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ST Forum
Nov 3, 2011

Cemetery should make way for the living


THE leader of Taoist Mission (Singapore), Reverend Master Lee Zhiwang, states that preserving Bukit Brown cemetery also exercises filial piety towards Singapore's pioneers ('Taoist mission'; Tuesday).

But that is not the active and working understanding of filial piety, which is the practice of respecting and honouring one's parents while they are still alive; not when they are dead.

Preserving the cemetery will deprive the living in Singapore of a basic need they expect and deserve, which is comfortable housing.

Bishan was once a cemetery and so was part of Orchard Road, which is now a flourishing shopping belt and a key geographical icon of modern Singapore.

Dr Sam Kong San's alternative, which is to build a virtual Bukit Brown Cemetery, is the best way to document and preserve the site's history ('Build a virtual Bukit Brown if preservation is not an option'; Tuesday).

Another option may be to build a monument, like the war memorial remembering the victims of the Japanese Occupation.

Daniel Chia

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