Archive for the ‘Street Names’ Category


So Guan Chuan

March 13, 2008

Guan Chuan Street within the Tiong Bahru Estate was named after So Guan Chuan.

Guan Chuan was a merchant in the 19th century Singapore.

Little was known about him, other than the fact that he was elected a member of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in 1837.

The chamber then had only a few Chinese merchants as members.

He was also a founder member of the Qing De Hui and he contributed generously to the building funds for the construction of the Tian Fu Gong in Telok Ayer Street.


See Moh Guan

December 4, 2007

See Moh Guan was born in Malacca and was the fourth son of Si Hoo Keh.

He was in the pepper and gambier business.

In 1879, he assumed chairmanship of Heng Shan Ting temple, taking it over from his father.

Mr See died in 1879.

Later, a street was name after Mr See Moh Guan.

Located within the Tiong Bahru Estate, the first Singapore Improvement Trust estate built between 1936 and 1941, this street is the address of a unique ring-shaped five-storey block of flats which used to boast a clock on its facade.

Among the older generations, Moh Guan Terrace is often referred to as Tiong Bahru Gor Lau (A Hokkien term meaning “the five-storey flat in Tiong Bahru”) in honour of the only five-storey building in Tiong Bahru.


Tan Yong Siak (1835 – 1914)

December 3, 2007

Yong Siak Street is a road between Chay Yan Street and Moh Guan Terrace.
(These are street names found within the Tiong Bahru Estate)

It was named after a Teochew merchant Tan Yong Siak (1835 – 1914).

Born in his native Zhaoan in 1835, he came to Singapore when young.

He first worked as an apprentice before becoming manager of Chop Ban Seng.

In 1863, he founded Chop Yong Hak Seng at 49 Circular Road and Ban Seng Soon at 71 Boat Quay in 1879, both dealing in Siam rice, rattan and rubber.

He was a founder member of The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

He was a charitable man and an arbitrator.

He died in 1914, leaving behind many children and grandchildren.

Tan Jiak Ngoh was his second son.


Khoo Tiong Poh (1830 – 1892)

October 7, 2007

Tiong Poh Road within the Tiong Bahru Estate was named after a Fujian merchant, Khoo Tiong Poh.

He came to Singapore from China at 22.

He founded Chop Tiong Ho in Market Street and then quit in 1874 to set up Bun Hin & Co with his friend as shipowner.

He then engaged in ship chandlery business in the name of Ann Bee & Co.

He was also a partner with Keng Nam and Co and Chop Sin Bee Siang.

In 1888, he sought and was conferred a honorary title by the Manchu government.

He died in 1892 at 62.


Koh Eng Hoon (1823 – 1880)

October 4, 2007

Eng Hoon Street is named after a Malacca merchant Koh Eng Hoon (1823 – 1880).

Eng Hoon is is Koh Kee Oot’s son and Koh Teck Hin’s grandson.

Eng Hoon came from an old Chinese family that has been in Malacca for over 200 years.

He came to Singapore in 1840 at the age of 17 in search for opportunity.

First he worked as a shop assistant, and later a cashier with Boustead & Co.

He quit the company in 1845 to set up his own company, Benefit Society.

He had large dealings with the Bugis as a merchant and commission agent.

He died in 1880 at 57, leaving behind considerable properties in Singapore and Malacca.


Tan Seng Poh(1830 – 1879)

October 1, 2007

Seng Poh Road and Seng Poh Lane are located within the Tiong Bahru Estate. Both streets are after Tan Seng Poh(1830 – 1879), who was born in Perak.

His father Tan Ah Hun was from Zhaoan (between Fujian and Guandong provinces) and was the rich Captain China of Perak.

Tan Seng Poh’s eldest and second sister were married to Seah Eu Chin in Singapore.

Seng Poh followed his sister to Singapore and later became one of the four richest Teochews here.

He built a mansion in Loke Yew Street, which became one of the four largest houses among the Teochews.

Seng Poh once had the monopoly to sell opium in Johor.

In Singapore, he was head of the Opium Farm.

In 1871, he was appointed Municipal Commissioner and in 1875, head of its committee.

Seng Poh was made a Justice of Peace and a honorary magistrate in 1872.

He was keen in public service, social welfare and education.


Seah Eu Chin (1805 – 1883)

September 15, 2007
The street within the Tiong Bahru Estate is in memory of Seah Eu Chin (1805 – 1883), who left his native Chenghai, Zhaozhou, for Singapore in 1823.

He worked his way here as a clerk on board a Chinese junk.

Five years later he worked as a treasurer with one Kim Swee Company.

At 25, enterprising Eu Chin was established as a commission agent in Circular Road, dealing in native produce.

At the same time, he supplied the junks plying the ports of the Malay Peninsula with all they wanted and received from them all the produce they had collected for sale on commission.

A man known for his integrity, Seah later acquired large pieces of land from Irwell Bank Road to Bukit Timah and Thomson roads, on which he planted gambier and pepper.

He was also a trader in cotton goods and tea.

It was he who led the Chinese in welcoming Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India, in 1850 on his visit to Singapore during the time of Governor Butterworth.

Seah later became a member of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

When the Tan Tock Seng Hospital was founded, Seah became its general affairs officer.

During the riots between Fujian and Guangdong secret society members in 1854, he and Tan Kim Seng settled their disputes as mediators.

In 1851, Seah was appointed as a special juror and later a senior juror in 1864. Seah was made a Justice of Peace and an honorary magistrate in 1872.

Seah Eu Chin also wrote the first account of the Chinese community in Singapore.

He is the father of Seah Peck Seah, another well-known member of the Chinese community in the nineteenth century.

He died in Singapore at the ripe age of 78.