We brought Kai to a trial class at a child learning centre (that’s what they call playgroups here) at the old Police HQ at Phoenix Park, but we’re not so sure about signing on. Not because of the location, of course. It’s pretty and quaint, and bears no traces of the old usage of the Internal Security Department and their powerful air-cons.
It’s really nice that they’ve upgraded and moved the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Police HQ away to spunkier, more modern digs at New Phoenix Park – the Home Team is not here to be creative with names, we’ll just copy Scotland Yard and New Scotland Yard – on Irrawaddy Road. I can’t imagine the civil servants and cops doing even an hour of hard work at the old location. I’d be putting my feet up and lazing under the canopy of an Angsana tree with a gin sling and a newspaper.
Yesterday, someone tweeted something quite innocuous – about food and about how she was about to eat food – but the locality she tweeted about – “Tanglin Halt” – piqued my interest.
I’ve always wondered who Tanglin was named for, and why there is (or was) a “Halt” in Tanglin. It isn’t exactly a burning question, so I’ve left it aside for the best part of three decades, until now.
Googling “Tanglin Halt History”, I found the NHB site, “Heritage Trails“, which explained:
This area, bordered by Stirling Road, Queensway and the Malayan Railway, derived its name from Tanglin Road and the Malayan Railway, which used to have a stop (thus the word ‘halt’) near the junction of Tanglin Halt Road and Tanglin Halt Close. ‘Tanglin’ came from “Tua Tang Leng” (Hokkien: Great Eastern Hills), a name given by the Chinese to the hilly area around Tanglin Road. Tanglin Halt was also known as ‘Tanglin Halt Chap Lau’ (Hokkien: Ten Storeys), after the ten-storey blocks which make up the estate. Today it is called Tanglin Halt Green with three new 40-storey blocks towering over the original Chap Lau which are still standing
So now I know: The Ten-Storey Blocks on The Great Eastern Hills where The Train of the Land of the Malays (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) used to Halt.