really nice, no mosquito bite at all, I do shop in Aust but mainly in a supermarket and most malls close very early except late night shopping once a week.
      Those who choose to stay in S'pore due to whatever reasons have to accept the congested conditions now and future may be worse.
      Those who wish to start a new life in Aust, this blog will be inspiring.
      It depends on how you view this blog, if you think it's bashing so be it, then please do not visit this blog anymore as nobody force you to come in here.

    2. This one should be the same person as the first poster. You must be a mall otaku, or an IB

      If you are an IB, good job, here's $1.

      Your WOT is really OOT.

  5. Thank you. Wish you a great day.

  6. To someone who replied me on the factors he no longer move around the mall because it's crowded with foreigners and all those nonsense.

    In no way I have said anything about our government pro policy on FT. I'm saying there's no need to bash singaporean as they as not involved in bringing in FT.

    Secondly since you are already in Australia can't you just talk about your damn australia without putting down your old fellow citizen who have done nothing to do?

    You can just go away in this comment post if you do not like it.

    The second person who post about mall otaku. Do you really know what otaku mean? You want to show you are very good in jurgen I can throw you a bunch. You are as bad as the person who just fu** up and just go away to somewhere and starts saying bad about the people who have once stay with you. Thanks. You are the worst sort of person. Good thing I don't know you. I'm so sad for your "friends" in singapore.

  7. Dear anonoymous,

    instead of hiding behind the veil, if you decide to hang around, please kindly leave your name. You are the same guy who left the weird irrelevant comments about expensive public transport in perth on another post. I'm quite surprised you are still around.

    You are an unhappy guy, i have 3 suggestions

    1. Tell everyone you know about this blog and warn them to avoid it at all cost.

    2. If this doesnt work, tell them and advertise in the shit times if you want, about the blogger who 'bashed singaporeans' and get them to bash the guy who 'bashed singaporeans' just like you did. That will do the trick. Shiok ah.

    3. Delete the cookies of your browser and forget the blog's existence. Cheaper, better, faster. Your favourite minister's quote. You will like it.

    1. I've written this in one of your post in May:

      "BTW,a person who hides behind an Anonymous ID and mean to others is simply an on-line bully."

      My point is, just because a person is Anonymous, that doesn't gives him the right to say whatever he like and ironically, cyber-bash the blogger.

    2. Hi,

      You need an ID, I give you one. Anyway I'm not involved in all other comments throughout your blog only this one.

      I wrote the comments to prove you people something, when you are being attacked you all come with full force at me. How about the things you wrote about people back home like us? Aren't we suppose to retaliate back? If you read my original post. I was merely asking you to write but not to bash people who are still your friends. Maybe you are right. I should just delete my cookies and just log off. I feel like you would prefer to return comments here rather than whatsapp with your real friends. No problem, we all have our own lives now.

  8. Dear Asingaporeanson

    I think enough is enough. You have being brought up, educated and matured within the Singaporean environment. You are the lucky few who is able to put away your personal and family commitments and fly away to Perth for a fresh start. I congratulate you on that.

    I must inform you that not all Singaporeans are as lucky as you. I, for one, am not able to do so as I need to be around to take care of my aging parents and in laws. I struggle and yes I am not happy with many things that is happening in my life. However, escapist, I cannot be.

    Since you have left Singapore soil and from your posts, you hated the country to the core. The government, the environment irks you to no less degree. Then I think it is time for you to move on. Stop criticizing your country and your fellow countrymen and concentrate on your life in Australia. Be a good example and bring up your child well.

    Don’t let your child question you one day about why you are so against Singapore or why you are such an unhappy person. Your anti-Singaporeans have hurt your fellow friends in Singapore to no less degree. God knows what you need to do to mend those friendships.

    Go on, forget that you were ever a Singaporean. Move on Australian.

    1. I beg to differ, we don't hate our country Singapura. Deep down, we are still Singaporeans. Even after 7 years here, I still don't consider myself as an Aussie. As new migrants, we feel home sick all the time and can't help but compare our life here and life back in Singapore.

      Read the bloggers posts with an open mind and take it with "a pinch of salt". Cheers!

    2. Running Robot,

      Why do you feel you are being bashed ? How do you know Asingaporeanson's friends are hurt and he needs to mend the friendship? My, my aren't we a presumptious lot!

      If you don't like the music, you can always change the channel or shut it off what. If you are struggling and are not happy but decide not to do anything about it, what can we do leh ? Well guess what, life sucks for some of us but there is no reason to take it out here. Please don't invite yourself here then.

    3. Dear Running Robot,

      You wrote: "Since you have left Singapore soil and from your posts, you hated the country to the core. The government, the environment irks you to no less degree. Then I think it is time for you to move on."

