A young nation needs its historical sites

ST Forum

Oct 24, 2011

A young nation needs its historical sites

I APPLAUD Ms Chew I-Jin and her fellow signatories for appealing to the authorities to preserve the graves at Bukit Brown ('Keep Bukit Brown graves: Descendants', Oct 19).

Her appeal merits consideration.

The graves belong to pioneers who are well known to Singaporeans today because streets and places are named after them: Boon Lay, Boon Tat, Koon Seng, Hong Lim, Joo Chiat and Chong Pang. These are not just names. They are pioneer luminaries who are a very integral part of our short history.

As a young nation, we are short of historical sites or stories to form a strong foundation for national reference by future generations.

These graves appear to be those of the who's who of the last century and can really provide us with the teaching materials to enrich our social and moral education.

The aesthetics and architecture of these tombs are too beautiful and precious to be just bulldozed away. They are very precious as we would not find such craftsmanship anywhere else. It would be unthinkable if such structures of historical and heritage significance were to be wiped out just like any other building.

I strongly urge the authorities to heed the compelling appeal by Ms Chew and other signatories.

Albert Tye