Bukit Brown and the uphill task of saving a place that has already been slated for destruction

Good to see that the Straits Times today has given 2 full colour pages to the people who are dedicated to saving Bukit Brown Cemetery. I believe that with this spread, the ST has given more space to the ‘preservers’ than to the government agencies who want to destroy BB. On a small island that is hell-bent on development, BB is one of the last places where we can definitively ‘see’ our physical roots that go back a few generations; destroying it for the sake on some roads and dwellings would be a ironic slap in the face of a progressive country that constantly tries to stake its claim to the past (think the money Singapore has spent on museums, conserving old buildings, and promoting our dubious links to China’s revolution in the early 1900s…etc)

If you don’t already know, there is a symposium on the heritage and natural significance of BB that will be held on 11 Nov (Sat) at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Click ‘here‘ for more info. On good authority, I know for a fact that URA, LTA and NHB were invited to speak – so that they can present their development plans for BB and also share info on how the site’s memories and artefacts would be recorded/saved prior to destruction – but they all declined. I suppose they turned down the offer because of the heat they would face if they had decided to speak; but isn’t that the point – that government agencies serve the people and are obliged to answer questions from the public?? So much for the government’s speech in parliament a few weeks ago about the need for the civil service to be more open to public opinion.

Let’s see what social activism can do for the future of BB. See you there!

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