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  Straits Times Forum Online 4 Nov 05
Make history freely accessible. Don't charge entry fee for Labrador Park's secret tunnel
Letter from Norman Ng Wei Jing

On November 1, I was doing my routine exercise and it happened that I decided to run into Labrador Park.

I must commend the National Parks Board for doing a brilliant job in building and maintaining the park's amenities.

The lookout points and well-connected paths create a truly relaxing environment for the public. I also managed to take back a piece of history from there with the ample signs explaining the military and historical significance of Labrador Park before and during the Japanese Occupation.

Yet the National Parks Board could improve on one point: the commercialization of the secret tunnel in Labrador Park. I was astounded that to gain entry to the tunnel, the charge is a staggering $8 for adults and $5 for children.

While I understand that the board needs to find ways and means to ensure its operational feasibility, this is definitely inappropriate.

The historical significance of the secret tunnel must never be commercialized. Arguably, this creates an undesirable barrier in restricting ordinary Singaporeans from accessing a valuable piece of history.

Just how much revenue can the board earn from the secret tunnel? I'm confident that as a statutory board, there are ways to cross-subsidize and write off the maintenance costs of Labrador Park.

Let's not commercialize a piece of history for it means a lot more than just dollars and cents.

Norman Ng Wei Jing

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