The name Pulau Ubin reflects the function of the island. 'Pulau' is the Malay word for 'island' and 'Ubin' means 'granite'. This island has always been used for the mining of Granite and the Johore-Singapore causeway was built using granite from this quarry.
The island was first used by the British back in the colonial period and one of the British log books has a report on the usage of this island. (Click here to read extract). The granite on the island was used for the building of buildings in Singapore.
During the second world war, the island of Pulau Ubin was the first to be invaded by the Japanese forces. This island was used as a decoy to fool the defence forces into moving their forces to the north-east while the Japanese forces attacked from the north-west. The Japanese artillery was also launched from this island.
People had lived on that island then and there are still people living on that island now, it has a community centre and a schoolhouse.< A School On Pulau Ubin
Each house has its own power generator and water is obtained from a common well. There is not a large population living on that island and they all lead a very quiet lifestyle there on Ubin. It is one of Singapore's few islands that have not been greatly disturbed by man, only for the mining of granite, which is still going on today.
There are visitors, both tourists and locals, who go there for hikes, leisure walks, to see nature, as well as camp overnight. It houses one of Singapore's last forests.