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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bukit Brown Cemetery 1

Have been reading a lot in the papers about Bukit Brown Cemetery and its impending 'destruction' to make way for a road and private development. I guess even the dead cannot be left in peace in small little Singapore. Anyway, with the running curtailed for the time being, managed to find some time to go down (twice in fact) to see the place for myself.

First thing that we saw and which is one of the most recognised landmark of the place is the main gate. The gate is now permanently open. Look neglected and it evoked memories of those cemeteries in the Western movies. Luckily we were there in broad daylight. 

The Cemetery Gate. A little bit of effects to make it look its age
Once inside, I was surprised at the vastness of the place. Other than the many graves that dotted the whole left, on the left side of the road was a sprawling piece of forest. To many developers, this would definitely be prime real estate. No wonder the government is so eager to redevelop the place. After all, the  cemetery by itself is a unproductive place. Not only does it not generate income, the government has to incur cost to maintain the place, although from the look of the vegetation growing wild, they have obviously not been doing much! I can't imagine how much the gahmen will make if they slice up the place and sell it bit by bit to developers to build 'angmoh chue' instead of the current 'kwee chue'.
Just one view of the green

The graves of many pioneers of Singapore are located here. Among them are Lim Nee Soon, Gan Eng Seng, Ong  Some of them seems to be in very good condition but some were so run down or overgrown that it cannot be spotted.

A neglected grave
An extremely well maintained grave
 One unique feature of the bigger Chinese graves are that there are usually some sort of figures "guarding"the graves or "serving" the dead. Like the following:
A maid
A Celestial Lion or is it monkey?
And probably unique to these region, a Sikh guard.
Outside the Cemetery gate, there was this bare tree and there were many birds on it. Again, it reminds me of a scene from one of those horror movies.

I think a lot of people will be thinking - what's the big fuss? It's just a cemetery. So what if it is gone? But having gone there and seen the place, I think it will be a shame to lose such an important place with its rich history. Erecting a plaque or monument in another place is not going to be the same. But sadly, our ever pragmatic gahmen will definitely go ahead with its plan. After all, dead people cannot write complain letter or create Facebook pages to protest. Or can they?

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  1. Yo Koh...spooky anot?

  2. Hey....when I choose google account, it went blank, I chose anonymous and tada.... :D

  3. Not spooky at all. In fact very serene and peaceful. At least in the day