Bukit in the Malay Language means "hill" and Panjang means "long". Bukit Panjang literally means "long hill" which gets its name from the long range of high hills which ends in Bukit Timah to the south.
At the height of the movement to change place names in Singapore to Mandarin ones using hanyu pinyin romanization, the new town to be built in the area was initially known as Zhenghua (正华), after the Pinyinised version of "Cheng Hwa", which was derived from the old road Jalan Cheng Hwa. along with Yishun (义顺) for Nee Soon, and Zhujiao market for tek kha (竹脚) market in Kandang Kerbau. The trading of old dialect names which have gained common currency for unfamiliar, Mandarin ones was not well received by the public, and Bukit Panjang was quickly reinstated. However, the name Zhenghua is preserved in the name of the flyover between Bukit Panjang Road and the Bukit Timah Expressway as well as the Zhenghua Park.
The roads there are named after old 60s kampung tracks (Lorong Petir, Lorong Pending, Jalan Fajar, Jalan Senja) which used to ply the area.
Bukit Panjang, which is known as Zhenghua for several years before its name was reinstated, is a suburban town in western Singapore. Development of the town and advanced earthworks begun on 15 June 1981. HDB flats rose up by 20 May 1985, but only Blocks 1xx and 2xx were built so far. Neighbourhood 4 was up and running by 1989, and followed by Neighbourhood 5 and 6 which was the recent ones since 1995.
The Bukit Panjang area comes under the administrative lead of the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council, which oversees the management and maintenance of the many apartments (HDB Flats) and commercial units in Bukit Panjang.
Bukit Panjang is a quiet town compared to some of the older housing estates such as Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio and other more publicly discussed towns, but it has some major housing development under way.
The town consists of a mixture of old and new apartments (these dwellings are commonly called flats in Singapore) as well as condominiums. To date, there are three community centers (CC), including Bukit Panjang Community Club, Zhenghua Community Centre, and the newly built Senja-Cashew Community Centre, which serve the entertainment, recreational, and educational needs of residents.
Bukit Panjang Plaza (Chinese: 武吉班让大厦; Pinyin: wǔjíbānràng dàshà) is the largest shopping mall in Bukit Panjang. It is located in the heart of Bukit Panjang town and is near Bukit Panjang LRT Station, Bukit Panjang MRT Station and Bukit Panjang Bus Interchange. Located on Jelebu Road, the mall has expanded to include more shops in the building. The mall is owned by CapitaRetail which is another retail-based REIT by CapitaLand. The mall houses the Bukit Panjang Community Library as well as a NTUC FairPrice supermarket. Although it is smaller than other shopping malls in Singapore, Bukit Panjang Plaza has a reputation of being a food paradise in the area with the recent opening of many new restaurants.
In addition to Bukit Panjang Plaza, there are three smaller neighbourhood shopping malls equipped with hawker centres, supermarkets, and other basic shops to meet the basic necessities of the residents. These include Fajar Shopping Centre, Greenridge Shopping Centre, and the Bangkit Shopping Centre.
Bangkit Shopping Centre is a hive of activities on weekends and during the Lunar Chinese New Year Festivities this is the Chinatown of the west. Visitors will be surprised at the many and varied vendors in this shopping centre,they offer a big assortment of products at very competitive pricing.
The area has two parks, the Bukit Panjang Park and Zhenghua Park. Bukit Panjang Park is just right across from Bukit Panjang Plaza and wraps around a man-made pond. Zhenghua Park consists of a fitness area, gazebos, playgrounds, and a 2.5-kilometre cycling and jogging track that run alongside the Bukit Timah Expressway. The parks interconnect via a park connector which is a cycling and jogging track. This ensures the continuity of the existing tracks in both of the parks. At the edge of the man-made pond lies a sports complex and a community center managed by the Senja-Cashew Community Club. The sports complex and community club have an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a children's pool, badminton court, tennis courts, street soccer courts and rooms designed for specific purposes.Zhenghua Community Club
Bukit Panjang Community Club
Senja-Cashew Community Club
Primary SchoolsBeacon Primary School
Bukit Panjang Primary School
Greenridge Primary School
West Spring Primary School
West View Primary School
Zhenghua Primary School
Secondary SchoolsAssumption English School
Fajar Secondary School
Greenridge Secondary School
West Spring Secondary School
Zhenghua Secondary School
Bukit Panjang is adjacent to two of Singapore's major highways, the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and Kranji Expressway (KJE), and is a quick gateway to and from other towns. As such, many drivers coming from the western parts of Singapore make use of Bukit Panjang's major roads as one of the ways to access the BKE, and, subsequently, the KJE.
The bus system, rapid transit and light rail are the forms of public transportation that serve this town.
The public bus system is predominantly SMRT Buses. Of the SMRT buses based in Bukit Panjang, some are intra-town "feeder-service" buses that serve the various neighbourhoods, some are used to ferry passengers into the Light Rail Transit system, and the rest are long-distance services that serve as a mode of transport to other towns and to the city.
The driverless and fully automated Bukit Panjang LRT Line was completed on 11 June 1999 is estimated to be worth $2 billion. The rail line was intended to serve the growing town and act as a replacement to the many buses employed through the town, especially during rush hour.
Several petitions were presented by the residents of Bukit Panjang protesting the decision by SMRT to replace the buses in Bukit Panjang with the LRT system. Some of the complaints were related to the fact that people preferred the previous bus system that covered most parts of the Bukit Panjang neighbourhoods such as bus service 190 and 972. The previous bus system was viewed as more efficient because it had many bus stops within walking distance; the LRT system has only 14 stations that are spaced hundreds of meters apart.
The new Bukit Panjang MRT Station on Downtown Line has opened, right across Bukit Panjang Plaza, and is an interchange with the Bukit Panjang LRT Station. It will serve Bukit Panjang residents direct train access.
Bukit Panjang is politically divided into three constituencies. The area of Bukit Panjang is in Bukit Panjang Single Member Constituency whose Member of Parliament is Teo Ho Pin who is the mayor for Northwest Community Development Council. The other two constituencies are enclosed in the Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency. This includes Senja, a part of Jelapang, Segar, Gangsa and a portion of Petir. Senja, Segar and Jelapang are located in Zhenghua constituency of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC whose Member of Parliament is Liang Eng Hwa with Gangsa and the remaining portion of Petir belonging to Cashew division of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC with its Member of Parliament being the Foreign Affairs Minister Dr.Vivian Balakrishnan.