I live at the northern tip of Singapore where a powerful swimmer can reach Johor, Malaysia if he or she can dodge the large vessels making their way to Sembawang Shipyard for repairs and maintenance. Years ago, we used to be able to see the American aircraft carriers (magnificent things!) in a dry dock but now they’re secreted somewhere, obviously for security reasons. The threat of terrorism has made us jittery and tense.
Arriving home in the evening, if I’m lucky, I catch the dusk, if not, it’s dark, but still it’s a wonder to stroll through a quiet neighbourhood with rolling clouds or the moon above and no highrise in sight. Just grass, bushes and trees (and houses of course) wherever you look.
Soon, this will be yet another thing of the past as the housing estate of Yishun bursts at the seams to birth more flats near us. Our growing population needs homes and as much as I understand, I mourn the loss of the kampung (village) that was once here; the monkeys killed because development destroyed the forest and drove them too near the residential part to forage for food; the dogs and cats abandoned to become strays routinely rounded up and killed; the trees and birds wiped out – so much life killed, killed, killed (I detest the euphemism “culled”).
Why are people so hateful towards other living things? I don’t think I can be real friends with anyone who doesn’t care about animals. It’s a privilege of reaching maturity – to be true to myself and to heck with what anyone thinks. So, do expect heck-care rants.