Do you know why this place is called Bukit Batok? If yes, it’s probably just one of the many theories on where the town got its name. Some people will tell you it came from the Malay word for “hill”, while others will be adamant in stressing that it came from the Javanese word for “coconut”. After all, coconut trees grew in many parts of the area.
Yet another interpretation will point towards the material from which the hills in Bukit Batok were formed. It was solid granite, which was “batu” in Malay. And you guessed that right, “batu” overtime became “bato”, which in turn became “batok”. But it didn’t stop there. Others will tell you it came from the word that meant “skull top” (the hill resembles this shape) or from the word for “cough” (attributing to the fact that the place causes coughs because of the remarkably cool air).
Bukit Batok is fascinating not just because of its rich etymology. It was once famous for its plantations before it became a major hub of industrialisation. Thanks to the earthworks and development of HDB estates, we now have current Bukit Batok that’s pleasant and amazing to live in.