Archive for the 'Leisures' Category

Bye Bye To Hollywood Theatre And Lion City Hotel Part 2

…continued from Part1.

Sorry for the long delay in the second part of this post.

After 43 years, the Lion City Hotel was gone…Yes, this Lion City Hotel costing $4.2M then was opened in 1968 by the late Dr.Goh Keng Swee, the Minister for Finance. Construction of the hotel started in 1965 at the junction of Tanjong Katong Road and Geylang Road by Wee Thiam Siew Co. Ltd.

C redit : Singapore Press Holding, SPH

It was a 10 storey hotel with 168 fully aircon rooms. It was then near to the Singapore Airport which was at the Paya Lebar then and the city. You will be surprise with the rate then : $30 to $35 for Single Room, $40 to $45 for Double Room, $60 for Family Suite and $90 for Deluxe Room.

Those who had been to the hotel, the shopping complex below was considered an unique feature and one of the largest then. It housed an emporium which sold China products, and there were also a snack-bar, and finance company and bank. There was even a first class restaurant then on the first floor catering both European and Chinese dishes in the evening with a live band playing soft music for dancing. On the ground floor, there was a cocktail lounge too. Maybe many may not be aware that there was even a swimming pool located on one of the floor in the hotel but in the later years, the pool was removed.

It is sad that the Lion City Hotel together with the Hollywood Theatre had to make way for new developments. When you are reading this post, the hotel and it’s surrounding are gone;

Above : Lion City Hotel then

Above : Lion City Hotel going

And the surrounding Hin Hollywood Canteen also disappear;

Above : Then

Above : Gone

So what is left now is probably the Thank You note from their website;

Credit : Lion City Hotel

I remember when I moved in to Haig Road in the 70s, there was the Oriental Emporium on the ground and 1st floor on the Lion City Hotel;

Above 3 Credits : Lee Kip Lin and National Library Board, taken in 1994

Oh the McDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken were there too! The KFC was opened in 1982 and you can see their ads looking for helpers for the 20th outlet at Lion City Hotel;

Credit : SPH, Straits Times

Of course at one time, the 人民百货公司 (People’s Emporium) was there in place of the Oriental Emporium. Only until the later years, it became a furniture showroom and the ground floor with a mixture of shops;

I still preferred the Oriental Emporium as I liked window shopping there after my dinner as they had a more variety of goods.

Some of the shops already moved out during the last few weeks;

The Happy Restaurant (双喜楼) just besides the main entrance to the hotel;

The restaurant was located upstair on the 1st floor;

In fact almost every year during the Chinese New Year, I would still go there to buy the Yu Sheng (鱼生). I also got mix-up and confused with the other similar names of the restaurant nearby – one at the Tanjong Katong Complex, while the other one in Lion City Plaza.

Even my father like the claypot rice in the Lion City Cafe;

I remember there was once Filipino live band playing in this cafe/snack bar;

The Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet was just round the corner;

The main entrance to the Lion City Hotel;

The hotel lobby;

The hotel back entrance;

The ‘sheltered carpark’ of the hotel;

The linkway joining the shopping complex and the hotel;

You can see a spiral staircase joined to it;

You can see the other spiral staircase on the right side partially hidden by the tree;

In the past, I like to walk to the Oriental Emporium via this back entrance;

The aerial view of the Oriental Emporium from the Haig Road flats (I supposed) in 1984;

Credit :  PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

I’m trying to get the same aerial view from the top floor of the flat;

The demolishing of the government quarters in 1974 to make way for the Haig Road Hawker Centre and flats. In the background is the Lion City Hotel with the linkway;

Credit :  PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

Looking at the Hollywood Theatre from the demolished government quarters in 1974;

Credit :  PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

When I first look at the above photo, the Hollywood Theatre was not so obvious until I compared it with the below photo;

Distant view of the Lion City Hotel probably from the Sims Avenue or Geylang Road junction;

A 1970 photo of the Lion City Hotel;

Above 2 credits : PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

Current View;

1994 view of the hotel from the overhead bridge;

Below is one I took from the overhead bridge in 2011;

What my father wrote;
“A Stumble May Prevent A Fall.”

