Let's give Farquhar some credit

As part of the bicentennial celebrations this year, it would be apt to give credit where it is due by naming a major road after Farquhar.
As part of the bicentennial celebrations this year, it would be apt to give credit where it is due by naming a major road after Farquhar. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Earlier this year, Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh, who co-edited the book 200 Years Of Singapore And The United Kingdom, said that the person who did the most for the success of Singapore in the crucial first four years of the arrival of the British was not Sir Stamford Raffles but, rather, Major-General William Farquhar (Farquhar, not Raffles, the real hero of early modern S'pore: Book, Jan 30).

Yet, while there are several buildings and streets named after Raffles in Singapore, there are none named after Farquhar, who laid the foundations for the modern city that we have today.

Even a little road called Farquhar Street was expunged due to site development works.

As part of the bicentennial celebrations this year, it would be apt to give credit where it is due by naming a major road after Farquhar.

In addition, as he created the circumstances that allowed our port - now one of the world's busiest - to thrive, according to the book, perhaps the former Tanjong Pagar container terminal area, which is slated to be converted into a residential and commercial centre, could be named after him.

Alternatively, the authorities could consider adding "Port Farquhar" to the name of the current container terminal at Pasir Panjang or the proposed mega port at Tuas.

Edwin Pang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'Let's give Farquhar some credit'. Print Edition | Subscribe