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Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 裕 廊
 • Pinyin Yùláng
 • Hokkien POJ Jū-lông
 • Malay Jurong
 • Tamil ஜூரோங்
Aerial photo of Jurong Lake
Aerial photo of Jurong Lake
Jurong is located in Singapore
Location of Jurong within Singapore
Country Singapore
 • Ruling party People's Action Party

Jurong is the name used to collectively refer to the planning areas of Jurong East, Jurong West, Boon Lay and Pioneer in the western region of Singapore. [1] The Northern portion of Jurong is known as the Jurong Residential Precinct, which compromise of Jurong East and Jurong West. The Southern portion of Jurong compromises of Boon Lay and Pioneer. Both the latter form the Jurong Industrial Estate. Jurong Island, an offshore artificial island, also forms up the industrial estate, although public access is forbidden. The island is linked up via a causeway from Jurong East. The planned district resembles Woodlands, the largest town in the northern part of Singapore, which is smaller in size, has a smaller industrial area and yet, is more densely populated with residents than in Jurong. The soil condition in Jurong is known as the 'Jurong Formation'.


  • Etymology and History 1
    • Colonial Era and Post-Independence 1.1
    • Formation of Jurong Industrial Estate 1.2
    • Formation of Jurong Residential Precinct 1.3
    • Jurong KTMB Railway Line 1.4
  • Accessiblity 2
    • Private 2.1
    • Public 2.2
      • Mass Rapid Transit 2.2.1
      • Bus 2.2.2
  • Amenities 3
    • Shopping 3.1
    • Tourist Attractions 3.2
    • Schools 3.3
  • Politics 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Sources 7
  • External links 8

Etymology and History

Colonial Era and Post-Independence

Jurong is probably derived from the Malay word Jerung, which means a "shark". The first road in the area, Jurong Road was cut around 1852-1853, during the time of John Thomson's tenure as Chief Surveyor. When translated into Indonesian, Jurung can also refer to the elevated porch of a traditional house. Thus considering the area's many small hills in a swamp, Jurong may refer to these small elevated lands in the swamp. In the early 1900s, Jurong was uncharted territory, mainly dominated by swamps with low hills covered by shrubs and a thick jungle. In 1929, Jurong Road was extended to Bukit Timah, connecting it to the rest of Singapore Town. Jurong remained a sleepy rural area until 1959, when Singapore became a self-governing colony. In 1963, the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, made Jurong the initial constituency on his first visit to constituencies in the Republic. At that time, Jurong was without a citizen's consultative committee. Jurong was once a swamp and has been redeveloped with many housing buildings.

Many roads within the Jurong Industrial Estate named in the late 1960s and early 1970s drew inspiration from the nature of industrial activities in the estate and related aspects of industrialisation. For the local Chinese population, Jurong was formerly called peng kang, a reference to a gambier plantation located in the area. After 1906, rubber plantations dominated the area — Bulim Estate, Lokyang Estate, Chong Keng Estate, Seng Toh Estate and Yunnan Estate, giving rise to many of the local names for areas in Jurong.

Formation of Jurong Industrial Estate

Jurong Industrial Estate with Jurong West New Town in the background.

The government saw industrialisation as a solution to the country's economic problems and Jurong was picked as a prime area for development. Jurong's coastal waters were deep, making it suitable for a port; the land was mostly state-owned; and landfill was readily available from the area's many hills. It is also relatively far from Singapore's Central Business District and residential areas, and thus it is suitable to locate heavy industries there.

In the 1950s, it was developed into an industrial estate, supported by low-cost housing. Investors were encouraged to set up factories here and received pioneer certificates providing them with tax exemptions and protective status for their goods. But getting workers to work in Jurong was a problem as the lack of infrastructure meant companies had to pay workers extra to commute. To solve the manpower issue, the Government decided to build housing estates in Jurong.[2] Amenities such as government dispensaries, a private hospital, creches, hawker centres and banks were built in the 1970s during efforts to develop Singapore economically.

