Save Sentosa Merlion

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24 September 2019

Mr Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister of Singapore


Dear Mr Lee,

I implore you to reconsider the need to demolish our beloved Merlion on Sentosa Island.

Sentosa Merlion has grown to become an important cultural icon in the past 24 years.  It is a place where many fond memories have been created -- for both Singaporeans and visitors.

Sentosa was once called Pulau Blakang Mati. One netizen commented that the Sentosa Merlion was built to suppress the spirits that once lived there. Perhaps the Merlion over the last two decades have managed to do that and more - protecting our economy as it stood high up on the ground overlooking our Central Business District. 

I understand that Singapore needs to constantly reinvent itself to stay competitive and stay ahead. That has been our formula to our success for the past five decades. But there comes a time when we need to dig deeper to try to find a balance between the old and the new. It’s not an easy task for sure. Demolishing the Merlion is the easy way out. We need to learn to cherish our landmarks as over time it will become part of our Singapore story.

I am a tourist guide and each time I take my group of tourists to Sentosa, the Merlion is an important stop for photo taking and they love it.  Whenever we visit the Merlion Park in the city, we always tell our foreign friends that: “You are looking at Mama Merlion and her little one”.

Sentosa Island is where they will find Papa Merlion, which stands 37 metres tall, overlooking and protecting the city. This his how we promote Sentosa to the tourists.

Although the Sentosa Merlion is relatively young, it is still an important part of our new heritage -- just like our very first Merlion, built in 1971 at the mouth of the Singapore River.

In the last few decades, we have mourned the loss of many iconic Singaporean buildings. Please let us not rush again -- in the name of so-called ‘progress’ -- to demolish things that we no longer see as having ‘commercial value’.

As we grow and mature as a nation, let us take a moment to reflect beyond the glitz and glam.

Instead, we should also be focusing on the heart and soul of the nation -- because it is these fabrics which bind Singaporeans together with our shared memories.

Next steps:

  1. Could we save the Merlion and incorporate it as part of the Sentosa redevelopment?
  2. Alternatively, could the Merlion be relocated to a new location? For example, near Pulau Brani so that it may continue to watch over our city.

Yours sincerely,
Stanley Ngo


Note: This petition will close on 15 October 2019 and it will be printed with all the signatures and comments to be delivered to the Prime Minister's Office.