Bedok



Bedok is an estate within Singapore’s East Region. It is bounded by the Siglap Canal, Marine Parade Road, Still Road, Jalan Eunos, Eunos Link and Airport Road to the west; the Paya Lebar Airport boundary to the north; and Bedok Canal to the east. Bedok sounds like the Malay word for “drum” – a possible reference to its use at the mosque to announce prayer time to the faithful.1

Covering a total area of approximately 2,157 ha, Bedok comprises eight sub-zones, namely Kaki Bukit, Bedok Reservoir, Kembangan, Bedok North, Frankel, Bedok South, Siglap and Bayshore. Constant upgrading and rejuvenation since the 1970s have transformed Bedok into a bustling town.2

History
Bedok is derived from the Malay word for “drum”, which is spelt bedoh with the “h” pronounced like “k”.3 The drum was used in “pre-loudspeaker days” at the mosque to sound out a call to Muslims for prayer time, and to convey to nearby villagers important announcements or messages.4 Bedok could also refer to small fishing boats, called biduk, which used to be found along the coastline.5


Bedok occupies the area designated as Mukim 27. The area was originally known as Tanah Merah Kecil.6 The reference to Bedok River as sune bodo (Sungei Bedok), in de Eredia’s 1604 Map of Singapore, suggests Bedok to be an old place name. The first comprehensive map of Singapore, completed by Franklin and Jackson during the time of Sir Stamford Raffles, also indicates the presence of a river, Sungei Badok, “around the small red cliff”.7 On the outskirts of Bedok, at Jalan Sempadan, is a cemetery where Rhio and Bornean peoples who had settled in the district were buried in pre-Raffles days.8

Development
Under the East Coast Reclamation Scheme Phase 1, part of Bedok was reclaimed in 1966.9 Bedok was also part of the massive development of East Coast announced in August 1971.10 By March 1976, the Housing and Development Board had built 4,600 units of flats in the area.11

By 1994, when the Bedok Development Guide Plan was announced, Bedok was already a popular and established residential area with many leisure facilities. Under this plan, another 16,500 housing units were scheduled to be built to cater to Bedok’s population growth.12

Under the Draft Master Plan 2013 for Bedok, the estate will be revitalised with a new hawker centre and town plaza, as well as an integrated complex comprising a community club, sports facilities, a library and a polyclinic.13 A population trends report, released by the Department of Statistics, revealed Bedok as having the largest number of residents at 294,100, as at 2013.14



Author

Vernon Cornelius-Takahama



References 
1. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Bedok planning area: Planning report. Singapore: Author, pp. 5, 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 
2. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Bedok planning area: Planning report. Singapore: Author, pp. 5, 7. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN); Teo, W. G. (2010, December 24). Exciting changes for Bedok, promises Jaya. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Ramachandra, S. (1961). Singapore landmarks, past and present. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, p. 5. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.57 RAM)
4. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Bedok planning area: Planning report. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN); Hadijah Rahmat. (2005). Kilat senja: Sejarah sosial dan budaya kampung-kampung di Singapura. Singapore: HS Yang Publishing, p. 133. (Call no.: Malay RSING 959.57 HAD)
5. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, pp. 34–35. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA]
6. Hadijah Rahmat. (2005). Kilat senja: Sejarah sosial dan budaya kampung-kampung di Singapura. Singapore: HS Yang Publishing, p. 133. (Call no.: Malay RSING 959.57 HAD)
7. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, pp. 34–35. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
8. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Bedok planning area: Planning report. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 
9. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Bedok planning area: Planning report. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 
10. Campbell, W. (1971, August 8). Where 100,000 will live and play on reclaimed East Coast. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Reutens, L. (1976, July 6). Bedok: The birth of a new town. New Nation, pp. 10–11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Williams, A. (1994, March 31). Govt to create greater housing choice with more ‘prime districts’. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Bedok planning area: Planning report. Singapore: Author, p. 18. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 
13. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (n.d.). Draft Master Plan 2013: Bedok. Retrieved 2016, October 26 from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/-/media/dmp2013/Planning%20Area%20Brochures/Brochure_Bedok_1.pdf?la=en; Bedok residents to get healthcare and sports facilities under one roof. (2014, July 26). Channel News Asia. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
14. Over half of 3.84m S’poreans, PRs in 10 urban planning areas. (2013, September 27). Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/




The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to 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
Suburbs--Singapore
Urbanization--Singapore
Streets and Places
Law and government>>National development>>Urban development
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings