Great Peranakans: Fifty Remarkable Lives

National Heritage Board, Singapore

1819 to 1889: Commerce and community
Peranakan Chinese arrived in Singapore as soon as the British established the port in 1819. More waves of immigration soon followed. The wealthiest and most powerful Chinese merchants were Hokkien-speaking Peranakans from Malacca. From the beginning, philanthropy established certain families as community leaders, a fact recognized by the British.   Tensions between the Hokkien and Teochew communities led to riots in 1854, and the British government depended on Peranakan leaders to settle these disputes. These activities led the British to appoint Chinese to the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements to help govern the colony.   Peranakans initially worked for the large British trading companies as intermediaries, since they could speak Chinese dialects, Malay, and also English. They later set up their own companies to supply Chinese workers, grow gambier and other commodities, and run shipping companies. Several wealthy Peranakans purchased the government monopolies of opium, which proved to be extremely profitable.    
Tan Tock Seng
Born in Malacca, Tan Tock Seng moved to Singapore in the year it was established by the British. He sold produce before building a fortune as a landowner in partner­ship with J. H. Whitehead of Shaw, Whitehead and Company. In the 1830s, Tan Tock Seng displaced Si Hoo Keh as the leader of the Hokkien community in Singapore. In 1839, Tan led the establishment of the Thian Hock Keng (Temple of Heavenly Blessings), which became the focal point of the Hokkien community. Tan’s name tops the list of donors inscribed on a stone stele at the temple entrance, although he reportedly said that he did not believe in the temple’s goddess. Tan was the first Asian to be appointed a justice of the peace in Singapore. Tan Tock Seng is remembered principally for founding Singapore’s first hospital for poor Chinese. At the request of Governor William Butterworth, Tan contributed $7000 to start a public hospital. In 1844 the foundation was laid for the Chinese Paupers’ Hospital, which received its first patients in 1849. The hospital was named for Tan Tock Seng after his death in 1850.

Scroll presented to Thian Hock Keng by the Guangxu Emperor
China, c. 1907
Ink on silk
Gift of Thian Hock Keng Temple
National Museum of Singapore, 2005-00148

The significance of Thian Hock Keng to the Chinese community in Singapore was recognized by the Chinese court, which in 1907 presented the temple with this scroll and a plaque. Both are inscribed 波靖南溟 bo jing nan ming, which can be translated as “tranquillity of the South Seas”.

Thian Hock Keng Temple's website: http://www.thianhockkeng.com.sg/home.html

Thian Hock Keng Temple
Singapore, late 19th or early 20th century
Postcard
Singapore Philatelic Museum, spm2006-02-164.
Donated by Professor Cheah Jin Seng

In the 1830s, Tan Tock Seng displaced Si Hoo Keh as the leader of the Hokkien community in Singapore.

In 1839, Tan led the establishment of the Thian Hock Keng (Temple of Heavenly Blessings), which became the focal point of the Hokkien community.

Tan’s name tops the list of donors inscribed on a stone stele at the temple entrance, although he reportedly said that he did not believe in the temple’s goddess.

Thian Hock Keng Temple's website: http://www.thianhockkeng.com.sg/home.html

Photograph of Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Singapore, c. 1876
Albumen silver print
National Museum of Singapore, 1994-04838

The first purpose-built building of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital was designed in a classical style by the English architect John Turn¬bull Thomson.

Tan Tock Seng is remembered principally for founding Singapore’s first hospital for poor Chinese. At the request of Governor William Butterworth, Tan contributed $7000 to start a public hospital. In 1844 the foundation was laid for the Chinese Paupers’ Hospital, which received its first patients in 1849.

The hospital was named for Tan Tock Seng after his death in 1850.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital - Present Day

Tan Tock Seng Hospital - Our Story

Dedication stele of the Chinese Paupers’ Hospital (later the Tan Tock Seng Hospital)
Singapore, 1845
Stone
Collection of Tan Tock Seng hospital

A stone stele carved in 1845 records Tan’s reasons for making the donation:

