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ST Forum
Nov 1, 2011

Taoist mission


'At least part of Bukit Brown Cemetery should be preserved.'

REVEREND MASTER LEE ZHIWANG, president, Taoist Mission (Singapore): 'As a religious, cultural and heritage group, our mission is not only to propagate Taoism, but also Chinese culture and tradition. It is vital to preserve Bukit Brown Cemetery because it contains a rich heritage which would be invaluable to Singaporeans. Preserving it also exercises filial piety to our pioneers.

To support preservation, we recently took over the Keng Teck Whay building and the responsibility to restore this national monument which has been renamed Singapore 'Yu Huang Gong' Temple of Heavenly Jade Emperor. It was built about 170 years ago by a group of 36 Peranakan Chinese from Malacca.

The grave of one of the founders was found in Bukit Brown and in time to come, we should be able to rediscover some other founders' graves in that area. Nevertheless, we understand that Singapore is land-scarce. If the area cannot be preserved in its entirety, at least part of Bukit Brown Cemetery should be preserved and efforts should be made to document the site's history and heritage.'

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