LIDO Beach offers arguably the best sunset view in Johor Baru. In fact, many opt to use the road parallel to the beach just for its soothing and scenic vista.
It is indeed a feast for the eyes, especially in the evenings, when the sun makes its colourful descent against a fading blue sky.
It is a mesmerising sight that is, alas, all too brief. Darkness, sombre and imperious, rolls in impatiently to cast its black shroud over the merry colours of the day.
Yet, to be illuminated by a brief moment of incandescence is better than not to be illuminated at all -- which, unfortunately, is the gloomy state of things these days.
A long, high fence has now come between the beach and the people, portentous of development and construction on the beloved beach.
What is a natural treasure to locals is a gold mine to developers, who are now protecting their interest from "outsiders" with an ugly fence.
It is enough to make one envy those who have never seen the glorious beauty of Lido Beach at sun down, because they will never miss what they never knew.
One could choose to be charitable and see the fence as protecting the locals instead.
Perhaps the developer, afraid that folk could get hurt if they strayed onto a construction site, has built the barrier for their safety.
While such concern for the safety of Johoreans is much appreciated, surely there are better ways to address the issue. Depriving them of their beloved beach is not one of them.
The road along the stretch of beach is almost as large as a highway, which means motorists are now allowed to park or stop on it.
The chances of pedestrians walking there are quite slim.
The construction site is not even close to the road.
So why the need for a fence of such formidable size, that forbids not only unauthorised persons from entering, but also locals from enjoying the view of the Johor Straits?
Wouldn't a low fence and warning signs be enough to discourage trespassers?
If the reason for the fence is to block the eyesore of construction work in progress from public view, perhaps the company should be informed that the fence itself is an eyesore.
To date, two stretches of the coastal road from the city centre to Danga Bay have been fenced off.
With more projects coming up along the stretch, it may be a matter of time before the entire coastal road is fenced.
When this happens, I wonder how our tour guides are going to show Lido Beach to our visitors.