大凡守望相助,里井原有同情,而疾病相持,吾人寜無夙願。矧叻州者西南地極,瘴癘頻生,所以瘡傷痍癩之人,尤爲狼藉,既無衣食以禦其飢寒,復無戶牖以蔽其風兩,人生况瘁之遭,莫踰于此,能不目擊而心傷哉!前 國王樹德推恩,經有猪傌之設以爲病室,今盛典已不再矣!而道路匍匐,較之昔日而愈甚焉。余自經營商賈以來,私心窃念,欲有所事於孤苦之人,而有志未舉,幸際 新嘉埠梹榔嶼 呷三州俄文律姑呢峇抵騧 朥示珍康申喳脂 臨蒞,胞與爲懷,痌瘝厪念,嘱余構屋以紹前徽。余因夙有此心,是以直任不辭,另尋淑地,無雜囂塵,俾斯人得所棲息。此一役也,雖曰亟命使然,而實不負於余之素志云爾。是爲序。

大清道光贰拾伍年乙巳歲
英吉黎壹仟捌佰肆拾伍年
孟春之月榖旦
福建省漳郡澄邑陳篤生謹誌

Generally speaking, people look out for and help one another. Those who live in the same village and drink from the same well have close feelings. They support each other through illness. How could I not have had (a similar) long-cherished wish? Moreover, Singapore is situated in the far southwest, where vapours contin¬uously rise, and people are often infected with skin ulcers and leprosy. Everything there is in disarray. There are no clothes or food to help them in hunger and cold. Nor are there houses to shelter them from the wind and rain. People in such tiring circumstances do not get worse than this. How can one witness this and not feel pain in one’s heart? Formerly, the [British] king ad virtue and extended mercy. He put people who were living in “pigsties and barns” into hospitals to care for their ills. But these excellent practices are no longer seen, and the roads are crawling [with people]. Conditions are far worse than before. Ever since I started my business, in my heart I have always wanted to do something for the abandoned and the suffering. But my ambition was not fulfilled. Fortunately, Colonel Butterworth of Singapore, Penang, and Malacca and Resident Council Church attended [to this idea], and kept this dream alive. They diligently thought about the pain and suffering of others, and urged me to build a hospital in order to continue earlier accomplishments. Because I had always had this intention, I took on this responsi¬bility without hesitation. I sought out a good piece of land that is quiet and free of dirt, where people could rest. Even though one could say that this was an official order that I had to carry out, it was not something that betrayed my original inten¬tions. This is my preface.
Qing dynasty, 25th year of the Daoguang reign
1845 in the English calendar
On an auspicious day in mid-spring
Recorded with care by Tan Tock Seng of Cheng town, Zhangzhou prefecture, Fujian province

Tan Kim Seng
Tan Kim Seng was a merchant and philanthropist active in both Malacca and Singapore. He was educated at a private Chinese school in Malacca, and also learned English and Dutch. Malacca was ruled by the Netherlands until 1824, and Dutch was the language of government. This fluency in the two colonial languages of the region greatly helped his business, Kim Seng and Company, which he founded in Singapore in the 1820s.   In February 1852, a grand reception inaugurated the Kim Seng go-down on Battery Road. Remarkably, the occasion was described in Household Words, a London weekly edited by Charles Dickens. Impressed with the business acumen of Chinese traders, the anonymous correspondent was even more struck by the way the Chinese, Indian, European, Muslim, Jewish, Parsi, and Eurasian traders happi­ly mixed at Tan Kim Seng’s ball, facilitated by wine, hookahs, and opium.   In 1854, Tan Kim Seng started the Chui Eng Si E 翠英书院 (Academy of Flourishing Talent), known in English as the Chinese Free School, one of Singapore’s first Chinese-language schools. 

Epergne
Singapore, ca 1860
Silver and glass
Collection of the Tan family

Kim Seng and Company had extensive business dealings with major European trading houses, as this silver epergne, or centrepiece, demonstrates. The object was prominently displayed in the main hall of Panglima Prang.

The object incorporates both European and Chinese designs: a seated Chinese gentleman faces a bare-breasted allegorical woman who holds a shield inscribed: “A gift from the partners of Hamilton Gray & Co., to their old and much esteemed friend, Tan Kim Seng”.

The message is repeated in Chinese on the base: 陳金聲素與含嗎丹吃禮公司行爲友,各伴重其爲人,故以此物奉敬,聊表友愛之誼。On the other side appear the names of the donors: Walter Buchanan M. P., William Hamilton, George Garden Nicol, John Jarvie, George Henderson, Reginald Padday.

Tan Kim Seng fountain at its current location in the Esplanade Park

In 1857, Tan Kim Seng donated $13,000 to improve Singapore’s water supply, on the condition that the system be maintained efficiently and that the water be free of charge. However, because of design flaws and cost overruns, the project was not completed until 1878.

