Writer Of The Week

Mr Loke Chee Meng enjoys photography and travelling. He writes about these activities on his blog.
Mr Loke Chee Meng enjoys photography and travelling. He writes about these activities on his blog.PHOTO: COURTESY OF LOKE CHEE MENG

Who: Loke Chee Meng, retiree in his 60s. Formerly held a senior management position in an aerospace company.

My family: Married with two grown-up children.

My home: A condominium in Jalan Besar GRC.

My hobbies: Photography, travelling (especially to exotic places for photo shoots), classical music, and writing my travel and photography blog, http://lokeattheworld.blogspot.sg

I first started writing to the Forum page on...: March 15, 1980, to raise my concerns over the shutting down of Nanyang University.

What I write about: Heritage and conservation, national identity, and the living environment.

Why I write: To promote a better understanding and appreciation of our heritage. Any wrongs must be straightened out.

Half-truths and myths, if left uncorrected, will in time be taken as truths. For instance, Singapore had the fifth largest port in the world by 1960, yet many today perceive that it was a "backwater port city" then.

It is crucial that we know who we are, treasure our past, and protect our living space. Only then can we be prepared to face the future.

I read the Forum page because...: It is a barometer of our maturity, transparency and consciousness. It is about life in Singapore.

My wish for Singapore: That we are a First World country in every sense of the word; that we own a living space we call "our home" for generations to come.

We have yet to truly live up to that, certainly not when we are grappling with issues such as overcrowding, an unreliable public transport and damage to heritage caused by insensitive policies and practices.

There has to be more to life here than just pragmatism and economic growth.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2016, with the headline 'Writer Of The Week'. Print Edition | Subscribe