Your Letters

Keep historical sites to honour pioneers

The Jalan Kubor graveyard is where a number of the earliest Malay royalty as well as philanthropists and pioneers are buried (Singapore's oldest Muslim cemetery may shrink; Feb 24).

Instead of exhumation, it would be better for the authorities to review the graveyard's historical value and preserve it to acknowledge the efforts of pioneers who built schools, institutions or hospitals for the benefit of the following generations.

The Aljunied family, for instance, contributed significantly to building schools, especially the Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah, the second-oldest Islamic school in Singapore.

The family members also gave back to society after being successful in their endeavours as traders and in various industries.

Singapore was not built in one era, but over hundreds of years.

The wayfarers who faced untold challenges and risks, overcame huge obstacles to settle in Singapore, and struggled for survival amid the dangers surrounding them were the first pioneers. They put a lot of effort into cultivating the swampland and developing the island.

With all the prosperity and progress achieved, we must not forget the sacrifices made by those who have contributed to this nation.

We should keep sites that have an association with these unsung heroes as historical monuments and to ingrain such historic people and moments into the minds of our young people.

With all the prosperity and progress achieved, we must not forget the sacrifices made by those who have contributed to this nation. We have only limited historical monuments as our heritage. Therefore, it is wise to preserve and conserve those sites that serve as testimony to our humble beginnings as a lesson for future generations.

Syed Alwi Altahir

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 18, 2018, with the headline 'Keep historical sites to honour pioneers'. Print Edition | Subscribe