Give Farquhar the recognition he deserves

Yet not a street, building, bridge or even tiny garden can be found in Singapore that honours Farquhar's (left) work, while peers that arguably contributed much less, including Raffles, have been recognised better by having places in the city named a
Yet not a street, building, bridge or even tiny garden can be found in Singapore that honours Farquhar's (left) work, while peers that arguably contributed much less, including Raffles, have been recognised better by having places in the city named after them.PHOTOS: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE

As a child that grew up in the 80s, I was taught a version of history in which the founding of modern Singapore was largely the accomplishment of Sir Stamford Raffles, with William Farquhar merely a passing mention in the history textbook.

Over time, it became clear to me that Raffles' role in Singapore had been overplayed at the expense of Farquhar. Dr Nadia Wright's article (Farquhar and Raffles: The untold story, March 24) confirmed my belief that Farquhar had contributed immensely to the early development of the city.

Yet not a street, building, bridge or even tiny garden can be found in Singapore that honours Farquhar's work, while peers that arguably contributed much less, including Raffles, have been recognised better by having places in the city named after them.

We should take the opportunity presented by the bicentennial to give Farquhar the recognition that he deserves, lest he be forgotten for another century. Surely it is not too much to ask for a Farquhar Road or Farquhar MRT station?

Harry Goh Sing Wah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2019, with the headline 'Give Farquhar the recognition he deserves'. Print Edition | Subscribe