Bukit Merah

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For either of the two towns in Perak, Malaysia, see Bukit Merah, Perak.
Bukit Merah
New Town
Bukit Merah New Town
Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese 红山
 • Pinyin Hóng Shān
 • Malay Bukit Merah
 • Tamil புக்கிட் மேரா
Singapore Harbourfront 2010.JPG Tiong Bahru 9, Jul 06.JPG
Redhill town.jpg
SouthernRidges HendersonWaves.JPG
Labrador Park Jetty.jpg
From top left to right: HarbourFront Centre with VivoCity, Keppel Harbour and the skyline of the Downtown Core in the background; Singapore Improvement Trust flats in Tiong Bahru; Skyline of Redhill; Henderson Waves; Jetty at Labrador Nature Reserve
Bukit Merah is located in Singapore
Bukit Merah
Bukit Merah
Location of Bukit Merah within Singapore
Coordinates: 1°16′54.86″N 103°49′26.11″E / 1.2819056°N 103.8239194°E / 1.2819056; 103.8239194
Country  Singapore
Region Central Region
 • CDC
 • Constituencies
 • Members of Parliament

Jalan Besar GRC

Radin Mas SMC

Tanjong Pagar GRC

West Coast GRC

 • Total 14.34 km2 (5.54 sq mi)
 • Residential 3.12 km2 (1.20 sq mi)
Population (2015)[1][2]
 • Total 155,840
 • Density 11,000/km2 (28,000/sq mi)


  • Bukit Merah resident


  • Bukit Meraher
  • Bukit Merahian
Postal districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10
Dwelling units 51,885
Projected ultimate 68,000

Bukit Merah (Chinese: 红山, Tamil: புக்கிட் மேரா), officially Bukit Merah New Town, is an urban planning area and residential town situated in the southernmost part of the Central Region of Singapore. The town borders Tanglin to the north, Queenstown to the west and the Downtown Core, Outram and Singapore River districts of the Central Area to the east. Bukit Merah also shares a maritime boundary with the Southern Islands district located beyond the town's southernmost point.

With the earliest records of Bukit Merah's existence in the Malay Annals, the town had a huge role to play in the early maritime trade of the Kingdom of Singapura.

The town's fertile red soil was employed to great effect, when it was a district rich in gambier cultivation during British colonial rule.[3]

Even before the industrialization of Jurong, Bukit Merah already had a small head start in the emerging heavy industry market in Singapore. With the first brickwork factories and mills emerging in the precincts of Henderson Hill and Redhill as early as the 1930s.[4]

The town is also home to the first housing estate in the country, Tiong Bahru Estate, which was developed by the Singapore Improvement Trust in the backdrop of a rapidly growing population in post-war Singapore. The estate later became the basis of what would eventually become the first new town in the Republic, Queenstown.


”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.[5]

The hill was eventually trimmed to its current state in 1973, when it made way for Redhill Close and what would eventually become Henderson Secondary School. During its existence, a Chinese cemetery was situated on the reverse side of this hill, which is today, the location of Tiong Bahru.


According to the various master plans laid out by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Bukit Merah 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 several subzones within the planning area, namely Alexandra, Brickworks, Bukit Ho Swee, Bukit Merah Central, Bukit Purmei, Cantonment, Depot Road, HarbourFront, Henderson, Keppel, Labrador Park, Mount Faber, Redhill, Rumah Tinggi, Singapore General Hospital, Telok Blangah and Tiong Bahru.


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, a name which is restricted to three small roads and an estate today.[3]

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.[6]


Mass Rapid Transit[edit]

MRT stations that serve the town include Redhill and Tiong Bahru of the East West Line. Harbourfront and Telok Blangah MRT Stations of the Circle Line and North East Line. 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 it, following the Central Area.


The Bukit Merah Bus Interchange (红山巴士转换站) serves Bukit Merah and the interchange which is located at Bukit Merah 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. The HarbourFront Bus Interchange is located at the southern part of Bukit Merah, serving nearby amenities such as the HarbourFront Centre and VivoCity, the largest shopping mall in Singapore.


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

Primary Schools[edit]

Secondary Schools[edit]

Tertiary Institutions[edit]

  • PSB Academy

Other Schools[edit]


Places of Worship[edit]

Buddhist Temples[edit]

  • Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple


Chinese Temples[edit]

  • Ban Siew Temple
  • Geck Hong Tian Temple
  • Hock Teck Tong Temple
  • Koon Seng Ting Temple
  • Lei Yin Temple
  • Ling San Teng Temple
  • Qui Tian Gong Temple
  • San Jiang Gong Ci Temple
  • Tai Yeong Temple
  • Tian Gong Miao Temple
  • Tian Tan Temple

Hindu Temples[edit]

  • Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple


  • Masjid Al-Amin Mosque
  • Masjid Jamiyah Ar-Rabitah Mosque
  • Masjid Kampong Delta Mosque
  • Masjid Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim Mosque

Sikh Temples[edit]

  • Gurdwara Sahib Silat Road

Shopping Centres[edit]


Community Centres/Clubs[edit]

  • Bukit Merah Community Centre
  • Henderson Community Club
  • Kim Seng Community Centre
  • Leng Kee Community Centre
  • Radin Mas Community Club
  • Telok Blangah Community Club
  • Tiong Bahru Community Centre

Sports Facilities[edit]


A large portion of Bukit Merah is under Tanjong Pagar GRC, with some areas under Jalan Besar GRC and Radin Mas SMC, served by the People's Action Party.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]