|This used to be a buzzling place with seafood restaurants surrounding the jetty. Punggol Beach is divided into the white sandy part for the picnic-goers and the rocky part for fishers. The beach also brings back grim memories to older generations during the World War II in 1942. In Malay, Punggol (also spelled Ponggol), means hurling sticks at the branches of fruit trees to bring the fruits down to the ground. It also refers to a place where fruits and forest produce are offered for wholesale.
Kampong Punggol, which was located in the vicinity of the Punggol Jetty, was believed to have existed 200 years ago, even before Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore.
Punggol was an area filled with pig and fish farms, as well as plantations, before the current Punggol New Towns were developed. Up till the 80's one could take the long straight road all the way to the end of Punggol to enjoy the famous seafood by the sea or catch a ferry to Pulau Ubin.
The Punggol area used to be a well-established rural district dotted with farmhouses and farm structures, which were serviced by roads and dirt tracks. Many of the Chinese villagers were engaged in poultry, pig or fish farming, as well as plantation and farm produce. The last pig farm closed down in 1990.
A plaque, erected by the National Heritage Board, reads...
"On 28 February, 1942, some 300-400 Chinese civilians were killed along the Punggol foreshore by hojo kempei (auxiliary military police) firing squads. They were among tens of thousands who lost their lives during the Japanese Sook Ching operation to purge suspected anti-Japanese civilians within Singapore's Chinese population between 18 February to 4 March 1942.
The victims who perished along the foreshore were among 1,000 Chinese males rounded up following a house to house search of the Chinese community living along Upper Serangoon Road by Japanese soldiers."
There is no tour here.