In 1882, a fountain was erected in a prominent position on Battery Road to honour the initial donation, eighteen years after Tan Kim Seng’s death. By celebrating the philanthropy of Chinese Peranakans, the British colonial administration encouraged similar donations and enhanced the standing of Tan’s family, as his son Tan Beng Swee and grandson Tan Jiak Kim were also prominent community leaders.

Made in England by Andrew Handyside and Company, the fountain contains generic, off-the-rack figures of the four Muses. The base proclaims, “This fountain is erected by the Municipal Commissioners in commemoration of Mr Tan Kim Seng’s donation towards the cost of the Singapore Water Works.” In 1925, the fountain was moved to its present position in the Esplanade Park.

Tan Kim Seng Fountain on Battery Road
G. R. Lambert and Co.
Singapore, ca 1882
Albumen print
National Museum of Singapore, 1995-00568

The fountain dedicated to Tan Kim Seng was frequently captured in studio photographs. In this view, Lambert’s own studio can be seen next to the Medical Hall.

Tan Kim Cheng
The eldest son of Tan Tock Seng, Tan Kim Ching inherited much of his father’s social standing, although it was rumoured that he was also head of a network of secret societies and was accused of keeping slaves. As president of the Hokkien Huay Kuan from 1860, he had great authority in the Hokkien community – for example, by signing marriage certificates. He expanded his father’s rice business through new connections with Vietnam and Thailand. He also founded the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company with the purchase of the steamships Siam and Singapore in 1863. He became a justice of the peace and joined the municipal council. When the Duke of Edinburgh visited Singapore in 1869, Tan Kim Ching presented an address in Chinese and English expressing the loyalty of the Chinese community. He also purchased several imperial Chinese titles.   He had especially close connections with the Thai kings, developed through his trading connections. He was the first Thai consul in Singapore, and apparently introduced the governess Anna Leonowens to the Bangkok court in 1862. In her memoirs, which became the source for The King and I, she writes: “The Siamese Consul at Singapore, Hon. W. Tan Kim-Ching, had written strongly in my favor to the Court of Siam …”. Tan Kim Ching named his residence on North Bridge Road “Siam House”, and hosted King Chulalongkorn in 1890.

The English Governess at the Siamese Court: Being Recollections of Six Years in the Royal Palace at Bangkok
Anna Harriette Leonowens
London, 1870
National Museum of Singapore, 2012-00130

Anna Leonowens (1831–1915) was a widow who was hired to teach King Mongkut’s wives and children, chiefly his eldest son and heir Prince Chulalongkorn. Leonowens’ book has been criticized for its exaggerated and sensationalist treatment of Thailand, and Susan Morgan has recently suggested that Leonowens disguised her mixed English-Indian parentage.

Cheang Hong Lim
Opium overlord and conspicuous donor, Cheang Hong Lim has left a problematic legacy. He greatly expanded his father’s opium monopoly and protected his mar­ket with the help of secret societies, one of which he may have headed. He also smuggled opium to avoid taxes. The opium trade was legally sanctioned, indeed encouraged by the colonial government, but Cheang Hong Lim’s enhancement of his position was illegal. He was too influential to arrest, however, and as a British subject could not be deported. Philip Kuhn describes him as a “ruthless business­man” who “bought and ingratiated his way into both the colonial and the Chinese status systems and acquired honorary titles in both.”   Cheang Hong Lim’s public generosity deflected attention from these less savoury activities. In 1923, Song Ong Siang could recall him as “one of the most public-spir­ited Chinese citizens of his time” and claimed that he spent $100,000 aiding the poor. He built the Cheang Wan Seng Free School (1875) and the Cheang Hong Lim Market (1882). He was also responsible for one of Singapore’s first public gardens, established in 1876 and still known as Hong Lim Park. Cheang Hong Lim received official colonial recognition as a justice of the peace and member of the Legislative Council. 

View of the back of the Police Courts and Hong Lim Green
Singapore, early 1890s
Albumen print
National Museum of Singapore, 2007-50888

Hong Lim Park - Present Day

Bowl with qilin and phoenix
China, around 1870s
Inscribed: 苑生
Porcelain
Peranakan Museum, 2012-00817. Gift of Mr and Mrs Lee Kip Lee

Kamcheng (covered tureen)
China, late 19th century
Inscribed: 苑生
Porcelain
Peranakan Museum, 2012-00818. Gift of Professor Cheah Jin Seng

These pieces of porcelain are inscribed 苑生 (Wan Seng), the name of Cheang Hong Lim’s company, and were almost certainly commissioned by him.

