Don't let Ubin become an industrial or military island

I was concerned to read that Pulau Ubin is the last offshore village of Singapore, after islanders living on Pulau Seking were relocated for a landfill operation (Pulau Seking: Once a kampung island; July 30).

Pulau Ubin must not meet the same end.

The island holds a wealth of history and heritage, from the traditional kampung houses to the kampung spirit and culture that endures.

It holds great value, and it would be a loss if it were one day to be turned into a site for industrial or military purposes.

It is imperative to preserve Pulau Ubin, with its unspoilt landscape and rustic charms, away from the bustle of the city.

This includes the unique quarries, fruit orchards and fish farms that can be found on the island, as well as the Chek Jawa Wetlands which is a treasure trove of wildlife and biodiversity.

Hence, I was happy to read that five kampung houses on Pulau Ubin are to be restored, and thank Assistant Professor Imran Tajudeen and his team for their initiative and work (Five kampung homes in Ubin to be restored; July 30).

I call for more to be done to conserve Pulau Ubin's treasures (both the tangible and intangible) and to cultivate a greater awareness of and appreciation for our last kampung island.

This should not be an effort only by government agencies and departments, but should also be a ground up initiative by Singaporeans taking the time to visit the space and tell others about the wonders that it holds.

Even as we progress, we should not forget our roots and where we came from, as there is much to be learnt from the past.

Yu Kexin (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2018, with the headline 'Don't let Ubin become an industrial or military island'. Print Edition | Subscribe