Funan Mall through PM Lee Hsien Loong’s eyes

By January 6, 2020Current

TL;DR – From Funan Centre to Funan the IT Mall to Funan Digitalife Mall to Funan Mall, in 35 years.

Did you know that Funan Mall was known by three other names in the past? Yeps, Funan Mall is its fourth name!

The original Funan Centre was completed in January 1985 and it was just a general shopping centre. In the early 90s, it started to transform into a mall that specialised in electronics and IT-related goods. I guess you could even refer to it as a more upmarket or less roguish competitor of Sim Lim Square. Some of you might remember its long-time anchor tenant, Challenger Superstore.

The mall was then refurbished in 1992 and later adopted the name Funan The IT Mall in 1997 to reflect its then focus on IT related shops.

Then another round of (minor) upgrading took place in 2005, and the mall was again renamed. This time, it was renamed to Funan DigitaLife Mall.

Anyway, in our ever-increasingly competitive retail scene in a teensy-tiny market, the mall was closed in June 2016. In fact, it was completely torn down and rebuilt into the current Funan Mall, which re-opened on 28 June 2019.

Half a year on, the totally rebuilt and revamped Funan Mall couldn’t have asked for a more influential influencer to tell Singaporeans (and then some) about the interesting concept stores and the facilities it has.

You see, our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took his year-end leave and it looks like he did not travel out of the country this time and instead, went jalan-jalan all over our little red dot. He shared on his Facebook page that he had checked out Funan Mall on the last day of his leave.

I’m pretty sure he had gone there on  3rd January, Friday.

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Let’s take a really close look at where he had been, whom he had met and what he had seen. All photos were taken by PM himself unless otherwise stated.

On the ground floor of Funan (PMO Photo by Alex Qiu)  (via)


The irregular lines in the reopened Funan Mall lend themselves to interesting photography angles (via)


The reflective surfaces give the mall a futuristic feel (via)


You can’t miss the 3-storey rock climbing wall right in the middle of the mall (via)


Local brand Butterknife Folk is known for their chicken rice-flavoured ice cream, but alas, they had run out when we were there! (PMO Photo by Alex Qiu) (via)


5 Senses Bistro at Funan Mall is run by Andrea and Alina, both graduates of the Culinary Arts Programme in ITE. They poured all their savings into opening this eatery, their second outlet, after a successful first venture at the Star Vista. They told me their white seafood crabmeat pasta is their best dish! (PMO Photo by Alex Qiu) (via)


Scent by SIX is a homegrown artisanal fragrance brand. They recently created a scent for my alma mater, Catholic High! (PMO Photo by Alex Qiu) (via)


Funan is surrounded by many beautiful heritage buildings, including the Central Fire Station (via)


Another heritage building, the St Andrew’s Cathedral, framed by the beautiful blue flowers of the butterfly pea plant. Snapped this from the rooftop garden at Funan, which grows vegetables for Noka, the restaurant conveniently located beside it (via) is a co-living property within Funan, and features some wonderful artwork in its communal space. This is Celebration Of Life by local artist Justin Lee. It has items both old and new within the intricate patterns, see if you can spot what they are! (Hint: I saw the Changi Airport control tower, the former National Theatre, and a robot.) (PMO Photo by Alvin Chong) (via)

Don’t you think it’s super-cute the way PM Lee had included Mrs Lee in one corner in one of the photos?

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Qiqi Wong

Author Qiqi Wong

Insert pretentious crap about myself here.

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