Your Say...


Sembawang Beach: Times Past

The story of two rivers

Birds of Sembawang

List of sightings

Proposed Land Reclamation at Sembawang Beach

Your Say...

Feedback to URA by Margie Hall


Wee Sau Cheng's letter to ST (Unpublished)


Goh Si Guim's letter to ST (Unpublished)


Email us your Comments/Feedback

  Letter sent to the Straits Times, Forum Desk, on 22 June, 2003. (not published)

Dear Sir

I wish to contribute this letter to the Forum Desk.
I refer to the story in the Home Section of Sunday Times (June 22, 2003): "Group making bid to save Sembawang beach".

It seems that in relentlessly pushing for new frontier in progress, we are relentlessly obliterating our past. Development is increasingly transforming our living spaces into something that new and unfamiliar. But the physical landscape is not the only thing we changed. We will eventually loose our identity completely, save for some pictures and stories in books.

As mentioned in its website, the URA aims to "develop regional and other parks with distinct character". The existing park and the adjacent beach already have a distinct and unique character that is familiar to frequent visitors. It should not be infused with "character" and transformed into something that is alien. We respond differently to changes; some adapt to the changes while others would feel alienated and loose their rootedness. This weakens the invisible fabrics that hold people together.

Furthermore, a place with public access would be taken away to make way for something, which the public would be denied entry. Is creating some sort of seafront housing the plan for this beach, as part of "housing people with different aspirations"? This and a host of other developments would swamp the tranquil area. If so, we cannot, at the same time, "protect and enhance the region's unique nature areas and improve their accessibility for public enjoyment".

Leaving a place laid back does not mean under-utilisation of valuable resources, even in land-scarce Singapore. A locale has value that is not always quantified in dollars per square feet, as amply indicated in comments made by interviewees in the story. Further detailed studies should include views from the man in the park and people on the beach. Though they are not stakeholders to the land, they may be able to contribute ideas that may make the development unnecessary.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Goh Si Guim