$30 million infusion to support community heritage institutions

National Heritage Board,
11 March 2009, Singapore

The National Heritage Board (NHB) today signed three memorandums of understanding (MOU) which sealed a new framework of enhanced support for three community heritage institutions – the Malay Heritage Centre (MHC), the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (SYSNMH) and the upcoming Indian Heritage Centre (IHC).

Under the framework, the Government will provide funding amounting to S$29 million,with the community raising about S$1 million, to help fund the centres’ development costs. In addition, the NHB will assist in offering its management and professional expertise to these centres in areas such as operations, curatorial support, programming direction, marketing and promotions. A new division within NHB, the
Heritage Institutions Division, has also been set up to assist in the management and operation of the community heritage institutions.

“Today’s MOUs underscore our commitment to further invest in our multicultural heritage with a new framework of support. The community heritage institutions play an important role in documenting the history of the various communities in Singapore. They add a new dimension to the understanding and appreciation of our collective heritage,” said RAdm (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister of State for Education, and Information, Communications and the Arts, who witnessed the signing ceremony.

As part of a strategy to develop Singapore’s cultural institutions and strategically enhance the overall heritage landscape, NHB will be working closely with the local communities to reposition the selected heritage institutions as focal points for the Chinese, Malay and Indian diasporas. In so doing, the institutions will enhance the multi-cultural landscape in Singapore, commemorate the contributions of our local communities, and highlight Singapore's links with the region. Benefits expected from this initiative include deeper appreciation and understanding of heritage amongst Singaporeans, and a stronger sense of bonding, rootedness and multi-cultural awareness.