HistoryThe area remained largely uninhabited during the 19th century. Settlers, were attracted to the area only around the turn of the century, as a result of the rubber demand. In the older maps of Singapore, much of the area was labelled as the Ang Mo Kio Forest Reserve with many plantation estates. The name Ang Mo Kio which in Hokkien literally translates as "red-haired man's bridge", where Ang Mo was a term for a caucasian person. The village that sprang up with the clearing of the land took on the name "Ang Mo Kio". The Chinese, mostly Hokkiens engaged in rubber-planting. Cheng San Village where Ang Mo Kio New Town now stands was once a huge rubber plantation. The 1922 to 1932 world slump in rubber prices made many tappers and labourers turn to pig and poultry farming or market gardening. During World War II when Singapore was occupied, more people moved to Ang Mo Kio to take up farming.
The development of Ang Mo Kio began in 1973 and was completed in 1980. The present has a town centre was built over an valley formerly occupied by squatters. It has commercial offices, cultural and community facilities serving at least 200,000 residents.