Singapore, Travel

Former Ford Factory : Japanese Occupation in Singapore

Former Ford Factory : Japanese Occupation in Singapore

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Boy, was I glad to visit this museum on a weekend! This museum is actually the former Old Ford Factory in Bukit Timah area which is just a few bus-stops away from Beauty World MRT station. Instead of relocating this museum to the central area where all the other Singapore museums are, I was glad that decided to stick to this historical place where the British forces surrendered to Japanese forces on 15 February 1942. We Singaporeans celebrate Total Defence Day every year on 15 February too. It is a reminder that we should not take the safety of our country for granted

This museum has just been revamped into this state-of-the-art museum that showcases historical artefacts and first-hand oral accounts of people living during the Japanese Occupation. There’s a lot of effort and thought put into making this museum a one-stop centre for you to understand this painful part of Singapore’s history.

The museum may not be as huge as National Museum of Singapore but we spent about 2 hours plus just to read all the interesting information on the panels and examining those artefacts which were kept from the past till now! I am not a history buff but I do understand that beauty of relics and old documents which are a living proof of the past. Looking at all those diaries, ration cards and old photographs really makes history comes alive again!

Is it worth visiting this museum? Totally! You can identify with it even better if you are a Singaporean. For me, I just want to learn as much as I could about our Singapore history and share these stories with the next generations to come. I guess we also have to thank those who came forward to contribute to the historical archives, donating primary documents like letters and photographs to the museum for archiving.

I don’t recollecting the past just make us Singaporeans deemed as weak or vulnerable when it comes to warfare. But all these stories of the past is what gave us that common identity among us Singaporeans and it is one important story which all Singaporeans can relate to. Our history strengthens us and unites us as one. It also makes us treasure what we have and dearly protect our Country’s resources and people. We should dearly remind ourselves of the past and be thankful for what we have achieved today.

I probably wouldn’t appreciate our history back then when I was just a 14-year-old kid, trying to memorise the textbook to pass my history exams. But now as I grew up, I am starting to see much more value in treasuring our culture and identity.

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Look at these old Singaporean identity cards which dated back to the 1940s!

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Below are magazines published by the British with black-and-white images reflecting how much work these artists put in to illustrate what’s happening around the world.

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Below is an old radio transmitter which was used by the British during the 1940s.

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How does The Straits Times newspaper look like 70 years ago?

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This is the exact room where Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival signed the document to surrender Singapore to the British.

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Power points of the olden days!

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Many first-hand recounts were collated in the museum. There were several audio accounts of these brave souls who came forward to share their stories and experiences.

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There were some interactive stations which allow you to get a better understanding of what it was like for the people during the Japanese Occupation. They are suitable for students to find out more about how the Japanese soldiers treated the locals back then.

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It’s free for all Singaporeans so if you looking for things do spend on a weekend, why not do a museum hop to enrich and enliven up your minds for a bit? Enough of movies, shopping and eating.

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Former Ford Factory 

51 Upper Bukit Timah Road

Singapore 588192

Tel: (65) 6462 6724

Opening Hours:

Mondays to Saturdays 0930 – 1730

Sundays 1200 – 1730

Admission Fee: $3 per entry *

* Free admission for:

All Children under 6

Singaporeans and permanent residents

Singapore student pass holders

Museum Roundtable members

BY BUS

Bus Services to Upper Bukit Timah Road

67, 75, 170, 171, 173, 178, 184, 961

BY MRT

Nearest MRT Stations:

Hillview MRT:

Take bus 67, 170, 171, 961 and alight opposite The Hillside

Beauty World MRT:

Take bus 67, 75, 170, 961 and alight after Old Jurong Road

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