Residents of Pulau Ubin thought they were being evicted from their homes for the sake of a new adventure park.
Pulau Ubin, the second largest offshore island of Singapore, is perhaps the best place to see the traditional kampong style villages that used to cover the island nation back in the 1960s, before it became the super modern Singapore known today.
A more laid-back and slow paced representation of Singapore, tourism on the island centres around sight seeing and visiting the national parks, especially Chek Jawa, a one hectare intertidal flat that is still home to many of the ecosystems no longer present in mainland Singapore (or in many other parts of the world for that matter).
Singapore had plans for developing this smaller island, and in 1993, advised its residents that they would be affected by the island’s development, which included a adventure park. Then in March of this year, the Ministry of National Development and the Land Development Authorities of Singapore informed residents that, in order to stay, they would be required to pay a rent of SG $120 per month.
Many residents thought this was a notice of eviction and that they were being displaced for the sake of a theme park.
Singaporean authorities have since clarified that residents will not be expected to move and that there are no plans for any new developments. Since the residents are on state land, however, they will be expected to pay rent in order to stay. Ninety percent of the rent will be subsidised in the first year but will increase over five years.
There are 72 households on Pulau Ubin, of which 51 already pay rent. Twenty-two households are affected by the news.
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