Still fighting hard to preserve the mature secondary forest known as the Bukit Batok Hillside Park, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan has released a video on Facebook imploring Singaporeans to sign a petition in support of the conservation of the forested area.
Standing in the middle of the Bukit Batok Hillside Park surrounded by greenery, Dr Chee said, “Can you believe that there’s still so much greenery here? It’s so unique in Singapore where everything is so urbanised and concretised, isn’t it?”
Nothing that there are “so many benefits to having a secondary forest like this”, he emphasised that it is one of the last remaining ones of such forested spots in Singapore, adding “it’ll be very tragic if some of these remaining spots are cleared for HDB development”.
Dr Chee then said that he will be looking into the matter further and implored Singaporeans to conserve the “last vestiges” of Singapore’s forests.
“Let’s keep it and cherish it,” he said in conclusion.
In November last year, Dr Chee highlighted the clearing of the Bukit Batok Hillside Park for development in a Facebook post, referring to a Bukit Batok resident named Jimmy Tan who had brought the politician’s attention “an issue that would have a profound impact on Bukit Batok and the rest of Singapore”.
It was about the clearing of the Bukit Batok Hillside Park and an adjacent plot of land that used to be the Tengah Forest for the development of a Housing Development Board (HDB) new town.
In that post, Dr Chee highlighted several concerns that he felt Singaporeans ought to know about the potential clearing of the forest.
This included health concerns from further loss of greenery in the city, the loss of a natural treasure, the effects a forest clearing would have on air quality and temperature, as well as the loss of biodiversity and habitat for wildlife.
“Ultimately, Singaporeans, especially the younger generations, must ask what kind of environment they want to live in.
“Is it one that clears every pocket of forested area for more and more people and buildings and cars and pollution and stress or one that provides us with a healthier quality of life that comes with greenery, space and nature?” said Dr Chee.