As one who is neither a professional in architecture, conservation nor historical research, it was a pleasure for me to attend this talk on Saturday and listen to professionals and bureaucrats discuss conservation and heritage. It was also good to hear that there would be more of such talks in the future. The public certainly needs more exposure on these issues as well as opportunities to meet the professionals involved in the field and officials who have custodianship over policy decisions and initiatives in these areas.
During the Q&A session, I was able to ask one of my long-standing questions (that some of our list members are probably aware of): Does Singapore intend to apply for UNESCO World Heritage listing for any of our national monuments and historical sites? The response is that a National Commission for UNESCO has been formed and there are people doing preliminary study into potential listing for our sites.
This sounds wonderful! I hope to see more substantive news in the future. A quick visit to the website of the Singapore National Commission (www.unesco.sg) and the focus of the site seems to be education and there was nothing mentioned about WHS. I guess alot of work needs to be done and WHS is probably not a priority of the National Commission.
Interestingly during the Q&A, Botanic Gardens was mentioned as a potential WHS. This would be a wonderful choice - I have been to similar gardens which are WHS in the UK, Seychelles and Mauritius, and it occurred to me during those visits that our Botanic Gardens probably deserve such an honour more than some of the other gardens.