The bowl is among the finest blue-and-white pieces used by Peranakans (and also has underglaze red elements). While most Peranakan porcelain is gilded only at the rims and handles, these pieces are extensively gilded throughout.

Boundary marker
Singapore, 19th century
Inscribed: 苑生界止
Stone
Peranakan Museum. Gift of Loy Siang Teng and Lee Kok Leng

Cheang Hong Lim’s company was called Wan Seng 苑生, a name which appears on an impressive porcelain service which Cheang commissioned. A boundary marker found on South Buona Vista Road is inscribed, 苑生界止 (yuan sheng jie zhi), meaning “the boundary of Wan Seng ends here”.

1890 to 1945: Colonial Collaboration
Official positions - A handful of powerful Peranakans held all the important government positions open to the Chinese, namely membership on the Legislative Council, the Municipal Commission, and the Chinese Advisory Board. These positions were simply rotated among a small number of men. Each of them also led the Straits Chinese British Association, an organization devoted to reforming and modernizing the Chinese community. In contrast, Chinese remained excluded from the civil service until 1934, when Asians were permitted to take a few low-level government jobs. Education - The offer of the Queen’s Scholarship to study at a British university encouraged more students to remain in school to compete for the honour. Peranakans led the foundation of the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School in 1899 and the establishment of a medical school for Malaya in 1905.   Honours - In 1877, the Chinese government established a consulate in Singapore, which sold imperial titles. Worried by China’s interest in the Straits Chinese, the British also began to grant titles to Peranakans. In 1936, Song Ong Siang became the first Straits Chinese knight, followed by Tan Cheng Lock in 1952.
Seah Liang Seah
Son of the early Teochew leader Seah Eu Chin, Seah Liang Seah succeeded his fa­ther as leader of the Teochew community by heading the Ngee Ann Kongsi, the influential Teochew welfare association. Seah Liang Seah studied at St Joseph’s Institution, after which he joined his father’s firm.   In 1883 Seah became the second Chinese member of the Straits Legislative Council, replacing Hoo Ah Kay (Whampoa), who had died in 1880. He also pur­chased Whampoa’s grand estate in 1895 and renamed it Bendemeer. Seah left the council in 1890 due to ill health but rejoined it in 1894. He also sat on the Chinese Advisory Board and the Municipal Commission.   Seah often led the Chinese community in colonial ceremonies, including an address in English, delivered “in true rhetorical style, with distinctness of utterance” to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887. He is primarily responsible for commissioning a marble statue of the queen for Government House. He supported the Singapore medical school and helped found the Straits Chinese British Association.  

Statue of Queen Victoria
Emanuel Edward Geflowski
Britain, 1889
Marble
National Museum of Singapore, SB-0079

Seah often led the Chinese community in colonial ceremonies, including an address in English, delivered “in true rhetorical style, with distinctness of utterance” to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887. He is primarily responsible for commissioning a marble statue of the queen for Government House.

The statue of Queen Victoria was unveiled in the grand dining room of Government House (today the State Room of the Istana) on 26 February 1889. The base is inscribed:

"This statue of Queen Victoria was presented by the Chinese community of Singapore, in the year of Her Majesty’s Jubilee, to be placed in the Government House as a memorial of the loyal affection of Her Majesty’s Chinese subjects, and of their gratitude for the benefit of her rule."

Tan Jiak Kim
Tan Jiak Kim was educated privately and, like many Peranakans of his time, was fluent in English, Malay, and Hokkien. He joined Kim Seng and Company, the business founded by his grandfather, Tan Kim Seng, and run by his father, Tan Beng Swee. He succeeded them in leadership positions in the Chinese community, serving on the Straits Legislative Council, the Municipal Commission, and the Chinese Advisory Board. In 1900, he was one of the founders of the Straits Chinese British Association.   Strongly pro-British, Tan Jiak Kim helped organize the Straits Chinese volun­teer division and gave generously to the British military, included $19,200 for a fighter aircraft that bore his name. He attended the coronation of George V in 1911 as a representative of the Straits Settlements (illus.). Unfortunately his pregnant wife, Ang Geok Yan, died at the Hotel Metropole in London during the visit; she took $45,450 worth of jewellery to London. In 1912, Tan was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), and he proudly wore this decoration and the 1911 coronation medal, even on informal occasions.   The remarks of Singapore’s colonial secretary on Tan’s retirement in 1915 sum up the British regard for upper-class Peranakans: “The position and authority of Mr. Tan Jiak Kim made him for many years the spokesman and the representative of the largest section of the population of this Colony … and I can say that I never met anyone who was a more loyal subject of the King.” C. W. Darbishire noted that leaders like Tan “are broadminded enough to grasp the Western point of view and to weld it easily and smoothly with the Eastern point of view …” 

