History of Sumang Walk In Punggol
Historical data point out to Catholics and Teochews as the initial occupants of Punggol. The original occupants of the region are however believed to be Malays. The Teochews call the upper Serangoon road Kanyankarto mean river mouth/riverbank.
Punggol is believed to derive its name from River Sungei Punggol. According to Malay, it means ‘throwing sticks to branch full of fruits so they can fall down’. It can also mean a place where people trade fruits in wholesale. Another meaning is ‘a high tree stump’.
Punggol is situated near Punggol Jetty. It was believed that Punggol was in existence even before Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Richard, approximately 200 years ago
In the older days, Punggol was a big rural district filled with farm structures and farmhouses. Dirt tracks, and roads serviced these farm structures, and farmhouses. It’s one of Singapore’s most ancient settlements occupied by Malays. The first Catholic missionaries to land in Punggol came around 140 years ago and set up schools, and churches. The original inhabitants used Feris for transportation purposes.
In the mid-19th Century, the first Chinese who settled in the Punggol region were originally plantation farmers who engaged in the production of rubber. The Chinese population in the regions steadily increased, and most Chinese farmers ventured into poultry, fish, and pig farming.
The Cheng Lim farm ways and the Bangkok farm ways were dotted with orchid farms and the hydroponic pollution-free vegetable farms. These farms are believed to have played key roles in the development of the HDB flats in the Punggol New Town, and Sengkang New Towns.
The 2nd World War II brought with it one of the biggest miseries to the Punggolians. In 1942, the Japanese forces based at Punggol point massacred over 400 Chinese civilians in the region. This came to be named to Punggol Beach Massacre.
Today, the site is a national heritage site in memory of the lost lives. After the World wars, Punggol benefited from government self-help programmes which brought in improved roads, better drainage systems, piped water, and electricity, etc. The 1960s marked the mass installation of TVs, and antennas in most Kampong rooftops.
Punggol is also rich in seafood. It was full of boatels which were mainly beneficial in renting out boats which were used in activities like boating, sky diving, and water skiing, etc. In a bid to create more spaces for more government projects etc., most of the boatels, and seafood restaurants that were common in the area have all been swept out.
The year 1990s also marked the period when the government gradually closed the poultry, and pig farms in the region. The last pig farm was brought down in around 1990. The government temporarily leased out the lands left by settlers to locals to practice non-pollution agriculture.
Plans to convert Punggol to a residential town was announced in 1996. The development began in 1998 but failed to go through because of the Asian Financial Crisis, and the financial crisis of the company trusted with the task.
A new project dubbed Punggol 21-plus was initiated in 2007 to redevelop it to a waterfront town.