Pulau Ubin Stories

Stories, old and new, about Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Rubber Plantations

[Editor's note: I apologize for not citing sources for my previous few posts but this has been corrected. For the next few days, or even weeks, as I have been for the last weeks, I will be quoting some really interesting background information about Ubin from Edmund Waller's "Landscape Planning in Singapore".]

Excerpts from Waller (2001)

"Much of the land area of Pulau Ubin went through the same transformation as the mainland after the war so that plantation land was gradually abandoned. At that time plantations consisted of rubber and coconut but labour costs in neighbouring countries became so much lower that Singapore could not compete. Consequently, there are large areas of rubber plantation, which have been neglected for many years. Those most recently abandoned still show the scars of the rubber tapping and the branches of the aligned trees form attractive "gothic arched" tunnels. According to local residents, rubber tapping in these areas did not stop until the 1980s. Elsewhere the secondary forest has become so well established that the rubber trees have started to vanish.


Can you see the gothic arch? - by NT

The Lutyenesque "English lodge" of the rubber proprietor (No. 1, Kampong Chek Jawa) still exists on an attractive coastal location facing Changi and deserves a new use. But the North-eastern Islands Planning Report (URA, 1997:13) shows massive land reclamation works around the whole of the eastern end of the island, in which case the superb environment would vanish."

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Source:
Waller, Edmund (2001) "Landscape Planning in Singapore" (Singapore: Singapore University Press) pp.165-171

References:
Urban Redevelopment Authority (1997) "North-eastern Islands Planning Report" Singapore

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