Tanjong Rhu has been associated with ship building and repairing from the early days. Captain Flint, a harbour master, started a boat building and repair company here in 1822. A Mr Tivendale had his shipyard here in the 1860s.
As late as the 1980s and the early 1990s, the Tanjong Rhu area was an industrial area with shipyards. The water surrounding Tanjong Rhu was polluted with industrial and domestic waste, creating an extremely unpleasant environment. A massive relocation exercise was then undertaken by the Singapore Government to transform Tanjong Rhu into a high-end residential area. Reclamation of land
along the Tanjong Rhu coast began as early as 1992. Private developers
then started the new residential developments in Tanjong Rhu. Today, the
shipyards have since been relocated elsewhere and condominiums have replaced them.
In September 1993, 12 men were arrested in an entrapment operation in
Tanjong Rhu coined the "Fort Road Incident". They were charged with
outrage of modesty. Six pleaded guilty. They were sentenced to three
strokes of the cane each and imprisonment ranging from two to six
months. The names, ages and occupations of all 12 men were published in
all major Singaporean newspapers. Those were the last reported cases of
such police entrapment. A short 19 minute 2009 film, "The Casuarina
Cove" by Boo Junfeng told the story of one of those men