Working to preserve, enhance Pulau Ubin's heritage

We were delighted to read the letter from Ms Yu Kexin (Don't let Ubin become an industrial or military island; Aug 2) as well as The Straits Times editorial (Pulau Ubin deserves special attention; Aug 5).

Formed in 2014, the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN) comprises individuals who cherish what Pulau Ubin represents - a living community with its own way of life, a shared heritage of all Singaporeans and a multi-faceted natural habitat teeming with an exciting variety of plants and animals.

The partnership of diverse stakeholders with the National Parks Board (NParks) through FUN has inspired, encouraged and supported many ground-up initiatives to preserve and sensitively enhance Pulau Ubin's cultural and natural heritage.

These undertakings have included:

• Continuing dialogue with government agencies to develop a holistic and sustainable plan and guidelines to retain and enhance Pulau Ubin's architectural heritage.

• Projects to restore selected kampung houses, including Teck Seng's Place, complete with its many old photographs and household paraphernalia accumulated since it was built in the 1970s.

• The Balik Kampung festivities, which saw current and former villagers returning to Pulau Ubin for a nostalgic evening of games, food, reminiscences and reunions with old neighbours.

• The annual Pesta Ubin festival, which involves more than thousands of Singaporeans to join us in rediscovering Pulau Ubin's many intrinsic values.

• Converting an abandoned resort in Pulau Ubin into the Ubin Living Lab (ULL), a launch pad for experiential learning for students. A carpentry workshop was added at the ULL, which has been used by a group of National University of Singapore architecture undergraduates to help restore Ah Ma Drink Stall, a familiar landmark.

• Documentation of living heritage in Pulau Ubin - its way of life, social connection, personal experiences and village history. We will continue working together to actively grow greater awareness and appreciation for the cultural, historical, ecological and recreational values of Pulau Ubin, and we will be happy for Ms Yu and other similarly passionate people to partner us in this journey.

You may get in touch with FUN by writing in to nparks_pulau_ubin@nparks.gov.sg.

Joseph K. H. Koh

Representative of Friends of Ubin Network

Robert Teo

Representative of National Parks Board

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2018, with the headline 'Working to preserve, enhance Pulau Ubin's heritage'. Print Edition | Subscribe