The overall masterplan of Mandai Wildlife Hub / image: MPH

Here we go again – more news on how Singapore plans to ruin natural habitats while claiming to protect the environment. It would appear that the Mandai area in North Singapore, one of the very few relatively wild spots left in our urban jungle is going to be destroyed in order to create a sprawling eco – tourism hub. But seriously, how many hubs does Singapore want to be?

These attempts to create green space by destroying green space is not new. Didn’t the authorities try to do the same thing in Pulau Ubin? Its attempts were only foiled due to huge public outcries leading to massive petitions and campaigns to save Pulau Ubin. Before conservationists and nature enthusiasts heave a sigh of relief, it would appear that the ambitions of the government have not abated – they have merely be transferred.

Singapore already has so many artificially created spaces. While pretty, they are manicured and unreal. Why not leave the Mandai area as it is? Instead of turning it into something unoriginal, why not leave it as is so that it is original?

Singapore is already chasing after numerous hub statuses. Look at how the “smart” nation hub push turned out? Instead of looking smart, we ended up looking extremely unsmart when we were hit by a huge data breach earlier this year. Instead of chasing after every hub under the sky, why not just focus on one or two and do it well?

In the creation of our city state, we have already messed up the fine eco balance that existed before. Studies have shown that Singapore’s aggressive road building and reclamation efforts have contributed to the erratic weather patterns in Singapore ranging from extreme heat to floods. Will we cause more damage to our limited natural heritage by persevering with this unnecessary project? Further, will the destruction of floral and fauna change our weather patterns?

Conservationists interviewed have voiced concern with this proposed project. Were they consulted before this project started? Who were the experts that were consulted? Was this issue debated in Parliament? If not, shouldn’t it be? Wild spaces are our common shares heritage – shouldn’t the MPs we have elected to represent us have a chance to debate this issue? Besides, will this project affect our weather patterns?

It would also appear that the resort being built will be a massive one with over 400 rooms. How can a resort that size not have a negative impact on nature? Eco travel hotels are usually small to ensure that the delicate eco system is preserved. In this hotel project at Mandai, has dollars and cents trumped nature?

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