William Farquhar

A tale of Orang Laut and Singapore River

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orang laut 01According to legend based on the history of pre-Rafflesian time of Singapore, Orang Laut or Sea Gypsies was the communities who lived ‘in the numerous bays, inlets ad creeks surrounding Singapore.’

 Half of them lived on water, in little canoes that could scarcely stretch themselves.  The water lodgings were equipped with 1 or 2 cooking pots, earthy jars and mats made of pandanus leaves that allowed shading from sun and rain.

220px-Portrait_of_William_Farquhar_(c._1830)
Major-General William Farquhar

They spent most of their time on boat, where birth, marriage and death took place therein.  As they were accustomed to life on the boat, they are easily recognized with their wadding gait on land.

  The other half of these people lived in huts on the banks near Kallang River and at the wider portion of Singapore River.

  During the times of British settlement, Major-General William Farquhar (1774-1839), the First Resident and Commandant of Singapore was appalled by the Orang Laut wearing no clothes, so he distributed money, clothes and rice to them.  Their children were terrified by the newcomers, merchants, laborers from all over the world.

One even jumped into the sea and got drowned when people approached near their boats.

And now, if you attempted to jump into the water, hoping to stay closer to the legendary tale, I think that is the only best reason I could agree upon.

orang laut 02

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25) Where is this place ?

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Labrador Park Pt 2

Walking towards the left of the Park, the scene of an inviting island over the other side of the sea greets you with open arm.  This is the western side of Sentosa Island, Ford Siloso is lush by the den and greenish forest.

There is an machine gun post built during the British colonial era and is meant to protect the coastal shore.  Thus, any attempt to assail the main island will acquire a heavy cost.

There is also a restoration of Dragon’s Teeth Gate.  According to the provided introduction, Dragon’s Teeth Gate was famously known as “Batu Berlayer” or “Sailing Rocks” among the local Malays.
In 1349, A Chinese Historian Wang Da Yuan described in his article, “the straits between the two hills, Temasek (old name of Singapore) looks like Dragon’s Teeth, this is how the name was derived.
In 1405, the great Navigator, Zhen Hē sail passed Temasek using his navigation chart with Dragon’s Teeth Gate as one of the landmark.

In 1819, the first resident of Singapore, William Farquhar found a deep harbour at the site and named it Keppel Harbour.  Subsequently, the British blew up Dragon’s Teeth Gate to widen Keppel Harbour.  Fortunately, this historical scene was saved by an artist name J T Thomas with his brush of paint.

As you saunter along the curve boundary of the Park, you catch a good glimpse of The Reflections Apartments and the delighted Star Cruise Virgo waving and welcoming you on board.