Friday, March 20, 2009

Response Email from RWS with regards to petition

Last week, I sent a petition email to Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) to express my concern about their plans to bring in whale sharks for its planned oceanarium.

And, earlier today, I received an email sent out by the Marine Life Park Team/Corporate Social Responsibility Office with regards to the petition emails it have been receiving.

The contents of the email are as below in italics (emphasis mine)...

Dear all,

Thank you for the interest that you have expressed towards our Marine Life Park. Although the feedback we have received till now is not always positive, it shows how concerned everyone is towards the success of the Marine Life Park and its ability to balance the need to educate the public on marine conservation while at the same time not doing anything to harm the marine environment.

As of today, over 3,000 of you have written to us and we hope you can spare a few minutes for our side of the story. As an organization that is committed to inspire the conservation of the ocean through education, we fully understand your concerns with regards to the feasibility of whale sharks in captivity.

That is why we have been, and still are - to this date - considering alternatives for our overall Marine Life Park design plans, while simultaneously peer reviewing our animal collection and exhibits content.

While we go about our work, we also want to highlight that the whale shark exhibit at the Marine Life Park was submitted as part of the winning bid in an international competition for the Integrated Resort on Sentosa in late 2006. As such, the organization is bound to deliver the integrity of the bid, and any proposed replacement for the whale sharks must be defensible in that it must be viable and be as broad, if not compelling, in its appeal to bring in visitors to Singapore - the reason Singapore decided to have the integrated resorts.

Last week, we put out a press statement specifying that plans for the Marine Life Park are still being finalized and options are being explored. Two things are being done right now: consolidating the education and conservation studies of what aquariums have done for potential collection species, and assessing how the Marine Life Park and its conservation and research programs might contribute further to the scientific knowledge of the species.

We do not take these undertakings lightly and as such, we need time to investigate all available options to provide Singapore with a world-class Marine Life Park. The process of replacing promised attractions in a winning bid is neither simple nor unilateral. Papers, presentations, permits and many rounds of fine-tuning and debate are required. We welcome ideas at

We apologise for not being able to reply singularly to everyone. Do visit our website to know us better. There, you can also read about our conservation efforts in both the marine and environmental fields. The Marine Life Park is committed to engage all persons who share our goal: the conservation of the oceans and it (sic) inhabitants. Our commitment has not changed.

Yours sincerely,

The Marine Life Park team

Interestingly enough, this email/letter can also be found through RWS's website

Hmm... So they are requesting more time in order to properly address the concerns of those who petitioned them. But how much time do they need? I hope that this is not a stalling tactic on their part. Hopefully, they will continue to provide updates and be transparent about their plans & investigations.


As of 16/5/2009, it is reported that RWS have decided to abandon its plans to bring in whale sharks.

1 comment:

Savahn said...

That sounds like a reasonable response.

Continued vigilance is required to ensure that they are doing what they say.

However, a more appropriate response is to get the involvement of the government. If the Singapore government were to repeal the clause regarding the whale shark exhibit in the Marine Life Park - allowing RWS to make that decision, they will no longer have any valid and compelling reason to continue with this exhibit.

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