District 13 – Macpherson, Braddell
Macpherson and Potong Pasir of District 13 held stories of poverty prior to the 1980s. However, times have changed and they are now bustling housing estates redeveloped by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
MacPherson lies between Aljunied and Paya Lebar within the Geylang Planning Area. It comprises a small residential and industrial area at Circuit Road.
Potong Pasir is situated between Toa Payoh and Sennett Estate in the Central Region. The place is politically known as the longest-held opposition ward in one-party dominant Singapore.
From 1910 to 1937, Potong Pasir was dominated by sand-quarries, thus it gained the name Potong Pasir which means ‘cut sand’ in Malay. Four ponds which were linked to the Kallang River were created for the quarries but were later reduced to two after massive flooding. An excellent source of food for the local village folk, the ponds were later neglected due to pollution. Potong Pasir was one of the most vital vegetable growing areas in Singapore back in the 1950s. The land was cultivated with great success since 1830s by Cantonese farmers using traditional methods. However, Farmers of Potong Pasir lived in attap houses, structures with zinc roofs and semi-concrete houses largely because vegetable farming was a family business and they could not afford expensive housing. The majority of farmers leased their land from the Government.
Right now, the Potong Pasir Housing Estate stands in the area. Some of its blocks’ sloping roofs form one of Potong Pasir’s most recognizable icons.
The area is served by the Potong Pasir MRT Station. The Circle MRT Line plying the route along the MacPherson MRT Station will be operational in 2010.