In 1961, the Economic and Development Board (EDB) was formed to industrialise Jurong and earthworks began that same year. In 1962, the Finance Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee, laid the foundation stone for the National Iron and Steel Mills, the first factory in the new industrial estate. Many Singaporeans doubted the success of Dr Goh's plan to develop the area, giving it the name "Goh's Folly". They were quickly proven wrong as 24 factories were established in 1963. In May 1965, Jurong Port became operational.

In 1968, the Jurong Town Corporation was created to manage Jurong's development. By this time, 14.78 square kilometres of industrial land has been prepared, 153 factories were fully functioning and 46 more were being constructed. With the Singapore economy constantly expanding, finding space for new industries is an ever-present challenge. Seven islets off the coast of Jurong were merged to create the 30 square kilometre Jurong Island, which is to be the base for oil, petrochemical and chemical industries. Construction of Jurong Island began in the early 1990s and is scheduled to be completed in 2010. A number of plants began operating there in the late 1990s. A bridge, the Jurong Island Causeway, links Jurong Island to the mainland. Access to the island is restricted which may improve its security against terrorist attacks.

Formation of Jurong Residential Precinct

Jurong East Town Centre
A housing estate in Yunnan

The development of Jurong started in the 1970s when estates such as Taman Jurong, Boon Lay Place, Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak, Hong Kah, Teban Gardens and Yuhua were built, mostly due to the resettlement of Hong Kah and surrounding villages. Boon Lay Place, Taman Jurong and Hong Kah formed Jurong West New Town. Yuhua, Teban Gardens, Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak formed Jurong East New Town.

In 1982, Jurong West New Town started expanding as Jurong West Extension,[3] which saw the realignment of the PIE to make it go through the southern boundary of present-day NTU, while converting the former section into Jurong West Avenue 2 and renaming the original Upper Jurong Road into Jurong West Avenue 4. Pioneer Road was extended North wards from present-day Upper Jurong Road as Pioneer Road North to the new PIE exit, which signalled the start of the development of Jurong West Extension (Yunnan, Pioneer and Gek Poh). The N9 estate was the first to be built and the N6 estate was the last, in the early 2000s. The MRT Line was extended from Lakeside to Boon Lay in 1990 and again to Pioneer in 2009.

Jurong today is a town with residential and industrial developments. The extensive residential developments has brought an influx of residents, who are well served by shopping centres, sports facilities, schools, good road connections and the Mass Rapid Transit system. The industrial districts are managed by JTC and it is common to find foreign workers hanging out in Jurong. The influx of foreign workers and foreign expatriates in the region has been a concern among the residents living here.

Jurong KTMB Railway Line

Jurong KTMB railway line bridge

The Keretapi Tanah Melayu railway from Malaysia used to have an extension branching out from the Bukit Timah railway station to Shipyard Road and Jurong Port via Teban Gardens. This railway extension was intended for goods transportation as Jurong lacked good roads at the time. It was opened in 1965 amid much fanfare, but failed to generate satisfactory traffic. It was consequently closed in early 1993 during the electrification project, and has since been partially dismantled.



Jurong is well connected to the rest of Singapore by road, with Kranji Expressway linking them to the northern part of Singapore, Pan Island Expressway linking them to the Eastern part of Singapore and the Ayer Rajah Expressway linking them to the south-eastern part of Singapore. Clementi Avenue 6 and Jurong Town Hall Road complement the 3 expressways, topping off the well-built road connection from Jurong to all parts of the island.


Mass Rapid Transit

The town is well-connected to the MRT system with Jurong East and Chinese Garden for the Jurong East area. Lakeside, Boon Lay, Pioneer and Joo Koon stations are well connected to the Jurong West area.


The town is well-served by public bus services originating from 2 interchanges and 1 bus depot, namely the Jurong East and Boon Lay bus interchanges and Soon Lee Bus Depot.