Is There A Sentosa Primary School?

Credit : Singapore Science Centre

Anyone recall whether there is a Sentosa Primary School? Or is there anyone here from that school before? I was surprised when I read about such a school in an old magazine.

The above article on Singapore Maritime Museum in the Science Centre Bulletin (1976 issue) stated that there was a Sentosa Primary School in Sentosa itself. The Sentosa Primary School was temporary used to house the gallery for the Singapore Maritime Museum.

Let me check my old street directory (1976 edition). Below showed that there was such a school called Sentosa Primary School;

but the actual location of the school, I’m not too sure;

Credit : Chief Surveyor, Survey Dept, Ministry of Law.

Sad to say both the school and the Singapore Maritime Museum were no longer around. This Maritime Museum was set up by the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA). The opening of the Maritime Museum by the PSA at Sentosa in 1975 gave visitors a glimpse of the port’s history.

I’ve been to this Maritime Museum at Sentosa before but somehow the exhibits did not interest me at that time so I don’t think I’ve any photos taken except those found on the net;

Maybe some will remember this iconic signal mast;

Credit : TNP

The signal mast was moved to Singapore Maritime Museum in Sentosa when the area around Albert Dock was developed into a container terminal in 1972. The mast stood there for 26 years until the Maritime Museum closed in 2001 due to poor attendance.  You may read more about the historic mast here.

Let’s hope the new maritime museum at Resorts World will be a success. Below is the model of the new maritime museum;

My Old TV Guide Magazine

Do you keep your old TV guide magazines? My mother kept hers, above (176)  is just one of the many and she still had the 1st copy. Funny thing is that I don’t remember her buying those TV guide magazines and she is also not keen in watching TV programmes…

What so special about the above TV guide? Well that issue was published on 2 Jun 1984 and about 25 years ago. Coindentally, on the cover you can find the 25 years of Nation Building logo (1959 to 1984) and it was going to be National Day celebration in a month plus. I will talk about this Nation Buidling topic nearer to National Day.

But now, what were popular then? OK, video tapes were probably still popular as can be seen on the back cover page advertisement by TDK;

Now even you can hardly find a video cassette player on sale at Courts, Harvey or Best, etc.

Of course, my used to be idol Maggie Teng was very popular then as can be seen on the cover page. Not forgetting her 2 sisters Judy and ….(forgotten oh).

Let’s take a peek at the old TV programmes in the 80s;

Channel 5 and 8;

Even on Sunday, the Channel 5 started broadcasting at 8.30am and ended at 11.40pm, while Channel 8 from 2.30pm to 11.30pm. It was still SBC then and you can see at 8.30am, they are showng you the SBC Text (Teletext) on Channel 5, probably still new and promoting it then. Channel 8 programmes seem very boring also starting with sample pages of SBC Text. Lucky there was the afternoon Mandarin matinee at 3.25pm. Evening time was the Chinese variety show ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ at 8.30pm. Channel 8 ended early at 11.30pm. I wonder if they were trying to boost population then…else why the TV shows end so early before midnight?

Back then, Channel 3 and 10 (Malaysia channels) were also included in our TV guide including newspaper;

Oh before I forget, there was this ever changing channel – it was called Channel 12 at that time;

Do you still remember what was that Channel 12 for?

Browsing thru the guide, I saw this very popular car model back then;

And I believed Chun See and his gang will know what car was that haha.

Now there are so many types of TV guides from the various Channels. Example the iWeeklly from Channel 8;

or U guide and the English TV guide, but most of us will discard them after a week…

Before I end, the price of the 1984 176 issue TV guide was 50cents then, and 25 years later, the iWeekly price is $2 (though with 2 sets of magazines).

Our Botanic Garden – Why 150 Years And Not 187 Years?

Recently there are many news articles about the Botanic Garden, like the one on Sunday Times. A man bought an old photo album in London and consists of a few very old photos of the Botanic Garden. He was even offered a 6 figures sum for the album and he refused to sell it!

