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Mohamed Mustafa (left) and Rahim Nasir (right). IMAGE SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS

Drinking Kakis

Oct 29, 2016 5:50 AM

Jun 1950 Summertime, and the livin' is easy. Which just about describes these two kids living on Pulau Bukom - 5km south of Singapore - back in the 50s. They were among the 5000-strong population of the 1.45 sq km island - mainly employees of Shell and their families. The oil company used Pulau Bukom to store kerosene as early as 1891 and it now houses its largest oil refinery in the world. The 12-year-olds here - Mohamed Mustafa and Rahim Nasir  - would have attended the only primary school on the island, and spent the rest of the day chilling out and chopping fresh coconuts straight from the tree. They also had access to free movies at an open-air amphitheatre every Wednesday and Saturday night. Islanders went from one point to another on foot or bicycle, with just a handful of cars. No COE? No Montessori? No enrichment classes? No sweat.

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