Not a lot of Singaporean know about Bukit Brown. Do you? One fine day, the garment decide to built a dual four-lane road across it. This means many of our ancestors will be “homeless”, or if you prefer exhumed! On a bigger picture, part if our heritage will be lost, forever.
I am one of the “people” who care less, simply because it does not affect me…at all. Recently, my cycling group paid a visit to the cemetery. It caught my interest! I did recall a few years ago, I was aware that the garment was asking for Singaporean to locate and exhumed the graves that are affected by the new road. After the deadline, all the unclaimed graves will also be exhumed and eventually scattered into the sea. There is an estimated 10,0000 graves here. Of the 10,000 affected, many are still unclaimed. Beside the construction of a new road, the site will also make way for a prestige housing development that can cater for 15,000 homes for around 50,000 residents (as mention in Tan Chuan-Jin FB). So do you fancy living in a ex-cemetery?
In a land scare country, it will always be a constant struggle to free up land to accommodate more housing and to built more roads. There are more than enough documentation about BBC online. So I will not bored you with the facts here.
- National Archives on the Signages
- Info of BBC at NL
- Rojak Librarian
A small road (Sime Road) leads to the cemetery from Lornie Road. A few containers and construction vehicles lined the entrance. At the roundabout, a few bus drivers are taking a well-deserved break. Time seems to have stopped here, I felt as if I am transported back in time.
I cycled down the path, passed the gigantic rainforest tree. The tombs slowly appeared across the horizon. Further down the road, I realized I was all alone. I cycled to a segment where the Tombs are tagged. The marked graves span from my right and all the way up a small knoll over my left. This should be the stretch where the new road cut across the cemetery.
This place is huge. I circle around block three. The tombs are in different style/design. I reckon they could be from different period or simply the families are offered a varieties of design based on their budget. Further down the path I spotted the 2 famous guards. It is a real bonus for me as I have no idea where they are located. The guards are a huge contrast to the surrounding. In a cemetery that is closed in 1973, they look as if they are erected only the day before. You can almost smell the fresh paint. Surprisingly, the tombs at this sector are pretty well maintained.
It started to drizzle, a sign that I should leave. I will be back and more prepared for the next trip.
More Photo can be found here.