|An artist's impression of the concept for the Mandai makeover|
The Straits Times, 15 Jan 2015
BY MOK FEI FEI
A RAINFOREST park and elevated walkways could be among the new features in a major makeover of Mandai, transforming it into a world-class nature precinct.
Temasek Holdings was yesterday named as the Singapore Tourism Board's (STB) partner in the project, with the first phase estimated to cost some $1 billion.
Temasek owns 88 per cent of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which operates the existing stable of zoos, as well as Jurong Bird Park.
In September last year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Mandai would be transformed, with a bigger and better zoo by about 2020, adding that Jurong Bird Park could be moved there.
The Singapore Zoo is located in Mandai, along with the Night Safari and the River Safari.
The area to be developed is outside the nature reserves, and includes a former orchid farm and an abandoned village.
Details of the new attractions were not given, but The Straits Times understands that larger aviaries in a more natural environment could be in the works.
A rainforest safari may also be included, where visitors would be able to walk on suspension bridges to view the forest canopy.
Announcing the Temasek-STB tie-up, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said yesterday that the Mandai project will have a total site area of 120ha when completed, including current attractions. New public spaces and waterfront trails are set to be built.
Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Home Affairs, said in the statement: "With the expertise and experience it has gained from WRS, and its international network, Temasek will be able to create outstanding content for a world-class development in Mandai."
An environmental impact assessment will be carried out.
Temasek head of enterprise development group Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara said in a separate statement: "We aim to do this through an integrated, sustainable and inclusive approach, with Mandai developing as a nature destination to celebrate and protect our biodiversity."