The Old Ford Factory was where Britain surrendered Singapore over to the Japanese. Converted into a national monument, it holds reminders of the fall of Singapore as well as reminders of what life was like in Singapore during the World War II.

How much time you will need: About 45 min to 2 h, depending on how much details you want to cover.

What we thought of it: A must for a good overview of what happened in Singapore during World War II.
Address & Contact Information
Addr: 351 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588192

Tel: (65) 6462 6724
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Page created on 19 Jan 2008
Page last modified on 18 Aug 2011

The first motor vehicle assembly in Southeast Asia, Ford Motor Factory was built in October 1941. Its significance was in its use as the venue for the formal surrender of Malaya (comprising what is currently Malaysia and Singapore) to Japan. It is now designated a national monument. Under the custody of the National Archives of Singapore, it has been converted into an exhibition gallery and a repository.
Our visit starts with the storyboards in the drive-way. They tell of the Malayan Campaign, what the British defense strategy for Singapore was. And how it went terribly wrong.
Before entering the main exhibition gallery, go round the back of the building to see the Syonan Garden (also known as War-time Garden). Crops and plants that were commonly grown during the war for food or medicinal purposes, are grown here. Don't miss the padi (rice) in the different stages of growth. Read about how coverted bananas or papayas, now common fruit, were back then.
The gallery is segmented by themes, beginning with a staged tunnel where you'll experience the sounds and sights of being in a battle. You also can't miss the prominent life-sized statutes of the British General Officer Commanding Malaya, Lt.-Gen. Arthur Ernest Percival and the Japanese Commander of the 25th Army, Gen. Yamashita Tomoyuki.
The original boardroom was kept intact and gives a pretty good idea of what took place in the formal surrender. Don't miss the short video footage of the negotiations and read about how Yomashita called his bluff... and won.
The gallery gives a snapshot of what life was like during the days of the Japanese Occupation, from 1942 to 1945. During that time, Singapore's name was changed to Syonan-to, which means "Light of the South" in Japanese. Stories, anecdotes, replicas of newspaper clippings, artefacts, posters and first-hand accounts and interviews are used throughout the exhibition, making it interesting and easy to understand, even for the younger visitors.
Be sure to listen to the audio recordings on the map of Singapore. Hear the interviewees talk about events that took place around the island during the years of the Japanese Occupation - it brings the reality of the effects of war closer to home. By the way, the windshield of one of the Ford models assembled in this very factory, a Ford Cortina MKII, is used as a protective shield of the map.
Several documentaries, each lasting between 7 min to 30 min long, are screened at the audio-visual theatre upstairs. They are certainly worth catching.
Tell Us what you think
Look out for simple quizzes to add to the young ones' interest in a piece of Singapore's history.

Things to Bring
An insect repellant for wandering around the external compound as the area is fairly wooded.

Opening Times
Opening times: Mondays to Saturdays, 9 am to 5:30 pm
Sundays, 12 noon to 5:30 pm

Best time to go: Any time though it is pleasant to walk round the grounds in the early morning or late afternoon. Most exhibits are indoors.

Admission Fees
Adult - $3
Student Pass Holder & Senior Citizen (55 to 59 years old) - $2.50
Foreign Visitors (60 years and over) - $1.25
Viewing of documentaries only - $1

Free admission for child aged 6 years old and under.
Free admission for senior citizen (Singaporean or Permanent Resident) 60 years and over.
Free admission for students & teachers (Singaporean or Permanent Resident) & NSF (with valid 11B pass).
Free admission for NHB Museum Round Table Pass holder.

It is also free admission on the following days:
- Total Defence Day
- International Museum Day
- National Day
- Hari Raya Puasa
- Deepavali
- Christmas
- New Year's Day
- Chinese New Year (2nd Day)

How to Get There
By Taxi - This is the fastest and easiest way to get there. Tell the taxi driver the "Old Ford Factory" along Upper Bukit Timah Road.

By MRT - Take the East-West Line and alight at any of the following MRT Stations:

Bukit Batok MRT - Board 173 at interchange and alight opposite Memories. You can ask the driver to let you know when to alight for the "Old Ford Factory".

Choa Chu Kang MRT - Board 67 at interchange and alight opposite Memories. You can ask the driver to let you know when to alight for the "Old Ford Factory".

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