Monday, August 4, 2014

The 'little-ler' islands around a little island...

Being someone who was born in one of our southern islands -- Pulau Bukom -- and who grew up there, I enjoyed Ho Ai Li's article in The Sunday Times (Aug 3):

The map that came with the article was also quite detailed:

I remembered Pulau Hantu in the 1950s. I was a little boy and my eldest brother Tee Chuan, then a young naval officer courting the young woman (Paik Sim) he was to later marry, took her to Bukom to meet my parents. The lovey-dovey couple then decided to hire a small boat to go snorkelling around the uninhabited Pulau Hantu, known then for its pristine waters and lovely corals. A romantic getaway for the lovebirds after receiving my parents' approval!

But, alas for them, they were told I was to tag along (hmm, would that have made me among the world's youngest chaperones then?).

And so that was how I discovered the picturesque Pulau Hantu, a tiny atoll with white sands all round and with coconut trees and other sundry vegetation in its midst -- just like the picture postcards. The pristine corals and colourful fishes delighted me.

Coming back to the map above, it would have been made more complete if:
* there had been a map showing where Pedra Branca island is. After all, Pedra Branca is Singapore's easternmost point!,_Singapore#mediaviewer/File:Pedra_Branca_Map.svg
* there had been another map showing the islets (no longer in existence) that had been "consolidated" into what is now Jurong Island; and
* there had been a small map with the location of Christmas Island (out in the Indian Ocean and south of Java). Christmas Island was administered by the colonial British government from Singapore and handed over to Australia when Singapore became self-governing in the 1950s. If it had been otherwise decided, Christmas Island might well have become part of Singapore!

Finally, this ad caught my eye...

Hmmm... it must have had enough of all those "Why did the camel cross the road?" jokes and decided to try something different. Bad idea. I guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment