SINGAPORE: A new heritage trail was launched on Sunday in one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, Tiong Bahru.
Tiong Bahru residents and students from Henderson Secondary School will be taking on the role of volunteer guides for the trail.
Volunteer guide Kong Seng Wah, who has been living in Tiong Bahru for 30 years, said: "When I see so many people come to Tiong Bahru, I feel very proud."
One of the highlights of the trail is the bird corner, which has been around for more than 50 years.
A bird singing competition was organized on Sunday by Link Hotel at Tiong Bahru to bring the buzz back to the area.
Yacob H J Sayuti, who lived in Tiong Bahru for 20 years, commented: "It's good for the old generation and the young generation because you mix around with all the members, gathering and exchanging our stories."
Indranee Rajah, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, launched the trail. She was asked if Tiong Bahru estate could possibly become a UNESCO World Heritage site.
She responded: "I don't know at the current time, whether Tiong Bahru actually meets that criteria and I think further research has to be done. But if it does meet the criteria, I think it would be a wonderful nomination, simply because as I mentioned earlier, the unique character of the place is something that makes it special, not just to the residents here but to Singapore as well."
With regard to her plans for the rest of the Tanjong Pagar constituency, Ms Rajah said most of the effort so far has been spent on Tiong Bahru.
Now that plans for Tiong Bahru have been tied up, Ms Rajah added they can start looking at other areas. There are no specific plans yet.
Ms Indranee said she has already asked the National Heritage Board and National Library to work with grassroots to incorporate heritage elements in the soon-to-be-upgraded Tanjong Pagar market and hawker centre.
The guided trail kicks off in May. It will be conducted on the first Saturday of the month at 10am and 3pm.
Tours of the air raid shelter will be conducted once every two months from June onwards, at 12 noon and 2pm.
The guided tours will cost visitors S$2. Proceeds will go towards the Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru Community Development Welfare Fund.