Down Memory Lane: Remnants of Kampongs in Mandai Mangrove
Mandai mangrove is located between two rivers Sungei Mandai Besar (Big Mandai River) and Sungei Mandai Kechil (Small Mandai River) hence the mangrove was autonomously named Mandai. This 10-ha mangrove area once housed several Malay villages or better known as kampong-s (or kampung-s). One kampong that was documented fairly well was Kampong Lorong Fatimah (Village of Fatimah’s Alley).
“A main characteristic of a typical kampung house is its on stilts or piles. This was to avoid wild animals and floods, to deter thieves, and for added ventilation”
Excerpt taken from Wikipedia
A typical kampong house would look like this.
Kampong Lorong Fatimah
” This Malay kampong was situated off Woodlands Road, near the causeway, past the immigration checkpoint. It was in existence even in the late eighties. Some of the houses were constructed on stilts. Only a small channel separated this kampong from Johor. In the past, this kampong was filled with sampans or koleks ferrying people between Johor and Singapore. With the sea on one side and a jungle on the other (before Woodlands was fully developed), this kampong seemed very cut-off from the rest of urban Singapore. Entertainment in the past included ronggeng (a Malay ethnic dance) with the nomadic boat people who came here with their gongs, drums, tambourines and violas. Shopping was done from Indian men who came on bicycles carrying bundles containing clothes, towels and sarongs. Most of the villagers here were fishermen and boatmen. When industries were set up around Woodlands, many of them found jobs in the factories, while the younger ones found work in hotels and banks in Orchard Road. Kampong Lorong Fatimah was pulled down to make way for the construction of the Customs Department extension to the Woodlands Checkpoint. The kampong’s residents were relocated, mainly to the Marsiling and Woodlands HDB estates. ”
Excerpt taken from Malay Villages in the North, National Library Board (NLB)
Fast forwarding from the 1970s to the present day, the kampongs of Mandai no longer exist . What’s left of these kampongs are merely remnants of concrete pavements, base floors of kampong houses