Tuas port's focus should be on port-related work

Plans for the mega Tuas port project to include retail, leisure and public-intensive spaces are laudable. However, there is a need to weigh such plans against other key considerations (Tuas mega port may have lively area for leisure; Sunday Times, last Sunday).

There is no shortage of retail, hospitality, leisure and entertainment spaces in Singapore, and yet, another mammoth complex, which will likely lose its shine once the novelty wears off, is in the works. Earlier reports of several malls suffering reduced foot traffic from trendy consumerism fatigue bear this out.

Port facilities need to have scalability of size and complexity to cater for future growth as Singapore strives to regain its No. 1 container port position.

A port is best left as a port so that it can pursue efficiency and productivity in a highly competitive global environment.

There are merits in focusing on port-related facilities in logistics and warehousing, trans-shipment and on the key maritime hub now located in Tuas. Pursuing liveability for its own sake - to add vibrancy and to maximise land-use needs - must be balanced against the benefits of dedicated infrastructure that is purpose-built to cater to such facilities.

A port is best left as a port so that it can pursue efficiency and productivity in a highly competitive global environment.

Wee Kwee Keng (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2017, with the headline 'Tuas port's focus should be on port-related work'. Print Edition | Subscribe