The Bukit Brown Cemetery Documentation Project

\ About the project

 

In September 2011, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that it would be constructing a new dual four-lane road in Bukit Brown Cemetery. This was so as "(t)o alleviate the congestion currently experienced along Lornie Road and the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) during peak hours and to cater to expected growth in future traffic demand." 


It was estimated that the construction of this road would affect about 5% of the 100,000 graves in Bukit Brown. In order to ensure a meaningful capture of the history and heritage of the graves affected by this new road, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) partnered key stakeholders in the community to establish a framework for the documentation process. 


A Working Committee led by Dr Hui Yew-Foong, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, had been working since 2011 to carry out this documentation work. Besides Dr Hui, the Working Committee consisted of:

 

Dr Feng Chen-Chieh (National University of Singapore)
Dr Owen Noel Newton Fernando (Nanyang Technological University)
Dr Gan Su-lin (Republic Polytechnic)
Dr Lai Chee Kien (National University of Singapore)
Dr Liew Kai Khiun (Nanyang Technological University)
Dr Loh Kah Seng (Kyoto University)
Mr Mok Ly Yng (Independent Researcher)

Mr Ng Ching Huei (Singapore Heritage Society)

Dr Natalie Pang (Nanyang Technological University)

 

The documentation project at Bukit Brown Cemetery has adopted a holistic approach, treating the cemetery as an organic socio-cultural space. This entails not just the documentation of graves, but also the documentation of the social history, memories and rituals associated with the cemetery, as well as the exhumation process. At the same time, the Working Committee seeks to disseminate findings from the documentation project and educate the public on the heritage value of Bukit Brown Cemetery. This website serves as a platform for achieving these purposes.