Six facts about Pulau Ubin
Anthropologist Vivienne Wee and her team of four researchers spent a year studying Pulau Ubin's multifaceted history and culture.
Here are some of the interesting findings from the Pulau Ubin Cultural Mapping Project commissioned by the National Heritage Board (NHB):
1. Don't assume Pulau Ubin has just a few residents - some reports have it at 38. According to Dr Wee and her team, there are more than 130 people living on the island.
2. A kampung-like atmosphere pervades the island. Dr Wee's team found that there is a network based on mutual support, kinship and neighbourly relations. Residents help each other out with little things such as repairing houses.
3. Around 300,000 visitors visit Pulau Ubin annually, with several non-residents heading there every week to help with their family business.
4. An annual six-day Tua Pek Kong festival is held at the Pulau Ubin Fo Shan Teng Tua Pek Kong Temple . Last year's festival attracted about 5,000 people.
5. A 25min documentary titled Life on Ubin was produced by the NHB and it showcases the memories and experiences of current and former residents of Pulau Ubin. The documentary is available on online heritage portal, Roots.sg
6. A tour based on the team's research of Pulau Ubinis sold out. Film-maker Royston Tan's new documentary about Pulau Ubin will premiere on the island's wayang stage on May 14.
INDEPENDENT: (Above) He sells herbs for extra income. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
INDEPENDENT: (Above) Mr Tan trying to start his generator for electricity in his home. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
Mr Tan Leong Kit
HIS FAMILY VISITS HIM ON WEEKENDS
"You can take a handful of herbs and it's $5 only," said Mr Tan Leong Kit, 85, who sells medicinal herbs planted around his home for extra income.
He was making the offer to journalists interviewing him about the Pulau Ubin Cultural Mapping Project.
The independent man sells drinks for a living and also cleans the Pulau Ubin Fo Shan Teng Tua Pek Kong temple for extra income.
"I don't need money from my children. I earn around $1,000 from selling drinks and $300 from cleaning the temple," said Mr Tan.
He moved to Pulau Ubin in 1989 and has been living alone there since.
His wife and children visit him every weekend.
"I have eight children and 21 grandchildren," he said.
Mr Tan goes to the mainland every Tuesday for grocery supplies.
HELPFUL: Ms Emily Chia goes to Pulau Ubin thrice a week to help out at her family's bicycle rental shop. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
Ms Emily Chia
SHE FEELS STRESS-FREE WHEN SHE'S ON UBIN
"Ubin life is very relaxing and stress-free compared to the hectic lifestyle of Singapore," said Ms Emily Chia, 26, a financial consultant.
She goes to Pulau Ubin thrice a week to help out at her family's bicycle rental shop. The bicycle rental shop called "45C" has been around for 12 years.
Ms Chia said: "The three days are not fixed. I plan my schedule every week to see which days I can go to Pulau Ubin to help my family.
"I have two older sisters, but they are both married, so I am the only one who helps out,"
When asked to compare the two islands, Ms Chia, who was born on the mainland, said: "In Singapore, work-life is very busy and I can knock off work as late as 10pm.
"But in Ubin, life is very easy and I can just sit and wait for time to pass. I don't feel any stress at all."
HANDY: Mr Ahmad Kassim outside his house. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
HANDY: (Above) Mr Ahmad pointing out one of his two wells. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
Mr Ahmad Kassim
HE BUILT OWN HOME FROM FOREST WOOD
The 80-year-old first went to the island with his father and his six siblings to escape the Japanese occupation.
"I Built my own house. I got my resources from the forest and I picked out the wood myself," said Mr Ahmad Kassim.
"I got married on Pulau Ubin when I was 25. My wife and I have been residing on this island since then."
"I have three children and seven grandchildren," said Mr Ahmad, who has lived on the island for about 70 years.
Just like Mr Tan Leong Kit, Mr Ahmad is also independent and earns his own income.
"I sell drinks to visitors in the morning and if there is nothing else to do, I will just ride around the island and relax," he said.
He occasionally hosts school excursions for children from various schools.