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It is in this context of the Asian settlers that stumbled off boats and sampans into mosques, temples and churches to give thanks for journey mercies, that the history of Geylang's red-light district must be read and understood. serviceman and through marriage crosses over and out of the street communities that were off-limits to the British troops stationed in Singapore during the second world war.
Peter Neville, British author of The Rose of Singapore (Monsoon, 2006) writes a novel of Lai Meng, a once famous prostitute in the Geylang area, who falls in love with an R. The detailed account of life in Geylang during and immediately after the war, the visits to Haw Par Villa, the types of food and services available among the main truck road toward Changi and all of its varied businesses (including the sex trade) stands at back of the reasons why prostitution, while officially illegal and outlawed in the Singapore constitution, is nevertheless seen as an accessible, public expedient and necessarily so in view of the large numbers of single male foreign workers and expatriates on the island.
1940s During the occupation by Japanese in World war 2 (1942 to 1945), Geylang Serai was severely damaged and the shortages of food arisen afterwards led to the replacement of the plantations of coconut and rubber by those of tapioca, which gave Geylang Serai the name, Kampong Ubi (tapioca in Malay).
With the end of Japanese occupation, Geylang Serai saw a rise in population and more areas were occupied.
His research tells the story of illiterate Chinese migrants working as coolies and rickshaw pullers and gives a description of what life might have been for the poorest of the poor living in Singapore under the British and immediately before the Japanese Occupation.
It is bordered by Hougang and Toa Payoh to the north, Marine Parade to the south, Bedok to the east and Kallang to the west.
Situated just outside Singapore's Central Business District, Geylang is well served by the country's transport network.
The inflow of more Malay and outflow of Chinese changed the demographic of Geylang serai which turned into predominantly a Malay community ever since.
1960s In 1963, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) initiated The Geylang Serai Housing Redevelopment Scheme which was carried out in three phases, investing a sum of 3.8 million SGD for the renewal of the region.