Sunday, 26 July 2015

Singapore's 70 National Monuments

Istana Kampong Gelam to be gazetted as National Monument
Istana Kampong Gelam which houses the Malay Heritage Cente (Photo: Malay Heritage Centre)

The National Heritage Board will be gazetting Istana Kampong Gelam, which currently houses the Malay Heritage Centre, as a National Monument on Aug 6.

It will be the country's 70th National Monument, announced Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim at an annual Hari Raya gathering hosted by the PAP Malay/Muslim MPs on Fri (Jul 31). Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also graced the event.

Once the seat of the Johore sultanate, the former royal residence is a reminder of Singapore's historic links to the Malay world.


Istana Kampong Gelam to be a national monument
Istana Kampong Gelam was first gazetted as a conserved building within the Kampong Gelam Historic District by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 1989. ST FOTO: KEVIN LIM

Istana Kampong Gelam, a former Malay royal palace and a reminder of Singapore's historic links to the Malay world, will become a national monument just days before Singapore's Golden Jubilee.

The honour for the 172-yr-old building, now home to the Malay Heritage Centre, was announced by Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim at a Hari Raya dinner for community leaders last night. It will be the 70th national monument when it is gazetted next Thursday.

The move reflects the enduring heritage of the Malay community.

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Istana Kampong Gelam to be gazetted as National Monument
The National Heritage Board will be gazetting Istana Kampong Gelam, which currently houses the Malay Heritage Centre, as a National Monument on Aug 6.

It will be the country’s 70th National Monument, announced Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim at an annual Hari Raya gathering hosted by the PAP Malay/Muslim MPs on Friday (Jul 31). Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also graced the event.

Once the seat of the Johore sultanate, the former royal residence is a reminder of Singapore’s historic links to the Malay world.

read more

Growing up in a historic monument
Sultan's descendant wants more recognition for Istana Kampong Gelam in S'pore heritage

The Istana Kampong Gelam might be Singapore's newly-minted 70th national monument but for Mr Tengku Shawal, the 7th-generation descendant of Sultan Hussein Shah, it was where he grew up.

Speaking to The Sunday Times after the former palace's early-August gazette, the 47-yr-old logistics supervisor said he has fond memories of the 1843 structure - now the Malay Heritage Centre.

As a child he would slide down the banisters to wait for the roti (bread) man each morning.

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Istana Kampong Glam

Istana Kampong Glam (also spelt "Gelam") is the seat and historic home of Malay royalty in Singapore. The first Sultan Hussein Mohamed Shah never lived in this building, as he died while in Malacca in 1835. The present building was built in 1840 by his son, Tengku Mohammed Ali, who was much later recognised as Sultan Ali Iskandah Shah. The istana is located at Sultan Gate in Kampong Glam, in the Rochor area of the central region. Today, it is preserved as part of the Kampong Glam conservation area, and with Bendahara House it is now a part of the Malay Heritage Centre.

In his 1822 town plan, Stamford Raffles allocated Kampong Glam to the Malays, Bugis and Arabs. On 14 Mar 1823, the actual location, east of the European town and lying between Rochor River and the sea, amounting to a total of 56 ac, was allotted to the sultan. Sultan Gate and its istana became the seat of Malay royalty in Singapore, beginning with Sultan Hussein Mohamed Shah who later ceded Singapore to the British East India Company on 2 Aug 1824. The estate was given to the sultan as his "personal accommodation" after he signed the treaty ceding Singapore to the Crown.

Sultan Hussein then built his residence at Kampong Glam, a large rambling attap habitation, and brought his whole family and hundreds of followers from Riau to settle here. However, the sultan never resided in the present building as he died on 5 September 1835 in Malacca. His eldest son Tengku Mohammed Ali Iskander Shah, by his second wife, Tuanku Purbu, was only 10 yrs old then. In 1840, when Tengku Mohammed Ali came to Singapore to claim his father's estate as rightful heir, the government gave him a monthly pension and allowed the family and their heirs to continue to staying at Kampong Glam estate. Tengku Ali built Istana Kampong Glam in 1840 at Sultan Gate. Tengku Ali was only recognised as the sultan of Singapore by the British in 1855.

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A Forgotten Past – The Last Royal Palace of Singapore

Do you know that the former royal family of Singapore existed until the late nineties? They had lived at Istana Kampong Glam (also known as Sultan’s Palace) for generations until the Istana was drawn for redevelopment into the Malay Heritage Centre in 1999.

The story goes all the way back to the 19th century.

The 18th ruler of Johor, Sultan Hussein Mua’zzam Shah ibni Mahmud Shah Alam (1776-1835), built the original Istana Kampong Glam at Beach Road in 1819 after he signed a treaty with Sir Stamford Raffles, ceding Singapore to the British as a trading post. His eldest son, Sultan Ali Iskandar Shah (died 1877), hired Irish architect George Drumgoole Colemanl (1795-1844) to build a new palace, designed with a mixture of English and Malay elements, to replace the old one in 1840.

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related:
NHB: Restoration of 3 National Monuments
Singapore's 68 National Monuments

Singapore's 69 National Monuments
Singapore's 70 National Monuments
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