Saturday, August 25, 2012

Interesting Facts About Singapore - Part I

Taken from : BRIDGE, a publication of the south west Community Development Council

The vocabulary of Singlish consists of words originating from English, Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi and a large extent various other languages. singlish syntax resembles southern varieties of Chinese.

Bukit Batok Hill is also a site of historical significance. A Japanese war memorial, Syonan Chureito, was built on the hill as a memorial to Japanese soldiers. Nearby was another memorial for the Allied forces. The Japanese demolished both memorials and all that is left today are two pillars and a flight of stairs.

At 160 ha, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the largest contiguous forest in Singapore. It contains over 840 species of the flowering plants, more than one-third of Singapore's documented plant diversity. There are also over 100 fern species discovered in the reserve, out of a total of 170 ferns known to botanists here.

The flying fox, the world's largest bat with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres, can be found on Pulau Ubin, one of the islands off mainland Singapore.

The concept of Jurong Bird Park was conceived in 1968. During a World Bank meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Dr. Goh Keng Swee, the Singapore's Minister for Finance, visited a zoo with a free-flight aviary. He was so impressed that he felt inspiredto create a similar attraction for Singaporeans to enjoy nature.

The creation of Jurong, Singapore's main industrial area, has to be credited to the vision of former finance minister, Dr. goh Keng Swee. Once a swampy, forested area,eleven hills in the areahad to be levelled to provide earth to fill in the swamps and the Jurong River. The project was initially nicknamed "Goh's Folly" because of the sky high infrastructure costs but by the 1970s, it had already grown to become a centre of activity for the country.

Choa Chu Kang got its name after the Choa family who controlled that portion of Kranji River. In the past, villages along rivers were named after the family controlling that part of the river ang the Hokkien term for village headman was "kang chu". The earliest settlers were pepper and gambier farmers, and they were later jained by pineapple, rubber and coconut planters.

Before 1972,Sentosa was called Pulau Blakang Mati, which means "behind death" in Malay, possibly as a reference to its early days as a site of pirate activities. It was renamed Sentosa which means "peace and tranquility" in Malay after the Government decided to transform it into a recreational island.

No comments:

Post a Comment