Category Archives: Research

Hong San See Temple wins top UNESCO award

Hong San See Temple wins top UNESCO award
By Evelyn Lam Li Ting | Posted: 25 November 2010 2325 hrs










Hong San See Temple 新加坡鳳山寺 (Photo by Jack)

SINGAPORE: The Hong San See Temple at Mohamed Sultan Road has won the highest UNESCO award for excellence in heritage conservation.

The temple received the Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation from UNESCO on November 22.

Built between 1908 and 1912, the temple revives the Minnan temple architecture of southern China from the late Qing Dynasty.

The Minnan dialect originates from the southern part of China’s Fujian province.

In Singapore, the variants of the Minnan dialect include Teochew and Hokkien.

In 1978, the temple, owned by the Singapore Lam Ann Association – a Hokkien clan group – was gazetted by the Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB).

In 2009, the temple received funding for restoration works and sought the help of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the PMB.

The project beat 33 entries from 14 countries to win the award.

“It’s very prestigious because it really highlights for an audience all over the world the importance of cultural heritage in Asia and the Pacific, and in particular, the involvement of the local communities in preserving their heritage,” said Etiene Clement, deputy director of UNESCO Bangkok.

“There’s not many which over the past ten years have got the award of excellence. There’s even not one every year. So for this year, there’s only one, which is this temple.”

UNESCO said rigorous methods were used in the project’s conservation which have kept the authentic structure of the building well-preserved.

Mr Clement said there were a few reasons why the temple won. “Among them was the fact that they were looking for perfection…..Perfection, (it) doesn’t mean that everything needs to be restored to look new. On the contrary, it needs to be restored in a way that tells the story of the monument,” he said.

– CNA/ir

For more information on the cult of Guangze Zunwang and the Hong San See temple networks, you can read my dissertation “Sacred Ties across the Seas: The Cult of Guangze Zunwang and its Religious Network in the Chinese Diaspora, 19th Century -2009.”

The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History Book Launch

The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History Book Launch

Saturday, 24 July, 3.00 – 5.00 pm
The POD, Level 16, National Library Building


History has never been more alive in Singapore, as we can see from new books on our political notables to works containing the voices of those who had been silent, from the interest shown by both the participants as well as young Singaporeans born after the period.


The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History does not join this growing chorus of voices and noises. It begins at the cusp of history, where past and present meet. Every book on the past has to negotiate with the present – to find the archival sources, which are located somewhere, possibly behind a gate and its keeper; or to locate that elusive participant who will throw light on a major gap in our knowledge, and convince them to speak. So much of the research on history is predicated upon such presents that it is important, and timely, to examine the gates, which stand between researchers and the archives and memories, they seek.


The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History is a meditation on this making of history, often on the difficulty of the making. Its contributors, including a diverse group of historians, social scientists, filmmakers, and public intellectuals, reflect on their encounters with the gatekeepers, and how they have or have not been able to enter or circumvent the gates. The book is jointly published by the Singapore Heritage Society and Ethos Books. Due to limited seats, registration is required & can be made via and surf on to “Singapore”.

中国大学变成“养鸡场” China’s universities have become “chicken farms”

我更同意李零先生的看法,自从教育部对高校进行所谓的教学改革,也就是采取量化管理之后,中国大学变成了养鸡场。在这个鸡场里,老师根本没有心思好好做学问,好好带学生,光忙着生蛋了… 就是规定从讲师变成副教授,你要生多少个蛋;从副教授升成教授,又要生多少个蛋。还规定这几个蛋要生在什么地方,比如权威刊物、核心刊物什么的。天天都在那儿数蛋,就在最近,又突然对你说:哎,你得生些“创新型”的蛋!我的回答是,滚你妈的蛋!

– 厦门大学人文学院教授易中天近日接受《凤凰周刊》访谈时猛烈抨击中国现行大学管理制度

I agree with Mr. Li Ling. Since the Minstry of Education implemented the so-called reforms in higher education, which focus on quantitative management, China’s universities have became chicken farms. In these chicken farms, professors are neither interested in producing good research nor teaching students; they are busy laying eggs… This means that in order to be promoted from a lecturer to an associate professor, you have to produce a certain number of eggs; from an associate professor to a full professor, you need to lay another number of eggs. Furthermore, there are rules governing where you should lay your eggs – in top tier or leading journals. Professors are busy everyday trying to lay their eggs in these places. Recently, there are new instructions telling you that you should lay more “creative” eggs! My reply is, “@#$%#$@#@ your mother’s egg!”

– Professor Yi Zhongtian of College of Humanities, Xiamen University criticized the current managment system in China’s universities in an interview by Phoenix Weekly