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Tiong Bahru


A housing estate in central Singapore, next to Outram and Bukit Ho Swee.


  • There are no records indicating the first use of the name Tiong Bahru. However, the name Tiong Bahru was mentioned in a Straits Times article dated in 1863. “Tiong Bahru” is an amalgamation of Chinese and Malay terms. Tiong meant cemetery in the Hokkien (Minnan) dialect, while bahru is the Malay word for new. The name Tiong Bahru referred to the new cemetery. In the early years, the nearby area of Tanjong Pagar was a swampland surrounded by cemeteries. When Tanjong Pagar was developed into a city area, the cemeteries were moved to Tiong Bahru. In reference to the old cemeteries, the new cemetery of Tiong Bahru got its name. As the city area expanded, the cemetery in Tiong Bahru was demolished in 1930 to make way for housing estates, which became the first public housing developed in Singapore. The buildings in Tiong Bahru, with their Art Deco architectural styles, retained much of their traditional cultural characteristics and serve as a symbol of Tiong Bahru’s rich history.


Lim Yong Hock believes that with the limited supply of new flats in the Tiong Bahru area, units priced more than a million dollar in this mature estate can attract buyers with higher budgets. (Shin Min Daily News, 30/12/2018)