The Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East is a legacy of the former rural settlement, known as Cheng Sua Lai (“Green Hills Interior” in Hokkien). The name likely derived from the hilly terrain, of which only two hillocks remain today.
Cheng Sua Lai was an agriculture-based kampong (“village” in Malay), with residents who were mostly Hokkiens and Teochews. In the 1970s, as a result of the development of the new Ang Mo Kio town, the old kampongs were demolished and the residents resettled into new housing estates in areas such as Ang Mo Kio new town.
The Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East is built on a hillock on part of the former kampong. Scattered around the grounds are sculptures of giant rubber and nutmeg seeds, which are reminders of the former agricultural uses of the land here. Today, visitors can still see some clusters of old rubber trees, groves of nutmeg, fruit trees and cinnamon trees in the garden.