But when you mention Botanic Garden to me, I will immediately think of a few things related to it : ‘the hawker center and small carpark opposite the main entrance, the bandstand, the pond’. Of course there are many changes now like the hawker center and small carpark may not be there anymore, and many facelift inside.

Whenever I read about the history of our Botanic Gardens, it was always mentioned that Sir Stamford Raffles established the first Botanic Gardens in Singapore in 1822 along the slopes of Fort Canning Hill. If this is the case, why are why celebrating 150 years now in 2009 and not 187 years?

So let us go thru the years and see why;

– 1819 :

Since 1819, Raffles had been toying with the idea of establishing a botanic garden in Singapore. He used his time to persuade Wallich to write a glowing report aimed at persuading the Colonial government into starting a botanic and experimental garden.

Indeed, in one letter to Raffles dated November 1822, Wallich had described Singapore as such, “It abounds in an endless variety of plants equally interesting to the botanist, the agriculturist and the gardener, with unrivalled facilities and opportunities of disseminating these treasures and exchanging them for others“.

Three years before, the construction of Raffles bungalow on Government Hill (which is today Fort Canning Hill) had already seen an experimental garden being laid out in the vicinity, with some 125 nutmeg trees, 1,000 seeds of nutmeg, and 450 clove plants planted.

– 1822 :

But do we know exactly where is the old Botanic and Experimental Garden? Let us take a look at the below maps before we proceed on.

Credit : Jackson Town Map, National Parks, Gardens of the Istana

Below shows the current location of the old Botanic and Experimental Garden;

1. The canal is very obvious but the roads name may have changed:

Credit : 1998 Singapore Street Directory, Ministry of Law

Credit : Google Map

Sir Stamford Raffles, a keen naturalist, built his own house on the Bukit Larangan, later known as Government Hill (now known as Fort Canning Hill). Raffles instructed Farquhar, the Resident, that a Botanic and Experimental Garden be set up on Government Hill; an area of 48 acres was allotted for this purpose.

An 1819 Map showing the Govt Hill;

Credit : Singapore University Press, The Singapore River

He aimed to introduce cultivation of economic crops such as cocoa and nutmeg, including those yielding fruits, vegetables, spices and other raw materials.

The Botanic and Experimental Garden was started on the north of the Hill and was extended to the North-East of the Hill and this covered the area now occupied by the Anglo-Chinese School, Coleman Street, the Armenian Church and the National Museum. The man Raffles appointed to supervise the Botanic and Experimental Garden was Dr Nathaniel Wallich, a Dane, born in Copenhagen.

The mature spice garden was the site of Singapore’s first botanical gardens, established primarily by Sir Stamford Raffles for experimental purposes.

See what the above said “To commemorate Singapore’s first botanical garden founded on Government Hill in 1822”. So why not 187 years from 1822 then?

– 1829 :

After 7 years, in 1829 the Botanic and Experimental Garden, was a failure. It was abandoned after Raffles death, due to lack of funds to maintain it. The main reason given was that it was not economical. It cost the settlement $60 per month (a large sum of money in early Singapore) to unkeep it.

So why the Botanic Gardens does not date back to 1822 then? Personally I think it’s because the first Gardens was officially named as “Botanical and Experimental Garden” instead of Botanic Garden.

Or is it because the location of the first garden and the current one is different? Frankly, I really don’t know the reason why, do you?

– 1859 :

30 years later, the present Botanic Garden began when the Ari Horticultural Society was granted 32 hectares of land in Tanglin (Napier Road) by the colonial government. The land was obtained from merchant Hoo Ah Kay or Whampoa, in exchange for the land at Boat Quay.

The Garden was only about 23 hectares in 1866 as shown in the following map;

Credit : Straits Times, SPH

The Garden was officially opened to the public in 1874 by the Governor Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Clarke who presented two horned rhinoceroses. Not many know that the garden also flourished as a zoo for 20 years when it was abandoned in 1905.

Not many photos of the Botanic Gardens were found in the net during the 19th century;

Credit : Gardens in the Istana, National Parks, GR Lambert & Co.

