Myriad rules killing feel of kampung life

The kampung lifestyle is one where rules and restrictions are hardly in existence, says the writer.
The kampung lifestyle is one where rules and restrictions are hardly in existence, says the writer. PHOTO: ST FILE

It is disappointing to learn about the many rules enforced by the National Parks Board in Pulau Ubin (Trouble in paradise, Feb 24).

I spent the larger part of my childhood in a kampung during the 1960s.

The most memorable part of living in a kampung was its carefree life and living in close proximity to nature.

Part of the excitement was in the adventurous, no-holds-barred roaming around in the bushes, catching spiders and fish, foraying into the forest and swimming in lakes and ponds.

In short, the kampung lifestyle is one where rules and restrictions are hardly in existence. If there are rules, then it cannot be considered a kampung any longer.

While most of the rules were implemented for the safety of visitors, such restrictions are contrary to what attracts people to Pulau Ubin in the first place - the authentic kampung experience.

In our haste to implement rules and regulations, we are turning what may be our last vestiges of a rustic haven into nothing more than a tourist spot for visitors and losing the opportunity for locals to have a real taste of kampung life.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'Myriad rules killing feel of kampung life'. Print Edition | Subscribe