[JUNE 30]

Call for revamp of Singapore National Museum

A descendant of Sir Stamford Raffles said this week in 1965 that the Singapore National Museum, formerly known as Raffles Museum, needed to be spruced up.

Three years after moving to Singapore, Mrs Rosemary E. Marx, a fifth-generation descendant of Raffles, called for an association to be set up to improve the museum.

"The museum is really in bad shape," the 27-year-old was quoted as saying in The Straits Times.

Tourists would want to see things that were colourful, but these were lacking in the museum, she said.

She also suggested air-conditioning, noting that some of the exhibits showed "distinct signs of deterioration" because of the humidity.

Her comments came a day after Mr Woon Wah Siang, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, defended the museum against similar criticism from a Straits Times reader who also thought that museums elsewhere in Malaysia were better.

Mr Woon said plans to modernise the public galleries of the museum had been drawn up and work would start soon.

As for the view that other museums in Malaysia were better, he said the exhibits on display were only a fraction of the museum's collection.

Its collection available to researchers "makes the museum second to none in Malaysia", he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 28, 2015, with the headline 'Call for revamp of Singapore National Museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe