Research database: Pearl Bank, Golden Mile Complex, People’s Park Complex

September 8th, 2018

Singapore Heritage Society has collated a list of English and Chinese language newspaper references to Pearl Bank, Golden Mile Complex, People’s Park Complex. The database can be viewed here.

This is part of the research work for SHS’s position paper, “Too Young To Die: Giving New Lease of Life to Singapore’s Modernist Icons” (Aug 2018) and the accompanying exhibit of the same name, held at The Substation from 21 Aug – 23 Sep 2018.

Too Young to Die: Position Paper on Modernist Icons

August 21st, 2018

SHS has released our Position Paper on the 3 Modernist Icons of Singapore: Pearl Bank Apartments, People’s Park Complex, and Golden Mile Complex. Download the paper here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Research: Cultural Heritage of Singapore’s Over-100-Years-Old Kinship-Based Clan Associations

November 13th, 2021

In 2019, the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) invited the Singapore Heritage Society (SHS) to run a joint call for their Chinese Arts and Culture Research Grant, open exclusively to members of SHS. The grant was awarded to Lynn Wong Yuqing and Dr Lin Chia Tsun for the project, “Cultural heritage of Singapore’s over-100-years-old kinship-based clan associations”and the project was completed in March 2021.

Download the key findings report here.

The researchers presented their findings in two talks at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre on 13 and 14 Nov 2021. The talks can be viewed online at SCCC’s Facebook Page.

Call for Interns (Jan-Jun 2022)

March 16th, 2021

Applications for the Singapore Heritage Society Internship (Jan-Jun 2022) now open until Mon, 6 Dec 2021, 2359h. Read the rest of this entry »

Proposed Gazetting of Golden Mile Complex for Conservation

November 16th, 2020

Mr Lim Eng Hwee
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Redevelopment Authority 45 Maxwell Road
The URA Centre

Dear Mr Lim,


The Singapore Heritage Society (SHS) would like to extend warm congratulations to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on the landmark proposal to conserve the Golden Mile Complex.

We are heartened to see that our advocacy over the years about the importance of conserving Singapore’s modernist architectural icons has been noted. As you know, in August 2018 the SHS issued a position paper entitled Too Young to Die: Giving New Lease of Life to Singapore’s Modernist Icons calling for the conservation of, among others, the Golden Mile Complex.

While we lament the loss of key architectural heritage sites such as the recently demolished Pearl Bank Apartments, and other beloved foci of Singapore’s cultural and social memories such as the National Theatre and the former National Library building, we are pleased that the desirability of conserving modernist architecture in Singapore is now better recognized.

The work of the SHS is guided by a conception of heritage as the living presence of the past. Emblematic of the pioneer spirit and grit of the early years of Singapore’s post-independence period, the GoldenMile Complex is very much part of this living presence which we cherish. We recognize that the Golden Mile Complex is a building with unique architectural and historical value, which is rich with a sense of place and community.

The SHS strongly believes that it is by conserving our heritage that we can strengthen our society. As such, we would like to commend and support the URA’s decision to listen to and work with the community, and to put forward an innovative and practical conservation proposal that seeks to balance the architectural integrity and commercial viability of the site.

We sincerely hope that the gazetting of the site, if successful, will set a precedent for safeguarding other works of modernist architecture in Singapore’s landscape that give our nation its character, and help the community to feel a sense of belonging and groundedness. Let us together give a future to our past.

Yours sincerely,
Singapore Heritage Society

cc Mr Desmond Lee
Minister for National Development

(PDF Copy)

Call for Interns (Jan – July 2020)

November 30th, 2019

Applications for the Singapore Heritage Society Internship (Jan-Jul 2020) now open until Sun, 15 Dec. Read the rest of this entry »

Personal Data Protection Notice

August 19th, 2019

Last updated on 20 August 2019

Download a PDF version of this notice.

If you have provided us with your personal data when filling in a membership application or renewal form, making a donation to us, registering for events organized by us, or for other reasons, this notice sets out the basis on which we collect, use, disclose or otherwise process such data.

