From ‘盛港组屋景观设计看上去像坟墓 入夜后居民觉得阴森’, 11 June 2011, article in omy.sg (SM Daily)
Translation: Residents in Anchorvale and Ang Mo Kio are getting spooked by structures in their estates resembling tombs and gravestones, hence inauspicious and portending bad luck.
These are probably the same folk who would lie in coffins to erase their bad karma, or see a sinking Titanic in a building where there is none. Anyone terrorised by the right stimulus, be it a scene from a horror movie or a ghost story, would find even a children’s playground scary. In fact, the one below my flat, which comes with a built in xylophone of sorts, sometimes emits tinkling noises in the middle of the night. Whether it’s an old tree, a creaky school gate or a flickering lamp post, anything can be a work of the devil if we try hard enough to impart a story to it, just that most of us ignore that urge simply because we’re better off occupying our minds with more productive tasks.
It’s ironic that some of us are so terrified of the thought of having a cemetery in our midst, forgetting that we keep memories and symbols of our dead loved ones closer than we think, be it a photograph or an article of clothing. Most HDB dwellers also have to deal with coffins under their very noses during void deck funerals, and yet we make a fuss over such structures, which to normal perception are nothing like tombs by the wildest stretch of the imagination. It’s also curious how some of us want to whitewash and ‘exhume’ these pseudo-tombs if we see them everyday on the way to work or school, and yet feel uncomfortable, or even saddened by the URA’s decision to build houses over the underwhelming landmark that is Bukit Brown cemetery. I suppose bulldozing off a part of our cultural tapestry is expected, for we have lost our character the moment the casinos came to town, and when we hear the news that Singapore is likely to take over Las Vegas as the second hottest gambling spot in the world, all hope of salvation is lost forever. The community pride in Bukit Brown was evident in the 1940′s, when faithful visitors would protest against the unkempt growth of lallang in the area (See below, 10 Oct 1946). No doubt being decimated by the defiant curmudgeonly fist of progress is nothing short of tragic, but in light of the reverence and significance of the place to our forefathers and their fathers, this move by the government, who seemed to have exchanged their reading glasses for 3-D specs, is myopic to the point of sheer disappointment.