Paya Lebar is in the East Region of the Republic of Singapore. The planning area is surrounded by others like Hougang on the east, Sengkang on the northwest, Tampines on the east, Bedok on the southern side and Pasir Ris on the northern side. The planning area is estimated to cover 11.7 square kilometers. Initially, Paya Lebar was a swampland which was located near the Kallang River. According to the Malay people, this is where it is said to have gotten its name because Paya means ‘swamp’ while Lebar means ‘wide.’ The swampland then began to be cleared by squatters who settled in the area. They were known to be very notorious. Their main activities included cultivation of market produce and also rearing pigs and poultry. The region was then colonized by Richard Owen Norris and his family when he bought a part of the area in 1865. He later died in 1905.
In 1955 the Paya Lebar Airport which is also known as Singapore International Airport was opened and became the main feature of the region. It brought about the development of several housing estates, factories, school and other social amenities around the project. Some of the notable features of the region include Paya Lebar Air force Museum, Paya Lebar Airbase, and Paya Lebar Airport. The people of the area also have access to the Kaki Built Recreation Centre. The northern and western borders of Paya Lebar are outlined by the famous Tampines Expressway and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway respectively. There are two constituencies in Paya Lebar. They include Aljunied GRC and Marine Parade GRC. The main political parties which dominate the area are Worker’s Party and People’s Action Party. One of the key political figures in the region is Thia Khiang who is the former secretary-general of the Worker’s Party and was a Member of Parliament of the ward. The subdivision is best known for the Paya Lebar Airbase. It is also has a busy town because it attracts visitor from other planning areas and subdivisions who come to visit the Paya Lebar Air Force Museum.
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