Ghim Moh is part of Buona Vista, which is actually one of the seven districts of Queenstown. However, due to its location, it is easily mistaken as an independent housing estate.
Buona Vista is one of the rare places in Singapore with an Italian name, which means “good sight” in Italian. The origin of the name Ghim Moh is debatable, but the biggest possibility is its Hokkien translation, which means “golden hair“, a reference to the Caucasians, majority of them British soldiers, who once lived at the nearby Holland Village.
Located along Ghim Moh Road in front of Block 9, the tiny Ghim Moh Bus Terminal is one of the few last surviving roadside bus terminals left in Singapore that have been in operation since the seventies. Serving four routes (92, 100, 111 and 563), the buses lined up on one side of the two-lane road, making use of a narrow road within the bus park to make difficult three-point turns. While the bus is waiting at the bus park, passengers can board the bus instead of the normal bus stop along the road.
Other similar old roadside bus terminals elsewhere of Singapore that had already ceased to exist were Tampines Way Terminal, Punggol Road End Bus Terminal and Sembawang Road End Bus Terminal. Back in 1976, under the Singapore Bus Services’ (SBS) terminal improvement program, a total of 28 bus terminals were phased out or resited. Many of their bus services were relocated to the major bus interchanges located at the centrals of the new towns.
The clusters of 14- and 20-storey blocks of flats of three- to five-room around Ghim Moh Road were mostly built around 1977. In its early days, pedestrian crossings and traffic lights were absent at Ghim Moh, causing inconvenience and danger to the residents who had to travel to the main road of Commonwealth Avenue to catch their buses.
In 2006, the Housing Development Board (HDB) announced the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) program for blocks numbered 9, 9A, 10, 11, 12 and 12A. By the early 2012, most of the residents had left their homes, leaving the neighbourhood quiet and deserted.
The blocks of old flats are expected to be demolished in another year’s time. By then, the Ghim Moh Bus Terminal is also expected to cease its operation, moving its small fleet of buses to the nearby Buona Vista Bus Terminal.
Published: 23 July 2012
Updated: 23 October 2012