Punggol District

Punggol District is a district situated in the north eastern portion of the country. Currently there are proposals to covert the district into a housing estate or residential Housing Development Board new town (Punggol New Town) under the Punggol 21 initiative which has started to come about in the southern portions of the district adjacent the nearby Sengkang New Town.

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Tanjong Punggol (popularly referred to as Punggol Point) was named as Tanjong Rangon on Franklin and Jackson’s 1828 map of Singapore. The name “Punggol” can also be spelled as “Ponggol” which is Malay for “throwing sticks or stones at the branches of fruit producing trees to bruin the fruits down to the ground”. The term may also incidentally refer to the Tamil term “Pongal”.

The Punggol district was formerly a well deep-rooted rural region filled with farm houses and agrarian infrastructures, which were catered to by dirt tracks and roads.  A number of the Chinese villagers of the area were taking part in pig, fish or poultry cultivation as well as plantation development and agricultural crop production. The last pig farm in the area was closed down in the year 1990.

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Organically grown hydroponic orchid farms and vegetable plantations used to thrive along the Buangkok Farmways and Cheng Lim Farmways, together with low-rise residential districts and old kampong areas. Majority of these farms were cleared to give way to tall HBD housing establishments of Punggol New Town and Sengkang New Town. Historically speaking, the district was formerly populated principally by Catholics and Teochews.

The edge of Upper Serangoon Road is titled as “river mouth” or “river bank”. Ferries were utilized to transport people, goods and objects across and along the Serangoon River. An old market was also situated in the area. The Catholic missionaries arrived in the area 140 years ago and established schools and churches.

The area was formerly home to a Malay kampong which has since been cleared to make way for other developments. Malaysian and Indonesian fishermen auctioned their catch at the wholesale fish market found at the edge of Punggol Port Road. The district is popular to locals for its seafood restaurants; nonetheless these establishments are also doomed to give way to urban developments. Punggol is also well known for boating, water skiing and skin diving.

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