The Tanjong Pagar District (also spelled as Tanjung Pagar) is an antique are that is situated within the Central Business District of the country, located beside the Downtown Core and the Outram Planning Area under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) urban planning areas.
The name “tanjong pagar” is a Malay term which means “cape of stakes”. The name represents its roots as a fishing village which is located on an area which was once a peninsula. It has been deduced that the resent name was inspired by the presence of offshore enclosure fishing traps made out of woodens takes and cross pieces (kalongs) that were put up along the stretch of coastal area from the vilae of Tanjong Malang to the present day Tanjong Pagar. It was surmised that the name was possibly a debasement of the earlier name which was Tanjong Passar.
A far more attractive and charming account of the naming of this portion of the coast came from the scope of a local myth. According to the Malay Archives, there was a period when the villages that were located along the coast of the country suffered from savage attacks from groups of swordfish. Following the advice of a notably smart individual named Hang Nadim, the Sri Maharajah constructed a barrier made out of banana stems along the coast which successful protected the villages by way of trapping the attacking swordfish by their snouts as they soared from the waters.
There are also accounts that claim that the original name of the area was Salinter which means “a fishing village”. In 1864, the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company was established because of the significant growth of shipping activities in the 1850s. The term “tanjong” means “cape” or “peninsula”; pagar on the other hand means “enclosed space” or “fence”. The present name of Tanjong Pagar possibly refers to the location of PSA GATE 3 near Victoria Dock. The area around the district were former mangrove swamps which were filled in with earth extracted from surrounding small hills, Mount Palmer in particular for the extension of the quay up to Telok Blangah.