(Man-made seawater lake/lagoon may be constructed in waters around the southern islands?)
("If the idea of the man-made seawater lake/lagoon can be implemented, it will inject a unique style to the southern islands. In addition, it may help fetch a better price if the Government sells the lots for tourism development in the future." Said Mrs Pamelia Lee, ex-managing director of Sentosa and southern island development project, in an interview with Zaobao.)
(Mrs Lee, who has been handling the southern island development project since the 80's said that she had consulted the views of professional consultants regarding the building of embankment to form a huge lake/lagoon. And technically speaking, it should not be a problem.)
(If such is a case, tourists will be able to enjoy various water sports activities surrounded in blue water safely. Picturesque Houseboats can also be built within the lake/lagoon.)
(She said that the islands will be able to provide more space for tourists to do boating/other water sports as well as constructing houseboats if the lake/lagoon is built. She also mentioned that the lake and houseboats that she has in mind are very different from those currently found in other resorts in some parts of the world.)
(It is understood that the plan needs the approval by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore(MPA) in order for it be able to implement.)
Keep southern islands' natural and spiritual wealth
Letter from Malcolm Tan, Straits Times Forum 14 Aug 08;
also on the wildsingapore news blog
I REFER to yesterday's article, 'Southern islands at crossroads'. I read with alarm that the departure of Mrs Pamelia Lee as managing director of Sentosa Leisure Group (SLG) may jeopardise the eco-paradise potential of the southern islands. It is indeed sad to learn that Mrs Lee seems to be the 'lone voice' in SLG, fighting for the preservation of the natural heritage of the southern islands.
I have stayed on St John's Island and crossed to Lazarus Island many times, and my photos attest to the fact that the two islands have much natural and spiritual wealth to offer Singaporeans and foreigners that cannot be found elsewhere on the mainland. Amid our hectic urban schedules, my friends and I have always found our spiritual refuge on the two islands with their many naturally therapeutic highlights.
The seas around the two islands are amazingly clear at certain times of the year and support much marine fauna and flora that are rare on the mainland. Many of these can be seen clearly on an especially low tide. One of our last stretches of natural coastal rocky shores in Singapore is also found here, with plenty of intact seashells lying buried in the soft sand. There is even a stretch of naturally soft sand bar on Lazarus Island, where one can walk to an outlying rock without getting completely submerged, even at high tide.
Moreover, nowhere else in Singapore can one see as many as 18 Brahminy Kites soaring gracefully in the air, spotting for prey and even occasionally diving down to the sea to take fish out with a quick and well-timed swoop. Add to these, the spectacular 'red ball' sunset over the open sea and the occasional sighting of pink dolphins in the water and one can understand why these islands are so magical.
The many Singaporeans and foreigners I met on the islands all agreed the authorities should preserve them in their natural state for posterity. It would be sad indeed if these islands are converted into another casino or another rich man's exclusive playground. That would be the sad day when most ordinary Singaporeans like me cannot claim the southern islands are part of our homeland as we have no access to their natural beauty. When that happens, the authorities should not be surprised if some of us choose to seek 'greener pastures' elsewhere. For we would then have truly seen that this country is an elitist one, where only dollars and cents matter, despite all the recent hype about the importance of work-life balance, nature conservation and eco-tourism.
[update: Sentosa announces new shore attractions in 2009 and new master plan by end of the year. More on the wild shores of singapore blog]