The Botanic Garden was planned as a leisure garden and ornamental park. The Society organised flower shows and horticultural fetes. Laurence Niven was hired as superintendent and landscape designer to turn what were essentially overgrown plantations and a tangle of virgin rainforest into a public park. The layout of the Botanic Gardens as it is today is largely based on Niven’s design.

The photo below shows some Javanese workers employed to maintain the garden in the 19th century;

Credit : Gardens in the Instana, National Parks, GR Lambert & Co.

– 1874 :

In 1874, the Society ran out of funds, handed over management and maintenance of the gardens to the Colonial government. The scientific mission of the Gardens evolved when the colonial government assumed management and deployed Kew-trained botanists and horticulturists to administer the Gardens.

– 1877 :

The first rubber seedlings came to the gardens from Kew in 1877. Henry Nicholas Ridley, or Mad Ridley as he was known, became director of the gardens in 1878 and spearheaded rubber cultivation.

The gardens in 1880;

Credit : Vis

Credit : Gardens in the Istana, National Parks.

Below postcard shows the Botanic Garden Entrance in 1900 at the Singapore Philatelic Museum;

Credit : Singapore Philatelic Museum

Note the postage stamp on the postcard was probably from 1912 to 1923 Straits Settlement period though. Many photos or postcard like to show the entrance of Botanic Garden, and it’s interesting to see the changes over time.

Another postcard showing the entrance to the Botanic Gardens in 1900;

Credit : Nation Best

Here is one postcard that I have 100 years ago in 1909;

One more postcard from 1909;

If you will to take note of all these postcards, the name of the garden was Singapore Botanical Garden instead of Singapore Botanic Garden. I remember this was the name I used to call in my younger days.

– 1925 :

Professor Eric Holttum, Director of the Gardens from 1925 -1949, set up laboratories and conducted the first experiments in orchid breeding and hybridisation. His techniques led to Singapore being one of the world’s top centres of commercial orchid growing.

– 1942 to 1945 :

During the Japanese Occupation, Hidezo Tanakadate, a professor of Geology from the Tohoku Imperial University took over control of the Singapore the Singapore Botanic Gardens. He ensured no looting occured during his tenure in the Gardens. The Gardens was also renamed as Shōnan Botanic Gardens (昭南植物園).

Holttum and Edred John Henry Corner were interned in the Gardens and instructed to continue their horticultural work. Dr Kwan Koriba, a retired professor of botany from the Imperial University of Tokyo, arrived as Director of the Gardens, a post he held until the end of the war.

After the war, the Gardens was handed back to the British. Eventually it played an important role during the “greening Singapore” campaign and Garden City campaign during the early independence years.

– Mid 1960s :

The Gradens was taking a leading role in the greening of Singapore. I had my first visit to the Botanic Gardens with my godsisters in 1968;

– 1973 :

In 1973, it merged with the Parks and Trees branch of the Public Works Department, which became the Parks and Recreation Department.

– 1990 :

In June 1990, the Singapore Botanic Garden came under the management of the newly formed National Parks Board.

New attractions, such as the Ginger Garden, Evolution Garden, Coolhouse and the Children’s Garden are being added to keep the Gardens relevant as a key tourist destination.

Stamps of the Singapore Botanic Gardens;

1978 :

In my memory the first stamp of the Singapore Botanic Garden was issued in 1978;

The above stamps did not really show the Botanic Garden well. It’s just some graphic representation of the garden. But at least the 75cents stamp showed part of the gardens’ Bandstand.

1979 :

In 1979, a set of 3 stamps were issued to celebrate the 120 years of Singapore Botanic Garden;

These are very nice set as the garden were properly shown on the stamps;

2003 :

In 2003, again the Bandstand was featured in one of the set of 4 stamps ‘Garden City’ ;

2009 :

For those that have missed the above stamps issues, never mind. In June 2009 there will be a set of 4 stamps commemorating the 150 years of Singapore Botanic Gardens;

Entrance to the Gardens :

The new look of the Entrance to the Gardens now;

The above is the main entrance gate known as the Tanglin Gate of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Do you notice the changes compared to those old postcards? Do you think the 4 pillars are the same as the 4 pillars of the past entrance?

