Although Singapore is a very small country it has a tally of more than 360 species of birds. Roughly a third of them are resident native species with proven breeding records. Others are “fair-weather” birds which come here to escape the harsh winters of Northern Asia. There are also exotic “captive” birds, such as the penguin and flamingo, in the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.
But why spend our precious time observing birds? What are the benefits? Here, we can find no better advocate than Dr Goh Keng Swee, one of the VIPs who helped transform tiny Singapore from a Third-world nation to First.
This is what Dr Goh said at the official opening of the Jurong Bird Park in January 1971:
“It is as well to concede at the outset that the bird park will not make our society more rugged … It will have negligible effect on the productivity of the workers in the Republic. Its eficacy as a means of tightening national cohesion is open to doubt, as is its contribution to raising the cultural or education standards of the population.
I am afriad that the bird park will achieve none of these admirable ends. But it will add to the enjoyment of our citizens, especially our children.”
Likewise, we hope this little book: Singapore Stamps & Money: One for the Birds will add to the education of our citizens, especially our children.
Dr Wee Yeow Chin
Dr Tan Wee Kiat
Ms Wang Luan Keng