To all those readers out there who stay in Yishun, well, ever wondered how the name Yishun came about? Like you know, for every place like Ang Mo Kio, RedHill and so on so forth, there is like an origin story of how the names came about and Yishun is no exception. And with that, let’s move on to a brief history lesson of how its name came about.
Technically, Yishun was named after a guy called Lim Nee Soon. Who he is, you might ask. Well, Lim Nee Soon, nicknamed the “pineapple king”, was a rubber magnate, banker, contractor and general commission agent. He was the first general manager of the Bukit Sembawang Rubber Company Limited.
In fact, Lim Nee Soon was one of the few pioneers that started Sembawang and served on the Rural Board from 1913 to 1921 and was also appointed a Justice of Peace. He also owned quite a huge share of land area in these areas, whereby several roads are named after him. And just when you think he couldn’t be any more awesome, he was also the leading member of the Teochew clan association “poit ip huay kwan” and were good friends with Dr Sun Yat Sen.
Now you might be wondering, in this case, shouldn’t it be called Yishun? Well, you are right. Originally, everything in Yishun was named Nee Soon. But if you remember your history, back then, the government launched a “Speak Mandarin” campaign and since Nee Soon was not exactly a Chinese word, it was translated into Chinese, henceforth resulting in the name Yishun.
So basically, if Nee Soon was not translated, everything will become Nee Soon: Nee Soon MRT station; Nee Soon New Town; Nee Soon Town Secondary School; Nee Soon Ring Road etc. Well, i don’t think we would be used to that; we prefer Yishun. It sounds better!
Anyways, and that is it. A happy ending to a brief history lesson about the origination of the name Yishun. Bet that put a smile on your faces!
Or maybe not.