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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.

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My grandparents' house,

818K Kampung Surau, Pulau Ubin.

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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 20 years of her life growing up on Pulau Ubin, but she would frequent the island every week until the early 1990s after her grandmother and brothers with disabilities were relocated to mainland Singapore. 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

Mentions

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.

The Fading Voices of Ubin
Mencari anak Singapura keturunan orang pulau
Hilang S2 EP7 | What was kampung life like in Singapore?
Project Gotong Royong News Feature
Finding A Lost Home On Pulau Ubin

In The Press

May 1st, 2024

The Straits Times

"Singapore HeritageFest 2024 from May 1 - 26 pays homage to the country's sites and buildings"

Apr 6th, 2024

The Straits Times

"The edible city: Singapore's urban and island foragers find food in the wild"
"Meet Nor Syazwan Bin Abdul Majid, Year 3 Social Work Student"

Feb 27th, 2024

Yale-NUS College

"Classroom in the wild at Pulau Ubin"
"The Fading Voices of Ubin"

Jan 7th, 2024

Sujimy Mohamad

"Mencari anak Singapura keturunan orang pulau"

Dec 20th, 2023

Berita Harian

"Pengalaman dalam kampung Pulau Ubin beri gambaran kehidupan lampau datuk nenek"

Dec 16th, 2023

BERITAmediacorp

"Sekali sekala ajaklah kawan-kawan keluar bandar dan teroka Pulau Ubin pula!"

Dec 9th, 2023

BERITAmediacorp

"Nadi Kampus minggu ini ajak anda ke Pulau Ubin jumpa anak muda yang sedang usahakan ruang solat di sana!"

Nov 11th, 2023

TODAYonline

"The Big Read: Despite busy lives and personal pursuits, youths can help shape Singapore in ways big and small"

Oct 20th, 2023

TODAYonline

"TODAY webinar: Youths nervous at engaging authorities should not underestimate their power for change, says panellist"

Sep 23rd, 2023

Channel News Asia

"Over 1,400 attend SG Climate Rally highlighting pervasive impact of climate change"

Sep 4th, 2023

CNA938

"Singapore Tonight, Evening Drive Time Show 5-8 PM (4 Sep 2023)"

Aug 7th, 2023

Batamnews

"Syazwan Abdul Majid: Pewaris Pulau Ubin Singapura yang Berkomitmen Lindungi Warisan Budaya Muslim"

Aug 6th, 2023

TODAYonline

"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"

Apr 2023

Mekong Review

"Tending to wounds"

Feb 16th, 2023

meWATCH

"HILANG Season 2 Ep 7

Apr 2023

Pelago

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

Nov 26th, 2022

BERITAmediacorp

"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

BERITAmediacorp

"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

Eco-Business

"Anti-environment 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

Esplanade

"Singapore Island Stories"

Jul 7th, 2021

Ocean Purpose Project

"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

Mothership

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

Apr 19th, 2021

Berita Harian

"'Anak Ubin' kongsi warisan pulau, peri penting pemuliharaan alam"
"心心念念乌敏岛"

Aug 15th, 2020

Mothership

"Mothership Heads Out: Pulau Ubin"

Jul 27th, 2020

Mothership

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

Jun 25th, 2020

TODAYonline

"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

Mothership

"One-way bumboat rides to Pulau Ubin now cost S$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

Mothership

"S'porean 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

BERITAmediacorp

"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

BERITAmediacorp

"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"

Testimonials

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

Last updated: 18 Apr 2024

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