Remembered in recent times for its popular seafood restaurants, rural charm and as a key site of the 1942 Sook Ching massacre, Punggol Point and its vicinity had reportedly been populated by coastal fishing villages more than 200 years ago. Kampong Punggol’s original settlers were said to have come from coastal villages across the Johor Straits. The number of migrants to Punggol reached a height during the Malayan Emergency when curfews made it difficult for the villages’ night-time fishermen to earn their livelihood. Some of them who owned lands returned to the Johor coast after the Emergency. The rest settled in Singapore and remained until they were evicted in the 1980s for the area to be redeveloped into the ‘Punggol 21’ town.
Kampong Punggol was also most likely the coastal village where Isi Neraka (1960) was filmed. The background of film scenes shot at the coastlines is identified to consist of geographical landmarks such as the Johor Straits and Pasir Gudang (Punggol’s opposite coast across the Johor Straits). Today, the once-rural Pasir Gudang has been turned into a massive complex of heavy industries. On the Singapore side, the natural coastlines in Punggol have been lost to land reclamation and the development of seafront promenades.