Bukit Ho Swee

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For the 2002 TV series set in Bukit Ho Swee, see Bukit Ho Swee (TV series).
Bukit Ho Swee
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 河水山
 • Pinyin héshuĭshān
 • Malay Bukit Ho Swee
Country Singapore

Bukit Ho Swee is a place in Singapore which is located near Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, near Taman Ho Swee.


Bukit Ho Swee had a prominent Chinese community dating back to the days when Singapore was under British rule. Built over with wood frame huts with thatched roofs, it was an unplanned self-built township of about 20,000; although, like favelas everywhere, no census was ever taken. Its rabbit warren of narrow lanes, passable only to pedestrians, made it an ideal base for gangs who could escape police pursuit which was too dangerous.

A major fire, the Bukit Ho Swee Fire, broke out on 25 May 1961 and the wooden huts were completely destroyed. The recently constituted Housing and Development Board (HDB), moved in quickly to construct low-cost housing in the form of apartment blocks. Since these were easily patrolled by the police, gang power and influence waned.

As part of the HDB's plan to move locals out of squatters into "estates", a school was opened to serve the residents. Bukit Ho Swee Secondary School opened in 1967 and was located at Lower Delta Road. In 1991 it merged with the now defunct Tiong Bahru Secondary School (est. 1966), located several minutes' walk away.[1] The site is now occupied by PSB Academy Delta campus.


Bukit Ho Swee now a residential estate and little remains of its chaotic past. Tiong Bahru MRT Station is the nearest MRT station. Nearby schools and educational institutions include Zhangde Primary School, Henderson Primary School, Gan Eng Seng School, Henderson Secondary School, Outram Secondary School, PSB Academy and the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.


Bukit Ho Swee today. From left to right: Hendersonville Housing Estate, Gan Eng Seng Secondary School and Bukit Ho Swee Housing Estate. River Valley lies in the background.