Jawa under a different kind of threat
Melissa Tan: Biologist
N. Sivasothi, a researcher with the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity, urges
the public to give the lagoon a break.
Broadcast on 93.8FM, 24 Dec 01, 6pm
The vibrant marine life off the coast of Tanjung Chek Jawa in Pulau Ubin
may be saved now that plans to reclaim the area have been deferred. But
still, the area has come under a different kind of threat. Melissa Tan
with this report.
Melissa Tan: Chek Jawa, located on the eastern tip of Pulau Ubin,
was to have been reclaimed under an original plan by the Urban Redevelopment
Authority. This spurred Singaporeans to rush there to catch a final glimpse
of this vibrant marine habitat. But last Thursday, the National Development
Ministry announced that the reclamation plans for Chek Jawa would be deferred.
So now nature enthusiasts are urging the public to allow the habitat recover.
of the Nature Society of Singapore, Dr Geh Min, said that Singaporeans
have been treating the lagoon like an aquarium having a closing down sale.
Dr Geh Min: There have been a few people who have been collecting
every specimen or certain specimens that they see. Their attitude is "well,
it's all going to go under reclamation so we might as well help ourselves".
Now hopefully that will change. I hope they won't be picking up the marine
life. That, of course, is a sure way to destroy the place.
N. Sivasothi: The thing about a place like Chek Jawa is that when
you walk over the area, you are actually creating some kind of impact. So
they'll be stepping on a lot of wildlife. A lot of things are being stepped
on. We're urging the public not to visit it as much. We would like to see
a drop in numbers. A very good thing we can do for Chek Jawa is to leave
it alone for a while, and let it recover.
Tan: A final decision on the fate of Chek Jawa is expected in a fortnight.
The authorities are now looking at reclaiming only the southern part of
Pulau Ubin for housing purposes.