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Operation Sea Monkeys.
Singaporean men can carry guns, fire a rocket launcher, drive an armour tank, at 18yo, yet we are viewed as being incapable of taking care of ourselves when we are older.
Today, Sentosa Cove security activated MPA to stop us from fishing around Sentosa.
MPA came but we highlighted that we were not breaking any maritime’s laws and I will not move if their approach was due to a complaint from the residence or the private security department of Sentosa Cove.
Sentosa is not sanction as a marine park and their authority is limited to the island only. The area that I was in, is not a restricted and we are well aware of the fairway. (We were about 20m from shore.)
The officer politely advice is that we should stay closer to the island and preferably within the blue barriers, just for our own safety. This is to avoid the tidal stream nearby.
We acknowledged the well intention and assured the officer that we are capable of taking care of ourselves, we have donned our PFD as required by law and everyone was equipped with a VHF but we will comply to his recommendation. He was happy to know that we have our VHF on and informed us if we need any help, do radio him on channel 07. MPA left.
My buddies decided to follow MPA instructions and paddle to fish within the blue barriers.
Next came the Sentosa Ranger on his 4×4. Standing at the breakwaters and on instructions from his superiors, he called the Coast Guards. We approached him and he highlighted that no fishing is allowed within the blue barrier area. (Hmm … The barriers were installed by Coast Guards to guard against illegal immigrants but Sentosa conveniently owned the sea between the island and the barriers!?!?)
Coast Guards approached us and asked where we came from, we replied – Sentosa beach. We were glad that the officers did not pursue further after we shared with him the confusions we were facing. They are also aware that we have not broken any maritime rules.
We decided to call it a day and paddle back to the lagoon, where we launched. The Sentosa ranger approached us and inform us that we are not allowed to land in the lagoon!!!
We have to leave!
I shook my head in disbelieve and told him that our cars are here. Where would he like us to go?
He thought that we have paddled from Jurong or somewhere else and decided to stop over at Sentosa beach, which is not allowed. He mentioned that only kayaks from Sentosa Operators are allowed to launch there and they are not allow to exit the lagoon.
But but … There are so many inflatables kayaks, SUP and community buddies from Singapore Paddlers Club and more who are launching every weekend from the same beach. Why are you stopping us?
I was just short of saying, “I am not an Ang Moh, is it?”
Sentosa is the only gateway for private paddlers to safely launch and access our beautiful southern islands. Why are the ordinary Singaporeans prevented from doing so?
We are environmentally friendly, we do not litter the sea, we are enjoying and sharing a healthy lifestyle, a healthy sport and we are also a responsible bunch.
It’s another sad day for Singapore and I honestly hope the relevant authorities will look beyond the paper values.