Debunking myth of the sleepy fishing village

A boat race that took place in the 1950s off Kampong Amber, a Malay village that used to exist between East Coast Road and Amber Road. Maps from 1822 and 1825 show that a large "Bugis Town" occupied the entire eastern bay of Singapore town, before th
A boat race that took place in the 1950s off Kampong Amber, a Malay village that used to exist between East Coast Road and Amber Road. Maps from 1822 and 1825 show that a large "Bugis Town" occupied the entire eastern bay of Singapore town, before the British re-organised it into plots in the 1830s to 1840s.ST FILE PHOTO
A boat race that took place in the 1950s off Kampong Amber, a Malay village that used to exist between East Coast Road and Amber Road. Maps from 1822 and 1825 show that a large "Bugis Town" occupied the entire eastern bay of Singapore town, before th
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IMRAN TAJUDEEN

This is the fifth of six weekly articles covering the Singapore History Series - Seven Centuries In Six Episodes, organised as part of the SkillsFuture Festival in collaboration with the Singapore Bicentennial Office.

Among Singapore's early landowners - whose presence predated a treaty allowing Raffles to set up a trading post here in 1819 - was Hajjah Fatimah, a Bugis trader from Melaka.

She and her husband were drawn to the island due to its viability as an alternative trade port to Riau. Hajjah Fatimah, who was widowed soon after, not only owned her own boats but also had plots of land near present-day Beach Road.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2019, with the headline 'Debunking myth of the sleepy fishing village'. Print Edition | Subscribe