Set up memorial for Singapore's port history

In the light of plans to establish the Founders' Memorial (Founders Memorial to go up on 5ha Bay East Garden site; Oct 20) and develop the Greater Southern Waterfront (Live, work, play: Life by the water calls; Oct 21), the authorities could also consider setting up a port memorial as part of the future development of the Greater Southern Waterfront.

There is no doubt that the original port at Tanjong Pagar Terminal has sustained Singapore's existence and contributed to the nation's prosperity for close to 50 years.

It was a momentous decision on the part of our leaders and urban planners in the 1970s to demolish the Empire Dock, Queen's Dock, King's Dock and all the conventional harbour and ship repairing activities and transform Tanjong Pagar and Keppel into one of the world's most efficient and fully containerised port and transshipment centres.

Similarly, it was also a bold decision at the beginning of this year to transfer the whole container port to the new Tuas Megaport.

Perhaps the port memorial could feature a few of the iconic gantry cranes. We can leave it to our urban planners to turn it into a jewel of an attraction, just like what was done for Changi Airport and Gardens by the Bay.

With this, future generations can better understand our port heritage, which is a vital part of our history and development.

Let this bit of our history become an attraction rather than be buried in the archives of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Yusoff Abdul Latiff

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2018, with the headline 'Set up memorial for Singapore's port history'. Print Edition | Subscribe