Merlion (鱼尾狮)

It’s been a long long time since I took a walk along the Esplanade, not to mention together with my family – my wife and my 2 kids! I must admit I’ve never been there together with my family at all…what a shame. Why? As usual, no place to park; must walk very far; MRT station also dunno where hehe….all my shit excuses I must say!

The 8.6M tall and 70 tonnes Merlion was built in 1972 at the mouth of the Singapore River before the Shifting of Merlion. It was built by the late Singapore craftsman, Mr. Lim Nang Seng at a cost of about S$165,000 if I didn’t remember worngly.

30 years later in April 2002, the Merlion has to be shifted about 120M from it’s original position.

The operation involved;

– hoisting the Merlion on to the barge

– sailing the barge to the foot of the Esplanade Bridge

– hoisting the Merlion over the bridge back on to the barge

– installing the Merlion at its new home just next to One Fullerton building

Below shows the old and new location;

The relocation cost is about S$7.5M, much more than to build it right? I’m not too sure what this cost include too.

But why the need to relocate the Merlion? After the Esplanade Bridge was built, views of the Merlion from the waterfront were blocked. Also the Merlion has stopped spouting water since 1998, so there was a need to relocate it. You may wish to read the URA web site for more details. The relocation process can be found here too.

Whenever I see this Merlion, I remember how my mother brought me and my brother to look for the sculptor of this Merlion Mr. Lim Nang Seng’s sister. His sister was my mother’s secondary school classmate. They were staying at Chinatown then and my mother sense of direction is very poor, so we had a tough time looking for their house. That was probably one of my longest walk at that time.


8 Responses to “Merlion (鱼尾狮)”

  1. 1 Victor Koo Monday, May 28, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    SAFE is now known as BIG Superstore and it is now operating from Harbourfront (formerly called the World Trade Centre). That, I think is the only outlet here now. There used to be another SAFE outlet in Lor 17 Geylang but that too closed down a few years ago.

  2. 2 laokokok Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 9:22 am

    I’m not too sure if BIG Superstore replaced the SAFE when I first heard about it. Been there a few times, besides the sales staff attitudes are very similar to the SAFE – nothing resembles hehe.

  3. 3 profkingsfield2004 Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Sing Technologies quit the retail business by selling off SAFE. U mean they re-entered again?

  4. 4 Victor Koo Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Peter – I don’t know who owns Big now but the store name is Big By Safe. However, it looks like I cannot connect to their website at

  5. 5 Victor Koo Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Peter is right. Big By Safe did indeed have a change of name/owner/website. It’s new name is called Big Megastore and it’s website is here.

  6. 6 electoneboy Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Anyone know of the ‘Singapore Stone’? This large slab of stone was inscribed with undecipherable inscriptions, said to be from the 10th century. This stone was exactly at the former position of the Merlion but was regrettably destroyed in 1843. A piece of it is in the national museum and more fragments in india. This piece is designated as one of the 11 National Treasures. Up to today no one has deciphered the inscriptions.

    So was the Merlion a ‘replacement’ of this ancient stone? Coincidental?

  7. 7 Ward Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!


  1. 1 Corporate proxy solicitation services for the blind Trackback on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 9:33 am

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