Heritage Trails- Kampung Glam
On 22 June 2016, my friends and i decided to go on a heritage trail on Kampung Glam. Kampung Glam is about the heritage of the malay settlers back then where our fore fathers had came from. The first place we went to was the Sultan Mosque area. Accoording to the heritage infomation board, it was known as Bussorah Street which is named after a place in present day Iraq. Before the place was redeveloped in the 1990s, it was a predominantly residential area with small business. The majority of the people back then that live there were Javanese with small minorities of Sumatran, Banjares, Chinese and Indian origin. But in 1993 Bussorah Street was turned into a pedestrian mall.
The second place that we went to is The Malay Heritage Centre. The building was once the residence of the Malay Royalty of Singapore. The building is now housing Malay Culture, traditions and heritage which open in 2005. After 2 more renovations in 2011 and 2012, the heritage centre was officially launched in September 2012 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Sadly i did not manage to enter the centre itself.
Next we move on to the Gedung Kuning meaning “yellow mansion” in Malay, which probably was built around the same period as the Istana Kampung Glam. The mansion was served as the residence of the history, where Tengku Mahmud, grandson of Sultan Hussein, was believed to reside. It was then being bought by Haji Yusoff, a Javanese merchant. The mansion remained his family possesion till 1999, when the government aquired it for redevelopment. After conservation works, it was open to public in 2003 as a restaurant.
Nearby was believed to stand pondok jawa which was served as a lodge house for newly arrived Javanese migrants. The house is also significantly a hub for Javanese culture. However the building was demolished in 2003 due to infestation and poor structural conditions.
Next we went to find the next location on the trail which is the former Chong Cheng School and Chong Pun Girls’ School. Now it stands Aliwal Arts Centre.
Last location we went to is the Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiyah. It was founded in 1912 and it is the oldest surviving madrasah (Arabic for school) in Singapore.
By going through this trail, it shows how Singapore’s history of its early settlers. It also teaches the heritage of the Malay Culture and how they came about to Singapore. As Malay is one of the 4 main races in Singapore, it is important to preserve these places for future generation and so that culture would not be lost.