Bukit Brown replete with history, culture

If Mr Heng Cho Choon had spent time in Bukit Brown beyond a cursory glance, he would know that it is replete with history and culture ("Bukit Brown not worthy of World Heritage status"; last Saturday).

This can be summarised in three important points.

One, the tombstones are not, as Mr Heng states, all broken.

Many are well-preserved examples of Chinese grave architecture, exemplifying the best of Chinese stonemasonry, using specially imported stone to accomplish.

Two, as Mr Edwin Pang pointed out last Wednesday ("Bukit Brown deserves World Heritage status, too"), many of Singapore's pioneers are buried in Bukit Brown, including Cheang Hong Lim, Lim Nee Soon, Lim Chong Pang and Chew Boon Lay.

Three, Bukit Brown achieved World Monuments Fund Watch List status last year, a testament to its significance as part of a global heritage.

I have spent three years documenting Bukit Brown in both a personal and professional capacity, and during this time, have developed a deep appreciation for the cemetery - it is a connection to the past, a reminder of the sacrifices made by our ancestors.

If we dismiss every place in Singapore because of a lack of space or in the name of becoming a First World country, we risk forgetting where we began.

If there is any other place in Singapore worth considering as a Unesco World Heritage Site, it is Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Terence Heng (Dr)