The Kallang River
which meanders through the area is famous for its water sports. The source of the river is the Lower Pierce Reservoir, and at more than 10 kilometres, it is the longest river in Singapore. Kallang is not an HDB town on its own. It merges with the estate of Whampoa to form the town of Kallang/ Whampoa. The Kallang Planning Area, however, includes other estates such as Farrer Park
and part of Kampong Glam
Kallang is an old Malay reference to the orang laut (people of the sea), called orang biduanda kallang, who lived in the vicinity of the Kallang River and Singapore River
. At the time of Raffles' landing in Singapore in 1819, there were about 500 orang biduanda kallang. In 1824, the Temenggung moved the orang kallang to the Pulai River in Johor. They consisted of about 100 families, but in 1847 most of them died of a smallpox epidemic. By 1848, the orang kallang were virtually extinct.
There are other possible meanings for this particular place name. Kallang may also be a corruption of the Malay word kilang, meaning "mill" or factory". There were saw mills and rice mills here. Another explanation for the origin of Kallang is that it is derived from galang, which means "to put a boat on wooden stocks or rollers", an appropriate term as the Kallang area straddles both sides of the Kallang River.
Kallang is mostly under the Moulmein-Kallang Group Representation Constituency, which operates the local town council responsible for the general maintenance of the area. Part of the area around Boon Keng MRT Station
is probably under Whampoa Single Member Constituency. Areas around the Old Kallang Airport Estate and Tanjong Rhu are probably under the Mountbatten Single Member Constituency.