Bukit Brown: Progress comes first

ST Forum

Jun 13, 2011

Bukit Brown: Progress comes first

I DISAGREE with Ms Erika Lim ('Protect what's left of cultural value'; last Saturday) that Bukit Brown cemetery deserves to be preserved. Cemeteries have to give way if our housing needs are to be met.

If the Government did not redevelop cemeteries along Orchard Road, we would not have buildings such as the Ngee Ann City shopping mall.

My grandparents were buried at Peck San Theng - now the Bishan housing estate. I used to enjoy clearing tall grass to find their tombstones during Qing Ming, and remember my elders burning joss sticks and incense papers.

The hills are gone, but we can still reminisce by looking at old photographs.

In land-scarce Singapore, social progress must prevail over conserving burial grounds. Life goes on. When one window to history is closed, we open a new one for future generations.

Paul Chan