Anglers Unite

Last month, one Mr Abdul Rashid who lives in Woodlands emailed a request to my fellow GRC MP, Mr Vikram Nair, with a copy to me.  He is a regular angler and user of the Woodlands Waterfront Jetty.

I opened the Waterfront two years ago together with my fellow GRC MPs.  It is a beautiful park in my constituency but has also become popular with Singaporeans in general.  I visited it several times.  Each time, I found it necessary to wait a while for a vacant car park lot.  This is a good sign that the place is well used.

Many young people told me that “it is a happening place” among the young.  I regularly saw them in groups, enjoying themselves, with radios and picnic bags.

It is also popular with families, with kids chasing each other, complete with pets and kites.

And of course I will always find anglers trying their luck.  They are a patient lot.  Most will get some catch, but tiny fishes.

Mr Abdul Rashid provided a link: http://woodland-jetty.blogspot.com/ to show in his own words, that “Woodlands Waterfront Jetty has become a popular fishing hotspot”.  With his permission, I am sharing some of his photos showing the impressive catch.  I am surprised by the catch.  More importantly, he and his group of regular anglers have forged strong friendships through their hobby.

That is why we invest in parks.  They add to our quality of life, besides promoting healthy living and community bonding.  We will continue to do more.  The next big thing, besides the Rail Corridor, is a seamless 150km-long Round Island Route to link up our many major natural, cultural and historical attractions.

Imagine a weekend of cycling along this new route with your buddies and family!

Building a park is the easy part.  How do we keep it clean, for all to enjoy, at all times?  That is the difficult part.  The solution cannot be foreign cleaners.

The parks in Australia, Japan and Korea are wonderfully clean.  They do not have foreign cleaners to pick up the litter.  The users do not litter in the first place.  Park users take their rubbish with them as they leave.  Pets are leashed and the owners pick up the poo and clean up the pee as a habit.

Many Singaporeans are picking up such a good habit.  But I think we are still not yet at the level of the Aussies, or Koreans or Japanese.

For example, at our waterfront jetty, some anglers prepare live baits on the floor and then forget to clean up, leaving behind an unpleasant stench and a rotten mess which attracts flies.  Reluctantly, the park has to discourage live bait at the jetty.  This is not a good solution as it affects the fishing experience of anglers.

The best solution is for the community of anglers to take ownership of the jetty’s cleanliness, and prepare live bait the proper way, on chopping boards and dispose of any remnants thereafter.  This way, every one, anglers or non anglers can enjoy the waterfront at all times.

I forgot to say that Mr Abdul Rashid emailed Mr Vikram Nair to lobby against the ban on live bait.  NParks is now working with him and his regular anglers to self-police, and get all to adopt the correct way of preparing live bait. This will then make the ban unnecessary and irrelevant.

If you have any ideas on how you can help keep our parks world class, matching the standard of behaviour of park users in Australia or Japan, NParks Facebook will be thrilled to hear from you!

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