Bukit Batok /bukɪt ˈbɑːtɒk/ (Chinese: 武吉巴督, Tamil: புக்கிட் பாத்தோக்), often abbreviated as Bt Batok, is a planning area and matured residential town straddling along the eastern boundary of the West Region of Singapore. Bukit Batok statistically ranks in as the 25th largest, the 12th most populous and the 11th most densely populated planning area in the Republic. It is bordered by six other planning areas - Choa Chu Kang to the north and northwest, Bukit Panjang to the northeast and east, Clementi to the south, Bukit Timah to the southeast, Jurong East to the southwest and Tengah to the west.
Bukit Batok largely sits on Gombak norite, a geological formation that is found in high concentrations within the planning area itself, as well as in the western parts of neighbouring Bukit Panjang. It was this presence of the igneous rock that made Bukit Batok a pivotal location for the quarrying industry in Singapore around the turn of the mid-20th century.
In the early stages of the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II, Bukit Batok became significant ground for both the Allied and Axis powers. The failed attempt by the British to defend the vicinity during the Battle of Bukit Timah and their subsequent surrender on 15 February 1942 to the Japanese at the Ford Motor Factory in present-day Hillview subzone was described by Winston Churchill as the "largest capitulation" in British military history. Singapore consequently underwent four years of Japanese occupation, which eventually ended following Operation Tiderace in early-September 1945. Quarrying practices soon resumed after the war, continuing up until the 1990s when resources became exhausted and the area's ecology, threatened.
Development of Bukit Batok New Town began in December 1975, transforming the former quarrying village into a self-sustainable new town in the rough span of a decade. As a testament to its heritage, several norite formations and ridges remained preserved, most of which can be found at both Bukit Batok Nature Park and Bukit Batok Town Park as a characteristic feature of the modern-day town.
Numerous differing accounts describe the origin of the name Bukit Batok. Bukit means "hill" in Malay, thus the name of the town gives the impression of it being hilly. Batok, however, has several interpretations.
One version has it that, according to a Javanese village chief in the tiny village of Gassing, coconut trees grew on the hills in the area. Hence the name batok, the Javanese term for coconuts.
The Chinese interpretation is that the hills were formed from solid granite, which is called batu in Malay, and this was corrupted to bato and finally batok. Another story has it that the hill resembles a skull top and batok could also be construed to mean "skull top".
Others believe that batok, the Malay word for cough, is linked to the place either because of its cool air (causing coughs and colds), or due to the sound of explosives historically used at its granite quarry, Little Guilin.
Bukit Batok Planning Area is bordered by six other planning areas - Choa Chu Kang to the north and northwest, Bukit Panjang to the northeast and east, Clementi to the south, Bukit Timah to the southeast, Jurong East to the southwest and Tengah to the west.
Bukit Batok New Town is located within Bukit Batok Planning Area.
Bukit Batok Planning Area is divided into 9 subzones:
Earthworks to build Bukit Batok started in 1979. The first HDB estate blocks numbered Blk 2xx were completed in 1983, followed by 1xx and 6xx in 1985. Subsequently, the blocks at Bukit Gombak were finished in 1987, with Block 3xx ready for occupancy in 1989. Earthworks at Bukit Batok West began later.
Bukit Batok's main shopping complex West Mall was opened in mid-1998. Developed by Alprop Pte. Ltd., a joint venture between the United Industrial Corporation (UIC) and Singapore Land, it has 8 storeys in total gross floor area of 283,000 sq ft (26,300 m²) on a land area of 106,000 sq ft (9,800 m²). It was built at a cost of S$170 million and houses amenities including a Post Office, Community Library and Cineplex, together with shops, restaurants and a supermarket.
There are two MRT Stations in the Bukit Batok area: Bukit Batok MRT Station and Bukit Gombak MRT Station.
The Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, sited near to Bukit Batok MRT Station and West Mall, is of moderate size and nearly completely used by Tower Transit Singapore. The interchange and most of the services were previously operated by SBS, the precursor of SBS Transit, until 26 December 2000, which then bus services were transferred over to SMRT Buses (formerly known as Trans-Island Bus Services, or TIBS) until 29 May 2016, by then bus services 852 (until 2018, under Sungei Seletar Bus Package) and 61 will be left with SMRT Buses. SBS Transit still has a bus depot in Bukit Batok.Bukit View Primary School
Dazhong Primary School
Keming Primary School
Lianhua Primary School
Princess Elizabeth Primary School
St Anthony's Primary School
Bukit Batok Secondary School
Bukit View Secondary School
Dunearn Secondary School
Hillgrove Secondary School
Swiss Cottage Secondary School
Yusof Ishak Secondary School
Millennia Institute, formed from the merger of Jurong Institute and Outram Institute, moved to its new campus off Bukit Batok West Avenue 3 in January 2007. Bukit Batok is also home to Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre (SHATEC).
The Bukit Batok swimming complex is located off East Avenue 6. There are many parks in the neighbourhood, including the Bukit Batok Town Park and the Bukit Batok Nature Park.
The CDANS Bukit Batok Country Club, for reservist members of the Civil Defence forces and their families, was opened in 1998. It offers a golf driving range, swimming pool, bowling alley and sports facilities for relatively affordable prices.
The Civil Service Club Bukit Batok Clubhouse offers swimming, bowling and related recreational facilities to civil servants, their families and the public. It is located near Bukit Batok Town Centre and was opened on 1 March 2006.
The jurisdiction of Bukit Batok is shared by the Jurong Group Representation Constituency (Jurong GRC), which has an office at Bukit Batok Central and manages much of Bukit Batok; and Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency (Chua Chu Kang GRC), which manages areas north of Bukit Batok West Avenue 3 and Bukit Batok Central. There are four members of Parliament, two from each GRC, representing various areas in Bukit Batok.
Bukit Batok is a single-member constituency by itself in the 1991 general elections and before, and also after 2015 general elections. It was later mainly consolidated into Jurong GRC. As of 2016, Bukit Batok represents in Jurong GRC and Bukit Batok SMC. For Jurong GRC, Bukit Batok East is the only constituency, of which Rahayu Mahzam is the current MP. David Ong Kim Huat, was an MP for Bukit Batok constituency until his sudden resignation in March 2016. Murali Pillai, a former candidate for Aljunied GRC who lost in the GE2015, has since taken over Bukit Batok, following his by-election victory in 2016.
In the same elections in 2011 and 2015, Bukit Gombak represents in Chua Chu Kang GRC, there are two constituencies also in Bukit Gombak, one of which it is a different system. Bukit Gombak represents as Low Yen Ling MP, while Amy Khor Lean Suan is under Hong Kah North SMC.