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PostPosted: Sun, 20 Aug 2006 10:25 am 
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More details about the tombs coming soon:

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In the meantime, please refer to the Straits Times Article for some information about these old tomb:

Straits Times, Aug 19, 2006 by Radha Basu

Race to save oldest Chinese tombs here
Hunt on for descendants of early Chinese settlers buried in Bukit Timah area

THE National Parks Board (NParks) has put on hold plans to dig up one of Singapore's oldest Chinese tombs following a petition from a group of heritage enthusiasts.

The tangible slice of history, dating back to the time this modern metropolis was a sleepy village fringed by jungle, was to have been removed to make room for a new extension to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Tucked away at the foot of a sylvan slope near the former Singapore Management University campus, the tomb dates back to 1842, and holds the remains of a Chinese settler known as Qiu Zheng Zhi, who probably lived during Sir Stamford Raffles' time.

His wife, Madam Li Ci Shu, is buried alongside in the simple grey structure with bright red engravings.

Two other sets of tombs, also dating back to the 19th century, lie nearby. One of these, a bright orange structure with black engravings, was erected in 1881. Buried here are a Mr Huang Hui Shi and his wife, Madam Si Ma Ni.

The land, which lies on the fringes of the Botanic Gardens, was recently acquired by NParks and may be turned into landscaped horticultural displays. Last week, three heritage enthusiasts, including Singapore Heritage Society president Kevin Tan, met NParks chief executive Ng Lang and Botanic Gardens director Dr Chin See Chung to ask that they save the tombs.

Yesterday, an NParks spokesman told The Straits Times the exhumation plans have been put on hold while the board tries to find out more about the people buried there. A final decision will be taken later.

Heritage enthusiasts, meanwhile, are hoping that the tombs will be spared. Dr Tan, who is editing a book on Singapore cemeteries, believes the Qiu tomb to be the oldest 'in situ' Chinese tomb in Singapore, meaning it still remains at the site where it was first built. 'It is a miracle that the tombs survived so many generations and so much construction nearby,' said Dr Tan.

He was alerted to the possible possibile exhumation by two heritage-loving sisters, former National Archives official Ms Tan Beng Luan and teacher Ms Tan Beng Chiak. Earlier this year, they stumbled upon signs that the graves were to be exhumed.

The sisters felt these tombs should be saved simply because there are 'so few things in Singapore that are so old', said Ms Tan Beng Chiak, a biology teacher with a keen interest in history.

The ownership of the tombs' site in the Bukit Timah area has changed many times - from the old Botanic Gardens, to Raffles College, Singapore University, the National Institute of Education and the former Singapore Management University.

If preserved, the tombs could serve as important educational exhibits to teach students and visitors about the culture and practices of early Chinese immigrants, said Ms Tan Beng Chiak. 'Only with the knowledge of our past through tangible objects and not just in the pages on history books, will the young be able to feel a sense of belonging and rootedness,' she said. Meanwhile, Ms Tan Beng Luan, a history researcher and pre-school principal, is keen to crack the mysteries of who these people were and where they came from.

The Qius, whose descendants may be the Khoos, may have come from Penang, she said, but she is not sure. Mr Huang came from China, though his wife may have been Indian or Eurasian.

Old maps of the area show that there was a gambier plantation at the site in the 1840s. By 1880, the land was under the British and part of the Botanic Gardens. An 'economic garden' had been built there to experiment with new cash crops - such as coffee, rubber and pepper - that could boost the local economy. 'We have no idea why the Huang tombs were allowed to be built right in the middle of the economic garden,' said Ms Tan Beng Luan.

She is now hoping that descendants of the two families will step forward to help solve the mysteries that have lasted more than a century.

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PostPosted: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 03:48 pm 
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The Tomb of Qiu Zheng Zhi (邱正直) was built in 1842 (道光壬寅). He comes from the village of Hai Teng Province Sin Aun 海澄县新安
He have 4 sons, 3 daughters and one grandson listed.

One of his sons listed in the tombstone Khoo Qin Zhan (邱睛霑) donated 5 Dollars in 1854 to rebuilt the Fuk Tak Chi (福德祠), which is a museum now in Telok Ayer Street.

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In 1861, he also donated 12 Dollars for the Chui Eng Public School (萃英书院). Now the place is converted to a Thai Restaurant (Bamboo Court). (Source: Singapore Chinese Epigraphs Collections)

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Please see the plaque found in Fuk Tak Chi regarding the donation by Khoo. The plaque was erected in 1854 to commenorate the renovation of Fuk Tek Chi temple. One plaque praises the powers of the Tai Pak Gong Diety. The other plaque list the donors to the renovation. Khoo's name was on one of the plaques. There was also a plaque erected in 1886 which was a testimony to the dispute between the Hakka Chinese and the Cantonese Chinese.

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Now Haizheng Province Sin Aun already was a properous place since the Tang Dynasty Period.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, many clansmen from Sin Aun migrated to Taiwan, Dutch Batavia (now Jakarta) and Malacca with the repeal of the ban on maritime trade by the Manchu government. Since the rise of British power in the Far East, Siam, Burma (Myanmar), Singapore, Malacca, Kedah and Penang had been their favourite choices. Among these places, Penang saw the most Khoo immigrants in the 19th century.
(see migration chart from Khoo Kongsi website)

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The Khoos of Khoo Kongsi (丘公祠) from Penang also come from this village 新安 (Sin Aun).
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The early pioneers of Singapore that also come from 新垵 is Khoo Cheng Tiong (邱正忠 or 邱笃信). He was born in 1820 and come to singapore in 1840. He might be a relative or contempatory of 邱正直, as he and his brothers first two characters are 邱正.

Khoo Cheng Tiong (邱正忠) is a famous Singapore rice merchant and was the president of Thong Chia Medial Institution. His 3rd brother Khoo Cheng Cheok 邱正朝 even has a street Cheng Cheok Street (at Tanjong Pagar previously) named after him.

Khoo Cheng Tiong is also the father of Khoo Siok Guan (邱菽园), the famous scholar poet in Singapore, who started the Tian Nan Press in 1898, was an editor of Sin Chew Jit Poh and died in 1941

The other tomb which is of a couple, the wife of of an Eurasian. Their daughter is called "Holland".
The daughter must have married a brother of the Khoo family or very close relative because their descandents share a common name for the first 2 characters:
邱睛. That is why they can be buried at the same area.

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