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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Mon 04 Feb 2013

MRT through the Nature Reserve: "the line goes 'through' primary forest and good secondary forest."

Category : news

Two weeks ago, LTA announced that they would build “two new rail lines and three new extensions by 2030″. Of the proposed new lines, the 50km Cross Island Line (CRL) was the cause of considerable concern, as it would cut through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and I posted a couple of maps for scrutiny [see maps in link].

I sent local naturalist and GIS-geek Tony O'Dempsey the Land Transport Authority's map for a second opinion about the placement of the line. I was interested to see the type of forest we knew to be present which the line would cut through.

Tony replied shortly after, saying, "I georeferenced that LTA map and co-registered it with this satellite image. The line goes 'through' primary forest and good secondary forest."

Tunnelling or overhead, construction is not a neat business. And if it will occur in our nature reserves, the integrity of an already impacted forest will be further challenged.

Posted at 11:15AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Mon 04 Feb 2013

Sat 09 Feb 2013: 7.00am - The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk

Category : heritage

The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk
Sat 09 Feb 2013: 7.00am - 12.00pm

With the Raffles Museum Toddycats,
volunteers of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research,
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, NUS
In collaboration with the National Archives of Singapore, NHB

It is 13th February 1942, the Japanese troops which have stormed through Malaya have invaded Singapore.

Approaching Singapore City from the west, a seasoned Japanese army is forced to engage the small force of the Malay Regiment on the high ground of Pasir Panjang Ridge.

A fierce battle ensues amidst the confusion from the aerial bombardement, burning fuel, loss of communications and the early deaths of senior officers trying to keep their men coordinated.

The soldiers of the Malay Regiment battle on for nearly two days and a company is wiped almost to the last man by the numerically superior Japanese on the eve of Chinese New Year.

The next day, on 15th of February, 1942, General Percival marches down Bukit Timah Road to surrender to General Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army at the Ford Factory.

The National University of Singapore is built on parts of old battle ground and still contains a WWII military outpost that strategically oversees Jurong, Bukit Timah and Singapore City. In 1954, the ridge was renamed 'Kent Ridge,' and the old stone marker commemorating this event can still be seen today.

The accounts of the battle on Kent Ridge left a strong impression on the Pasir Panjang Heritage Guides, and thus we commemorate the Malay Regiment's defense of the ridge every year. We will share with you stories about the Battle of Pasir Panjang, the geography, history and the flora and fauna of the area that first drew us to explore the ridge decades ago and how the ridge got its name.

Our route takes us through the National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Road, The Gap and Kent Ridge Park. We end at Reflections of Bukit Chandu, which is managed by the National Archives of the National Heritage Board.

Everyone is welcome if you can wake up early enough and are physically fit enough to walk some 5km at a moderately quick pace and climb some stairs. The guides may carry on walking to Harbour Front for lunch if its not too hot; feel free to join us.


  • Please register so we have an idea of numbers, your contact and emergency contact and are able to contact you about last minute updates.
  • Fill in the form at: http://tinyurl.com/bpp-2013
  • Meet us at the University Cultural Centre at 7.00am [map: http://tinyurl.com/map-nusucc]
  • This is a five hour walk and it can be hot in parts so please bring at least one litre of water and some sandwiches or snacks. It can always rain so please being an umbrella.


Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk, 13 Feb 2011
To explore the map, visit Google Maps

Posted at 12:32AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news