The Bandstand :

This is another main icon of the Singapore Botanic Gardens besides the Tanglin Gate;

This octagonal shaped Bandstand was erected in 1930, almost 80 years old. The original bandstand was erected in the early 1860s as a focal point of the original landscape design of the Gardens. So far, most photos only showed the current Bandstand but not the original one. Wonder how the original one looks like? The Bandstand now no longer hosts any music performance, though it was used for military band performance in the past.

That Tembusu Tree :

Ok I’m not a botanist so even if I’m in front of this Tembusu Tree, I may not be able to identify it hehe. This Tembusu Tree got popular probably because it was featured in our $5 note. This tree was also featured in one of those TV8 Mediacorps Chinese dramas.

And comparing it with our $5 note;

This Tembusu Tree is now a heritage tree, meaning it cannot be ‘chop off’.

Credit : Above 3 photos from Alice.

The Old Taman Serasi Hawker Centre :

Before I end the post, do you still remember

My last visit with my family to the Botanical Garden or Botanic Gardens was a few years back but all my photos were wiped off from my harddisk corruption… Yes in my last visit, think we need to pay an entrance fee and no longer free like in the past.

So when was your last visit to the Botanic Gardens?

From Amusement Park To Cement Park

Probably some youngster find the word “Gay World” amusing like someone posted in the STOMP site regarding the Gay World Hotel.

I’m surprised that there are still people not aware of the Gay World existence in Singapore. Of course Gay World is short for Gay World Amusement Park, one of the 3 main Amusement Parks in Singapore. You have probably read about my post on New World Amusement Park.

Gay World Amusement Park was originally known as Happy World Amusement Park in the 30s. Happy World was the last one to be built in 1936 after Great World (1932) and New World (1923).

How Happy World looked like in the 50s;

You can even see the British Flag then in the above photo.

Let’s take a look at Happy World Amusement Park over the years;


The Happy World Amusement Park, commonly known as 快乐世界 by the locals, was founded by George Lee Geok Eng (of George Lee Motors fame), brother of philanthropist Lee Kong Chian. He invested $350,000 to open this amusement park then in 1936.

It was a form of nightlife entertainment where East meet West, located at the junction of Geylang and Mountbatten roads. You will normally find cabaret performances, ronggeng, movies, gaming and arcades, wayang and cultural shows and even trade shows in this amusement park. It was one of those must visit places for courting couples in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Like New World, those unforgettable places of visits include dance hall where one could have a dance with taxi girls for probably twenty cents, and the popular ghost train ride;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS


The Happy World Amusement Park was used for the Singapore’s first trade show – The Engineering and Trade Exhibition.


A 1941 Japanese Map showing the Happy World location between Geylang Road and Grove Road (now known as Mountbatten Road);

Credit : Lim Shao Bin 2004 Photos of Singapore

The Straits Chinese China Relief Fund Committee of Singapore organised a modernised bangsawan (a traditional Malay opera)  for 3,000 babas and nyonya in Happy World, to raise funds for China war effort leading to WWII.

1942 to 1945:

Even during the Japanese air-raids hit Singapore in January 1942, business at Happy World continued, and the cabaret had blackout dances (with no lights) to escape the Japanese bombings. Of course this has nothing to do with the recent Earth Hour haha!

The Japanese also turned the Happy World into gambling den. As these dens were precluded from raids, the bright lights at the Happy World continued.   The Japanese were not allowed in the gambling dens but they could patronise the cabarets and nightclubs in the Happy World.  The gambling dens were closed after Japanese surrendered in 1945. The Happy World was also used as a military workshop during the Japanese Occupation.

1950s to 1960s:

After the war, the amusement park continued to operate. But what I remember best about the Happy World was the frequent fire broke out in the park. In 1962, fire broke out twice in 2 months, destroying the theatre, part of the cabaret and 26 stalls. In fact, more blazes happened in 1972, 1976, 1977 and 1988.

