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No signs showing 'secret beach' is state land

My wife and I got into trouble with the police recently for taking our two children for a walk on the beach.

We were told we had trespassed on state land. On top of being booked in front of our children, our entire family was made to report to a nearby police station.

The beach in question is located in Tuas South Avenue 4. Upon arrival, there was nothing to suggest that the beach was not open to the public. It is a nice little place with fishermen, resting cyclists and even a small homemade swing.

We were there for less than half an hour when the police arrived.

When we protested our ignorance, the police brought to our attention signboards that were farther down the road.

We had missed these signs as we had arrived via a different stretch of the road. The beach where these signs were posted was separated from where we were by a stream and we were unable to access that area anyway.

I have these questions:

•Is the part of the beach we were at really state property? If so, why are there no signs to indicate this? The signs are put up only at the stretch of beach across the stream. And even if one noticed the signs, they might assume that the beaches are separate entities, as they are not joined. Those taking a different route, like we did, would not even notice them.

•If this stretch of beach is a sensitive area, why are there no fences or barricades?

I hope the authorities will respond clearly, and perhaps take action to prevent more unfortunate misunderstandings.

Sim Keng Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2015, with the headline 'No signs showing 'secret beach' is state land'. Print Edition | Subscribe