by Cornelius-Takahama, Vernon
Jalan Eunos marks the eastern boundary of Geylang, a district located in the central region of Singapore. The road starts from Changi Road and is cut off by the expressway-flyover at Eunos Link, while the unconnected stretch of Jalan Eunos is linked with Bedok Reservoir Road, accessible from Eunos Link. Jalan Eunos and other locations with the same name are named after Mohamed Eunos bin Abdullah, a prominent Malay elite in Singapore during the 1920s. Originally a rural area with plantations and farmlands, Jalan Eunos has evolved from a Malay settlement village in the late 1920s to become a modern high-rise private and public housing area with terraced and bungalow houses, as well as industrial estates in its vicinity.1
Jalan Eunos area was originally quite hilly with many vegetable farms and coconut plantations. In the latter part of the 19th century, many Malays congregated in Geylang along with wealthy Arabs such as the Alkaff, Alsagoff and Aljunied families. The Alsagoffs were landowners of the large Perseverance Estate, which stretched from Geylang Serai to Jalan Eunos. In the latter half of the 19th century, Perseverance Estate cultivated serai (lemongrass).2
Jalan Eunos was also home to one of the last Malay settlements on mainland Singapore. The Jalan Eunos Malay Settlement, originally called Kampong Melayu and renamed Kampong Eunos, was situated near Changi Road, off Jalan Eunos. It was founded with the help of Mohamed Eunos Abdullah, president and co-founder of the Kesatuan Melayu Singapura (Singapore Malay Union) and the first Malay representative of the Legislative Council. In 1927, Mohamed Eunos successfully lobbied the Legislative Council for land to resettle the Malays who had to move as a result of the Kallang Airport project. The council eventually granted 240 ha of land near Geylang Serai and $700,000 to build a Malay settlement. The settlement was gazetted the following year and became the first such designated Malay enclave in Singapore.3 In 1930, the road leading to the settlement was named Jalan Eunos in honour of Mohamed Eunos for his contribution to the establishment of Kampong Melayu.4
In 1960, the settlement was extended to include the Kaki Bukit area.5 The kampong eventually gave way to the construction of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE), whose eastern section opened on 10 January 1981, stretching from Jalan Eunos to East Coast Parkway.6 On 4 November 1989, together with eight other stations along the East-West Line of Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, the Eunos MRT station was opened to commuters.7
1. Singapore Land Authority. (n.d.). OneMap. Retrieved from OneMap website: https://www.onemap.sg/index.html
2. Geylang Serai: Down memory lane: Kenangan abadi. (1986). Singapore: Heinemann Asia, pp. 18,19. (Call no.: RSING 779.995957 GEY); Lee, K. L. (1967). Jalan Eunos: A general view [Photograph]. Retrieved from PictureSG website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/pictures; Survey Department, Singapore. (1970). Singapore. instrumental plot – Kaki Bukit [Map accession no.: TM000882]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
3. Musa Kasbi. (1988, February 23). Eunos founded first Malay political body. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore, 1819–2005. Singapore: NUS Press, p. 155. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS]); Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 168. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
4. Singapore Rural Board meeting. (1930, April 16). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, pp. 142, 143. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
6. Another piece of PIE is ready. (1981, January 10). The Straits Times, p. 15. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Singapore MRT. (1989). Annual report. Singapore: SMRT, pp. 15, 20. (Call no.: RCLOS 388.40605957 SMRT-[AR])
The information in this article is valid as at 2016 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.
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