“Recent naming of new museum”? False! It is just the naming of a gallery within the former Ford Factory. There is no change to the name of the former Ford Factory.
It has been said a lot of times that the gallery is not an endorsement of the period, nor glorification of the Japanese atrocities. It is a reminder of what may befall us again if we are unable to defend ourselves.
- http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/name-of-syonan-gallery-does-not-express-approval-of-japanese/3520974.htmlSpeaking at the official opening of the gallery at the historic Old Ford Factory at Upper Bukit Timah, where the British formally surrendered to the Japanese 75 years ago, Dr Yaacob said the exhibition remembers what the pioneer generation went through, commemorates the generation of Singaporeans who experienced the Occupation and reaffirms the nation’s collective commitment “never to let this happen again”.
“The name ‘Syonan Gallery’ has evoked some strong reactions in our community, and quite understandably,” noted Dr Yaacob. “Some among older Singaporeans who lived through that dark period feel that the name legitimises the Occupation. Others among them say that Syonan was a painful fact of history, and we should call it what it was.”
The gallery, which was formerly known as Memories at Old Ford Factory, was renamed after a year-long revamp by the National Archives of Singapore (NAS). To date, it has received more than 400 public donations, with items ranging from personal letters, diaries and photographs to war artefacts and maps.
“The reactions show us how indelible an imprint those three-and-a-half years had left on their lives and on Singapore,” added Dr Yaacob. “Younger Singaporeans did not have the same indelible life experience as their parents and grandparents. But I hope this gallery will give them a sense of what it was like to live through that dark period, and inspire all of us to build and defend our nation.”
Dr Yaacob also said the exhibition, which captures the dark and painful years after Singapore fell, reminds Singaporeans to “never again take our peace, harmony and sovereignty for granted”.