Bukit Merah

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For either of the two towns in Perak, Malaysia, see Bukit Merah, Perak.
Bukit Merah/Redhill
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 红山
 • Pinyin Hóngshān
 • Malay Bukit Merah
 • Tamil புக்கிட் மேரா
Skyline of Redhill
Skyline of Redhill
Bukit Merah Planning Area locator map.png
Country  Singapore

Bukit Merah is a New Town and a urban planning area situated in the southern part of the Central Region of Singapore.Previously, it was a much larger hill that was situated at the present site of Henderson housing estate, which lies opposite the Delta Sports Complex. There was a Chinese cemetery on the reverse side of the hill. The hill was trimmed to its current state in 1973 with the surrounding kampong being demolished to make way for the current Redhill Close.

Mount Faber Park and Labrador Nature Reserve is also located in this region. The nearest MRT station is Redhill and Tiong Bahru of the East West Line. Harbourfront and Telok Blangah MRT Stations of the Circle Line and North East Line is also located at the southern part of the town. The future Havelock MRT Station of the Thomson-East Coast Line is also located in Bukit Merah, near to the Bukit Ho Swee estate, making Bukit Merah the planning area that has the second-most number of MRT lines passing through at 4, following the Central Area.

The area surrounding this hill forms the Bukit Merah planning area, one of the 55 urban planning areas under the Urban Redevelopment Authority, in the Central region.

Etymology and early history[edit]

”Bukit Merah” translates to "red hill" in Malay, and is a reference to the red couloured lateritic soil found on the hill. According to the Sejarah Melayu, Singapore used to be plagued by swordfish attacking the people living in the coastal regions. A young boy named Hang Nadim proposed an ingenious solution, to build a wall of banana stems along the coast at the present location of Tanjong Pagar. When the swordfish attacked, their snouts were stuck in the stems. With the swordfish problem solved, Hang Nadim earned great respect from the people, but also jealousy from the rulers. The king, Paduka Seri Maharaja, finally ordered his execution, and it was said that his blood soaked the soil of the hill where he was killed, giving rise to the red-coloured hill.[1]

Villages dotted with attap huts were common before the site saw 21 blocks of 7-storey government flats rise in 1955. The brick factory of Lim Loh, father of Lim Bo Seng was also sited here. By the 1960s, emergency flats, the standard one-room, 2-room and 3-room flat sprouted quickly to house a growing population. The main street, Jalan Bukit Merah was originally known as Silat Road.[2]

There are a number of historic sites in this town. Keppel Harbour dates back to the 14th century when it was known as "Lung-Ya-Men", or Dragon Teeth Gate. Mount Faber was once known as Telok Blangah Hill. Its name was changed to Mount Faber after Captain Edward Faber cut the road up to the top in 1845 to set up a signal station. The Singapore General Hospital site dates back to 1882. Labrador Nature Park was used as a defence outpost in the 19th century until World War II.[3]

Bukit Merah Planning Area[edit]

Bukit Merah Planning Area is bounded by Alexandra Canal and the Singapore River to the north and Harbourfront and Keppel Bay to the south, Kim Seng Road, Outram Road and Cantonment Road to the east and Alexandra Road to the west. There are 18 sub-regions within Bukit Merah which include: Alexandra, Brickworks, Bukit Ho Swee, Bukit Merah Central, Bukit Purmei, Cantonment, Depot Road, HarbourFront, Henderson, Keppel, Labrador Park, Mount Faber, Radin Mas, Redhill, Rumah Tinggi, Singapore General Hospital, Telok Blangah and Tiong Bahru.


While Bukit Merah and Redhill have the same meaning, they cannot be used interchangeably to describe the place as these are two different areas in the vicinity of each other. The Mass Rapid Transit station, Redhill MRT Station part of Singapore's transport system is named after the translation of Bukit Merah. It serves the immediate area of Redhill, Rumah Tinggi, Henderson, and parts of Bukit Merah. Tiong Bahru MRT Station is nearer to certain areas of Bukit Merah.

The Bukit Merah Bus Interchange (红山巴士转换站) serves the Bukit Merah New Town and the interchange which is located at Bukit Merah Central adjacent to the town centre. There are three SMRT bus services that call at the interchange as it is operated by SBS Transit SBS Transit. Service Number 132 links the Interchange to Redhill MRT Station while bus services 5, 16, and 851 links the interchange to Tiong Bahru MRT Station.


Bukit Merah Estate consists of several Primary and Secondary schools with Alexandra Primary School being the newest school.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bukit Merah Town Centre". lostnfiledsg. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  2. ^ "Bukit Merah | Infopedia". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  3. ^ "Singapore Bukit Merah Map & Bukit Merah Singapore". www.streetdirectory.com. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 


External links[edit]