Paya Lebar

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Paya Lebar
Planning Area
Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese 巴耶利峇
 • Pinyin bāyēlîbā
 • Malay Paya Lebar
 • Jawi ڤايا ليبر
 • Tamil பாய ளேபர்
Paya Lebar Planning Area locator map.png
Country  Singapore


 • Mayors
Ethnic groups

Paya Lebar is a planning area located in the East Region of Singapore, bordered by Hougang to the west, Sengkang to the northwest, Tampines to the east, Bedok to the south and Pasir Ris to the north.

Paya Lebar Road

Etymology and history[edit]

Paya Lebar was a large, swampy area close to the Kallang River, hence its name. Paya means "swamp" and lebar means "wide" in Malay. This was an extensive and notorious squatter district, whose inhabitants engage in cultivating market produce, including pig and poultry rearing.

One of the first persons to colonise this area was Richard Owen Norris (died 1905), who bought part of the area in 1865 and lived here with his family.

The admiralty wireless station was in this district in 1915.

In 1955, Singapore International Airport (commonly referred to as "Paya Lebar Airport") was opened and became the area's chief landmark, along with a number of housing estates, schools and factories.

Paya Lebar Street was officially named in 1958, while Paya Lebar Way was named in 1972.


Paya Lebar covers both the Aljunied GRC and the Marine Parade GRC, which were warded by the Workers' Party and the People's Action Party, respectively. One notable Member of Parliament for the ward was the former Secretary-General of the Workers' Party, Low Thia Khiang, where his ward covers a majority of Paya Lebar, including the Paya Lebar Air Base.


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