Commemorative urn
Wang Zixia
Shanghai, 1912
Silver
Collection of Mr Richard Tan Tiang Teck

The urn is inscribed: “Presented to the Honourable Tan Jiak Kim, Member of the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements as a memento of his appointment as Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George on 1st January 1912. With hearty congratulations and Best Wishes from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Singapore”. A Chinese inscription is on the other side. The urn was commissioned from the Shanghai silversmith Wang Zixia 王子夏 of the Baochang 宝厂workshop, and bears those hallmarks.

Commemorative silver screen
Shanghai, 1912
Silver with wood frame
Collection of Mr Richard Tan Tiang Teck

Presented to Tan Jiak Kim together with the urn, it bears the names of the committee members.

Cupboard
Singapore, early 20th century.
Teak, 122 x 90 x 61 cm.
Collection of Richard Tan Tiang Teck

Lee Cheng Yan
Lee Cheng Yan established a general trading company, Lee Cheng Yan and Company, in 1858, soon after arriving in Singapore. The firm later moved into finance, property, and shipping. Lee worked closely with European companies and was reported to have been the first Straits Chinese to visit Britain on business. In 1890, together with Tan Jiak Kim and Tan Keong Saik, he founded the Straits Steamship Company, the first joint Singapore-European shipping enterprise.   Like many prominent Peranakans, Lee was a justice of the peace and a member of the Chinese Advisory Board. He supported Chinese-language education by start­ing the Hong Joo Chinese Free School and donating to the Gan Eng Seng and Tao Nan schools. He also publicly displayed loyalty to the British monarchy by raising money for Victoria Memorial Hall and attending Edward VII’s memorial service in London in 1911.   Lee Cheng Yan owned four European-style mansions in Singapore, three endowed with grand English names. The furnishings in Magenta Cottage, his main residence on Killiney Road, were eclectic. He is the father of Lee Choon Guan.

Plaques from Magenta Cottage
Singapore, ca 1890
Gilded and lacquered namwood
Peranakan Museum, 2004-00108. Gift of Mr and Mrs Morris Lee

These ornately carved and gilded plaques once hung in Magenta Cottage, the home of Lee Cheng Yan. They appear to date from the completion of the house in 1890, since the main plaque is inscribed at right: 喬遷之敬 “Congratulations on moving to your new residence”. The large central inscription, 衛荊 Wei Jing, refers to Gongzi Jing of the Wei State who was described by Confucius as a man who wisely managed his wealth and houses. The figure was thus seen as a positive example for wealthy merchants.

Plaques from Magenta Cottage
Singapore, ca 1890
Gilded and lacquered namwood
Peranakan Museum, 2004-00108. Gift of Mr and Mrs Morris Lee

These ornately carved and gilded plaques once hung in Magenta Cottage, the home of Lee Cheng Yan. They appear to date from the completion of the house in 1890, since the main plaque is inscribed at right: 喬遷之敬 “Congratulations on moving to your new residence”. The large central inscription, 衛荊 Wei Jing, refers to Gongzi Jing of the Wei State who was described by Confucius as a man who wisely managed his wealth and houses. The figure was thus seen as a positive example for wealthy merchants.

Tan Boo Liat
The great-grandson of Tan Tock Seng, Tan Boo Liat succeeded his ancestors as a leader of the Hokkien Huay Kuan and the Thian Hock Keng temple. He was also a trustee of the Anglo-Chinese School until 1896 when attempts to convert students to Christianity led to the resignation of the Chinese trustees (including Tan Jiak Kim) and the withdrawal of many students. In 1899, he helped found the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.  Tan Boo Liat had strong international connections. Like his grandfather Tan Kim Ching, he had commercial interests in Thailand and was honoured with a royal title. Like many Peranakans, Tan Boo Liat was loyal to the British Crown. He attended the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, and was a founding member of the Straits Chinese British Association. In addition, he supported Sun Yat-sen and was president of the Kuomintang in Singapore.   Golden Bell Villa along Pender Road was built in 1909 as Tan Boo Liat’s res­idence. The name Golden Bell is the translation of his grandfather’s name, Kim Ching. Sun Yat-sen once stayed at the house, which inspired the play Emily of Emerald Hill by Stella Kon, Tan Boo Liat’s great-granddaughter.

