A netizen posted a photo on r/Singapore on Monday (Nov 21) and then asked a question that elicited a lot of answers.
‘Am I in Bedok, Ponggol or Hougang?’ asked Reddit user Low_Ses_Man, posting a photo of a sign that reads “Bedok Reservoir Punggol Vale” beside a smaller sign that says “Hougang Branch Office.”
Luckily, there were knowledgeable folks who could help the netizen out—although the explanation was uniquely Singaporean and somewhat confusing.
“This is Hougang, but it’s the bit of Hougang that doesn’t belong to Hougang SMC,” explained Reddit user jpamills. “It’s part of Aljuined GRC. Aljuined GRC reaches across Paya Lebar Airbase and over to Bedok.”
He added that while “most of the wards in Aljuined GRC make sense,” some parts of Bedok and Hougang that are part of Aljunied GRC, which is under The Workers’ Party, “are too small to justify their own ward.”
Therefore, “to balance out the sizes of the wards” in the GRC, Gerald Giam, the MP responsible for the ward, oversees the areas close to Bedok Reservoir, and some others in Hougang.
“The whole north-east was previously known as Ponggol, (witness Ponggol Clinic and Punggol Park, both in Hougang,) so that is used instead of Hougang to avoid confusion with Hougang SMC,” which is also under the WP.
jpamills added, “So you’re in the ward of Bedok Reservoir – Punggol, within the GRC of Aljuined, and simultaneously in the town of Hougang.”
The Reddit user’s thorough answer impressed many other Redditors, especially since he is Danish, and not even Singaporean.
jpamills added, “And for maximum confusion, Bedok Reservoir-Punggol also includes some condominium complexes that are in the outskirts of Tampines.”
Another Redditor chimed in that this type of situation is “uniquely Singaporean.”
Others said they could totally relate.
Another Reddit user offered an informative bit of history.