The more notable shopping malls in Jurong are Jurong Point Shopping Mall in Pioneer and IMM in Yuhua.

The largest suburban mall in Singapore, Jurong Point Shopping Mall is well-accessible by bus services from all the residential precincts of Jurong except Yuhua and Teban Gardens. This mall targets the young adults and family populations with stalls selling fashion,food&beverages,sports,entertainment and lifestyle products and the elderly population with body-wellness stores and healthcare centres located at level 4 and 5 of the mall. It is a mall that caters to people from all walks of life as it has something for everyone. It is well linked to the Boon Lay MRT Station and Boon Lay Bus Interchange.

IMM is a mall located within walking distance and visible from Jurong East MRT Station, with a family-orientated food court at the highest storey of the mall, many furniture stores and other stores that meet the needs of the people, such as a Popular Bookstore and Daiso department store which sells decorative stuffs and other lifestyle products at a reasonably low price of $2. There is a hypermarket at level 1 of the mall to suit the marketing needs of the people, known as Giant Hypermarket. There is a free shuttle bus service that ferries visitors to the mall from two MRT stations.

There are other shopping malls in Jurong but are well-known only within the precinct they are in, such as 'Hong Kah Point' in Hong Kah and 'Taman Jurong Shopping Centre' in Taman Jurong. Therefore, it is recommended that one should read the pages of the various precincts to understand more about the shopping centres in Jurong.

Tourist Attractions


Jurong is home to Nanyang Technological University (NTU), after which the Nanyang precinct is named after. The National Institute of Education is co-located with NTU. Jurong Junior College is located within the town, in between Hong Kah and Boon Lay. There is at least 1 primary school and 1 secondary school in each precinct of Jurong including the Shuqun Primary School established in 1925 in Jurong West.


Jurong used to be an independent political constituency in the 1959 general elections. Chia Thye Poh represented the constituency in parliament between 1963 and 1966. Then, 'Boon Lay Constituency' was carved out in 1976 and 'Hong Kah Constituency' in 1984, forming 4 separate constituencies. 'Hong Kah Constituency' eventually became a GRC that consisted of Nanyang, Hong Kah, Gek Poh and Bukit Batok in 1988. Teban Gardens, Pioneer, Yuhua and Taman Jurong were under 'Bukit Timah Constituency' and the N9 region of Nanyang was under 'Jurong Constituency' all that while.

In 2001, there was a major change in the political constituties of Jurong. 'Boon Lay Constituency', together with Teban Gardens and Pioneer, was absorbed into the newly-created Westcoast GRC. 'Hong Kah Constituency' was re-designed to include towns of Chua Chu Kang and Bukit Gombak and only Nanyang and Gek Poh remained in the constituency, this time including the N9 region of Nanyang. 'Jurong Constituency' was abolished. Hong Kah and Bukit Batok were regrouped into the newly-created Jurong GRC, alongside with Yuhua and Taman Jurong. As such, the entire political system of Jurong was changed with 3 GRCs as a result.

10 years later, in 2011, Gek Poh, Yuhua and Pioneer were crafted out from each of the 3 GRCs to become SMCs. In total, there are now 6 constituencies in Jurong.

Nonetheless, though divided into 6 separate constituencies, all the precincts are collectively managed by the PAP and known as Jurong.

See also


  1. ^ [2]
  2. ^ "Jurong's journey from sleepy outback to bustling gem". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  3. ^ New Jurong West to be twice as big
  4. ^
  5. ^


  • Victor R Savage; Brenda S A Yeoh (2003). Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names. Eastern Universities Press.  
  • National Heritage Board (2002). Singapore's 100 Historic Places. Archipelago Press.  

External links

  • Jurong Regional Library
  • Jurong Point shopping centre
  • Chinese and Japanese Garden
  • Singapore Discovery Centre
  • Science Centre, Singapore
  • Photographs of the former Jurong railway line at the National Archives of Singapore
  • Southwest CDC Website
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