Merlion (Sentosa)

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The Merlion is a wonderful statue with the body of fish and head of lion. The name “Merlion” comes from the amalgamation of two words, “mermaid” and “lion”. It is a portmanteau of the words “mermaid” and “lion”. Portmanteau is a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings. This statue was constructed for the Tourism Board of Singapore in the year 1964 and was used as the logo of it up to the year 1997. The designer of this statue was Fraser Brunner. Till today, the Merlin is a trademark symbol of Singapore Tourism Board.

This fish body and lion head creature, part of the publicity campaign of Singapore Tourism Board, recalls of a story of the renowned Sang Nila utama. He actually spotted a lion while he was hunting down on an island, en route to Malacca. This particular island later became the seaport of a precursor of Singapore, Temasek.

Originally, this Merlion statue was at the opening point of the Singapore River. On the 15th of September in the year 1972, Lee Kuan Yew, the Prime Minister of Singapore performed the official installation ceremony of this statue. But in the year 2002, the statue was moved to its present position.