Pulau Meskol



Pulau Meskol was a small island of 6.1 ha1 in a cluster of islands lying south of Jurong on the Singapore mainland.2 It was merged with neighbouring islands to form Jurong Island, where the petrochemical and petroleum industry is located.3

Location
Pulau Meskol was in the south of mainland Singapore. It was hemmed in by the much larger Pulau Merlimau to its northwest, the smaller Pulau Mesemut Laut and Pulau Mesemut Darat to its northeast, Pulau Seraya to its southeast and Pulau Ayer Merbau to its southwest.4 Pulau Ayer Chawan, the largest island in the group, once lay adjacent to Pulau Merlimau and Ayer Merbau, off their western shores.5


Jurong Island
The first phase of the Jurong Island reclamation project kicked off in 1995.6 The Jurong Town Corporation undertook both phases of reclamation, with the 1999 reclamation contract of S$1.3 billion being the largest it ever awarded.7 Ten islands were amalgamated to form Jurong Island: Pulau Pesek, Pulau Pesek Kechil, Pulau Ayer Chawan, Pulau Sakra, Pulau Ayer Merbau, Pulau Meskol, Pulau Merliman, Pulau Seraya, Pulau Mesemut Laut and Pulau Mesemut Darat.


Jurong Island is now the site of numerous petrochemical and petroleum companies.9 The island is divided into nine districts, with most of these taking on the names of its constituent islands. Unfortunately, the name “Meskol” did not survive as the name of any district.10

Name and etymology
Pulau is Malay for “island”.11 Meskol is derived from the Malay word miskol (of Orang Laut origin), referring to a large water vessel made from a coconut shell and with a narrow orifice.12 The common Malay form of the word is sekul (of Persian origin), which means “water vessel”.13 The mi in miskol and misemut seems to be an affix peculiar to the language of the Orang Laut.14


It is interesting to note that the names of nearby islands also connote water vessels of various kinds. For example, the word gayong in Terumbu Gayong, a shoal not far from Pulau Meskol, refers to a ladle made out of coconut shell with an attached handle. The word chawan in Pulau Ayer Chawan is Malay for “teacup”.15



Author

Khor Kok Kheng



References
1. Ministry of Culture, Singapore. (1979). Singapore facts and pictures. Singapore: Ministry of Culture, p. 256. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SMCFFS-[HIS])
2. Ministry of Culture, Singapore. (1998–1999). Singapore street directory. Singapore: Publicity Division, Ministry of Culture, pp. 20–21. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.57 SSD)
3. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 195. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
4. Survey Department, Singapore. (1959). Map showing Legislative Assembly electoral division – Southern Islands, Singapore [Survey map]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
5. Wai, R. (1981, October 12). $270 m project to join two southern isles. The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Reclamation to start for Jurong Island project. (1995, March 10). The Straits Times, p. 48. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Tan, C. (1999, January 26). $1.3b Jurong Island reclamation begins.  The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 195. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
9. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 195. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
10. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 195. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
11. Wilkinson, R. J. (1952). An abridged Malay–English dictionary (Romanised). London: Macmillan & Co Ltd, p. 189. (Call no.: RCLOS 499.230321 MAL-[RFL])
12. Singam, S. D. R. (1962). Malayan place names. Kuala Lumpur: The author, pp. 275–276. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.5 RAJ)
13. Wilkinson, R. J. (1952). An abridged Malay–English dictionary (Romanised). London: Macmillan & Co Ltd, p. 217. (Call no.: RCLOS 499.230321 MAL-[RFL])
14. Singam, S. D. R. (1962). Malayan place names. Kuala Lumpur: The author, pp. 275–276. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.5 RAJ)
15. Wilkinson, R. J. (1952). An abridged Malay–English dictionary (Romanised). London: Macmillan & Co Ltd, pp. 39, 67. (Call no.: RCLOS 499.230321 MAL-[RFL])



The information in this article is valid as at 2017 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Singapore offshore islands
Geography>>Geographical Areas and Countries>>Singapore Offshore Islands
Petroleum refineries--Singapore
Reclamation of land--Singapore
Law and government>>National development>>Land use
Islands--Singapore