Pulau Bukom

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Coordinates: 1°14′00″N 103°45′52″E / 1.23333°N 103.76444°E / 1.23333; 103.76444

Pulau Bukom
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 毛广岛
 • Pinyin máoguǎng dǎo
 • Hokkien POJ mo͘-kóng-tó
 • Malay Pulau Bukom
 • Tamil புளு புகோம்
Pulau Bukum locator map.png
Country  Singapore

Pulau Bukom, also known as Pulau Bukum, is a small island belonging to Singapore that is located about five kilometres to the south of the main island of Singapore, off the Straits of Singapore. The size of Pulau Bukom is about 1.45 km2 (0.56 sq mi).

Pulau Bukom is also known as Pulau Bukom Besar, which has a small companion islet to its south called Pulau Bukom Kechil. This companion islet is currently connected to Pulau Ular and Pulau Busing by reclaimed land, making the three of them appear as one large island on satellite imagery.

The island's name is thought to come from the Malay name for a seashell called rangkek bukom, which is wide at one end and tapers to a narrow point, the shape of the island prior to land reclamation. Bukum is said to be the same as hukum, and there is a tradition that the Raja used to try cases on the island, hence the name, probably through the intermediate form berhukum.

Pulau Bukom appears in Franklin and Jackson's 1828 map as Po. Bukum. The island, originally a mangrove swamp, was also a source of fresh water for ships. In 1884, a trader named Gagino established a water company on the island to supply water to passing ships.

The island is currently the site of the Shell oil refinery and plants for the manufacture of chemicals. Shell's association with the island dates back to 1891, when the company used the island to store kerosene. Shell is currently extending its facilities on the island.

The island can be reached by a free ferry, operated by Tian San Shipping, from the Pasir Panjang ferry terminal. Access to the island is restricted. Visitors need to have a security pass, issued only for personnel working on the island. The security checks are very tight, and no unauthorized person is allowed to enter the island.

Pulau Bukom and Pulau Bukom Kechil, Western Islands, Singapore. Pulau Bukom Kechil lies to the left with the shorter grey cylindrical tanks, and Pulau Bukom, to the right, is smaller, with taller white and gre ytanks and buildings. Pulau Anak Bukom is the small islet with vegetation, under the cluster of chimneys at the centre left.

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]