Singapore—Calling it the “soul of the community,” Dr Tan Cheng Bock has joined the voices in appealing for the preservation of Dover Forest.
The secretary-general of Progress Singapore Party (PSP) wrote, “Dover Forest is a green lung that breathes soul to surrounding neighbourhoods.
We often take for granted how nature can rally people together in a way that community centres and man-made amenities cannot.”
He added that the forest is “simply a gift for us to behold and appreciate. A gift of soul and sanctuary.”
Dr Tan also shared a link to a ground-up endeavour to save the forest.
Dover Forest, a 33-hectare site within Ulu Pandan, has been much in the news lately, due to an announcement last month from Desmond Lee, the Minister for National Development.
The minister said that among the Built-to-Order flats to be launched this year, some would be located at Ulu Pandan Estate in Queenstown.
The area had already been zoned for residential development under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014.
On Jan 15, the Nature Society of Singapore’s Conservation Committee, called for Dover Forest to be set apart as a nature park, given the biodiversity in the area, which has 158 animals, among them critically endangered ones, and 120 plant species.
There is also a petition to save the forest on change.org with nearly 37,000 signatories.
Politicians such as Member of Parliament Christopher de Souza (PAP-Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Dennis Tan (WP – Hougang SMC), the Workers’ Party’s Ms Nicole Seah and Mr Ravi Philemon of Red Dot United have also called for the preservation of Dover Forest.
And now, Dr Tan has raised his voice as well.
In a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 25), Dr Tan, a former longtime PAP MP and PSP chief, wrote a Facebook post entitled “SAVE DOVER FOREST – THE SOUL OF THE COMMUNITY.”
The PSP leader shared that he has personally benefited from Dover Forest in the past.
“Over the years, my wife and I have enjoyed Dover Forest first-hand from our walks along the park connector.”
Dr Tan also commended the Singaporean who started the petition to preserve the forest on change.org.
“This has sparked an online petition by a local environmentalist Sydney Cheong, to save Dover Forest. I am heartened by his initiative to protect the rich bio-diversity of the endangered wildlife and fauna found there.”
The veteran leader added his reasons for wanting to preserve the area.
“This is where dog-walkers, birdwatchers, joggers, and cyclists, young and old, from nearby private and public estates share paths and exchange greetings.
This is where parents teach children that we share living space with the rest of creation.
This is where we realise that the sum of all these natural blessings – the beauty, tranquillity and harmony given by unspoilt land to man – cannot be purchased with money. Neither can this nature beauty be re-constructed with manicured greenery if lost.”
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