Tuas Lamp Post 1


Some countries have love-locks, some have wishing trees, Singapore has a lamp post with stickers on – Tuas Lamp Post 1 to be exact – each to their own right?!

What is so special about Tuas Lamp Post 1?

“Urban folklore has it that cyclists on round-island trips will make a pit stop there, where they will take photos with the lamp post, and leave their favourite stickers behind.”

Ong Ye Kung, Former Transport Minister.

Tuas, on the western tip of Singapore, has gained popularity in recent years for some controversy concerning lamp posts and stickers. As the government was having a clean up of some vandalism in the area, they came upon Tuas Lamp Post 1, a curious sticker-strewn lamp post. In an interesting twist of fate however, this lamp post is now the only one in Singapore on which stickers can be pasted by law.

Tuas Lamp Post 1

Tuas Lamp Post 1: For the Cyclists

“People always think that Singapore is a very small place, so our group was trying to spin a story about journeying to the West, just like the Chinese legend.”

Mr. Woon, co-founder of Love Cycling Singapore.

Adorning stickers on Tuas Lamp Post 1 has been traced back to 2014, when a group of 60 cyclists from Love Cycling Singapore marked it as the endpoint of their "Song Song to Jurong" event.

“It was a long journey for me at least... and I wanted to commemorate the ride, so I pasted my beloved 'pedal until shiok' sticker to make my friends laugh.”

Mr. Woon.

Co-founder Mr. Woon Taiwoon playfully affixed a "Pedal Until Shiok" sticker, which was later removed by authorities. As land reclamation transformed the area for the Tuas Mega Port, the Lamp Post 1 designation shifted to a new location in 2017.

“It started off as a joke, but when people saw our posts about the ride later, the lamp post became a big thing when others also rode there to take photos.”

Mr. Woon.

Today, Tuas Lamp Post 1, remains something of a pilgrimage for avid cyclists in Singapore. Although another group of cyclists christened a new location, further south along Tuas South Boulevard, the tradition of pasting stickers on the landmark continues.

“We found that there was this new street lamp that extended out into the reclaimed land area, and so we decided to take a photo there.”

Mr. Lee, founder of Bike Guru.

After completing the new journey, cyclists will commemorate the experience of venturing that far west, by taking a selfie with Tuas Lamp Post 1, or adding their own sticker. As a result, people often have to reach up to 10 metres high to claim a sticker-free spot.

Nearby, a designated pit stop for cyclists who are visiting Tuas Lamp Post 1, has been set up at Raffles Marina Lighthouse, which is also the perfect place to catch the sunset.

Tuas Lamp Post 2
- Kokkai Ng

Removing the Stickers at Tuas Lamp Post 1

Over the years, there was a periodic removal of the stickers whenever workers performed street light maintenance on lamp posts in the area. Cyclists would then quickly paste their stickers on the blank metal canvas until it was back to its usual self.

This practice continued for many years until December 2020, when a small controversy broke out. This time, as the maintenance workers were removing the stickers, a cyclist captured the moment and posted it on Facebook. After receiving several disgruntled comments from fellow cyclists, the former Transport Minister, Ong Ye Kung came to an interesting decision.

“We decided to make an exception for this lamp post, given that it's a far-out location and a special spot to help cyclists find their way.”

Mr Ong posting on Facebook, Thursday 7th January 2021.

The exception reflects a lighthearted and open approach, deviating from the usual strict stance on vandalism in Singapore.

"It's encouraging to see Mr Ong taking a light touch. It's a sign of a maturing society and that we are able to be more accepting of organic movements… It [also] shows that we… can laugh at the smaller things in life.”

Mr. Woon.

Tuas Lamp Post

Keeping the Lamp Post Clean

“These are little exceptions to the rule which do not cause disamenities or pose safety hazards to the public, to brighten up life in Singapore.”

Mr. Ong speaking about the Tuas Lamp Post 1.

Since this is the only instance of legalised vandalism in Singapore there are concerns that the lamp post will be tarnished with offensive or harmful material.

“There is a risk of people putting up offensive stickers and all, but I think it reflects that we are more open and accepting as a society to let this happen, much like the ‘love lock’ bridges in Europe and the wishing trees in Hong Kong.”

Mr. Woon.

However, none of the cyclists ever remember seeing dangerous stickers on the lamp post in the past. And it seems important to let the people of Singapore have this small cultural landmark as a token of their identity and an evolving, maturing society.

How do the Stickers get so High at Tuas Lamp Post 1?

It appears that the challenge of pasting a sticker onto Tuas Lamp Post 1, extends beyond mere application, with enthusiasts aiming not only to overlap existing stickers but also to elevate their adhesive contributions as high as possible. And this has led to the long pondered mystery of how the stickers reach such great heights, some as high as 10 metres!

But recently the ingenious solution came to light through a photo shared on Facebook by ROADS.sg. The snapshot revealed the cyclists' method, which turns out to be a collaborative effort involving the clever use of a water-weighted crash barrier tilted on its width.

This simple yet effective technique debunked the notion of cyclists lugging ladders or intricate tools along their voyage to aid them. The mundane brilliance of their approach demystifies the seemingly perplexing task, revealing a tale of teamwork and resourcefulness.

Our Thoughts…

For those wishing to paste their own sticker on Tuas Lamp Post 1, locating it is part of the adventure. Situated 10 km from the nearest MRT station at Tuas West Road, and 13 km from Tuas Checkpoint it really is a landmark that requires a good cycle to reach it!

But once you do, you’ll see how this simple lamp post lights up the concrete scenery of Singapore in more ways than one.

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