So the Indian Heritage Centre has opened last night. This made the local news, of course. I wanted to learn more about IHC, and so I went to NHB’s website to look for the IHC link. BUT BUT BUT, the NHB’s website not only does not have IHC under it’s drop-down ‘Institutions’ tab (SYS Hall and Malay Heritage Centre are there though), there are NO banners or pop-ups announcing the new IHC opening to public today. This is not the first time I have caught NHB’s website sleeping (click here fore a previous post). Aiyo. It seems petty to think that I am fussing over such small matters, and indeed it’d all be sorted out in the next few days. But then again, I am a stickler for how public funds are spent. Within NHB and IHC, I am sure there are more than one staff – who are of course paid with public funds – whose jobs are to ensure that IHC’s opening would get the maximum publicity. This must therefore mean that it should be someone’s (or some people’s) job to make sure that the relevant websites are updated. Oh, am I too picky just because someone had overlooked this small detail? Think about it; IHC has been in the making for years, so there should have been plenty of time to sort things out. Someone sorted out IHC’s new website, but someone dropped the ball with NHB’s main site. I’ll go to IHC soon enough to report about it. But in the meantime, I just want to note that the spillover of the Australian museum buying-stolen-Indian-artifacts scandal that had involved the Asian Civilisations Museum (but I think ACM has not said anything concrete yet about what it would be doing: click here for a previous post of mine on this matter) also brings IHC into the fray. I wonder if some of the implicated artifacts are on display at IHC? That wouldn’t surprise me; IHC’s new boss Dr G Krishnan was the South Asian curator at ACM for the longest time before moving to IHC. On another matter, now that the IHC is open, it would complement the existing Malay Heritage Centre. Looking at the Chinese-Malay-Indian-Other classification still used in Singapore, the ‘M’, ‘I’ and ‘O’ parts (‘Other’ would be the Peranakan Museum I suppose) have already been covered museum/heritage centre-wise. So what about a ‘Chinese Heritage Centre’? Alas, CHC already exists in far-flung Jurong, housed and taken care of by Nanyang Technological Uni, and not NHB. When I was there a few years back, it looks so haggard that it seems to be begging someone to burn it down and start again. I’m sure NHB is eyeing it (the name ‘CHC’ and not the location), but I’m not sure how that would work out with NTU. Oh, in the good ol’days, ‘Other’ would stand for ‘Eurasian’. So would a Eurasian Heritage Centre be on the horizon? Well, slap me silly and call me Bob because EHC already exists. It’s located at the Eurasian Association at Ceylon Road. BUT why then is the EHC not under the NHB family of institutions? Who knows??? All I know is that I am a taxpayer and I think NHB can be spending our money more prudently. Let’s start with getting the relevant website/marcomm people (OI! WAKEY WAKEY!!) to update the NHB main site, for goodness’ sake.
P.S. By 11 May 2015, the main NHB site has been updated to include thelink to IHC and a banner to announce the opening.