History of Ubin

Settlement of Ubin
The Malay village of Kampung Surau was founded by Encik Endut Senin who originally came from Kampung Kallang near the Kallang River. He sought the permission of the Sultan (then at Kampung Glam Palace) to live on the island, which at that time, had no name. 50 other Malay families later joined him to form a thriving Malay community at Kampung Melayu, Kampung Sungei Durian and Kampung Surau.

Attracted by the good fishing and farming on the island, the Chinese also came to Ubin and settled at Ubin Town and Kampung Jelutong. 25 families were the first to settle, followed by others as industries such as granite quarrying took off.

Ubin was once a bustling settlement, with a school and other amenities. Among its interesting historical sites is House No. 1 near Chek Jawa. There are also temples and shrines rich in history. Ubin Town itself is full of history.

Ubin in World War II
Pulau Ubin was the first point of landing by the Japanese on 7 Feb 1942. Opening fire on mainland's north-east coast, they gave the impression of an impending attack from that direction. Thinking that the Japanese intended to invade Singapore from the northeast, the British moved precious stocks of defence supplies like petrol and explosives from the northwest to the northeast. However, the Japanese main assault was on the north-west coast instead, encountering only minimal resistance.

According to an account, the Headman Lim Chye Joo recalls that intially there were clashes between the Teochews and Hokkiens. However, during the Japanese occupation, the two groups stopped bickering and banded together as Chinese. The Malays and Chinese have also gotten on well and there were no major incidents between the groups even during the racial riots of 1964.

Back to exploring Ubin

Links References
  • Chua Ee Kiam, Pulau Ubin: Ours to Treasure, Simply Green, 2000


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