A previous article looked at some of the most common legends found in Singapore: those related to Kusu Island’s Turtle, how the Sisters’ Islands came into being, noises in the Bedok flats, and the rumours of a secret tunnel underneath Sentosa Island. Here are some more fascinating myths and legends from Singapore to ponder:
Badang and the Singapore Stone
Badang is a character in a Malay legend. He was, according to the legend, a poor fisherman who sold his catch at the mouth of the Singapore River. He managed to catch a genie one day and, in return for releasing the genie, Badang was given his wish of being the strongest man on earth. His super strength led to him being made the imperial warrior by the Rajah of Singapura. He fought strong men sent from other kingdoms to test his strength, and he conquered a warrior from India by flinging a huge boulder. The massive rock had inscriptions added, but it was sadly destroyed by colonialists. A small piece of the rock is all that remains today, and you can see it in the National Museum of Singapore.
Keeping Rain Away
Some Singaporeans believe that if you spear chillies and onions on a skewer and bury them at the bottom of a tree it will stop it from raining. Some people do this on a special occasion, such as a wedding or a barbecue party, to try and ensure that the weather is fine.
Pulau Ubin and Pulau Sekudu
According to local lore, a frog, a pig, and an elephant once had a competition to see who could reach Johor first from the Singapore main island. Creatures that did not make it would be turned into rock. The frog went first and failed, so was turned into the island of Pulau Sekudu (Frog Island). The elephant and pig tried, and also failed. They were turned into stone and joined together to form Palau Ubin’s main island.
Some people believe that Japanese forces, during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, hid lots of treasure from all around Southeast Asia in Singapore, speciafically, in the jungles around the MacRitchie Reservoir. The location of the loot is said to have been marked by the Shinto Shrine of Syonan. Many people have looked for the rumored hidden treasure, but nobody has ever found any.
Pointing at the Moon
Parents often tell their children that they should not point at the moon. If one does point at the moon, it is said that their ears will fall off! This belief comes from old Chinese beliefs and superstitions. Many people claim to have pointed at the moon in their younger days and having woken up with small cuts behind their ears!
Ancient tales tell of past ferocious battles that took place in the area that is known Selegie Road. At the fall of Temasek, in the 1370s, it is said that the last ruler of the kingdom escaped along what is now Selegie Road, heading towards Seletar and then fleeing across the water. This prompted stories about a tribe of pirates that lived around the Selegie and Mount Sofia area.
There are many colourful and interesting myths, legends, folkloric tales, superstitions, and urban myths associated with Singapore.