Spaces of the Living: A Discussion on Bukit Brown

A Public Forum Presented by the Singapore Heritage Society and the NUS Southeast Asian Studies Society with support from the Asian Civilisations Museum

Date and Time: 19 November 2011, 5.00 – 7.30 pm
Venue: Ngee Ann Auditorium, Basement, Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place Singapore 179555

Chew Boon Lay, Gan Eng Seng, Cheang Hong Lim, and Teh Ho Swee – these are names of our roads and MRT stations. They invest these places – and our everyday life – with a deep historical meaning.

Our sense of who we are is continually tested by the tension between heritage and development. On 13 September, the Land Transport Authority announced that part of Bukit Brown Cemetery will be redeveloped to ease traffic congestion. This will affect 5,000 graves, both of well‐known pioneers mentioned above and unsung immigrants who began the task of building Singapore in the 19th century.

Bukit Brown highlights the genuine value of our shared history and its relevance to our future. The resting places of the dead underline our ties as members of a living community.

We invite concerned members of the public to a discussion of the past, present and future of Bukit Brown. A panel of experts will speak on the rich cultural heritage of Bukit Brown and the need to conserve it.


4.40 – 5.00 pm Registration
5.00 – 6.15 pm Discussion by Speakers:

  • Mr Raymond Goh, co‐founder of Asia Paranormal Investigators and heritage guide
  • Dr Irving Chan Johnson, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS), who launched an online petition for the conservation of Bukit Brown
  • Dr Hui Yew-Foong, Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, who led the documentation of Kwong Hou Sua Teochew Cemetery
  • Dr Ho Hua Chew, Exco member of Nature Society (Singapore), who has been at the forefront of conservation projects like Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the Green Corridor
  • Mr Chew Kheng Chuan, great‐grandson of Chew Boon Lay and co‐author of Chew Boon Lay: A Family Traces its History
  • Dr Lai Chee Kien (Chair), Department of Architecture, NUS

6.15 – 6.25 pm Round up by Chair
6.25 – 7.30 pm Q&A and Discussion

Please register your attendance at