exploringsingapore is exclusive ExplorerSG mini series where we reveal some of the lesser-known places, facts and history of Singapore.
According to legend, the coast of Singapore was once infested with ferocious swordfishes that even the Royal Army were fearful of.
Then, a young boy named Hang Nadim proposed a solution: build walls of banana tree trunks that the swordfishes would pierce through and be trapped in. His plan turned out to be a huge success as the villagers and the Royal Army were able to slay the swordfishes with ease.
However, his brilliance drew the jealousy of Sultan Raja Paduka Sri Maharaja, who feared that this young boy would grow up to be a formidable rival and overthrow his throne. In a silent night, the Sultan sent his troops to the top of a hill where Nadim lived and ordered for the death of the young boy. The blood of Nadim soon bathed the hill in red.
In memory of the young boy who saved the village, the area was named as Bukit Merah, or Redhill.
An alternate version of the legend tells of a mysterious old woman who discovered the sinister plan and chanted magic words, causing red blood to flow down the hill and the soldiers to flee.
(Image credits: chooyutshing)