Sembawang Hot Spring - History - Redevelopment


In 1998, The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) acquired the land containing the spring for the expansion of the nearby Sembawang Air Base, leaving F&N with less than 4 hectares (10 acres) of land. Its water-bottling plant survived until the early 1990s however. In January 2002, crowds flocked to the hot spring, which had caught the attention of Singaporeans after the surrounding land had been cleared to begin construction work on the air base extension. Sembawang community leaders gathered signatures to petition Mindef, which was preparing to fence off the area, to preserve and develop the hot spring. Mindef agreed to the appeals and constructed a side gate for the public to gain access to the spring.

During that same year, a rash of scalding cases, including an incident in which a 57-year old diabetic man lost six toes to gangrene after bathing in the hot spring, prompted the Singapore General Hospital to warn that people with nerve disorders or diseases affecting blood circulation should stay away. Soon after, rumours that the well was haunted by the ghost of a Malay boy who had met his death by falling into the boiling spring water began to circulate; a Chinese curse, written in graffiti on the wall that now encloses the well, promised a similar fate to anyone who vandalised the premises. As a result of the negative publicity, and the redevelopment of the area around the spring, public interest began to wane and the number of visitors dwindled.

Read more about this topic:  Sembawang Hot Spring, History

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