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Chek Jawa saved for at least 10 years
Streats, 15 Jan 02

The picture of innocent wonder on a little boy's face was what finally turned the tide for Chek Jawa and saved it from bulldozers, after months of lobbying by nature conservation groups.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said so himself yesterday when his ministry announced that Chek Jawa beach will remain intact for at least 10 years.

On a recent visit to the beach in Pulau Ubin, Mr Mah observed, "At one point, there was something that I saw which struck me, and that was a family...a young boy with his father. The father was picking up a starfish and explaining something to the son.

"And there was this sense of wonder in the face of the boy. It struck me that what we are for our children. We are really custodians of this land for future generations."

The original plan was to create 3,000ha of land at Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. Now the Government will forgo about 270ha of land slated for military use—all to save Chek Jawa beach, a haven for marine life.

A committee comprising members of NParks, the Nature Society, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and marine experts will be set up to research and protect the marine life at Chek Jawa.

But Mr Mah said that those lobbying to save the National Library building have no chance in getting the Government to shelve its plans.

Said Mr Mah, "National Library is about the past. (With) Chek Jawa, probably we are talking about the future."
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