Who would have thought that two cute, innocent little animals would draw so much hullabaloo.
So they cost about $8.6 million to bring in, and this drove the anti-establishment people making grumpy remarks such as, “This money could have been used to help others”! Well, every cent from the government’s $50b + revenue goes directly into public goods, society and charity. And further more, it is difficult to argue about the “need” for these two pandas, as it is difficult to argue for the need of multimillion dollar performances at the Esplanade, or even the existence of the Bird Park and Night Safari.
And by the way, this money comes from Capitaland – and they have done their fair share of raising money for the needy. Read this:
“CapitaLand has jumped onto the charity train to support an annual Singapore fundraising campaign The President’s Challenge. Into its 10th year now, it aims to raise US$5.5m (S$8m) for charities this year.”
And this is just but one of their efforts.
What about the jobs that the $8.6m goes into creating? Someone has to do the landscaping. The zoo keepers have families to feed. Taxi drivers bringing tourists to the zoo benefit. Docents at the zoo get to teach more people about wildlife conservation.
We are also aware that there are concerns from animal welfare groups saying that resources were not provided to help stray dogs etc. I’m sure readers want answers, so do we (your friendly editor is a cat lover btw). So stay tuned to Five Stars and a Moon!