Clementi, Singapore

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Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 金文泰
 • Pinyin Jīnwéntài
 • Malay Clementi
 • Tamil கிளிமெண்டி
Country Singapore
A bust of Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, after whom Clementi was named, in Victoria Concert Hall

Clementi is a town in Singapore, located in the west between Jurong and Dover, and commonly refers to the Housing and Development Board (HDB)'s housing estate of Clementi New Town. The town was named after the Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner to Malaya Sir Cecil Clementi Smith. The Clementi Planning Area encompasses this entire area. Prior to the 2015 general elections, Clementi was the "capital" of the West Coast Group Representation Constituency, the head office of which is located at Clementi Mall. Since then, the Jurong Group Representation Constituency absorbed this ward and became the new "capital" for its GRC, of which it is managed by a new name: "Jurong-Clementi Town Council".

Clementi New Town has an area of 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi) of which slightly over 50% is used for residential purposes. There are 24,000 HDB residential units with an estimated population of 88,000.


Clementi Town Centre, near Clementi MRT Station
A bird's eye view of HDB blocks at Clementi Town
A mosque in Clementi

Clementi and the roads therein are named after Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner from 1887 to 1893. The governor was an accomplished Chinese scholar. Among his achievements during his stint in office were laws brought into force to control secret societies in Singapore. Having been a popular governor, the Chinese community petitioned for his continuation in the post when he left Singapore in 1893.


'Clementi' originates from a French-language meaning be known as 'Reformatory Road' due to a boys' home located in the area. In 1947, the Singapore Rural Board discussed renaming the road after Sir Hugh Clifford but eventually decided to name it 'Clementi' after the late Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, who was the first British High Commissioner in Malaya including the Straits Settlements.

The present area occupying Clementi Avenue 1 used to be known as 'Sussex Estate', named after the historic county of Sussex in England. It was developed in the mid-1950s to house the families of British senior non-commissioned officers. When Clementi underwent a major transformation beginning in 1975, Sussex Estate was the only pre-development feature that was retained. It was demolished in 1997.

Most of the present Clementi New Town area used to be occupied by 'Colombo Camp'. It is not known when the camp came into existence. However, the Singapore Guard Regiment, formed in 1948, was stationed there. The regiment was disbanded in November 1971. The camp was demolished in 1975 when the area was cleared for development.

Clementi New Town was developed between 1975 and 1979. Planned as a self-sufficient residential town with a range of facilities and services, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) began clearing the area in 1974 and affected villagers were resettled.

An iconic landmark at Clementi is the steel truss railway bridge crossing Sungei Ulu Pandan. This is part of Jurong KTMB Railway Line which was constructed to facilitate the transportation of manufactured products from Jurong to Malaysia, and raw materials from Malaysia to the industrial estate at Jurong. Construction of the railway began in 1963, and the first train ran in 1966. It was closed in the early 1990s. The disused track continues to attract much interest from the public, especially people with a taste for history, nature and photography.


Clementi's arterial road, Clementi Road, runs for some 5 kilometres, from the vicinity around Bukit Timah, at Jalan Anak Bukit, to the West Coast Highway, but the geographical entity of Clementi is generally regarded as the area dominated by HDBflats around Commonwealth Avenue West and the Clementi MRT Station.

The primary residential district in Clementi is Clementi New Town and forms a large bulk of its residents and identity. The area also consists of many landed properties, especially in the West of the area. The boundaries of Clementi New Town are Sunset Way estate for the North, Clementi Road for the East, West Coast Highway for the South, and Clementi Avenue 6 for the West.


Clementi was last an independent political constituency in the 1984 general election. Clementi now comes under the West Coast GRC, Jurong GRC and Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

West Coast GRC is led by Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang. The constituency first faced a challenge from the Workers' Party in the 1997 general election. Since then, the constituency has received walkovers in both the 2001 and 2006 general elections.

In the 2011 general election, the PAP slate for five-member West Coast GRC, comprising Lim Hng Kiang, S. Iswaran, Arthur Fong, Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai and Foo Mee Har, faced a contest against the Reform Party led by Kenneth Jeyaretnam.

Clementi is drawn into Jurong GRC after the electoral boundaries change. The PAP Jurong GRC team won 79.28% of the votes in the 2015 general election. Dr Tan Wu Meng represents the Clementi division after the GE 2015.


Unlike many neighbourhoods in Singapore, Clementi originally did not have any shopping centre in its central vicinity. However, there is a wide range of retail shops, hawker food stalls and wet markets.

The Commonwealth Cinema on the south side of Clementi MRT station was demolished in 2008 and rebuilt into a 4-storey shopping mall, named as 'CityVibe'. The former Eng Wah's Empress Entertainment Centre Cineplex has also been rebuilt and reopened as '321 Clementi' in March 2015.

