THE rich history and kampung spirit of Singapore’s Baweanese community will be featured in a new book that will be out in time for Singapore’s golden jubilee celebrations next August.
The Baweanese originate from Pulau Bawean, which is about 120km north of Surabaya, the capital of East Java.
They had a particularly strong sense of community and self help. In 1934, for instance, they set up the Singapore Baweanese Association which established communal homes known as pondok to house new migrants.
The 250-page book will detail the evolution – and contributions – of groups such as the Singapore Baweanese Association.
Organisers said the book will feature about 40 organisations in total, most of which blossomed in the 1950s.
The book will be a compilation of these memories, using photos from the National Archives and Singapore Press Holdings.
It will trace the contributions of the various groups in areas such as education, social welfare, arts, culture and sports.
Book project secretary Izzuddin Taherally, the president of the Malay Youth Literary Association, or 4PM, one of nine organisations behind the book, said the publication will document the gotong-royong spirit.
“It will highlight how gotong-royong used to be and how it still exists today, alongside the contributions of the various organisations over time,” said Izzuddin, who also encouraged more organisations to come forward with their stories.
Called the Heritage And Commemorative Book On Malay/Muslim Organisations, it will cost about S$120,000 (RM308,424) to publish approximately 2,000 copies.
The committee said it will be seeking funding from the National Heritage Board and the SG50 Celebration Fund.
Morni Sulaiman, a committee member of the Singapore Baweanese Association, said the book will benefit both current and future generations.
“It will be a good legacy to leave behind for the Malay/Muslim community and Singapore.” — The Straits Times/Asia News Network