- POSTED: 17 Dec 2013 21:23
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After several delays, the public exhumation of the first batch of graves in Bukit Brown Cemetery began on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE: After several delays, the public exhumation of the first batch of graves in Bukit Brown Cemetery began on Tuesday.
In all, the Land Transport Authority will be exhuming 3,400 graves in coming months. So far, 304 graves have been privately exhumed by family members.
Family members paid their respects for the last time before the graves were exhumed at noon.
A documentation team recorded the entire exhumation process and family members will be able to keep burial items or have the National Heritage Board (NHB) "assess and handle" them.
Due to the number of burial items, the NHB is unable to guarantee that it will be able to preserve all of them.
Only family members, gravediggers and Land Transport Authority officers were allowed access to the cordoned off areas affected by the exhumation.
Going forward, some 90,000 tombstones will remain, and activists say they hope to work on preserving the rest of the cemetery in the long run.
"We are trying to raise awareness -- we're doing research and trying to bring out more salient points that may not be taught in history books and textbooks,” said Claire Leow, co-founder of All Things Bukit Brown.
“There are people who have been very enthusiastic -- they've come up to us, they want to write letters, petitions. They have themselves given lectures and led their own tours here."