Further from the town centre, a shopping complex, West Coast Plaza, serves the upmarket residents of the condominiums along West Coast Road. The shopping mall has many restaurants and house a variety of small stalls selling fashion accessories and handicrafts.

Towards Pasir Panjang, there is also the stretch of mostly 24-hours eateries. National University of Singapore students frequent these popular late-night eating spots.

The Singapore Police 'D' Divisional Headquarters is located at Clementi Avenue 5, while Clementi Neighbourhood Police Post is located at Clementi Avenue 3. Clementi Fire Station is also situated off Commonwealth Avenue West.

Clementi Polyclinic, a major clinic of the town, is located at Clementi Avenue 3.

NTUC FairPrice operates two 24-hours supermarkets at Clementi Avenue 2 and Clementi Avenue 3.

In April 2005, the HDB announced plans to build a new mixed-use development at Clementi Town Centre, on the existing bus interchange site. The new development complex was to house a 5-storey retail podium with two basements, two 40-storey residential blocks (Clementi Towers), the West Coast Town Council (Clementi Office), a public library and an air-conditioned bus interchange. On 21 May 2011, The Clementi Mall – the new retail shopping mall which is part of the mixed-use development, officially opened. The mall is linked directly to Clementi MRT Station on the 3rd level, and the new air-conditioned Clementi Bus Interchange at the 1st level has direct access to the mall. It is the first development in Singapore to integrate public housing, public transport and commercial facilities built together within a single complex. On 15 May 2012, the mixed development won the prestigious international FIABCI Prix d'Excellence award, scoring the Runner-up award under the Master Plan Category.[1]


Clementi is serviced by several educational facilities, some of which have a long history. Primary schools in the area include Clementi Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School, Pei Tong Primary School and Qifa Primary School. Secondary schools include Clementi Town Secondary School, Nan Hua High School, New Town Secondary School, Tanglin Secondary School, Clementi Woods Secondary School and Kent Ridge Secondary School. The NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, an independent school specialising in Mathematics and Science, is located at Clementi Avenue 1. The School of Science and Technology, Singapore, which specialises in Science, Technology and Applied Learning, is located at the junction of Clementi Road and Commonwealth Avenue West near Dover MRT Station and Clementi MRT station as well.

Tertiary educational institutions bordering or situated along Clementi Road include Ngee Ann Polytechnic, SIM Headquarters, SIM University and the National University of Singapore (NUS). There is a direct bus service from the Clementi bus interchange that loops around the NUS campus. Singapore Polytechnic is located along Commonwealth Avenue West next to Dover MRT Station.

The Japanese School, Singapore or Singapore Nihonjin gakko operates one of its two primary schools at Clementi Road, directly opposite NUS.[2] A private Japanese Kindergarten is just next to the Japanese Secondary School. Waseda Shibuya Senior High School Singapore campus is also located at West Coast Road.

A bird's eye view of Clementi Town, facing West


Clementi New Town is served by Clementi MRT Station (EW23) on the East West MRT Line and bus services to Clementi Bus Interchange and different parts of the town.

The Clementi Bus Interchange is used mainly by SBS Transit. SBS Transit feeder service 282, 284 and 285 goes from Clementi to other neighbouring divisions such as Clementi West Street 2, Clementi Avenue 4 and Pandan Loop. Some trunk routes like 96 (goes to National University of Singapore) and 184 (goes to Ngee Ann Polytechnic) also starts from Clementi MRT Station. SMRT service 189 passes through Clementi Avenue 1 ever since the amendment on 15 November 2014. To the exact, service 201 was introduced to Teban Gardens at the same time.

Places of worship[edit]

  • Ang Chee Sia Ong Temple
  • Church of the Holy Cross
  • Clementi Bible Centre
  • Darussalam Mosque
  • Singapore Buddhist Youth Mission
  • Tentera Di-Raja Mosque
  • Wu Tai Shan Buddhist Temple


Clementi has a swimming complex and a sports hall for badminton or table tennis located near the MRT station. The Clementi Stadium (capacity 4,000) and West Coast Recreation Centre are located near West Coast Road and can be seen from the Ayer Rajah Expressway. West Coast Park and Clementi Woods are situated further away from the central area but are still accessible by bus.


There are 4 constituencies in the town, and 7 neighbourhoods (N1 to N7) within the Clementi vicinity; made up primarily by Clementi, West Coast and Sunset each with their own different traits. Most of the neighbourhoods are centralised or aligned along their respective neighbourhood centres, where most of the commercial activities are conducted, other than Clementi Town Centre.

Further reading[edit]

  • Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics – A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1


  1. ^ "Clementi Town mixed development wins prestigious award". Channel NewsAsia. 16 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "CLEMENTI CAMPUS." (Archive) The Japanese School Singapore. Retrieved on 8 January 2014.

External links[edit]