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Oct 5, 2014

Tampines Singapore in the Past

The banner in Chinese:  "The farmers of Tampines warmly welcome their "Saviour Star" Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Tampines in the Past

Many old-timers, now known as the "Pioneer Generation Singaporeans", have seen the rapid changing landscapes of Singapore over 50 years.

If Singapore had remained stagnant without the founding fathers and community leaders of Singapore and time stood still, nothing would happen and the HDB new satellite towns in every parts of Singapore to materialize.

The early years of Singapore to develop and build was not easy, not so rapid.

As a case in point, this blog topic mention about Tampines.

How would it be possible for hundreds of thousand Singaporeans who formerly own land as vegetable farms, poultry farms, land for pig rearing, rubber plantations or fruit plantation to earn a living for their families to be resettled.

No, not to have another Bukit Ho Swee fire for the government to acquire private land for the people to develop.

The Straits Times, 6 May, 1970 by Yap Cheng Tong

Better Housing and Increased Incomes

A survey discloses that 16,200 people who came under the Housing Board's massive resettlement plan now have better house and other amenities.

Those who gave up farming for urban jobs have also increased their incomes.

The 16,200 mainly farmers, used to live in the outskirts of the urban centre.

Their land was required for constructions of low cost public housing, schools, industrial estates, and the infrastructure for social and economic development.

Now - where there used to be market gardening, flower planting, poultry or pig rearing - satellite towns have sprung up, like Queenstown, Macpherson, Toa Payoh and Jurong Town.

One decade

The effects of this huge resettlement programme, which began a decade ago, were studied in a census carried out from November, 1967 to March, 1968.  The results have just been published.

The census was jointly carried out by the Economic Research Centre of the University of Singapore and the Housing Board, under the overall direction of Dr. Stephen Yeh, head of the HDB's Research Department.

It covered 37 resettlement sites totalling 8,456 acres in Ama Keng, Jurong, Chua Chu Kang, Lim Chu Kang, Kranji, Tampines, and other rural area.

Twenty-one of the sites, containing almost 10,000 people, were under Land Office management.

The rest, which had not been completely redeveloped at the time of the census, were managed by the Housing Board.

Zinc roofs

The census found that housing condition have improved.  Zinc-roofed houses have replaced attap homes.

Amenities have also improved.  In Housing Board managed areas, 73 per cent of the 1,389 households now have piped water, described as an "improvement" although no pre-census figures are available.

The 10 per cent who had no bath facilities before resettlement have been reduced to 6 per cent.

In Land Office arears, 94 per cent of the 842 families now have piped water - again an improvement.

All of them now have toilet facilities; two per cent had none before.

In Housing Board areas the average monthly income dropped from $197 before resettlement to $164 after the move.

The average farm income after resettlement dropped to $77 from $174, while non-farm income went up to $155 from $198.


The drop in income was partly because those affected had still not completely recovered from the disruption caused by resettlement.

But in fully developed areas, under the Land Office, the average monthly household income rose to $231 after resettlement, from $214.

In those areas farm income dropped from $184 to $114, while non-farm income increased from $161 to $208.

This was because more of the resettled people changed from farm to non-farm occupations.

In Housing Board areas, 979 people were non-farm wage-earners before resettlement.  After relocation the figure rose to 1,138.

Singapore Monitor dated 20 October, 1984

Singapore is expected to be squatter-free by 1990

By the end of this year, there will be an estimated 35,000 to 38,000 squatters left, and the Government plans to resettle all of them in the next few years.

The Senior Parliamentary Secretary (National Development) Mr Lee Yiok Seng said on 9 October, 1984 that the pace of resettlement had accelerated during the last few years.

A total of 60,512 squatters were resettled between 1980 and 1983 - almost two-thirds the number resettled in the preceding nine years.  They received $505.4 million in compensation ...

Mr Lee said the number of squatters resettle them 1970 and 1979 was 104,643.

"It is the Government's intention to make Singapore a squatter-free country by 1990," Mr Lee said.

The aspiration of Singaporeans living in slums and squattered areas for better standards of housing has made resettlement an accepted fact of life, he said.

According to the Housing & Development Board (HDB)m 1983/84 annual report, the number of resettlement cases cleared by the board rose from 14,900 in the previous financial year to 17,900 during the last financial year.

More than 9,000 families were affected.  Most of them were resettled in the new towns in Jurong, Hougang and Tampines.

More than 10,000 of the resettlement cases were rehoused in HDB accomodation in the last financial year and 7,652 found their own accomodation.

Tampines Before Resettlement

Fishing pond in Tampines c 1980s
The above photos of the small scale cottage industry for bean curd makers in Tampines.

The Urban and Rural Services Consultative Committee Visit Tampines on 6 May, 1964

PM Lee Kuan Yew tour Tampines on 31 March, 1963

Its not a fire at Tampines ... the smoke of fire-crackers to welcome PM

PM Lee Kuan Yew receive well-wishers in Tampines on 12 November, 1963

Tampines residents present PM with token of appreciation on 31 March, 1963

President Yusof bin Ishak and PM Lee Kuan Yew invited community leaders of Tampines to Sri Temasek on 16 Februay, 1963 for dinner.

Tampines Community Leaders invited to Sri Temasek on 4 May, 1963 for dinner.

With the splendid efforts of the Government, relevant government authorities, community leaders and all Singaporeans over the decades to help the successful and smooth resettlement process in many parts of Singapore to develop and build the schools, public housing, industrial estates, recreational parks, roads and MRT stations and to become Singapore today.

Tampines Singapore - Then and Now here .



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