Lighthouses of Singapore

Singapore is an independent city-state located on an island off the tip of the Malay Peninsula. The city faces the Singapore Stait, the shortest route connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans, giving the city one of the world's most strategic locations. Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, and for 140 years it was the keystone of the British Empire in the Orient. In 1963 it joined with Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia. Tensions between the city's predominantly Chinese population and the Malay population of the rest of the federation proved to be too great, so in 1965 Singapore left the federation to become independent.

Aids to navigation in the heavily-traveled Singapore and Malacca Straits are regulated by the Malacca Strait Council, a consortium of the maritime authorities of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Singapore's aids to navigation are operated and maintained by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Lighthouses in Singapore
Information available from Wikipedia.
Lighthouses in Singapore
Photos available from Wikimedia (the same photos illustrating the Wikipedia articles).
Singapore Infopedia
This electronic reference is maintained by the National Library of Singapore. Search for "lighthouse" to locate articles on each light.
World of Lighthouses - Singapore
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses of Other Regions
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.
Leuchttürme Asiens, Australiens, und Ozeaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Horsburgh Light
Horsburgh Light, 2006
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore photo
Lighthouses
Horsburgh (Pulau Batu Puteh, Pedra Blanca)
1851 (John Turnbull Thomson). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 10 s. 34 m (112 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story concrete keeper's complex. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. An MPA photo is above,Lightphotos.net has a 2012 photo, and Daniel Koh has a view from the sea, but Google's satellite view does not show the islet. This lighthouse, Singapore's oldest, was named for James Horsburgh (1762-1836), the hydrographer of the East India Company who charted the seaways around Singapore. Following his death in 1836, British merchants in China quickly proposed that a memorial lighthouse be built at the Straits, but a decade passed before the site was selected and construction was authorized. The lighthouse stands on a notorious rock outcrop, long called Pedra Blanca (white rock) by European navigators. In the late 1900s, Malaysia maintained a claim to Pulau Batu Puteh (Pedra Blanca), on the grounds that the islet was historically under the control of the Sultan of Johor (Johor is now a state of Malaysia). Malaysia did not object to Singapore's continued operation of the lighthouse, but sought sovereignty over the island. In 2003, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to refer their territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands. The case was argued in November 2007, and in May 2008 the court ruled in favor of Singapore. Located off the eastern entrance to the Singapore Strait about 13 km (8 mi) southeast of the southeastern tip of Singapore Island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS SIN-001; Admiralty F1820; NGA 21188.
* Bedok
Date unknown (1979?). Active; focal plane 76 m (249 ft); white flash every 5 s. "Red cubicle" atop a 26-story condo tower. A photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view (the building is centered in the image). Located at Lagoon View Block 5000L on Marine Parade Road in Bedok, a neighborhood on the east side of Singapore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1733; NGA 21260.
* Fort Canning (Singapore) (2)
1903 (station established 1855). Inactive since 1958 (a decorative light is displayed). Approx. 27 m (89 ft) square steel skeletal tower with first-order lantern and gallery, painted white. Lightphotos.net has a 2011 photo, Alain Guyomard and Robert Carceller have a photo by Didier dos Santos, Paul Gill has a fine 2006 photo, Wikimedia has a photo by Aldwin Teo, the Cornell University Library has a historic photo, Forand also has a historic photo, David Yeo has a photo showing the decorative light, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was built in Fort Canning, on Government Hill behind the harbor of Singapore. It was disassembled after being deactivated, and at some later time it was reassembled for display in what is now Fort Canning Park. Site open, tower closed.
[Sentosa]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); red flash every 2 s. 7 m (23 ft) post mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Entire lighthouse painted red. A good photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located just off the southern point of Sentosa Island, a resort island in downtown Singapore. Accessible only by boat but easy to see from the shore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1720.4; NGA 21255.4.
* [Fullerton (lantern)]
1958. Inactive since 1979. Round lantern with aerobeacon, originally mounted atop the Fullerton Building, which was then the General Post Office and is now the Fullerton Hotel, in downtown Singapore. A 2008 photo is available, and Wikimedia has a 2011 photo, but neighboring skyscrapers hide the lantern in Google's satellite view. The lantern was formerly on display on the grounds of the former Singapore Maritime Museum (closed since 2001) on Sentosa Island. It has been moved to a location behind Harbour Front Tower One in the Harbour Front development on the downtown waterfront. Site open.
* Berlayer Point (Labrador Park)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8.5 m (27 ft); red flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) robust square pyramidal concrete skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Entire structure painted red. A closeup photo, a 2009 photo, and a view from the harbor are available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located in Labrador Park, on the north side of the west entrance to Keppel Harbour in downtown Singapore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1702; NGA 21388.
Raffles
1855 (John Bennet). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 29 m (95 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo appears at right, Lighthouse Explorer has an MPA photo, a 2008 photo is available, Lightphotos.net has a photo, a distant photo shows the tall communication towers near the lighthouse, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Forand has a historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. This famous lighthouse is named for Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), who founded the city of Singapore in 1819. It marks the western entance to Singapore Strait. Located on Pulau Satumu (formerly called Coney Island), the southernmost islet of Singapore, about 14 km (9 mi) southwest of the downtown waterfront. The lighthouse would be accessible only by boat, but there is an exclusion zone surrounding the lighthouse, so only distant views are available. Site and tower closed. ARLHS SIN-004; Admiralty F1693; NGA 21500.
Sultan Shoal
1896. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 18 m (59 ft) round masonry tower centered on the roof of a 2-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white; keeper's house roof is red. A photo appears at right, Lighthouse Explorer has an MPA photo, Lightphotos.net has a photo, Loh Kok Sheng has a 2008 photo, and Google has a satellite view. This striking lighthouse exhibits a remarkable mixture of Oriental and Victorian design. Located on the island of Selat Jurong, about 8 km (5 mi) south of the western tip of Singapore Island. Accessible only by boat, and there is an exclusion zone surrounding the lighthouse. Site and tower closed. ARLHS SIN-005; Admiralty F1684; NGA 21656.
* Johor (Johore) Strait
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The navigation light is mounted atop the lantern. A 2011 photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This lighthouse marks the western entrance to the Johor Strait, which separates Singapore from the Malaysian mainland. Located at the end of a jetty at the Raffles Marina in Tuas, just west of the Second Link Expressway bridge over the strait. Site status unknown, but the lighthouse can certainly be seen from nearby. Site manager: Raffles Marina. Admiralty F1681; NGA 21685.


Raffles Light, 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by LionFlyer

Sultan Shoal Light
Sultan Shoal Light, December 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by LionFlyer

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Malaya East Coast | South: Riau Islands | West: Malaya West Coast

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Posted March 5, 2006. Checked and revised December 22, 2013. Lighthouses: 7. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.