Sunday, September 13, 2009

Singapore's Roads And Their Names

From and edited by Malaysiana1.

Singapore's roads have interesting origins.

They began in the following periods of history.

The Aboriginal Malay (Orang Laut) Period (Pre-1819)

Tanjung Rhu literally means Casuarina Cape.

The Kallang River is named for the Kallang or Bintan Orang Laut tribe.

Tanjung Pagar means Fence Cape.

The Bintan or Kallang built wooden fences to trap fish at this cape.

Bukit Merah means Red Hill. The soil on this hill was reddish brown.

The British Colonial Period (1819-1963)

Beach Road, South Bridge Road, Hill Street and Cross Street describe the landmarks at these roads or streets.

Colonial governors and officials also had their names given to roads such as Coleman Street, Thomson Road, Collyer Quay, Clementi Road, Farrer Road and Keppel Road.

Famous people and events also gave their names to roads.

Thus Victoria Street (after Queen Victoria), Waterloo Street (after the Battle of Waterloo), Havelock Road (after Henry Havelock, a British colonial official who suppressed the Indian Mutiny 1857) and Clemenceau Avenue (after a French Prime Minister).

The immigrants lent their names to the streets.

Thus Amoy Street and Nanking Street (both Chinese cities) and Malabar Street (a coastal region in southern India).

Some immigrants became wealthy and respected, and roads were named after them too.

Aljunied Road was named after a leader of the Arab community, Eu Tong Sen Street was named to honour a Chinese tin miner, Meyer Road was named for a Jewish merchant and Veerasamy Road for a doctor and leader of the Indian community.

Malaysia Period (1963-1965)

Toa Payoh came from local usage and is a blending of Hokkien Chinese and Malay.

It means Big Swamp (Toa - Hokkien for Big).