New book on Singapore's national monuments launched by President Halimah Yacob

(From left) The Straits Times (ST) heritage and community correspondent Melody Zaccheus, President Halimah Yacob, ST executive designer Sally Lam, who designed the book, ST Press general manager Susan Long and SPH English/Malay/Tamil Media editor-in-
(From left) The Straits Times (ST) heritage and community correspondent Melody Zaccheus, President Halimah Yacob, ST executive designer Sally Lam, who designed the book, ST Press general manager Susan Long and SPH English/Malay/Tamil Media editor-in-chief Warren Fernandez.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Singapore's Heritage Icons is a new publication by The Straits Times Press which features stories and photos about more than 70 national monuments and the communities behind them.
Singapore's Heritage Icons is a new publication by The Straits Times Press which features stories and photos about more than 70 national monuments and the communities behind them.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Offering a glimpse into the history and heritage of Singapore - from places of worship to schools, museums and commercial buildings - a book dedicated to Singapore's national monuments was launched at the Istana on Thursday (July 19).

The 288-page publication, Monumental Treasures: Singapore's Heritage Icons, features stories and photos about 72 national monuments and the communities behind them,

It was officially launched by President Halimah Yacob, who said: "National monuments are important to us because they are a treasure trove of history. They tell us about our past and connect us to our present and future."

She added that next year will be the 150th anniversary of the Istana, and it being a place that reflects and commemorates much of Singapore history, Madam Halimah hopes Singaporeans will get involved in the events and activities planned for the milestone year.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media Group at Singapore Press Holdings and chairman of The Straits Times Press, which published the book, said: "This book is something I have dreamt about and wanted to do for quite some time.

"We needed to do more to tell our readers and Singaporeans in general a little bit of the history of the buildings to get to the stories of how and why the buildings came to be built. What is the purpose behind them and how people lived, played, worked and worshipped in these buildings.

"I always felt that knowing and understanding our history is incredibly important.

"The team has put in a monumental effort and (they) have come up with a treasure."

Monumental Treasures, which is supported by National Heritage Board, contains stories written by 34 Straits Times reporters.


(From right) President Halimah Yacob taking a look at the book with editor-in-chief of the English/ Malay/ Tamil Media Group at SPH Warren Fernandez, National Heritage Board chief executive Chang Hwee Nee, Straits Times heritage and community correspondent Melody Zaccheus and ST Press general manager Susan Long. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Edited by ST heritage and community correspondent Melody Zaccheus and designed by executive multimedia designer Sally Lam, the book features sites dating back almost 200 years, including the Istana, National Museum of Singapore and Changi Prison's gates, walls and turrets.

Ms Zaccheus said: “The visually arresting publication is the perfect gift for a visiting guest, and a must-have for every Singaporean household. The hope is for readers to embark on their own monumental journey and to help Singaporeans uncover their own love for the country's streets and monuments and to share these stories that make us who we are."  

The book will be available at all leading bookstores for $42.70 (inclusive of GST).


Correction note: This story has been edited for clarity