Categorized | Entertainment, Politics

Tags : ,

‘From Swamp To Skyscrapers’ narrative ignores the fact that S’pore still has swamps

Posted on 02 March 2015

This false narrative gives outsiders the impression that mudskippers stay in high-rise apartments.


A recent BBC article framed Singapore’s journey in the last 50 years as one about going from “swamp to skyscrapers”.

A lot of Singaporeans from all walks of life are familiar with this narrative.

Ad by

Ad by (Singapore)

However, if we stopped to think, we’d realise that this narrative paints a false picture of what life is really like in Singapore.

Because, the truth is, Singapore in 2015, still has swamps. Gasp!

By insisting on the “From Swamp To Skyscrapers” narrative, what we are doing is send a wrong message to outsiders beyond Singapore’s shores: We are effectively telling foreigners that the water monitor lizard, mudskipper and Great Egret do not live in the swamps here but in high-rise apartments.

When we do that, what we are doing is effectively whitewashing the biodiversity and the countless species of flora and fauna that live at the intersection of freshwater and saltwater habitats.

Have we considered what Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve would feel?

Or Pasir Ris Park? Nee Soon Swamp Forest?

How about Chek Jawa?

By continuing to perpetuate this false narrative to create a false consciousness, we will inflict symbolic violence on innocent habitats.

Therefore, we need to stick with the “From Swamps To Skyscrapers With Pockets Of Swamps” narrative for a new beginning to dawn.


What lies beneath Singapore?:

Govt seeking refund from feng shui masters as S’pore Flyer still bankrupt

SG50 changed to SG700 after Empress Place archeological dig reveals S’pore was founded 700 years ago

This post was written by:

- who has written 2685 posts on New Nation.

Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

Contact the author