Viceroy’s Cup won by Tan Boo Liat’s horse
Hamilton and Company
Calcutta, 1898
Silver and wood
Collection of Dr John Seow in memory of his father, Mr Seow Eu Jin

Tan Boo Liat loved horse racing and owned a stable of horses. His horse Vanitas was the first from the Straits Settlements to win the prestigious Viceroy’s Cup in India in 1898.5 The victory and the trophy form part of the play, Emily of Emerald Hill, by Stella Kon.

Golden Bell
Located on Pender Road, Golden Bell is one of the only Peranakan mansions to survive in Singapore.

It now houses the Danish Seamen's Church - http://www.dkchurch.com

Tao Nan School at Siam House
Singapore, ca 1910
Photograph
National Museum of Singapore, XXXX-12850

In 1906, Tan Boo Liat helped start the Tao Nan School, one of the oldest Chinese primary schools in Singapore. It began at Siam House, the house of Tan Kim Ching, but later moved to Armenian Street; the building is now the Peranakan Museum.

Peranakan Museum's website: http://www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg/

The former Tao Nan School at Armenian Street, now the Peranakan Museum.

Peranakan Museum's website: http://www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg/

Brandy ewer and two glasses with the Golden Bell insignia
Europe, ca 1900
Glass
Collection of Dr John Seow in memory of his father, Mr Seow Eu Jin

These glasses were commissioned by Tan Boo Liat. His insignia consists of a bell nestled in a ribbon with the Latin phrase, “Confide recte agens” (the confidence to do what is right). This insignia also appears on his grave.

Brandy ewer and two glasses with the Golden Bell insignia
Europe, ca 1900
Glass
Collection of Dr John Seow in memory of his father, Mr Seow Eu Jin

These glasses were commissioned by Tan Boo Liat. His insignia consists of a bell nestled in a ribbon with the Latin phrase, “Confide recte agens” (the confidence to do what is right). This insignia also appears on his grave.

Chan Kim Boon
Chan Kim Boon translated Chinese literary works into Malay, making ancient Chinese fables accessible to audiences who were unable to read Chinese. Born in Penang to a merchant family, Chan studied at the Fuzhou Naval School before mov­ing to Singapore in 1872 to work in the firm Aitken and Rodyk as a bookkeeper and cashier. Chan was fluent in English, Malay, and Chinese.   The first translations into Malay of Chinese classical literature were published in the 1880s in Batavia (Jakarta), and by 1889, similar translations were issued in Singapore, often using the same general titles as the Dutch East Indies versions. The most successful of these is Chan Kim Boon’s translation of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a tale set in the second and third centuries. Titled Sam Kok 三国, the Malay version appeared in a series of thirty illustrated volumes, issued be­tween 1892 and 1896. Chan carefully added historical explanations, sometimes in English, and included the Chinese characters for names and titles. Moreover, the issues were like magazines, as they contained news reports, amusing stories, and correspondence in English. His translations of Water Margin 水浒传 (1899–1902) and Journey to the West 西游记 (1911–13) also appeared in serial format.   Readership of these books stretched across the Malay Archipelago and included romanized-Malay readers, not just Peranakans familiar with Baba Malay. The pop­ular success of these series encouraged other translators, including Pang Teck Joon, Chek Swee Liong, and Tan Beng Teck.

Batu Gantong (Chan Kim Boon), 三国 Chrita Dahulu-Kala, Nama-Nya Sam Kok, Atau Tiga Negri Ber-Prang: Siok, Gwi, Sama Gor, Di Jaman “Han Teow.”
Published by Kim Seck Chye
Singapore, 1892–96.
Asian Civilisations Museum, Gift of Eddie Teo in memory of Ang Poh Yean.

Chan Kim Boon’s translation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms was published under the pseudonym Batu Gantong, a reference to a cemetery in Penang, the island where he was from.

