Have you heard of Bukit Brown Cemetery or ‘Kopi Sua’? With 100,000 graves, Bukit Brown is one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside of China. Located between Lornie Road and Mount Pleasant Road, it was officially opened on 1 January 1922 and closed for burial in 1973.

Bukit Brown chinese tomb[One of the many chinese tombs in Bukit Brown.]

In a Straits Times report sometime back in 2011, the Singapore government announced that a highway the size of CTE will be built through Bukit Brown. The process of exhumation and highway planning will start as early as March 2012. The result will be the losing of 5000 graves, destroying the forest, bio-diversity and other environmental impacts.

Bukit Brown raintree[There are many raintrees providing shade and shelter.]

Entrance to Bukit Brown[The remains of the entrance to Bukit Brown (heard it will be removed soon. Update 9 Oct 2015, it has been relocated).]

Why should Bukit Brown be preserved?

Extracted from SOS Bukit Brown

  • Bukit Brown is an invaluable historical site for a young nation seeking to define itself.
  • Bukit Brown is a necessary green lung and wildlife sanctuary for a sustainable city.
  • Bukit Brown should become a heritage park and public space to be enjoyed by all.

Graves of many of of pioneers and notable people can be found here: Cheang Hong Lim, Chew Boon Lay, Chew Joo Chiat, Fang Shan, Gan Eng Seng, Lee Hoon Leong, Lim Chong Pang, Mrs Lim Nee Soon, Ong Sam Leong, Ong Boon Tat, Mrs Tan Cheng Siong and Tay Ho Swee.

terracotta guards

Bukit Brown Sikh Guard Bukit Brown angel

Bukit Brown Hou Tu Deity

Bukit Brown lion head

Bukit Brown Lion stature Bukit Brown Mailbox post

One of the biggest tombs in Bukit Brown Cemetery belongs to the influential Straits Chinese Merchant Ong Sam Leong (1857-1918) and one of his sons, Ong Boon Tat (1888-1941) and their wives.

Ong Sam Leong made his fortune as the soles contractor to Christmas Island Phosphate Company and Sam Leong Road was named after him.

Boon Tat Street was named after Ong Boon Tat, also a prominent businessman and Municipal Commissioner.
Bukit Brown Ong Sam Leong[The largest tomb in Bukit Brown of late Ong Sam Leong (1857-1918)]

Useful Information:

How to Go to Bukit Brown Cemetery
Location: Opposite MacRitchie Reservoir (Between Lornie Road and Mount Pleasant Road, and off Sime Road and Kheam Hock Road)

Getting there:
Bus services available: 52, 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855
By car: Turn in from Lornie Road, to Sime Road. Then, turn left into Lorong Halwa, where parking is limited. Try to use public transport to get there.
Admission: FREE

Bukit Brown Guided Walks/Tours Schedule: Visit HERE to register for the respective guided walk.

For more reading on Bukit Brown, visit www.bukitbrown.org and www.bukitbrown.com

Note: According to reports, Ministry of National Development (MND) is considering converting all of Bukit Brown into housing by 2030. So do visit the place soon as you may not have much time left to do so.