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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.

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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.

In The Press

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"