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No Rest for the Dead: Singapore Digs Up Graves for Highways

When Singapore's government said it would exhume about 4,000 graves in the defunct Bukit Brown cemetery for an eight-lane highway, an unusually vocal campaign grew quickly to save one of the last remaining artifacts of the past in the modern city. The cemetery, a rare patch of jungle surrounded by manicured gardens and high rises, has about 100,000 graves, including hundreds of early Chinese immigrants. It is also considered an important relic of the Japanese occupation and World War II. Although the cemetery closed for burials nearly 50 years ago, descendants still visit their ancestors' graves. But that ritual will soon end, as Bukit Brown is scheduled to be cleared for housing by 2030. "This is a living museum," said Darren Koh, a volunteer with advocacy group All Things Bukit Brown, which has offered guided walks in the cemetery since 2011, when the exhumations were announced. "We lost a lot of history and heritage in the other cemeteries that were cleared, so we were galvanized into action to save Bukit Brown," he said, fighting to be heard above the roar of traffic and construction on the new highway. With some 5.6 million people in an area three-fifths the size of New York City - and with the population estimated to grow to 6.9 million by 2030 - Singapore is running out of space.  The island nation has long reclaimed land from the sea, and plans to move more of its transport, utilities and storage underground to free up space for housing, offices and greenery. It has also cleared dozens of cemeteries for homes and highways. "Planning for long-term land use in land-scarce Singapore often requires us to make difficult decisions," the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement. Bukit Brown has been... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, No Rest for the Dead: Singapore Digs Up Graves for Highways, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you No Rest for the Dead: Singapore Digs Up Graves for Highways

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Thursday, 10 January

 

 

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