Achtung! This is not a fishy tale of lions with fishy tails. Rather, a sad story of what was once a iconic landmark of Singapore.
I remember, when I was much younger, seeing postcards with a beautiful photograph that showed a tall mosaic pillar with a stone lion, “in the middle of the road”. Some folks told me it was a place in Johore; others said it was in Singapore.
In fact, there were two such ‘pillar-and-lion’ monuments, one at each end of the Merdeka Bridge — which was opened on 17 August 1956 with much fanfare by Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock to commemorate the 2 April 1955 elections.
The two lions were removed in 1966 due to the widening of the Nicoll Highway. After several re-locations later, the lions are now placed at the SAFTI Military Institute, out of public’s sight and mind.