Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life

Secret lives and secret worlds hidden in Singapore's most popular coral reef.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Genting queried over inviting Stanly Ho to invest in Sentosa IR project

By Johnson Choo Channel NewsAsia 25 Jan 07
full article

SINGAPORE: Shares of Genting International dropped 9 percent on Thursday on reports that it had been quizzed by the government over its partnership with Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho.

This, after Genting and Star Cruises said they were taking a majority stake in an upcoming casino and hotel project in Macau, and Star Cruises was selling a minority stake to a group of investors led by Ho.

There has been talk about possible links between Stanley Ho and the triads in Macau, although these have never been confirmed.

Experts say the government is most likely questioning Genting over Stanley Ho's level of involvement in the Sentosa integrated resort, and the contract terms he has with Genting.

They suggested several possible outcomes - which range from the authorities accepting Ho's involvement, to directing Genting to terminate the contract with him. In the worse case scenario, the licence could be withdrawn - but this is seen as unlikely.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Asia's mini-Monaco by 2015?

STB to put out feelers for interest in developing the Southern Islands into an exclusive yet accessible resort, third IR unlikely

By Tor Ching Li

According to documents obtained by Today from a Singapore Tourism Board (STB) presentation, the tourism body is planning to launch a Request For Concepts (RFC) for the cluster of seven islands by the first quarter of this year, and a Request For Proposals by the second quarter of the year.

The Southern Islands resort and residential development should be completed by 2015, in line with Singapore's tourism vision to develop the southern waterfront into a lifestyle resort attraction.

Said a property analyst familiar with the process: "If the net worth of Sentosa Cove residents is between $50 million and $100 million, the net worth of the Southern Island residents will be into the billions."

The desired outcome of the process is to develop the currently rustic Southern Islands — Kusu, Sister's, Lazarus, St John's, Tekukor, Kias and Rengat — into an "aspirational getaway destination" that will enhance Singapore's reputation as a premium destination for leisure and business visitors, said an industry source.

The Government is willing to consider the development of up to 400 units on the 115.6 ha site, with 100 of these in an exclusive resort, and the remaining 300 as residential plots, he added.

Full story

Learn more about our Southern Islands
Our City Reefs: Uniquely Singapore and the value and not just the price of our reefs

Come for Ria's Woodlands Library talk on 27 Jan (Sat) 3-4pm to learn more about our reefs

Southern Islands home to third IR?

Smaller, more luxurious resort will feature F&B, spa, health and beauty facilities

By Arthur Sim

(SINGAPORE) The Southern Islands may play home to Singapore's third integrated resort, but sources say it will be on a smaller and more luxurious scale than either of the two resorts announced last year.

Total gross floor area for all development on the Southern Islands is not expected to exceed 230,000 square metres. This is smaller than the 570,000 sq m Marina Bay Sands and the 343,000 sq m Resorts World at Sentosa.

Most of the development will likely be on 30 ha of reclaimed land at Lazarus, Renget and Kias Islands. The total development site, comprising all seven Southern Islands, adds up to 115.6 ha - almost a quarter the size of Sentosa Island.

The Southern Islands will be a low-rise, low intensity resort with buildings not more than four-storeys high. A casino component has not been ruled out, but the resort may not have the critical mass to support this. There is also a 10-year moratorium on casino licences following the two awarded for Marina Bay and Sentosa. More likely attractions will be food and beverage, spa, health and beauty facilities.

The resort will be accessed by sea. International arrivals by private yacht will have to be processed through Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ), expected to be at One Degree 15 Marina Club at Sentosa. Arrivals by helicopter are being considered.

Parts of the islands will remain open and accessible to the public, but the resort will mostly cater to a niche group of high net worth visitors - what the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) calls the 'premium plus customer segment' who seek 'total privacy'.

Full story

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Whale shark at world's largest aquarium dies

Death of teen male is a mystery; beluga whale was put to sleep earlier
full story

ATLANTA - One of the Georgia Aquarium's prized whale sharks died Thursday night — the second death of a popular exhibit animal at the world's largest aquarium in 10 days. Ralph, one of four whale sharks at the year-old aquarium, stopped swimming Thursday afternoon and died about 9:30 p.m., aquarium spokeswoman Donna Fleishman said.

The cause of death was not immediately determined. Aquarium executive director Jeff Swanagan said a necropsy would begin on Friday.

"Recently, he has not been eating well and has had some unusual swimming patterns," Fleishman said. The aquarium staff moved the 22-foot shark to another part of the tank after he stopped swimming and immediately began trying to revive him, but he died eight hours later, Swanagan said.

Ralph and Norton, the aquarium's other male whale shark, arrived in June 2005 from Taipei, Taiwan, where they had been destined to become seafood. They were joined a year later by two females, Alice and Trixie, in their 6-million-gallon tank. They are the only whale sharks on display outside of Asia.

Two bunker tankers collide south of St John's Island

By Sharon Tong Channel NewsAsia 11 Jan 07
full article

SINGAPORE: Two bunker tankers collided in the Southern Fairway, about 500 metres south of St John's Island Thursday afternoon.

The Maritime and Port Authority says the collision, which occurred at about 2.20pm resulted in about 200 tonnes of oil spillage from the damaged tank of one of the tankers.

Five anti-pollution craft were despatched to the scene and the oil spill was mostly cleaned up by 5pm.

MPA says a few small oil patches remain but the situation is under control.

The authorities are currently conducting investigations into the accident.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

December sightings

Despite the rainy season in December, we managed two trips to Pulau Hantu with no rain on our trips and a few sightings... Here's some photos contributed by Chay Hoon and Gina on the earlier trip in Dec.. thank u gals!! :)

Gymnodoris Alba - Chay Hoon

Pretty flatworm! - Chay Hoon

Jorunna funebris - Chay Hoon
(Look at the nice patterns on the nudi!)

Huge crab in the open! Note: only one pincer left - Gina

Pipefish - one of the common species that you can spot on the local reefs - but always a delight to see! - Gina

Chromodoris fidelis- Gina has been hoping to see this on our local reef and now she has!! :)