Support for an online petition calling on the Singapore Government to preserve the Sentosa Merlion has been growing, shooting up to more than 5,000 signatures in days. Last week, the change.org petition had accumulated signatures from over 600 like-minded individuals – this number has multiplied to over 5,100 signatories in the span of days.
The petition was started days after it was announced that the iconic Sentosa Merlion statue will be demolished to make way for a S$90-million Sentosa Sensoryscape project. Built in 1995, Sentosa Merlion is the largest and tallest Merlion statue in Singapore, standing at 37-metres tall.
Steven Lim, the man who started the petition, appealed: “The Merlion at Sentosa is a National Icon, it was the pride of the Nation. This monument share (sic) many fond memories with Singaporean kids in the 90s when our parents bring (sic) us to visit it.”
He asked: “Why waste of taxpayers money to demolish it just to construct a pedestrian bridge costing SG$90mil for the convenience of access from RWS Casino to the Beaches? Why can’t this bridge change it’s alignment? Who is benefiting from the construction of this bridge?”
Those who signed the petition expressed similar views. They said:
Tang Mengchiao: “We must keep things that are dear to us as a nation rather than destroy our identity to make gaudy tourist-pleasing attractions like some kind of attention seeker.”
Jeslyn Chua: “Singapore is called our home because of our childhood memories and the people. A place that relentlessly replaces memories to give way to economic growth and convenience is not a home. It’s a Hub.”
Laura Leonard: “My entire childhood memory here would be the last thing standing if this icon is demolished. Merlion is Singapore icon & it is so unique with a lot of history behind it. Preserve or at least relocate the largest Merlion that has been standing for 24 years instead of permanently demolishing it.”
Singh Prem: “The Merlion is not a mere tourist attraction. It is so much more than that. It is a National Icon, representative of our historical legend. It is one of a kind in the world. In essence, it is a Jewel in its own right. Young and old relate to it, as Merlion is Temasek, and Temasek is Singapura, SINGAPORE. It is entitled to stay where it is. If not, allow it to stand tall somewhere along ECP, facing our airport, or at Fort Canning Park.”
Cassandra Bowerman: “The merlion is the icon and symbol of Singapore heritage and holds many fond memories for Singaporeans. Don’t destroy it just to provide another avenue for more human traffic to the beach”
Hui Lin: “The merlion is the icon of Sentosa, of Singapore. This majestic creature which I see from afar is very respectable. just tearing down like that because of a linkway is utter disrespect. I can’t imagine it will reduce into rubble in a month’s time. Also, what does such action tells us about Singapore? What hinder development will be removed regardless of sentimental value..what is the most important reason for tearing down other than attracting more tourist, earning more money?”
Lim Yixin: “Merlion is a great tourist attraction of Singapore and is also one of our identities that brings us Singaporeans together. Also I don’t see a point in tearing down the Merlion—the disadvantages definitely overweighs the advantages of demolishing it.”
Zahrah Zaman: “Its a must place to take picture which represents SG, the most attractive landmark! if its demolished, theres is no national personification of Singapore!”
Elizabeth Low: “It’s a National icon n (sic) has been a part of the Singapore we know n (sic) love. Please save it for the future generations. Singapura without the Singa will never be the same”
Delphine Goh: “Please, we are losing our national identity bit by bit bcos (sic) of profit reasons . Don’t go further by throwing away our core identity root icon!! I cant believe tht (sic) our Merlion is on the list!!! (the one at Sentosa somemore??!! (sic) What’s our govt thinking??!!!) What’s next to make way for money after Our Merlion??? Our human conscience huh??? Goodness…”
Bernie Leung: “We SHOULD keep the Merlion!! It’s part of sentosa’s skyline and it should stay that way!! If we can pay so much for a damned walkway why can’t we re-route that???”
Alex Ng: “Singapore is an icon that even foreigners who don’t know our country by name recognises. Revamping, improving or even a new-build version of it is welcomed, but a complete removal of it would be extremely disappointing.”
Roy Toh: “Merlion is the nation’s icon it should be preserve and not demolish. Why waste tax payers money to build bridge? Without the Merlion, Sentosa will never be the same!”
Ernest Ong: “Merlion has been the most significant symbol of Sentosa. It contains many memories for many Singaporeans. Removing it is like removing part of your memory.”
Xuan Lin Quah: “The Merlion is the icon of Singapore, and it is a great tourist spot for everyone. Demolishing it is a pity because it is historical.”
Lim Guanting: “I don’t want to lose my merlion and i want to keep remaining singapore’s culture”
While Sentosa Development Corporation has not officially released a demolition date, the last day of operations will be on 20 October 2019. Constructions works are expected to begin shortly thereafter and the project is expected to be completed by 2022.
The Sentosa Sensoryscape project is a thoroughfare bridge that will connect Resorts World Sentosa to the beaches in the southern part of Singapore.
Plans to demolish the Sentosa Merlion was announced weeks after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the Sentosa-Brani Master Plan during his National Day Rally speech, last month. The announcement has drawn backlash from many Singaporeans who consider the statue a national icon.
Read the petition in full HERE.