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.