The Bukit Timah Monkey Man, commonly abbreviated as BTM, is a cryptid of Singapore said to inhabit the central forested Bukit Timah region. Its exact identity is unknown, and its existence disputed.
Alleged sightings of the animal are rare. Records come mainly from Malay folklore, accounts from Japanese soldiers in World War II, and occasional unconfirmed reports from local residents, most occurring in recent years as the area has become more urbanized. The BTM is said to be hominid-like, grayish in color, between one and two meters (3 to 6 feet) in height, and moves with a bipedal gait. Skeptics claim that the observations may actually be of large Macaque monkeys, which are common to the area.
The first claimed sighting was around 1805. A Malay elder is said to have seen a group of 5 feet (1.5 m) tall monkey-faced creatures when travelling through the central Bukit Timah area. Modern accounts of sightings as told to The New Paper include;
"We were always told as children when in the Kampung not to go near the forest at night due to the Monkey Man. Of course we never saw it ourselves but it was always some Uncle or friend of the family who had seen it. Once we were shown these footprints near the forest road, and I remember the strong urine smell. Whenever we heard shrieks coming from the jungle we would tell each other- don't disturb the Monkey Man." 65 year old retiree, Bukit Panjang.
"I was going to the bus stop early one morning to catch the 171 bus. It was very foggy and cold. I thought I saw a tramp going through the rubbish bin, however when I approached, it called out with a loud animal sound and ran back into the forest. It was grey, hairy and ran on two legs, but had a monkey's face. I was shivering with fear and called the police but to no avail." 29 year old Housewife, Bukit Timah.
"When driving my taxi past the Fire Station on Upper Bukit Timah road in the middle of the night I hit what I thought was a child that ran out in the middle of the road. It was on the car bonnet and then snarled at me- it was like a monkey but so big! It ran off injured covered in blood, and holding its' arm which was broken." 48 year old Taxi Driver, Serangoon.
Local SPH Chinese language newspaper Shin Min Daily News in February 2008 reported that it was rumoured that after dark, a 5-feet tall “monkey-man” would appear in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. This “monkey-man” was described as having the face of a monkey, but with a walking posture similar to a human. Shin Min noted that its journalist was unable to catch sight of the “monkey-man” even after visiting the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve several times after dark. In response to Shin Min’s queries, NParks reported the official line that it had never heard of this legend and that the public might have mistaken the long-tailed monkeys in the nature reserve for the “monkey-man”. A long-tailed monkey could be even taller than a child.