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About Wan and his journal on Pulau Ubin

Remembering my roots.

Hello! My name is Nor Syazwan bin Abdul Majid and I was born on mainland Singapore in 1996; the fourth and last child to Noor Riah binti Sulong and Abdul Majid bin Shahab — and I'm a descendant of an Orang Pulau through my mom's side.

What initially began as a personal blog to document my roots and family heritage on July 21st, 2018, "Wan's Ubin Journal" (WUJ) eventually grew into a social platform that advocates for the preservation and celebration of the culture and heritage of the Orang Pulau community on Pulau Ubin that it is today.

As a descendant of an Orang Pulau, I hope to reclaim the original narrative of Pulau Ubin: that it is not just a forested recreational getaway filled with wild boars, monkeys and trees — but home to hundreds of the indigenous Orang Pulau of Singapore, and through WUJ that our stories are kept alive and immortalised.

I'm currently a full-time undergraduate student at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work with Minor in Sociology.


My grandparents' house,

818K Kampung Surau, Pulau Ubin.


A tribute to my mom

The reason behind Wan's Ubin Journal

This is my mom, Noor Riah binti Sulong.

While she was born on Pulau Tekong Besar in 1959, she would spend the first half of her life growing up on Pulau Ubin until the late 1980s. Known to the islanders as "Net", the eighth of twelve children to Sulong bin Yunos (Pak Awang Minyak) and Jariah binti Salim would spend her days on the island fishing with her siblings, tending to her father's sirih plantation and foraging with her mother, among many things.

Her pride as an Orang Pulau is unmistakable. Even as her three children were raised in the metropolitan mainland, they would be reminded of their islander roots and heritage through her stories, memories and actions. My love for Pulau Ubin would not have existed if it were not for her, and so WUJ is my tribute to the most kindest and beautiful woman in my life.

Stack of Magazines


Thank you for sharing our stories and amplifying our voices! You can find the various times WUJ has been mentioned and featured in the press or on the media here.

Aug 6th, 2023


"Descendant of Pulau Ubin islanders on a mission to preserve heritage, culture of Muslim community there"

"By The Moon and The Tides: A Foraging Zine"

Feb 2023

Mekong Review

"Tending to wounds"

Feb 16th, 2023


"HILANG Season 2 Ep 7"

Jan 6th, 2023


"An Urban Farmer's Travel Guide to Sustainability in Singapore"

Nov 26th, 2022


"Para relawan bantu bersihkan rumah-rumah kampung di Pulau Ubin"

Nov 1st, 2022

Coconuts Singapore

"OCBC plans to restore mangroves at Pulau Ubin, but descendant urges to conserve natural and cultural heritage of island"

Sep 19th, 2022
Warna 942FM

"#JejakKampung - Kampung Pulau Ubin"

Sep 15th, 2022


"Program baru radio 'Jejak Kampung' kembalikan nostalgia bekas penduduk"

"Before Stamford Raffles"

Jul 31st, 2022

联合早报 Lianhe Zaobao

"发展要持续 还须留片绿"

Feb 10th, 2022

RICE Media

"RICE asks: Orang Pulau about the tradition of foraging for intertidal creatures"

Dec 23rd, 2021

RICE Media

"Folklore & Food: Pulau Ubin's Hidden History"

Sep 10th, 2021


"Anti-environmental values revealed in Singapore's history textbooks"

"48: Dispelling the myth of the lazy native; Syazwan Majid, Founder of Wan's Ubin Journal"

Jul 28th, 2021


"Singapore Island Stories"

"Marine foraging: the dilemma between biodiversity conservation & preserving indigenous culture"

Jun 24th, 2021

Coconuts Singapore

"Why a ban on marine foraging will affect the lives of Ubin islanders"

Feb 19th, 2021


"Pulau Ubin postman passes away at 80, netizens remember his kindness & dedication"

Feb 19th, 2021


"Pulau Ubin postman, 80, dies, having delivered mail from mainland S'pore for past 20 years"

"19年往返乌敏岛送信 80岁老邮差离世居民不舍"


Aug 15th, 2020


"Mothership Heads Out: Pulau Ubin"

"乌敏岛脚踏车出租店结业 甘榜屋归还国家"

Jul 27th, 2020


"Ubin bicycle rental shop closes for good, S'porean thanks owner for years of service"

Jul 27th, 2020


"Pulau Ubin bicycle rental shop closes for good, kampung house to be returned to the state"

Jun 25th, 2020


"A guide to day trips to offshore islands in Singapore — probably the closest thing you'll get to a holiday right now"

Jun 22nd, 2020


"One way bumboat rides to Pulau Ubin now cost $4 per pax due to safe distancing measures"

Sep 30th, 2019

Site Visits

"Visiting the Malay Kampong Sungei Durian, Pulau Ubin"

Aug 27th, 2019

We Came From the Sea

"Wan's Ubin Journal"

Aug 13th, 2019

Berita Harian

"Pemulihara Warisan; Anak muda penjaga Pulau Ubin"

Jul 17th, 2019


"Singaporean visitors stole durians from the backyards of some Pulau Ubin residents"

Jul 5th, 2019

The Business Times

"The Heritage Keepers; Syazwan Majid — Pulau Ubin's custodian"

Jun 17th, 2019


"350 bekas penduduk naik bot, 'balik kampung' sambut Hari Raya di Pulau Ubin"

Nov 21st, 2018

The Straits Times

"Lost Villages of Pulau Ubin"

Oct 15th, 2018

The New Paper

"Man find remains of his late grandparents' home on Ubin"

Aug 18th, 2018


"Jejak warisan ke Pulau Ubin bawa Nor Syazwan lebih dekat dengan susur galur keluarganya"

Jul 17th, 2018

Our Grandfather Story

"A Journey to Pulau Ubin: In Search of a Lost Home"


I first met Wan over 3 years ago at our quarterly FUN meeting in 2018. Despite it being his very first meeting, Wan put his hand up for the role of chairman for Pesta Raya@Ubin 2019, stating his strong desire to help residents to "Balik Kampong" for Hari Raya. Since then, Wan has initiated various community service projects. It's great to see FUN members like Wan stepping up to make Ubin a great place for residents and visitors.

Mr Desmond Lee

Minister for National Development

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