Pulau Ujong (means ‘Island at the end’) is an island paradise of abundant commercial value that sits at the tip of the Malayan Peninsula. She was part of the Malay Archipelago and is one of the smallest countries in the world, and 15,000 times smaller than the United States.
The mainland of Singapore stretches 50 kilometres from west to east and 26 kilometres from north to south. The little red dot has 193 kilometres of coastline with turquoise waters. With a combined population exceeding five and a half million and an ever-expanding surface area of 730 square kilometres, Pulau Ujong is the 21st most populous island on the planet and the 31st most densely populated island in the world. When land reclamation commenced in 1819, it was intended to transform mangrove swamps into land usable by two-legged mammals and become a part of the ‘growth’ of Singapore. Prior to the nation’s independence in 1965, its island area was just 580 square kilometres. She will continue to ‘expand’ closer to its neighbours as permitted under law of the sea and tolerated by the neighbours.
The highest point in Pulau Ujong is at Bukit Timah. It has a vertical elevation of just 165 metres. Valleys and knolls (absent of mountains) of sedimentary rock dominate the northwestern region whilst the eastern part consists of sandy and flatter land. There are several places named as mountains (like Mount Emily, where I lived at 8 Upper Wilkie Road) but are just little slopes. The Singapore River was the inner trade route of the little red dot before it was converted to a reservoir, whilst the most famous canal today is Rochor Canal. Unlike the well transited Panama and Suez Canals, our canals do not have ships plying the waters but rainwater flowing seaward. Whilst all three have unique characteristics, the former is actually just a monsoon drain.