New Paya Lebar MRT mural features S'pore's first air-con shopping centre & man behind Aljunied Road


Joshua Lee | June 23, 2023, 11:05 AM

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A new mural has been unveiled at Paya Lebar MRT station.

Paya Lebar Story

Part of the Comic Connect initiative by rail operator SMRT, this mural is called Paya Lebar Story.

It captures the development of the Paya Lebar estate over the years, from a district that consisted mainly of rural settlements and agricultural areas during its formative period to being earmarked as an up-and-coming commercial hub today.

The mural features 16 iconic landmarks in the area and one famous personality.

They include:

  • One of the last Malay settlements in Singapore
  • Paya Lebar Methodist Church which was founded in 1939
  • Wak Tanjong Mosque which has been around since 1935
  • Former Geylang Fire Station which is now a conserved building
  • Tanjong Katong Complex, Singapore's first air-conditioned shopping complex

Singapore's first air-conditioned shopping complex. Photo credit: NAS

The only profile on the mural is Syed Omar Aljunied, a wealthy Arab merchant and philanthropist who came to Singapore in 1820.

Syed Omar had a road named after him. Called Omar Road, it is now expunged.

Some say that Aljunied Road is also named after him.

Others say it is named after his son, Syed Ali bin Mohamed Aljunied.

Team spent five months on mural

The team behind the mural comprises 55-year-old Sayed Ismail Alhabshe, 66-year-old James Suresh, and 53-year-old Suki Chong.

They spent five months on the mural from ideation to final submission.

The team hopes that the mural will help residents and commuters understand Paya Lebar better and appreciate the locale's history.

If you would like to see the mural up close, it can be found at two locations:

  1. Near the Circle Line Passenger Service Centre, along the concourse that leads to Exit B & C
  2. Near the East-West Line Passenger Service Centre, beside the escalator that connects to Circle Line

Comic Connect is a collaboration between SMRT and members of the local art community to install heritage-themed comic wall murals across 35 SMRT-operated MRT stations island-wide.

Launched in June 2022, Comic Connect murals have been unveiled at 12 other stations.

Top image from SMRT.