After a faux hostage incident happened at Ho Ching Road on March 20, some Singaporeans were more intrigued by the road's name than the incident itself.
"When people are more surprise (sic) that there's a road name called Ho Ching than what is actually happening."
"Ho Ching already has a road named after her??!!"
"All the eastern Singaporeans are shocked there's a road named after Ho Ching."
The incident turned out to be a case of criminal intimidation and suspected drug-related offence.
And with that revelation, public interest turned to road called Ho Ching located in Taman Jurong, which also happens to be the name of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife.
Intrigued by road name
Long before it was called Ho Ching Road, the streets in Taman Jurong were numbered from Taman Jurong 1 all the way to Taman Jurong 12, but there was no Taman Jurong 11, for some unknown reason.
Developed in 1964, the Taman Jurong area was meant to be a housing development for the workers of the nearby industrial areas and their families.
The name "Taman Jurong" itself means "Shark Garden" in Malay, Jurong derived from the Malay word jerung, giving the estate a softer, more homely feel compared to the industrial area.
Some time in the late 1960s and 1970s, many old road names were renamed by the then Street-Naming Advisory Committee, including the simply-named Taman Jurong roads.
Taman Jurong 8 was renamed as Ho Ching Road, which is the romanised version of 河景, which translates to “river scenery”.
In fact, Ho Ching Road isn't the only Ching (which translates to "scenery" in Chinese) in Taman Jurong.
The even numbered Taman Jurong roads were renamed "_____ Ching", continuing the garden/ scenery theme from Taman Jurong.
Here are the other renamed roads, and where they are located in Taman Jurong:
• Yuan Ching Road (园景 "garden scenery"), formerly called Taman Jurong 2.
• Hu Ching Road (湖景 "lake scenery"), formerly called Taman Jurong 4.
• Tao Ching Road (岛景, “island scenery”), formerly called Taman Jurong 6.
• Kang Ching Road(岗景, “ridges scenery”), formerly called Taman Jurong 10.
• Tah Ching Road (塔景, “pagoda scenery”), formerly called Taman Jurong 12.
These roads are aptly named since they are located near Jurong Lake Gardens, that houses the Japanese and Chinese Gardens, which opened officially in April 1975.
Road to eternity
The odd-numbered Taman Jurong Roads took on romanised Chinese names which embodied Chinese value of eternal progress such as:
Yung An Road (永安, "eternal peace"), formerly Taman Jurong 9.
Yung Kuang Road (永光, "eternal brightness"), formerly Taman Jurong 5.
Yung Loh Road (永乐, "eternal happiness"), formerly Taman Jurong 1.
Yung Ping Road (永平, "eternal smoothness/ steadiness"), formerly Taman Jurong 3.
Yung Sheng Road (永升, "eternal rising"), formerly Taman Jurong 7.
No one knows conclusively why the Taman Jurong Roads were renamed and given such poetic names, but at least now you know who Ho Ching Road is not named after.
Ever wanted to know why Jurong is called "Jurong"?
Top image via Google Maps