Link to Pulau Ubin not a good idea

Pulau Ubin has great potential to be an untamed, car-free, national park and eco-sanctuary - a sharp contrast to the urban redevelopment seen elsewhere in Singapore.

A lot of Singapore's heritage - including the idyllic hamlets in Portsdown Road, Jalan Hang Jebat and Jalan Kayu, as well as Bukit Brown Cemetery and many charming colonial-era buildings - has been destroyed already.

It is time to do things differently.

Spending a lot of money to build more roads and expressways on a land-scarce island that seeks to transit to a car-lite society is not right.

In the light of this, Malaysia's proposal for a third link to Pulau Ubin is most unwelcome (Malaysia floats plan for third link to Singapore; Aug 30).

Pulau Ubin must be made off-limits to this project.

Any future links between Malaysia and Singapore along the north-east corridor of our island should also be restricted to more fiscally and environmentally prudent mass public transportation links similar to the Rapid Transit System between Johor Baru and Woodlands, or simply an expansion of the existing cross-border ferry services already plying that area.

There are far more valuable and meaningful public infrastructure projects that Malaysia should explore in close partnership with Singapore, such as in the area of water management.

In view of Kuala Lumpur's request to defer several high-profile projects, including the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project, because of budgetary challenges, its support for a third link to our island nation is putting the cart way before the horse.

Toh Cheng Seong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2018, with the headline 'Link to Pulau Ubin not a good idea'. Print Edition | Subscribe