Showing posts from March, 2019
ANNOUNCEMENT: WUJ wishes everyone a Happy Ubin Day 2020! WUJ launches "WUJ Wan Go Jalan? (Virtually)" in conjunction with Pesta Ubin 2020 and Ubin Day 2020 celebrations Play your part in fighting COVID-19: Be socially responsible, uphold strict personal hygiene and social distancing measures

Where Have U-Bin? Ft. Ruizhi

Hi All! Joining us for this edition of "Where Have U-Bin?" is someone who have been following Wan's Ubin Journal for quite some time - I realised this because he had been actively liking my pictures and posts on Instagram and Facebook for a long time coming, hehe. So, without further do, let me introduce to Ruizhi! Ruizhi, 27, is currently taking his masters (MA) in History at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Concurrently, he is also running Singapore Stories, an online platform where he offers reflections of Singapore's past as well as shed some light on our local affairs in a very creative and intellectual way! Be sure to follow him in the links below! When asked to recall on his first trip to Ubin, he mentioned that "it was too long to remember", but he fondly recalled "childhood memories of being taken on treks and cycling trips in Ubin" by his parents. His most vivid memories at that time were "eating and drinking nice

A Neighbourly Wednesday in Kampong Sungei Durian

Hi All! In this post, I will be sharing on one of the more meaningful trips to Ubin where I joined residents on March 20th, 2019 on what appears to be a casual Wednesday - but with a breakthrough in my efforts in understanding my family roots and community and a reminder of how blessed I am to be a part of the Malay Ubin community. It's been almost 2 weeks since my last trip to Ubin - all thanks to a new addition to my family, hehe. My eldest brother welcomed his first daughter on Monday, 11th March 2019 and we were just in the midst of 'newborn fever'. And yup, that also means Ubin gets a new descendant in the list of Ubin blood! Anyway, I finally got to Changi Village by 0900hrs and decided to not come empty-handed. I initially wanted to buy the delicious huge $1 curry puffs but the stall had not opened yet so I settled for some fresh bread from the nearby bakery. Upon reaching the ferry terminal, I was honestly expecting a crowd considering that it

The Straits Times: NParks working to preserve Ubin's rusticity

NParks is part of the Friends of Ubin Network, which includes over 40 interest groups ranging from nature and heritage enthusiasts to villagers and researchers.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO SINGAPORE (Mar 18, 2019): We thank the public for their feedback (Many rules, fewer visitors, say Pulau Ubin Islanders, Feb 24; NParks need to be more transparent on Ubin; and Myriad rules killing feel of kampung life, both March 4). Since taking over as the central managing agency for Ubin in 2016, the National Parks Board (NParks) has sought to maintain and enhance the island's much-loved rusticity. Our priorities were to ensure the safety of residents and visitors, and protect Ubin's natural and built heritage. And NParks has maintained the status quo, as much as possible. The quarries on Ubin have been fenced off for safety since 1996, after visitors fell into them leading to a drowning. Fishing along the quarries' edges was disallowed for the same reason. Instead, NParks created

Where Have U-Bin? ft. Wei Qin

Hi All! Revisiting an old series that I have done before, "Where Have U-Bin?" returns for its second edition and it is a great pleasure for me to introduce Wei Qin to all of you! I got to know Wei Qin from my 1st Kampong Clean-Up but as we lived in a small world, I apparently would have known her since 2003 since the both of us went through the same primary school years together in Junyuan Primary School. Anyway, let's see what she has to say about Ubin, yeah? Wei Qin, 22, is a Singaporean who is currently a fourth year student at the National University of Singapore pursuing a degree in Global Studies.  When asked about her first trip to Ubin, she said that it was also fairly recently as she came here when she "was in junior college six years ago to attend a leadership camp on the island and spent two nights there."  She added that she had a memorable time there because she was "bitten by some insect in the middle of the night"

The Straits Times: Myriad rules killing feel of kampung life

SINGAPORE (Mar 4, 2019): 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

The Straits Times: NParks needs to be more transparent on Ubin

SINGAPORE (Mar 4, 2019): I have mixed feelings regarding the dilemma facing Pulau Ubin (Trouble in Paradise, Feb 24). The free spirited adventurer in me recoils at the thought of even more rules being enforced. But the sustainability advocate in me also realises that the National Parks Board (NParks) has a statutory obligation to conserve the flora and fauna within our borders, which includes preventing over-fishing and the mistreatment of wildlife. And this is a responsibility we all share. NParks should educate and guide visitors on how to live harmoniously with the natural environment. When incidents occur, NParks should step in to maintain the balance. NParks also needs to be more proactive and transparent. Despite overwhelming testimony from people on the ground, NParks said that it has "not observed any discernible drop in visitorship since" it stopped tracking visitor numbers in 2010. This is difficult for the public to accept, and I wo

The Sunday Times: Ubin islanders worry about 'no compensation' clause in contract

Mr Ong Kim Cheng reading the NParks' Temporary Occupational Licence agreement outside his house. The taxi driver who was born on Pulau Ubin continues to live alone in the house built by his late parents. Photo coutesy of ST, Chong Jun Liang SINGAPORE (Feb 24, 2019): A long-standing issue over compensation for Pulau Ubin villagers has flared up again, with some islanders upset that they could be turfed out and not get anything in return. However, the authorities have told The Sunday Times that these villagers have been living on state land. They are thus not entitled to compensation, says the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). The matter surfaced in December when the islanders confronted National Development Minister (MND) Desmond Lee when he visited the island. In response to queries, a MND spokesman told The Sunday Times: "We have recently received inquiries from additional households about whether they would be eligible to receive resettlement benefits. These

The Sunday Times: Trouble in Paradise

SINGAPORE (Feb 24, 2019): Since he was a teenager, Mr Mohamad Farhan Ahmad has made weekly trips to Pilau Ubin to fish and camp. But after his last trip in March last year, the 47-year-old assistant engineer has not returned there. "In the past, my friends and I could pitch our tents anywhere, set up a campfire and cook, as though we were living in a kampung. We would all go home with a bucket full of fish," said Mr Farhan. "It was an adventure." "Now we can't do as we like. There are designated spots for campfires. We also can't fish in the quarries now," added Mr Farhan who now goes to Indonesia to fish. Long a sanctuary for those seeking out a pot of unmanicured Singapore, Pulau Ubin, off the north-eastern corner of the mainland, attracts a mix of outdoor lovers, heritage fans and those harkening back to a slower pace of life. It is also home to Singapore's last remaining offshore community. But Pulau Ubin villagers and