I am concerned that the proposed grave exhumation at Singapore's oldest Muslim cemetery, Jalan Kubor, will affect the heritage value and historical significance that these graves have (Singapore's oldest Muslim cemetery may shrink; Feb 24).
It is the historical narrative of Jalan Kubor that gives the area its unique identity.
Those buried there include pioneers who were integral in contributing to the growth of Singapore in the early years.
The National Heritage Board needs to engage in dialogue with the various stakeholders, such as the mosque within the area, to ensure that the graves and the surrounding areas are preserved.
If necessary, the area should be included in the Kampong Glam conservation gazette.
Alternative site expansion plans, including exploring the surrounding areas of the mosque, need to be taken into account. It is important that such historical sites are preserved and gazetted so that the younger generation will be able to appreciate these places, which hold such a strong cultural significance.
More research needs to be conducted on these graves and the surrounding areas of Jalan Kubor to highlight the importance of conservation, as these places of historical interest can never be replaced.
Public awareness of such lesser-known areas should also be beefed up so that current and future generations of Singaporeans will learn to appreciate the sacrifices their forefathers made to develop the country.
Darren Chan Keng Leong