What Do People Say?

These are personal thoughts about Bukit Brown that people have sent to us:

“My grandfather’s tomb is in Bukit Brown. For the past 60 years (35 years at least for me), my family has been making annual hiking trips to Bukit Brown to pay our respects. I call them hiking trips because in the early days we had to cut through roads and trudge through muddy paths to get to the tomb which is a distance from the main road. As children, we were tasked to look for small stones to use as ‘paper weights’ for the colourful papers to lay on the tomb itself. We wandered around other neighbouring tomb-stones and paid our respects too.

“These trips were a part of our growing up and most importantly our heritage. Multi-generation families come in cars, vans, lorries or even trunks with bags of offerings. We get to listen to our parents talk about their growing up days and we were always in awe of the huge ancestral graves surrounded by life-sized Sikh guard statues.

“Most of the buildings and landmarks from our early days or even in the past 30 years have gone. What do Singaporeans still have to pass on to their descendants? Another expressway? Or another pre-war building being refurbished as another 5* hotel? We are worried about falling birth-rates, but what’s the point of increasing population when you have nothing to leave behind for your descendants? No heritage, no social memory, no history, and only modernization and pollution. That is a grim thought.” – Janice Cheong

“Let’s all save Bukit Brown. There’ll be no end to the building of highways as long as people want to pay for the convenience of having their own cars. Destroying a heritage area will only mask the need for long-term, creative and effective solutions to the traffic problems.” – Shirley Tham

“…saving our almost last piece of green haven with its rich historical values. Not forgetting that it is not just a final resting place for our forefathers but also home to many fauna and flora.” – Alex Lim

“I love cemeteries. If I were religious I would say they are where souls rest, but I am atheist so I will say they are where we return to the earth. I would like to think that my atoms and particles be reunited with soil and dirt than a block of tar!” – Emerald Loh

“My two cents: while I don’t really fancy cemeteries because of all the bugs and ghosts that they come with, I appreciate that Bukit Brown is a historically rich area and that it shouldn’t become yet another road or Giordano outlet. Further, I do not want to drive through there and encounter a pissed-off Pontianak at night. All the best!” – Deryne Sim

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2 thoughts on “What Do People Say?

  1. I think it is very selfish of those who want to save Bukit Brown. I do not understand why dead people has the privilege to occupy a big piece of land. Whatever sentimental reason we have, the development of this country should come first. Highways, not cemeteries, bring benefits to Singaporeans.

    • Bukit Brown is not only a cemetery. It is a secondary forest, a carbon sink, historically significant site, war dead which are not found out about yet, helps stop flooding, habitat to biodiversity – birds and mamals…

      Hence, protecting a special place like Bukit Brown is not selfish – it is a moral obligation to protect this land for future generations to enjoy. This will benefit Singaporeans.

      Highways benefit those who drive most. The plans for a highway through Bukit Brown show no logic, especially when experts like architects and engineers have proposed more creative solutions. IF this is the case, why is so urgent to bulldoze through bukit brown?

      Hope this is clear to you Javen. There is no logic and unpragmatic to bulldoze Bukit Brown!

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