SINGAPORE: In a curious but kind display of compassion, a man recently made headlines for setting 30 fish, worth around S$400, free in Ghim Moh Canal.
This altruistic act caught the attention of parkgoers and locals, who were intrigued by the man’s action.
The incident unfolded at a canal near Block 25 Ghim Moh Link last Thursday (21 Sep).
A parkgoer, 62-year-old retiree Mr. Lu, witnessed the event and shared his astonishment with Chinese media Shin Min Daily News.
He described the man, wearing a white shirt, as he climbed over the canal railings with a styrofoam box containing the fish.
With great care, the man released the fish into the water, a sight Mr Lu had never seen in over four decades of morning walks in the area.
“I’ve been taking morning walks in this area for over 40 years, and that was the first time I ever witnessed someone doing that. It is a very novel and interesting sight,” remarked Mr. Lu.
Man bought S$400 worth of live fishes just to release them
The man’s intentions became clear when a Sheng Siong supermarket staff member, who had assisted in the delivery, learned that the man had purchased all the live fish from the supermarket with the sole purpose of setting them free.
This staff member, according to Shin Min Daily, was equally amazed by the magnitude of the man’s compassionate act.
“He said that he had previously bought all the live fish from a branch in Bukit Batok, but he did not say what it was for.
“Then, my colleague assisted with the delivery all the way to the canal. It was there that my colleague learnt that he wanted to release them,” said the staff member.
“It was also my first time seeing a customer buy such a huge number of fish to set free.”
The fish included species such as bass and tilapia, with the former costing S$17.99 per kilogram and the latter S$10.95 per kilogram.
The total expenditure for the over 30 fish released was approximately S$400.
Mr. Lu, a Buddhist, noted that he believed in earning good karma through acts of compassion towards animals, and he saw the man’s happy and gratified smile as evidence of the positive impact of such actions.
“I am a Buddhist and I firmly believe that releasing fish can bring blessings.
“When the man saw the fish being released, he showed a happy and gratified smile on his face,” he said.
However, it should be noted that it is illegal to release animals into reservoirs and waterways. Under the Parks and Trees Act, offenders caught releasing animals in parks and nature reserves can be charged and fined up to S$50,000.
The Public Utilities Board (PUB) previously stated, “Aquatic ecosystems are complex and dynamic as the organisms living in them are often interdependent. The release of non-native species into our waters will not only have an impact on the ecology and water quality of our freshwaters, but may also pose a risk to users of our waterbodies. We strongly urge members of the public against releasing animals into our reservoirs and waterways.
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