Stalls were burnt in 1958 at Happy World;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Mr.Sin Ma Chai, those elderly Cantonese will know who he is, performed at the Happy World in 1963;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS


The Gay World;

The Happy World was renamed as Gay World Amusement Park (繁華世界) in 1966. The word “Gay” here means “joyful”, “carefree”, “bright and showy” and only until probably later, it means “homosexuality”. Some of the main tenants were Eng Wah Organisation, Datoh Rajah Theatre and Cabaret, Tai Thong Restaurant and New Happy Cinema. By the way, the park used to have 4 cinemas, including one open-air one – Happy Theatre, Silver City and the open-air Victory Theatre. Do you remember the other one? Sin Wah Emporium, later became part of Emporium Holdings, and Tai Thong Restaurant, were my only haunt there. I went to Tai Thong Restaurant for their mooncakes.

The New Happy Theatre;

The Gay World Amusement Park ticket;

Credit : The Straits Times.

Way before the National Indoor Stadium was built, the Gay World Stadium was once the greatest covered stadium in SEA. This octagonal shaped stadium built for boxing and other sports could seat 7,000. The Gay World Stadium was later renamed as Geylang Indoor Stadium. It was even the venue for Malaya’s first badminton Thomas Cup in 1952.

The Gay World Stadium;

In 1973, the Gay World Stadium was one of the venues for the SEAP games. Boxing and wrestling fights were the popular sports held there and most paid only20 cents to see wrestlers like Tiger Ahmad and King Kong in the ring. The Gay World Stadium also held circus shows occasionally.


Even with free admission to the park, it did not attract enough visitors. The park was badly maintained and rats were seen running about. Only 1 of the 4 cinemas remained and probably only screening Tamil shows.


By 2000, the Gay World was in an abandoned state. There was no power or water supplied, and only about 40 tenants carried on business using portable generators.

The last days of Gay World;

In 2001, the bulldozers came and the Gay World and the Geylang Indoor Stadium were demolished. The site was zoned for residential development,  however, this does not material even till now. In 2004, the Nicoll Highway collapse sent one of the 2 concrete making plants there working non-stop.

Today, the two concrete-making plants and the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System site office are located there.

I’ve always wondered with 3 amusement parks in the past, why can’t we accommodate the last amusement park at Geylang – The Gay World Amusement Park and the Gay World Stadium (or Geylang Indoor Stadium). Why must we keep demolishing all these nostalgia amusement park in Singapore just for residential and commercial development?

A 1956 City Map showing the Happy World Park;

Credit : Singapore Improvement Trust, Survey Department

A 1976 Chinese Edition Street Directory showing the Gay World Park;

A 1988 Edition Street Directory showing the Gay World Park and the Geylang Indoor Stadium;

A 1998 Edition Street Directory showing the Gay World Park and Gay World Hotel:

Credit : Chief Surveyor, Survey Department, Ministry of Law.

The aerial view of the Happy World Park and the octagon shaped Stadium in the 50s;

Credit : Editions Didier Millet, National Archives of Singapore

Now the Geylang Indoor Stadium no longer exists though the name still remains at the Google Map;

The bus stop now stands in front of the old Gay World entrance;

The fence up area and those trees inside make the Gay World Park disappears from one memory.

The Cement Plant in the old Gay World Park as seen from the Geylang Road;

Another view of the Cement Plant as seen from Mountbatten Road;

The Cement Trucks queuing up along the Geylang Drive;

Credits : All photos above

Feather And Leaf In My Book

I wonder how many of you ever try or believed that by feeding a feather with pencil shavings, it will grow and reproduce. I did! When I was in primary school, my classmates and I used to keep those beautiful colored feathers in books and fed them with pencil shavings.

When I tell this to my primary 4 daughter, she wanted to try it. After 2 months, there is still no sight of a new born feather…I remember it did reproduce when I was in primary school or my eyesight something wrong…hehe.

Another thing I used to keep in my books is ‘落地生根’ (pronunced as LuòDìShēnɡGēn) or Bryophyllum pinnatum leaf. I used to tear a leaf off from my godmother pot of 落地生根. After some time, roots will grow from the leaf! To a primary school boy, this seem to be a miracle!