Chan Kim Boon, 西游 Chrita Seh Yew Pasal Kou Chey Thian 猴齐天 Di Zaman Tandun, Dan Tong Thye Chu 唐太子 Pergi Di Negri Seh Thian C’hu Keng 西天取经 Di Zaman Tong Teow
Published by Kim Seck Chye
Penang and Singapore. 1911–13.
Peranakan Museum, 2012- 00805–813. Gift of Hall of Phoenix and Peony.

Chan Kim Boon issued his Malay translation of Journey to the West (Seh Yew in Hokkien) in serial format. The cover mixes several languages: romanized Malay and Hokkien, Chinese (which reads right to left), and English.

Oei Tiong Ham
Oei Tiong Ham joined Kian Gwan, the company started by his father, Oei Tjie Sien. He took over the firm and greatly expanded it into the Oei Tiong Ham Concern. Although it was a conglomerate of many trading activities, much of its profit in the 1890s was from opium trading. He owned the opium monopolies in Semarang, Surakarta, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya, until the Dutch colonial government took over the monopolies in 1904. Oei later acquired a number of sugar cane plantations and mills, and by 1900 his company was the leading sugar producer in the Dutch East Indies. The Oei Tiong Ham Concern grew to become the largest Chinese-owned company in Asia. Its holdings included several newspapers in Java. In 1961, the company was nationalized by the Indonesian government.   In 1896, the Dutch colonial government appointed Oei majoor (major) of the Chinese community in Semarang. He owned the Semarang Steamship Navigation Company and in 1912 purchased the Heap Eng Moh Steamship Company of Singapore, and merged the two firms. The company director, Lee Hoon Leong, was the father of Dr Lee Choo Neo and the grandfather of Lee Kuan Yew. In 1920, Oei moved permanently from Semarang to Singapore. He donated $150,000 to Raffles College and in 1910 the land for the Tao Nan School, which opened its new building in 1912 (it is now the Peranakan Museum).   At Oei Tiong Ham’s death, there was much speculation about the full extent of his wealth, with some rumours suggesting that he was worth 200 million guil­ders ($140 million), although a more plausible estimate of his estate is about $50 million. As his will was litigated in Singapore’s courts, there were stories that he had moved to Singapore to escape certain Dutch taxes and inheritance laws. Oei’s second daughter, Hui-lan, married the Chinese diplomat Wellington Koo and carved her own multicultural life as a nyonya, Chinese diplomat’s wife, and New York socialite.

Photograph of Oei Tiong Ham
Singapore, ca 1920
Collection of Diana Wong

Ancestral tablet of Oei Tiong Ham
Wood
Collection of Dr. Hervey Oei Tiong Bo and Stephen Lim

The tablet gives Oei’s courtesy name, 泰源 Taiyuan, as well as his Dutch title, majoor. Another inscription on the back states that Oei’s other pseudonym is 蕴中 Yunzhong, and that his body was carried back to Semarang on the steamship Yangsheng.

Ancestral tablets of Oei Tiong Ham’s parents, Oei Tjie Sien (1835–1900) and Tjan Bien Nio (1839–1896)
Wood
Collection of Dr. Hervey Oei Tiong Bo and Stephen Lim

The tablet of Tjie Sien was made in 1948 to replace the original looted by the Japanese in 1942.

Knife belonging to Oei Tiong Ham
Inscribed: Poesaka redjo agong potong teboe di pake padoeka Majoor Oei (Great prosperity bestowing heirloom cane knife of his excellency Majoor Oei)
Java, ca 1900
Metal and wood
Collection of Dr. Hervey Oei Tiong Bo and Stephen Lim

Of ordinary quality, this knife may have been presented to Oei by a plantation worker.

Knife belonging to Oei Tiong Ham
Inscribed: Poesaka redjo agong potong teboe di pake padoeka Majoor Oei (Great prosperity bestowing heirloom cane knife of his excellency Majoor Oei)
Java, ca 1900
Metal and wood
Collection of Dr. Hervey Oei Tiong Bo and Stephen Lim

Of ordinary quality, this knife may have been presented to Oei by a plantation worker.

