Leave my green spot alone

OVER the years, I have seen many green swathes of the forest which had once covered Singapore being replaced by new buildings, shopping centres and so on. The area where Nan Hua High School now stands used to be covered with tall, old trees, now an increasingly rare sight here. The green hill opposite Wheelock Place where many enjoyed having picnics has now made way for the new ION Orchard. One of the many green spots in my neighbourhood has made way for office buildings and factories.

It saddens me to see what remains of our natural environment gradually being replaced by all these buildings.

I count myself lucky to be living in one of the houses at the edge of a small area of jungle opposite Burgundy Park at Bukit Batok which has for now been left untouched. However, I was greatly saddened to see construction workers clearing the area a few days ago, hacking down the tall trees there.

I’m not sure why they‚re clearing the trees, but it seems to me that the jungle I have grown fond of will soon be replaced by more buildings.

What is even more heart-wrenching is that this patch of forest is home to a community of monkeys which I have often seen perched on the treetops. I have also caught glimpses of a giant monitor lizard wriggling its way back into one of the thick bushes on the jungle floor.I am greatly saddened that such wildlife will have their homes destroyed as the vegetation is cleared to make way for new developments.

Could the respective ministry or company overseeing that development refrain from destroying what remains of that forest patch? We are always talking about having to protect the environment, but how many of us, and how many companies and ministries here, really practise what we preach?

Although I agree that the construction of new office buildings and shopping centres to keep Singapore competitive is necessary, I do not think this should come at the expense of our natural environment. We should make it a point to preserve such green spots which are still in their natural state, without having to give them nature reserve status.

Koh Wen Hui Melissa Lois

Source : Today – 27 Feb 2009

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