So what other things you keep in your books besides bookmarks?

From TV Singapura To MediaCorp

Just last Sunday 23 Nov 2008, Channel 8 telecast the gala show of its 45 years in TV broadcasting. Before that, it showed some preview of it like the one below about its history or milestone;

As you can see, the icons shown in sequence were as follow;

1. TV Malaysia Singapura

2. TV Singapura;

Note the similarity of the above two icons.

3. RTS (Old and New Logo);

4. SBC;

5. TCS;

6. MediaCorp;

Credit : Above all – MediaCorp of singapore

I practically grown up with our TV broadcasting as I’m 46 yrs old and they are 45 yrs! But one thing I find it confusing with that 45 years gala show and its premeire : Should TV Malaysia Singapura come before TV Singapura (as shown in the above sniplets shown on TV previously)?

I’m not sure and let’s wait for the actual gala show on 23 Nov 2008 Sunday. While I’m hoping to get more details from the Sunday Gala show, I’m rather disappointed. Below is the edited version of part of the whole show, depicted the history of our TV broadcasting shown in “news broadcasting” style;

For the benefits of those who don’t understand Mandarin, let me try to write down the main points (correct me if I’ve made any mistakes);


1961- Started planning TV Transmission

1963 – Trial Transmission

1963, 2 Apr – TV Singapura officially started transmission.

1963, 23 Oct – Channel 8 launched.


1965 – RTS formed.

1974, 1 Aug – Started color transmission.

1977, 1 Nov – All programmes in color transmission.


1980, 31 Jan – SBC formed as a Stat Board and separated from Ministry of Culture.


1994 – TCS formed as an Enterprise to replace SBC.

1999 – MediaCorp established replacing TCS.

It seems like I still cannot gather from the above show on whether TV Singapura or TV Malaysia Singapura started first…so I Googled and found the following infos from the Singapore Infopedia on Television Singapura;

1. 1963, 15 Feb – Television Singapura was launched as Singapore’s first monochrome television station.

2. 1963, 2 Apr – Television Singapura started regular transmission. Channel 5 was first started, and Channel 8 was launched in Nov, 1963.

3. 1964, 1 Jan – First advertisement was aired to reduce relying on subsidies.

4. 1964, Nov – The TV station joined the Radio Singapura to form RTS (Radio Television Singapura).

5. 1966, 26 Aug – A new $3.6 million building at Caldecott Hill was officially opened to house the Television Centre.

6. 1974, May – RTS began colour TV test transmission.

7.1980, 1 Feb -The Department of Broadcasting (RTS), Ministry of Culture, became the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), a statutory board.

8. 1994, 1 Oct – SBC was dissolved to make way for Singapore International Media (SIM), a fully privatised entity that led to Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) taking over the television broadcasting role of SBC.

9. 2001 – TCS became Mediacorp TV under a newly restructured group, Media Corporation of Singapore (MediaCorp Singapore).

Weird, howcome there is also no mention of the TV Malaysia Singapura? So I Googled again and found the following from Mica website;

1963 – Inception of national television, Television Singapura. Later renamed Television Malaysia (Singapura) when Singapore became part of Malaysia on 16 Sep 1963.

So for how long TV Malaysia (Singapura) lasted? Probably until Singapore separated from Malaysia on 7 Aug 1965.  In Nov, 1964 RTS (Radio Television Singapura) already formed and some equipments from TV Malaysia (Singapura) still remained in used probably until 1966 as can be seen in this below photo from PICAS;

Credit : Above 2 – National Archives of Singapore, PICAS.

Do you still remember in 4 Apr 1988, we celebrated 25 yrs of Television service in Singapore by launching a new set of stamps;

In this set, all stamps are showing the SBC logo only.

Before I end, do you realise there is a mistake in the Gala show? For those who understand Mandarin, see if you can identify the mistake;

In fact I practically grown up with our TV broadcasting service as I’m 46yrs this year and they are 45.


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