Increasingly and repeatedly frustrated the authorities are not fully on the same page when it comes to developing a holistic environment to live in here in Singapore.

Oh, It’s so easy to slap on big fines and pay a few thousand dollars for new signs. But what does it take for these bureaucrats to see that banning a totally wholesome and enriching activity like fishing, walking your pets dogs, cycling in all their public accessible waterways just drives more kids and adults away from beautiful outdoor opportunities in our natural environment.

Public Utilities Board #PUBsg in Singapore continues to ignore attempts to help them see that sustainable fishing not only is cleaner than the diesel watercrafts they or water skiers use, but beneficial. Fishing as a past time has the biggest potential to be one of the most highly participated sporting activity in Singapore as a licensed, self sustainable and Eco-friendly environment as proven in developed countries.

Licensing publically accessible waterways will also aid in community policing and safety, and encourages accountability between participants as they share the environment.

There are absolutely no excuses for continuing in this archaic system of banning sports like fishing in all waterways, and paying lip service to the countless well meaning advocates over the years, like with tiny 25m stretches of ‘a legal area’ to fish in each reservoir. It’s tantamount to blatant ignorance, or worse, a slap in their face.

Banning as a culture is counter productive to a maturing society. How do we develop a sense of graciousness when we are governed by rules that are meant to stop an errant few from not picking up after themselves, may it be animal waste or fishing line. Authorities like #NParks and PUB still have a lot to convince the public that they are passionate and sincere in creating a truly encompassing and holistic society and not just a superficial show case in nature. To those who are given much, much is expected.

How many of us have warm memories of catching a fish with a parent or an friend during our childhood days?

Didn’t our old MM Lee Kuan Yew say in 1977 “”The Ministry of Environment should make it a target: In 10 years let us have fishing in the Singapore River and Kallang River. It can be done,” ? But what has been done?

David Tay

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