1. Personal Data

Depending on the nature of your interaction with us, some examples of personal data which we may collect from you include your name and identification information such as your NRIC number and nationality; contact information such as your street address, e-mail address and telephone number; and financial information such as credit or debit card numbers or bank account information.

2. Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Data

2.1 We may collect and use your personal data for any or all of the following purposes:

  • Verifying your identity.
  • Processing applications and responding to queries and requests from you.
  • Processing payment transactions and tax deductions.
  • Managing your relationship with us, including sending you information about our activities, events and projects; and making arrangements with third parties based outside Singapore when you join overseas trips organized by us.
  • Storing your personal data on online file-hosting services, and producing documents incorporating your personal data with online software, run on computers based outside Singapore.
  • Complying with any applicable laws (including the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (No 26 of 2012)), codes of practice or guidelines, or to assist in law enforcement and investigations conducted by any governmental or regulatory authority.
  • Any other purposes for which you have provided the information.
  • Transmitting to any third parties, and relevant governmental or regulatory authorities, whether in Singapore or abroad, for the abovementioned purposes.

2.2 We may disclose your personal data:

  • where such disclosure is required for managing your relationship with us; or
  • to third-party service providers, agents or other organizations we deal with to perform any of the functions listed in clause 2.1 for us.

2.3 The purposes listed in the above clauses may continue to apply even in situations where your relationship with us has been terminated or altered in any way, for a reasonable period afterwards.

3. Withdrawing Your Consent

3.1 You may withdraw consent and ask us to stop using and/or disclosing your personal data for any or all of the purposes listed above by submitting a written request by post or e-mail to our data protection officer at the contact details provided in clause 7.

3.2 While we respect your decision to withdraw your consent, please note that depending on the nature and scope of your request, we may not be in a position to continue our relationship with you. In such circumstances, we will notify you before completing the processing of your request.

3.3 We will endeavour to process your request and to notify you of the consequences of the withdrawal of your consent within 14 days of receiving your request.

3.4 Should you decide to cancel your withdrawal of consent, please notify us in writing in the manner described in clause 3.1.

3.5 Please note that withdrawing consent does not affect our right to continue to collect, use and disclose personal data where such collection, use and disclosure without consent is permitted or required under applicable laws.

4. Correction of and Access to Personal Data

4.1 We generally rely on personal data provided by you. To ensure that your personal data are accurate, complete and current, please update us if there are any changes to your personal data by informing our data protection officer by post or e-mail at the contact details provided in clause 7.

4.2 If you wish to request for access to a copy of the personal data which we hold about you or information about the ways in which we use or disclose your personal data, please submit a written request by post or e-mail to our data protection officer at the contact details provided below. A reasonable fee may be charged for an access request. We will inform you of the fee before processing your request.

4.3 We will respond to your request as soon as reasonably possible. If we are unable to respond to your request within 30 days after receiving your request, or are unable to make a requested correction or to provide you with any personal data, we will inform you (except when we are not required to do so under applicable laws).

5. Retention of Personal Data

5.1 We may retain your personal data for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected, or as required or permitted by applicable laws.

5.2 We will cease to retain your personal data, or remove the means by which the data can be associated with you, as soon as it is reasonable to assume that such retention no longer serves the purpose for which the personal data was collected, and it is no longer necessary for legal or business purposes.

6. Transfers of Personal Data outside of Singapore

We generally do not transfer your personal data to countries outside of Singapore except in the situations described in clause 2.1. If we need to do so in other situations, we will obtain your consent for the transfer to be made and we will take steps to ensure that your personal data continues to receive a standard of protection that is at least comparable to that provided under applicable laws.

