SOS Bukit Brown – sorry to hear Tan Chuan-Jin's priorities

The following is a media release by SOS Bukit Brown in response to Minister of State Tan Chuan-Jin’s note 'Bukit Brown…work in progress':

In response to Minister of State, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin’s note posted on Friday, 3 February 2012 at 17:42.

SOS Bukit Brown stand by the position of our petition and we reiterate the need for a fundamental review and open dialogue about the future of Singapore.

We are glad that Mr Tan Chuan-Jin managed to spend time on Bukit Brown with the documentation team.

Mr. Tan has also highlighted the need for land for more housing and this has opened up the debate about overall land needs in Singapore, as well as the increased demand for more land/space that arises from a rising population.

We are sorry to hear that Mr Tan still prioritises construction and the ultimate destruction of Bukit Brown.

The proposed highway will only serve the small and possibly declining population of car owners in Singapore while the whole of Singapore will have to live with the negative consequences resulting from the destruction of Bukit Brown. SingStat notes that there are only 111 cars per 1000 people in Singapore and the government has announced plans to control the car population.

Urbanisation of Bukit Brown will contribute to the devastation of Singapore’s natural environment. It will have potential environmental consequences such as increased flooding, higher local temperatures and contribution to climate change. The recently released “Report by the Expert Panel on Drainage Design and Flood Protection Measures” states that urbanisation is a key cause for the recent spate of flooding in Singapore. The report further notes that Bukit Brown is in the Marina Basin drainage area – the same as the flood-prone Bukit Timah and Orchard Road areas. Building up Bukit Brown will be deadly to the wildlife, including the 13 species of endangered birds that inhabit the wooded area there.

Destruction of Bukit Brown will also contribute to the loss of the Singapore identity and heritage. As the first municipal cemetery of Singapore, 100,000 members of our pioneering generation are laid to rest there from as early as 1830s. These people have helped to make the success of Singapore today and Bukit Brown is the last place ordinary Singaporeans can collectively venerate them.

It is important that Singaporeans treasure our natural environment and history as it is what makes us Singaporean.

Simply creating more highways and housing estates is not the ideal long-term solution towards a more sustainable future for Singapore.

We are happy that Mr Tan has been open about his views. We believe it is now necessary for a fundamental review and open dialogue with all Singaporeans about the future of Singapore.