Fort Siloso on Sentosa to be gazetted a national monument, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Fort Siloso on Sentosa to be gazetted a national monument

Fort Siloso on Sentosa has been put forth to be gazetted a national monument.

Announcing this on Tuesday (Jan 18), the National Heritage Board (NHB) said Fort Siloso is the best-preserved 19th century fort in Singapore, and serves as an important site to mark the war years in Singapore.

Now a historical attraction, the fort was constructed in 1878, and was part of a set of strategic coastal fortifications set up as Singapore grew in importance as a trading port in the late 19th century.

Designed to protect Singapore from a seaward attack, its guns fired at Japanese troops in the west of Singapore during World War II and destroyed the oil refineries at nearby Pulau Bukom and Pulau Sebarok to prevent the Japanese from using them as a resource, said NHB on its website.

NHB noted that between 1963 and 1966, Fort Siloso was manned by the 10th Singapore Gurkha Rifles Unit during Konfrontasi to prevent Indonesian saboteurs from landing on Sentosa and Keppel Harbour.

A national monument gazette is the highest form of recognition for a structure or site's significance. It accords it legal protection from alterations and changes that would affect its character and significance.

In addition to their national importance, monuments also have to be of historic, cultural, traditional, archaeological, architectural, artistic or symbolic significance.

Singapore's last national monument was gazetted in October 2019, when Cavenagh, Anderson and Elgin bridges were protected as an ensemble, bringing Singapore's list of monuments to 73.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had also announced in August 2019 that the Padang would be gazetted as a monument.

The Preservation of Monuments Act was amended last November to allow sites such as the Padang to be gazetted, though it has yet to be.

Also on Singapore's list of monuments are places of worship such as St Andrew's Cathedral and Sultan Mosque, as well as post-independence buildings, including Jurong Town Hall.

In addition, more than 7,200 buildings have been conserved across the island.