      You've just used a Straw Man logical fallacy to attack aSingaporeanSon

      Your "Straw Man logical fallacy" script looks incredibly similar to my ex-colleague's who attacked me on my personal Facebook page. Hope you are not my ex-colleague. If so, feel free to un-friend me on FB and tell our mutual friends how horrible I am to "criticize" Singapore after leaving it. Otherwise, it would be nice if you could share where the both got the script from.

    4. interesting that he & his young family is only in Perth for less than 270 days, that you already determined that he is "lucky"? - why? you don't think that actually it is you that are "lucky" to be able to "remain" in Singapore? and that he is actually "unlucky" that Singapore left him?
      Escapism is when you go to the movies or believing everything you read in books, magazines, newspaper or TV.
      Let him write on,anyone can surely see through all these lies and fabrications. Afterall only truth hurts right? and any anti-Singapore that can be so easily identified through his public blog is certain not worth his salt, so why so bay-song?
      Of course Singaporean or Australian,we must not ever forget that we are all but human....

    5. If you no choice cannot migrate cannot blame you but you can always count on your children to migrate and become their dependent, you still have the chance to live in your adopted country for retirement provided that you have children, please do not feel sour grape now.
      I believe that the owner of this blog still love his country of birth and what he bashed is the pap govt, not his countrymen.
      Due to one party rule since 1959, most singaporeans have the impression that Singapore is pap, pap is Singapore, pap is the master, Singapore people is the servant.

    6. Dear Winking Doll

      Sorry mate. Don’t know you and don’t want to. I did not need to plagiarize my simple words from some “strawman” etc. My words are my own. Thanks.

  9. Oh by the way,Anonymous is not exactly anonymous. if you are smart enough to know. And it is not me.

  10. Some time back I got confused, amused and irritated with Anonymous all at the same time.
    After all, I don't know which one of you you are: are you he, she, it?
    How many people were writing under Anonymous, or was it just one fellow doing all the Anonymous responses, like a would-be chess grandmaster playing multiple show matches?

    At least, I thought, if Anonymous doesn't want to be so obvious with an actual, real name, Anonymous can be like mrbrown, at least we know mrbrown is THAT mrbrown.
    I commented on that hilarious consequence on my own on Facebook.

    Basically, Anonymous said something that Anonymous took offence with, so Anonymous started an argument with Anonymous, but then Anonymous jumped in to call Anonymous and Anonymous fools, and then Anonymous and Anonymous and Anonymous started a big fight which Anonymous also added oil to the fire.

    In case Anonymous (whichever version you are) still doesn't get it: it looks ridiculous to the rest of us non-Anonymous.

    One exception: I note commenters posting as Anonymous, but then they end with identifying themselves by a more specific initial or short form.
    For me, that feels more OK, more human, and less of a spam-bot, troll or flamer.

  11. I'm also born in Singapore, and have lived here almost all my life, except for those short overseas 'holidays'.

    I love shopping malls.
    Minus the horrid crowds these days, the humid heat made worse, the over-commercialised "Buy! Buy! Buy!", the noise.

    As an old friend emigrated years ago to Perth has said before, only there can he really hear himself think.

    I have lost something since I was born, since my childhood, but I don't know what it is.
    It has become Anonymous like many of you Anonymous locals out there, I wonder if you even noticed your similar losses.

    I think that I've been so severely over-conditioned after over 4 decades of existence, that I actually look at -asingaporeanson's- description of Canning River Park, and wonder why it seems so boring.

    Yet I can hear nature speak to me, I can hear a soundless rhythm pulsating in nature, drowned in Singapore by all that crammed urban noise.
    You know, that kind of inaudible noise, even in the middle of a quiet night in an air-conditioned study room, of too many people living in pigeonholes and shutting out their secret lives from one another.

    And the few times we've been lucky to holiday briefly outside Singapore: wow, the world is really that big, so many people live so differently from us, and they are actually happier than us with the so much less than what we have.

    I think Singaporeans think they are so meritocratic, like North Koreans believing they live in paradise.

    Can you tell me what it means to have become Anonymous, vanished into a Singapore no more?
    Maybe we should consider ourselves a district of China, or a colony of the Philippines?

    I may have no clear stances for all you Anonymous unknowns out there to attack any more, since I've been so over-conditioned in the Singapore way, that I have trouble holding on to my actual, true identity.

    It's great to be Anonymous, ain't it?

  12. Singapore has already lost it's identity unknowingly. As a Singaporean myself, as much as i do not wants it, it is a shame that our gov is allowing this to happen.

    Instead of FT adapting to our lifestyle, we in turn are accommodating to theirs with our gov supporting it.

    Many still don't see it and living in denial. Singapore has already turn into a land for the rich and famous and not for people like us.

  13. Hi,

    I have been reading your blog for quite a while and would like to thank you for posting the experiences and photos in Perth. I admire your courage in moving over to Australia for a fresh start and new life.

    It is also mine, and my family's, aim to move over to Australia one day, and we are working on it.

    I appreciate your efforts in sharing what Australia is like. Thank you.