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Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 实里达
 • Pinyin Shílǐdá
 • Malay Seletar
 • Tamil சிலேத்தார்
Country  Singapore

Seletar is a region in the north-east of Singapore. It is commonly defined by the Ponggol River to the east, the Seletar River to the west, Ang Mo Kio to the south and the Straits of Johore to the north. It includes the areas covering Yio Chu Kang, Jalan Kayu, Lower Seletar Reservoir and a part of Upper Thomson.[1]

Seletar can also refer to the Seletar Planning Area as defined by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The Seletar Planning Area shares a land boundary with Sengkang to the south and riverine boundaries with Punggol to the east and Yishun to the west. Its northern boundary is made up by the Straits of Johor.[2][3]

Seletar is the site of the Seletar Airport. A new S$60 million Seletar Aerospace Park that spans 140 hectares will be built at Seletar, and is expected to be completed in 2018. The aerospace park will house industries specialising in aircraft maintenance and repair services.[4][5]

There are future plans to transform Seletar into one of the Singapore's regional centres, along with Jurong East, Tampines and Woodlands.


Seletar is probably one of the older local place names. The Malay word seletar refers to the aboriginal coastal dwellers (orang Seletar River (which has since been dammed up to form the Lower Seletar Reservoir), hence the river's name. Later, Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor is said to have taken these people from Seletar to Sungai Pulai in southwest Johor.


What is now Thomson Road, was first cut in the 1840s.

The British naval and air bases were in Seletar. The decision to build the base was made in 1921. Work started in 1927, with the mangrove swamps being filled in, hills removed and rubber trees cut down. The work was completed in the early 1930s. RAF Seletar was the first Royal Air Force base east of India and the first civilian airport in Singapore.

The Seletar Reservoir, now the Upper Seletar Reservoir, was built in 1935.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wijeysingha, Eugene (2013-01-01). Down the Seletar River: Discovering a Hidden Treasure of Singapore. Seletar Hills Estate Residents' Assoc. ISBN 9789710579204. 
  2. ^ "URA SPACE". Urban Redevelopment Authority. 
  3. ^ "Planning Areas/Subzones in Singapore (Year 2015)" (PDF). Singapore Department of Statistics. 
  4. ^ Karamjit Kaur (19 June 2007). "Plans for $60m Seletar Aerospace Park on course". The Straits Times. 
  5. ^ Karamjit Kaur (27 June 2007). "Seletar gets ready for makeover as aerospace hub". The Straits Times. 


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