S'poreans unfazed by Bidadari's past

S'poreans unfazed by Bidadari's past

SINGAPORE - Would you be comfortable living on top of someone's final resting place?

Once the largest grave site in Singapore, the 18ha Bidadari Cemetery is making way for a new Housing Board town and private estates.

However, many young Singaporeans are not aware of its history.

From a group of around 20 people in their 20s and 30s that The Sunday Times spoke to, only half knew it was a burial ground.

Asked if she knew what Bidadari used to be, 22-year-old Melissa Lim gave a typical response for her age group: "Nope. Oh dear, I think my local geography is really bad."

The Sunday Times also quizzed the online community on what they thought of the new developments and if the estate's name should be changed.

Of those who did know its past, most felt its name should be retained and honoured.

"It's our history, our heritage," 37-year-old property agent Irene Gilene Goh wrote on Facebook. "Locals will still know it's Bidadari, even if the name is changed.

Another Facebook user, Mr Joey Neo, posted: "I have been living in this neighbourhood for 30 years. It's more peaceful than a non-cemetery estate.

"Almost everywhere in Singapore had graves you may not know about which have already been replaced by new estates."

Mr Gan Ying Kiat, 30, was looking to move to the Bidadari area with his wife. "I'm not bothered by its cemetery history," he said. "I'm aware that other housing areas like Bishan were also cemeteries.

"We were keen on the proximity to the city and its potential for capital appreciation."

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