Feng shui, which literally translates as Wind & Water, is a superstitious Chinese concept based on directing the movement of energy, qi, in order to provide positive well-being and good fortune. Generally speaking, the Chinese are a superstitious bunch. Prosperity and long life are ideals in which the Chinese are enthusiastically obsessed with; so much so that the Chinese developed a superstitious concept that would assist them with increasing their fortune and health.
Feng Shui however is not just limited to the Chinese. In fact, in recent years there has been a growing number of feng shui practitioners in the West who utilities the laws of feng shui in their daily lives. Business giant,Donald Trump, is reported to be a well-known practitioners of the feng shui arts after experiencing losses in the asia sector. Apparently Donald’s Asian clients weren’t impressed by the feng shui surrounding Trump Towers, and as a result, a feng shui master was consultant to harmonies the wealthy energy and positive ambiance!
Although I don’t consider myself a believer, I have found myself from time to time annoyingly following the rules of feng shui. A recent example occurred when I moved into my new flat. I was unsatisfied with the arrangement of my room and decided to revamp it. It was during this time that I found myself consciously trying to avoid aligning the bed with the door. According to feng shui laws, a bed aligned with a door resembles a coffin that is always taken away feet first. I had spent hours trying to find a smart solution to my very insignificant problem but in the end I just gave up and left the room as it first was. Annoyed at having spent a morning arranging my room, I vented my frustrations out to my flatmate; who surprisingly provided an insightful answer:
‘Maybe it’s because you know the rules that you’re having such a hard time.
Like if you didn’t know the rules you wouldn’t give a shit, right?’
He casually said to me while eating a pizza.
The tiny island country of Singapore is a financial powerhouse of Asia. Since gaining independence in 1950, Singapore built itself from literally nothing to become the financial powerhouse that it is today. A country with no natural resources to offer, Prime Minister once said that the greatest resource Singapore has is its people. This ‘resource’ is evident today – 4th leading financial centre in the world, low unemployment, the world’s highest percentage of millionaires – the list goes on.
Even though it is without a doubt due to the hard work of its people, Singaporeans still reverted to the age old practices of feng shui in order to gain that little help in becoming a leading economical world power. Along with Hong Kong, Singapore is a feng shui city – a city planned on the principles of feng shui. When you travel in Singapore, it’s astonishing to witness that the exterior and interior of a building and the certain districts of the nation have been built and organised according to the rules of feng shui.
As I have said earlier, I am not a believer in the Feng Shui arts nor am I here to discredit the beliefs of Feng Shui. My interest in feng shui is purely out of curiosity; a nation and its inhabitants following their superstitious beliefs with such dedication that they not only follow this practice in their daily lives but also in something bigger like city planning! Below are some Singaporean feng shui stories which have some amusing qualities in them. Understandably it all may sound hocus pocus to some but, my god, doesn’t the superstition make it ever more fascinating!
The Story of the Singaporean One Dollar and the MRT
While staying at The Adler Hostel, there was an intriguing urban myth that one of the staff members told me about regarding the MRT. Apparently during the construction stage of the MRT system, a Feng Shui master approached Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yee, a reported practitioner in Feng Shui, and informed him that digging beneath the earth would disrupt the flow of qi, potentially hurting Singapore’s economic prosperity levels. The solution to this problem provided by the Feng Shui master was that all citizens of Singapore must carry with them a bagua, an octagon mirror, in order to avoid the bad luck. As the Prime minister couldn’t force his people to buy the baqua, he ingeniously came up with the idea to engrave the baqua symbol onto the Singaporean one dollar coin. Although it is considered an urban myth, it’s not hard to believe that such a story would exist seeing that the feng shui influence on Singaporeans.
The Left Hand of Suntec City
What is probably Singapore’s most well-known piece of architectural Feng Shui, Suntec city is a cosmopolitan financial hub with on epurpose: to accumulating the maximum amount of wealth and success as much as possible. Completed in 1994, The Suntec City area includes four 45-storey tall buildings, a relatively shorter 18-storey tall building and a convention centre; all which have been intentionally arranged so that when viewed aerially it resembles a left hand – the symbol of authority and command. In the centre of this commanding metropolitan ‘left hand’ lies the Fountain of Wealth. Said to be the world’s largest water fountain, the water here flows downwards in order to accumulate the positive qi into the area, effectively providing prosperity not only into the building complex but also to the lower basement levels. The left hand position of Suntec City is also quite interesting as it’s pointing towards the financial district of Raffles Place – commanding all of its wealth to flow through to Suntec City way. A little supernatural espionage perhaps?
Feng Shui Conspiracy Theories of the Merlion
The Merlion is the national symbol of Singapore. It’s a mythical creative that is has the body of a fish with the head of a tiger – take that Napolian Dynamite! The iconic Merlion statue was unveiled in 1972 but after 30 years it was relocated to its current location near Marina Bay. The official reason for its relocation was due to the fact that the recently built Esplanade Bridge had blocked the view of the Merlion from Marina Bay. However, according to some feng shui conspiracy theories, the Merlion was relocated in order to improve Singapore’s feng shui. Roughly around this time, Singapore was experiencing some economical and social woes, the country had just experienced the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and the SARS outbreak was on the horizon. Ever since the placement of the Merlion at its current location, it appeared that wealth, fortune, prosperity had returned to Singapore…that is until the Global recession occurred…
Controversy at Marina Bay
The recently developed Marina Bay is Singapore’s dazzling new district that is now home to the iconic Sands Marina Casino and the Singapore Formula 1 Night Race. Even with all its glitz and glamour, Marina Bay has unfortunately caused a new great feng shui debate that has split the community! With what I’d like to think involves some supernatural curses and flying kung-fu battles, a debate has sparked on whether or not harbours positive or negative qi. As Marina Bay lies amongst the ‘Mouth of Singapore’, many pro-Marina Bay feng shui masters believe this is a good thing that will not only help the prosperity of the casino complex but also help further gather wealth and prosperity to the country. However many feng shui master against Marina Bay prove their case with many compelling facts.
Firstly, the three hotel towers are said to resemble an ancestral tablet – in which under Chinese superstition laws, anything related to death is a bad omen; even the number 4 (it has the same sound as ‘Death’). But according to Master Chong Swan Lek, the feng shui master consulted during the construction stage of the Sands Marina , the three towers represent ‘three warriors standing a foot apart….guarding the gateway to Singapore.’
The stylistic rooftop that features a feng shui friendly pool and garden has been argued to be another feng shui flaw. The rooftop apparently ‘stuns’the tower thereby restricting the growth of wealth and prosperity. To counter this argument, Master Chong states that the rooftop resembles a scholar’s hat, therefore the new entertainment complex will deliver new education to Singapore. You can’t beat education, especially in the form of a multi-million dollar casino.
News Source: (Brendan)