Bukit Batok New Town
|Bukit Batok New Town
|| 8.02 km² |
|| 2.91 km² |
|| 32,998 |
|| 47,000 |
|| 113,100 |
is a new town
located in western Singapore
and within the boundaries of the Bukit Batok Planning Area. It is bounded by Bukit Batok Road, the Pan Island Expressway
, along the western edge of Toh Tuck private estate, Bukit Batok East Avenue 6, Old Jurong Road, Bukit Timah Road
, the north edge of Bukit Batok Nature Park, south edge of Hillview estate, east and north edge of Bukit Batok Town Park, and Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 back to Bukit Batok Road.
There are many different versions of the origins of its name Bukit Batok. Bukit means "hill" in Malay, thus the name of the town gives the impression of it being hilly. Batok, however, has several interpretations.
One version has it that according to a Javanese village chief in the tiny village of Gassing, coconut trees grew on the hills in the area and hence the name batok, the Javanese term for coconuts.
The Chinese interpretation is that the hills were of solid granite and hence called batu, the Malay name for "stone", which was corrupted to bato and finally batok. Another version argues that the hill resembles a skull top and batok could also be construed to mean "skull top".
Others felt that the cold air in the area, which led to coughs and colds, conferred on the place the name batok, the Malay term for cough. This could also be a reminder of the days when the area had a large granite quarry at Little Guilin; coughing refers to the sounds of the explosives used.
A more ribald explanation has it that the two hills in the area looked like green buttocks to the British, a word which suffered verbal mutilation among the Chinese to finally emerge as batok.
The shopping complex West Mall was opened in mid-1998. Developed by Alprop Pte. Ltd., a joint venture between the United Industrial Corporation (UIC) and Singapore Land, it has 8 storeys in total gross floor area of 283,000 sq ft (26,300 m²) on a land area of 106,000 sq ft (9,800 m²). It was built at a cost of S$170 million.
West Mall has many amenities and shops such as a 6-Halls Eng Wah Cineplex, a Post Office, Popular Bookstore, Harvey Norman, a Community Library, KFC, Burger King, Watson's and a Shop N Save Supermarket.
In addition of Bukit Batok MRT Station
next to West Mall, the Bukit Batok interchange, also near that station, is of moderate size and wholly used by SMRT Buses, part of SMRT Corporation
. The interchange and most of the services were previously operated by SBS Buses, the precursor of SBS Transit
, until 1999/2000; SBS Transit still has a bus depot in Bukit Batok. The following bus services are in operation:
- Feeder services
- 941 (previously 361) - serving Bukit Batok West avenues 3,6,8
- 945 (previously 365) - serving Bukit Batok East Avenue 5, West Avenue 5 (the Bukit Gombak neighbourhood)
- 947 (previously 367) - serving Bukit Batok West avenues 2,4,7
- Trunk services
- 61 - to Eunos Bus Interchange, via Toh Yi, Clementi, Queensway, Kallang
- 77 - to Marina Centre Bus Terminal, via Toh Yi, Bukit Timah, Holland Road, Orchard Road
- 106 - to Marina Centre Bus Terminal, via Clementi, Holland Road, Orchard Road
- 173 - loops at Clementi Bus Interchange, past Hillview, Toh Tuck, Clementi
- 173A - Terminates at Bukit Batok East Avenue 4
- 177 - to Bukit Panjang Bus Interchange, serves the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Bukit Gombak
- 189 - to Kent Ridge Bus Terminal, via Clementi, West Coast
- 852 - to Yishun Bus Interchange, via Upper Bukit Timah, Bukit Timah, Ang Mo Kio
In addition, the following bus services pass through parts of Bukit Batok:
There are several institutions for education in Bukit Batok:
Places of Worship
- Abundant Life Baptist Church
- Ar-Raudhah Mosque
- Bukit Batok Presbyterian Church
- Church of St. Mary of the Angels
- Grace Assembly of God
- Guilin combined temple
- Hock Thong temple
- Hoon Lam Tua Peh Kong temple
- Jesus Lives Church
- Ling Hong Tong temple
- Sattha Puchaniyaram Buddhist temple
- See Tien Foh combined temple
- Tong Tien Kung temple
- Wu Lui Sien Sze temple
- Zu-Lin temple
The Bukit Batok swimming complex
is located off East Avenue 6. There are many parks in the neighbourhood, including the Bukit Batok Town Park (often considered part of Bukit Gombak
) and the Bukit Batok Nature Park.
The CDANS Bukit Batok Country Club, for reservist members of the Civil Defence forces and their families, was opened in 1998. It offers a golf driving range, swimming pool, bowling alley and sports facilities for relatively affordable prices. The Civil Service Bukit Batok Clubhouse offering similar recreational facilities to civil servants and their families and the public is located near the Bukit Batok Town Centre, and was opened on 1 March 2006.
The jurisdiction of Bukit Batok is shared by the Jurong Group Representation Constituency
(Jurong GRC), which has an office at Bukit Batok Central and manages much of Bukit Batok; and Hong Kah Group Representation Constituency
(Hong Kah GRC), which manages areas north of Bukit Batok West Avenue 3 and Bukit Batok Central. There are four members of Parliament
, two from each GRC, representing various areas in Bukit Batok.
Bukit Batok was a single-member constituency by itself in the 1991 general elections and before. It was later mainly subsumed into the Hong Kah GRC. As of 2001, Bukit Batok, as mentioned above, was mainly within the Jurong GRC, with the rest in Hong Kah GRC. In Jurong GRC the ruling party PAP slate comprising Lim Boon Heng, Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Halimah binte Yacob, Ong Chit Chung, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam got 79.8% of the vote to defeat a SDP slate led by their secretary-general Chee Soon Juan. Currently Ong represents the Bukit Batok division and Halimah the Bukit Batok East division. These areas include Bukit Batok Central, the MRT station etc.
In the same elections in 2001, the PAP slate comprising Yeo Cheow Tong, John Chen Seow Phun, Ahmad Khalis bin Abdul Ghani, Ang Mong Seng and Amy Khor Lean Suan defeated an SDP slate with 79.7% of the vote in Hong Kah. Ang now represents the Bukit Gombak division, roughly the Bukit Gombak and Hillview neighbourhoods. Khor represents the Hong Kah North division, HDB apartment blocks in areas roughly bordered by Bukit Batok Road and Bukit Batok West avenues 2, 5 and 7.
Many of MediaCorp
's television channels (Channel 5
, Channel 8
, Channel NewsAsia
) are transmitted from Bukit Batok. By 2011, MediaCorp's Broadcasting Centre will be relocated to Bukit Batok.
The First Singapore Idol winner, Taufik Batisah, is currently residing in Bukit Batok with his mother and brother.