Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Part Of Me Died.....

Last week, I felt as if a part of me died. The news of STB's plans to develop six of our southern islands felt like a stab through my heart.

For someone who had spent almost all her weekends at these southern shores for the past three years, it was a bitter pill to swallow. I was simply lost for words and felt frustrated. It has affected me badly.

Why do we always have to be a copycat? Why do we have to try to be another Maldives or Dubai? Why can’t we be ourselves? Why do we always have to turn our natural places into artificial “natural” environments?

I am upset because islands like Kusu, St John's, and Sisters' are holding to our last few bits of natural heritage in term of plants and coral reefs that may be extinct or rare on our mainland. I am upset to see the destruction of the shores and greens if further reclamations are to be carried out.

What’s wrong with retaining the current state of the islands? I like the rustic charms, layback feeling and the natural environments the islands offered. I enjoyed every moments that I have spent at the reefs looking out for marine creatures. And no word can describe the sheer joy everytime we encountered new stuffs. And I bet other Singaporeans who have been to these islands would agree with me.

Maybe what STB could do is to improve the existing infrastructures, accessibility and the marketing of the islands. Don't be surprised that a lot of Singaporeans have never heard about these islands before. Make them known to more Singaporeans so that they know they have a choice to do over the weekends besides shopping and eating. They can go for picnic, camping or join a nature walk conducted by nature groups.

I was also dismayed to read that the developed islands will only be catered to the “Super Rich” tourists and the islands will only be accessible by private yachts. Now, where does that leave ordinary Singaporeans? Do you mean that we can no longer visit the islands? If so, I pity our future generations who will not have a chance to step on these islands unless, of course, they are some “Super Rich” men’s kids. I even wonder whether the “Super Rich” would bother about our islands when they are already spoilt for choice with similar resorts (some with pristine environments) in other parts of the world.

Also mentioned is the idea of having a man-made rainforest on one of the islands. For god’s sake, don’t you know that we already have a natural rainforest in the center of our mainland and it is accessible within 30mins from the city?

Please re-think about the development. Is it worth losing our priceless natural and cultural heritages?


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