The real meaning of the “Chu” in Choa Chu Kang, Yio Chu Kang and Lim Chu Kang

This is going to be very, very interesting. Okay, so you live in Choa Chu Kang and thought Choa Chu Kang was the name of a famous person in the past?

Wrong.

Unlike most road names in Singapore, the “Kang” roads have got some interesting background. Kang is pretty clear-cut—it’s a river, so that explains it. But Chu—well, Chu was apparently a clan, or in some other theories, it means “owner” or “lord”. The name of the clan is Kangchu, since the Chu clan controlled that area and that it was around a river.

So the north of Singapore then were given to various leaders of Kangchu, and since it was renamed Chu Kang, the name of each region was named after the headman’s surname. For example, a headman with surname of Tan would control a region known as Tan Chu Kang.

In the past, there used to be many Chu Kangs—from Lau Chu Kang to Peng Chu Kang.

It is unknown why we’re now left with only Choa Chu Kang, Yio Chu Kang and Lim Chu Kang. Nevertheless, at least now we also know the orgins of the name Phua Chu Kang, eh?