Many Singaporeans remain unfazed by Bidadari’s history as the country's largest cemetery, media reports said. Plans are underway to convert the 18ha cemetery into a HDB town and private estates.
“I'm not bothered by its cemetery history...I'm aware that other housing areas like Bishan were also cemeteries,” said 30-year old Gan Ying Kiat, who plans to move to Bidadari with his wife.
He noted that they are more interested in the area’s “proximity to the city and its potential for capital appreciation”.
Facebook user Joey Neo is also not worried. “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than a non-cemetery estate...Almost everywhere in Singapore had graves you may not know about which have already been replaced by new estates.”
However, many younger Singaporeans are unaware of what the area used to be.
Out of 20 people aged between 20 and 30, only 50 percent knew that Bidadari was a former cemetery, it was reported.
When asked what Bidadari used to be, 22-year-old Melissa Lim offered a typical answer from her age group: “Nope. Oh dear, I think my local geography is really bad.”
As to whether the estate’s name should be changed, the majority who knew of Bidadari’s history want the name retained and honoured.
In a Facebook post, property agent Irene Gilene Goh said: “It's our history, our heritage...Locals will still know it's Bidadari, even if the name is changed.”
Meanwhile, the two privately-run funeral parlours at Mount Vernon which is within the vicinity “will be cleared to make way” for the Bidadari estate, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) and HDB.
However, a new and modern Mount Vernon Funeral Parlour will replace the current ones.
Image: Artist's impression of Bidadari Estate (Source: HDB)
Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email email@example.com