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Swiped By Mystery Tom Raider
By: RSS/News Feeds

This is something that has baffled pub manager Leslie Ye.

The Muslim tomb in Chinatown, which has an inscription: Sharifah Rogayah 1891, is located just behind his pub, Cherry Pink.

Mr Ye, who has been paying his respects at this tomb for over a year, was shocked when he found the two headstones missing around 8pm on Saturday.

Said the 40-year-old in Mandarin: ‘I was going to pay my respects as usual when I saw the two headstones missing. I was so shocked. On Friday night when I last saw them, the tombstones were still intact.’

He said it looked like someone had chiselled or hammered off the two headstones because both were attached to the tomb.

All that’s left behind now are the jagged remnants of the tombstones.

‘Why would someone want to steal these tombstones? They (the thieves) can’t be up to anything good,’ he added.

This tomb is located off Teo Hong Road.

Mr Ye quickly called Mr Ahmad Ridhwan, who has been a caretaker of the tomb for the last eight years, to inform him about the theft.

Mr Ahmad, 20, rushed down from his home in Bedok yesterday morning.

When we visited the tomb, we saw Mr Ahmad standing next to the tomb with an angry expression.

He questioned why anyone would want to steal these tombstones.

‘It’s disrespectful to do this to a tomb. Why would anyone do this?

‘Many people come here to pay their respects regularly. Sometimes I see joggers, office people and pub managers,’ he said.

The last time he visited the tomb was last Monday.

POLICE REPORT

He said he made a police report yesterday.

His assistant, retiree Syed Taha, 75, said he last saw the tombstones on Thursday.

Mr Ahmad, who has just completed his national service, is looking for a job.

He said people of all races regularly visit the tomb with flowers to ask for blessings.

Mr Ahmad has been tending to this tomb since he was 12.

He makes the half-hour bus journey from his place in Bedok to this tomb at least once a week.

He typically spends about three hours there, cleaning the area and saying his prayers.

CLEANS FOR FREE

Mr Ahmad, the second child in a family of seven, does all this voluntarily, without receiving any payment.

That is because when he was 12, he said he dreamt about Al Habib Al Saiyid Noh bin Mohammad Al Habshee, also known as Habib Noh.

Habib Noh, who came from Kedah, was believed to be a pious man who cared for the poor, young and destitute.

He lived in Singapore for 30 years before his death in 1866.

In the dream, Habib Noh asked him to care for the tomb of his sole granddaughter, Sharifah Rogayah, in the Tanjong Pagar area.

Habib Noh’s shrine, at the Haji Mohd Salleh mosque on Palmer Road, is just 10 minutes from Sharifah Rogayah’s tomb.

A check with Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis) revealed that it has no records of the tomb of Sharifah Rogayah, according to a report in The New Paper in 2004.

Mr Syed Abdullah bin Ahmad Alattas, the great-grand-nephew of Habib Noh, acknowledged in that report that Habib Noh had a daughter called Sharifah Rogayah.

But he said he knew nothing of the tomb.

BAD LUCK

Chui Ah Mei, 55, who regularly visits the tomb on her daily walks, wonders why anyone would steal those headstones.

She said in Mandarin: ‘I hope the culprit knows that it’s bad luck to steal from a tomb.’

When contacted, the police confirmed that a police report has been made and said that investigations are ongoing.

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