7. Data Protection Officer

Our data protection officer is the Honorary Secretary of the Singapore Heritage Society. You may contact our data protection officer if you have any enquiries or feedback on our personal data protection policies and procedures, or if you wish to make any request, in the following manner:

By post -

The Honorary Secretary
Singapore Heritage Society
c/o 50 East Coast Road
#02-73 Roxy Square
Singapore 428769

By e-mail -

Policy Analysis Exercise: “Conserving our modern built heritage amidst collective sale fever: Addressing gaps in the collective sales process” (2019)

May 23rd, 2019

Singapore Heritage Society was the client organisation for this Policy Analysis Exercise by Masters in Public Policy students from the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). The report was completed in March 2019 and can be downloaded in full here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Singapore Heritage Society.

“Conserving our modern built heritage amidst collective sale fever: Addressing gaps in the collective sales process” (March 2019)
by Foo Mingyee, Monnaphat Jondeepaisal (Sai), Regina Marie Lee and Xu Qiaoqiao

Executive Summary

The collective sale of sites plays an important role in urban redevelopment in land-scarce Singapore. While collective sales are seen as a market-efficient strategy that benefits both residents and developers, little attention is paid to other aspects such as the historical, architectural or even socio-cultural elements of the building and its surroundings. In the last year, several prominent modernist landmarks such as Pearl Bank Apartments, People’s Park Complex and Golden Mile Complex (GMC) have been targeted as prime sites for collective sale, with Pearl Bank Apartments sold and slated for demolition soon. These three buildings are modernist icons highlight the achievements of local architects in Singapore’s post-independence era. GMC, a mixed-used commercial and residential building and enclave for the Thai community in Singapore, is used as the focal case of study.

Through our research, we studied the various policy instruments used to facilitate collective sales and identified the gaps in the process that allow for the premature destruction of buildings with high heritage and socio-cultural value. We noted that profit is the key factor driving the collective sales process. However, some users mourn the loss of socio-cultural ties and community roots with the sale of the site. Our fieldwork also highlights the disenfranchised role of tenants who have no say in the collective sale of a building despite their deep connection to the community and place. Our secondary research shone light on the various ways that urban redevelopment can occur without the necessary demolition of buildings and other strategies to keep the original communities intact. Furthermore, the research also brings out the various ways that buildings can be given a new lease of life without complete demolition, through adaptive reuse and stronger placemaking.

In view of our findings, we propose several policy recommendations to improve the process of collective sale and to prevent any unnecessary demolition by considering different forms of conservation. We propose a two-pronged strategy, considering the roles of the government and SHS, before a collective sale and after it occurs.

Before a strata-titled building is sold, we propose that the government can:
1. Tighten the criteria for collective sale of buildings;
2. Encourage better maintenance of older buildings;
3. Encourage representation of tenants and minority owners in the CSC;
while SHS can
1. Organize heritage awareness campaigns and encourage relevant stakeholders to prevent
the sale;
2. Promote and guide developers’ use of Heritage Impact Assessment, possibly through a

Should collective sale of a site occur, the government can pursue the following suggestions:
1. Encourage placemaking and adaptive reuse of a site by incentivising developers under the Strategic Development Incentive scheme, thereby conserving the site;
2. Mandate Heritage Impact Assessment for specific sites to mitigate the loss of heritage
while SHS can
1. Work with stakeholders of a site to highlight the heritage and cultural value and viability
of adaptive reuse and placemaking.

These recommendations emphasize the importance of the government’s collaboration with other stakeholders, such as developers and SHS, in improving the collective sales process. While there may be greater financial costs, this ensures a more holistic and equitable collective sales process that addresses the tangible as well as intangible value of a building and its interaction with its immediate community. Conservation through adaptive reuse is not a new concept in Singapore, but has mainly been limited to sites owned by the state or few owners. This project thus proposes changes to the collective sales process to encourage the conservation of strata-titled buildings.

Call for SHS Interns (Jan-Jul 2019)

November 6th, 2018

Application for the Singapore Heritage Society Internship (Jan-Jul 2019) now open until Mon, 10 Dec.  Details at Read the rest of this entry »

August Roots Newsletter

August 18th, 2018

Available online for reading