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Life on the Waters: Uncle Zainal's Journey as a Bumboat Driver

Ubin Kakis Team


30 November 2023

Introducing Uncle Zainal!


He's been working as a bumboat operator for 5 years, but his relationship with the Ubin bumboat industry started way earlier when he helped to wash and repair the boats at the boatyard about 30 years ago!


These boats are the very bumboats that have been ferrying visitors from Changi to Pulau Ubin, and vice versa, for decades. Some of the uncles took over from their fathers, while some are newer to the trade but are equally determined to keep this trade alive.


With only about 30 uncles still working as boat operators, most of these boats are uniquely designed and cared for by the uncles themselves and have their own stories to tell. With this video, we hope more Singaporeans and visitors of Ubin will learn more about this beautiful trade from the island and the stories that these uncles have to share.