MacRitchie Moments — Quek Leng Chuang

As a young boy there was always dew in the morning, glistening on the cool grass. It would collect in globs on the top of my grandfather’s car. And if we were not quick enough the newspaper each morning would be soaked wet, from dew that would coalesce and drip down the wrought iron gate. That was in the 1970s.

I don’t see dew anymore. The engineer in me tells me that it’s not that we lack humidity in the air, but simply that morning temperatures in urban Singapore are now well above the dew point. My daughters haven’t seen dew in Singapore.

Another bit of nature lost…forever.

MacRitchie is larger than itself. It is synonymous with the reservoir; a symbol for serenity, tranquility, harmony, nature, prudent land and resource management.

The MRT running through Macritchie will not be a superficial cut. It will be visceral, deep, divisive, irreversible, and it tears not just pristine primary forest. It tears at our value system, our natural heritage, and our investment in the future.

It is a deep cut of betrayal.

It tells our children that small precision cuts are alright. It desensitises them. It suppresses the compounding force of the destruction of each cut, condones and breeds a culture of taking from the future.

MacRitchie is the real heart beat and heartland of Singapore. It represents a singular bastion of nature, undisturbed since the late 1800s. The lungs from which we draw our very breath.

We should let it breathe freely.

Quek Leng Chuang is an engineer dealing with environmental solutions.

If you have memories of MacRitchie you’d like to share, do email

The Future Of MacRitchie concert will take place on November 19.

Visit for more information about the venue, artists performing, and to register. There are also guided walks that can help you get intimate with MacRitchie.

See also  MacRitchie Moments — Rudy Djoe