As we mark the Singapore Bicentennial and celebrate our multiculturalism, cultural markers need to be incorporated in everyday life for people to celebrate it and keep it alive for future generations.
Unfortunately, in the midst of the celebrations, we seem to be losing these cultural markers.
I recently found that the bus stop in front of the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road has been renamed as the nondescript "Aft Farrer Pk Stn Exit G". Previously, this bus stop used to be named "Sri Srinivasa Perumal Tp". This made it easier for regular commuters and tourists to refer to the stop to others.
The temple complex has important cultural significance currently and historically. It is the place from where the Thaipusam procession starts and is a buzz of activity on any day.
The Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple bus stop is not the only place to suffer this fate. The bus stop named "City Hall Stn Exit B" was previously named "St Andrews Cath", another national monument that has existed since 1836.
If we choose to replace the reference to national monuments in everyday usage and replace them with the names of MRT station exits, we are doing our own heritage a disservice.
The MRT station exit can be added to the name, rather than completely replace it. I hope that the Land Transport Authority will reconsider its decision to rename the bus stop, and restore the earlier names of these bus stops and others that have been similarly replaced.
Narayanan Anand Chandrasekar