An Ocean Park / Aquarium in Penang?

Again, I do not understand this obsession with parks of the human-made kind. Can't we just settle with natural parks with loads of greenery?

It seemed our new tourism exco is thinking of setting up an Ocean Park of sorts or at the very least, a large aquarium just 'because Penang is an island surrounded by the sea'. Err...reality check, YB. How clean are our beaches? Penang isn't actually known for its myriad species of fishes and marine animals.

Even the few dying species of dolphins which used to swim off the shores of Penang are seldom seen and the only redeeming quality we have is the turtle sanctuary in our tiny li'l National Park in Teluk Bahang. Isn't that good enough? An eco-tourism product where tourists get to enjoy nature and even get to see the turtle hatchery while there.

So, YB, where do you propose to set up the park / aquarium? Cut down more trees to build it? Wait a minute, thanks to the previous government's administration, we do not have much trees left to cut...but it still remains to be seen where our new YB thinks is the suitable place for such a grand scheme.

However, if his idea is to improve and upgrade the existing aquarium we already have (yes, we already have an aquarium) in Batu Maung, the idea is more than welcome.

The place is in total shambles and left much to be desired. Sure, they have an education centre on turtles and a koi fish pond and some aquariums but that's it. Even a trip to the Chew Thean Yeang commercial aquarium along Burmah Road is more educational and fun than a trip to the crummy aquarium in Batu Maung (which I think is managed by the Fisheries Department).

I think the new toursim exco should just concentrate on improving the existing tourism products here before he thinks of setting up or getting corporations to build new ones. After all, what's the point of having many tourism products when the old ones are not even properly maintained?

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