The Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB) is the national authority safeguarding Singapore’s national monuments. It is guided by the Preservation of Monuments Act to provide “for the preservation and protection of National Monuments”.
PMB’s work covers 4 main areas:
1) Planning and research to extend the knowledge on the monuments
2) Regulatory support to guide restoration, preservation and protection of monuments
3) Outreach, to promote and stimulate public interest and support of monuments
4) Act as an advisory to the government in respect of matters relating to the preservation of monuments.
Formed in January 1971, PMB was a statutory board of the Ministry of National Development. It is charged to identify monuments that are worthy of preservation based on the criteria that they are of historic, cultural, traditional, archaeological, architectural, artistic or symbolic significance and national importance.
In 1997, PMB became an independent statutory board under the Ministry of Information and the Arts (presently known as Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts). PMB merged with the National Heritage Board with the passing of the revised Act of 2009 and the appointment of a Director to helm PMB.
PMB will complement the administration of the gazette process with public and school outreach. In 2011, PMB will continue its school- engagement programmes and public outreach to promote greater awareness and appreciation of Singapore’s architectural heritage and history.
Objectives of PMB
PMB’s objectives are to
Identify buildings/ structures/ sites/ statues/ sculptures that are worthy of preservation
Preserve the monuments that are of historic, traditional, archaeological, architectural or artistic interests and all records, data and documents relating to these monuments
Protect and augment the amenities of these monuments and to
Stimulate public interest and support in these monuments as PMB hopes to keep these monuments alive in the public’s mind.
The aim of preservation is to safeguard Singapore’s National Monuments as enduring historical landmarks as they provide vital links to our past. PMB has gazetted 61 National Monuments which comprise a mixture of commercial, institutional, religious, government and public buildings. They represent the multi-faceted character of Singapore’s history and heritage.
PMB conducts talks and workshops as well as specially tailored programmes for architectural appreciation.
Highlights of talks and programmes
1) Introduction to Preventive Artifact Conservation for Monument Owners (held on 11 Mar 2009 at the Heritage Conservation Centre)
This workshop was organized for monument owners to learn about the basics of conservation as well as coming together to network and exchange ideas and views on the maintenance of similar monuments.
2) Corrosion Control and Prevention for Historic Buildings (held on 27 – 28 July 2009 at RELC Building
This 2-day workshop was conducted by Dr Qiu Jianhai, a leading corrosion consulting engineer in Singapore. The aim of this workshop is to equip participants with the essential knowledge and the necessary skills to understand the causes of corrosion and to apply the state-of-the-art technologies in corrosion control and prevention. The course also covered on the effect of pollutants and Singapore’s climatic parameters on the atmospheric corrosion of important materials and materials used in historic buildings and cultural monuments.
Public lectures / Forums
1) Architectural Conservation & You: Seeing, Understanding and Acting (held on 10 January 2009)
This 2-hour public lecture on built heritage restoration was presented by Mr Ho Weng Hin, a trained architect and recent honours graduate from the University of Genoa, Italy.
2) “Heritage, Memory & Identity: Situating Singapore’s Preservation within Global Trends”, a PMB-NUS Junior College History Seminar (held on 21 February 2009)
This 1-day forum saw participation by students from 11 Junior colleges.
3) Conservators at Work Series 02 – Architectural Paint (held on 21 March 2009)
This public lecture on paint analysis and heritage restoration was presented by Mr Lawrence Chin in conjunction with the Architectural Paint Layers Research Project. He is a trained conservator and experienced in restoration of paintings and art work.
4) Mandarin Public Lecture Series, March to April 2009 –Traditional Chinese Architecture in Singapore 华族的传统建筑(held on 4 April 2009 at the National Museum of Singapore)
This lecture presented by Dr Yeo Kang Shua is part of a 6-lecture series organized by the Singapore Society of Asian Studies.
5) Mandarin Public Talk – Forgotten Memories of Singapore’s Cultural Heritage Sites 记与忆 – 消失了的新加坡历史文化古迹 (held on 13 May 2009)
This talk was given by Mr Ng Ching Huei.
6) An Evening Chat on Historic Places and the Peranakans (held on 5 November 2009)
An evening of sharing and discussion. This forum was a chance for the grant awardees of the inaugural PMB NUS Research Grant to present their findings on topics ranging from historical places to the Peranakan community. It was an opportunity for people interested in questioning the relevance of historical buildings; the representations of the Peranakan community and their culture; and the authenticity of the Peranakan Place.
Volunteer Guide Programme
Get to know Singapore by joining the Preservation of Monuments Board’s (PMB) Volunteer Guide Programme (VGP)!
The programme trains volunteers to guide monument trails and support PMB’s education and outreach programmes for schools and the public. Prior to guiding, all volunteers will undergo an intensive 15-week training programme which includes field trips and hands-on sessions to understand our National Monuments, craft interesting tours to present the monuments in innovative ways and learn skills to engage participants on tours.
Join us as a Volunteer Guide if you have what it takes:
- Able to communicate well; fluency in spoken English is a must
- A passion for heritage, history and architecture; some knowledge of Singapore history is useful
- Experience in guiding, public speaking or storytelling
- Able to complete a full training programme of 15 weeks and subsequently volunteer about 4 hours per month. Training sessions will take place on a weekday or on a Saturday morning (to be confirmed)
- Able to guide on weekdays, selected weekends and public holidays. Interested individuals who are only able to guide on weekends are also welcome
- Keen to interact with people from variety of backgrounds, including students and children
As a volunteer, you can look forward to:
- Invites to special workshops, seminars and conferences
- Organised outings and get-togethers
- Making new friends and meeting members of the public
- Discounts on PMB publications, PMB organised ticketed events and workshops
PMB’s educational programmes
- Enable students to apply their skills acquired in the classroom to real life situations
- Nurture self confidence and encourage exploration among the students
- Encourage global as well as local knowledge, critical thinking and analysis
- Engage students to make History and Social Studies come alive for themselves!
Explore the possibilities of syllabus tie-ups with PMB; PMB’s educational programmes can be incorporated into your curriculum!
The Future Memory Pavilion
“The Future Memory Pavilion is a tongue-in-cheek look at what future architecture might be, that at the same time, would be a fitting ‘monument to the future’ as its host; the National Museum is to the past and present.” Pernilla Ohrstedt
This is Pernilla and Asif’s take on how they approached the design of the Future Memory Pavilion, catching the attention of passers-by ever since it was opened to the public on the 19 October 2011. The Pavilion aims to inspire ideas and thoughts about our city and what it might look like in the future through the use of two materials, sand and ice, while exploring Singapore’s past and the connection between its past and future.
The Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB) designed an educational guide and trail for students and families to embark on an exciting journey to the Pavilion and the National Museum’s galleries to learn about the significance of these two materials in Singapore’s history. 540 students had the opportunity to attend a 2-hour explorer’s journey led by PMB facilitators. Throughout the journey, these young minds were actively engaged as they were encouraged to ponder about preservation and its implications for future memory, against the backdrop of one of Singapore’s most significant national monuments which opened in 1887, the National Museum of Singapore.