Tan Teck Neo (Mrs Lee Choon Guan)
Tan Teck Neo was the daughter of businessman Tan Keong Saik, who helped the Methodist missionary Sophia Blackmore set up a girls’ school, in part because he wanted his daughters properly educated. She married Lee Choon Guan in 1900; she was his second wife.   Mrs Lee Choon Guan supported a number of women’s causes, including schol­arships for Chinese midwives and an endowment for the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School. In 1914, together with other prominent nyonyas such as Mrs Tay Lian Teck and Lee Choo Neo, she founded the Chinese Ladies’ Association, now called the Chinese Women’s Association. Mrs Lee Choon Guan served as its first president. Intended to improve the lives of Chinese women, the association at first gave classes on domestic skills like sewing and cooking, but it later took on charitable caus­es such as a women’s rescue home and a British warplane. Mrs Lee opened her Magenta Cottage for the association’s classes and events.   During the First World War, Mrs Lee went to southern India to help with welfare work for British troops, and was active in the Red Cross. In 1918, she was the first Chinese woman to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). 

View of Mandalay Villa
A. L. Watson
Singapore, 1913
Oil on canvas
National Museum of Singapore, HP-0045

Her fame rests on her sociability and lavish entertainments. In 1920, she apparently met the king and queen at a garden party at Buckingham Palace, where she wore Chinese attire to great acclaim. Her home, Mandalay Villa on Amber Road, built in 1902, was the setting for charitable and social events. Her parties mingled the British, Chinese, and Malay elite, with guests sometimes numbering several hundred.6 Her birthday dinner in 1931 was reported by local newspapers to have had more than 400 guests, including the sultan of Johor, Singapore’s chief justice, and movie people. The entertainment included ronggeng, wayang, mah-jong, and fireworks.

It was at one such party at Mandalay Villa, held on New Year’s Eve, that Lee Kuan Yew proposed to Kwa Geok Choo. “Just before the party broke up, I led her out into the garden facing the sea. I told her that I no longer planned to return to Raffles College but would go to England to read law. I asked her whether she would wait for me until I came back three years later after being called to the Bar … She said she would wait. We did not tell our parents. It would have been too difficult to get them to agree to such a long commitment.” 

Lee Choo Neo
Lee Choo Neo was Singapore’s first female physician. She broke away from the tra­dition of the cloistered nyonya, and used her privileged position to take advantage of social reforms.   Lee was the daughter of Lee Hoon Leong, a Peranakan from Semarang who managed Oei Tiong Ham’s shipping company in Singapore. Educated at the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and Raffles Girls’ School, she was the first Straits Chinese woman to obtain a Senior Cambridge Certificate in 1911. She studied at the King Edward VII Medical School in Singapore, and became the city’s first Chinese female doctor in 1920. These were remarkable achievements considering the gener­al Chinese cultural expectation of women’s roles. Lee was concerned with women’s welfare and in 1925 served on an official committee examining laws governing Chinese marriage in the Straits Settlements.   In 1913, while still in medical school, Lee Choo Neo wrote an article for The Queen, The Lady’s Newspaper, titled “The Chinese girl in Singapore”. She described the life of a Straits-born Chinese girl as “freer and less irksome than that of her sister in China” but dull: “Its monotony is intolerable.” Girls were only expected to learn sewing and cooking, since these were requirements for marriage. Formal education for girls was generally deemed “a waste of money”, while work was regarded as “in­decent and disgraceful” because it exposed women to the public gaze. Dr Lee ended the article with optimism, hoping that increasing acceptance of women’s education would be of great advantage – not least because educated wives would give husbands less reason to escape the home. Isolation of women, she wrote, “inevitably results in their becoming stupid, ignorant, possessed of no commonsense.” The eloquent article gave voice to a way of life that had been rarely described.   Lee Choo Neo took an interest in Malay drama. In 1912, she co-directed (with the artist Low Kway Soo) and acted in a three-act comedy, Mustapha, which she also wrote, presented at a Red Cross benefit in Victoria Theatre. Her brother, Lee Chin Koon, was the father of Lee Kuan Yew.

Lee Choo Neo’s dispensary and residence
Singapore, ca 1930s
Photographs
Collection of Mrs Vera Teo

Dr Lee’s first clinic opened in 1930 on Selegie Road. Specializing in maternity cases, the Lee Dispensary occupied the first floor of a shophouse, while the second floor served as her residence. When business expanded, she moved into three shophouses on Bras Basah Road.

Wedding photographs of Teo Koon Lim and Lee Choo Neo
Singapore, 1922
Photograph
Collection of Mrs Vera Teo

Wedding photographs of Teo Koon Lim and Lee Choo Neo
Singapore, 1922
Photograph
Collection of Mrs Vera Teo

Low Kway Song
The self-taught artist Low Kway Song portrayed prominent members of society in Singapore and Malaya. A member of the Singapore Amateur Drawing Society from 1911, he organized and participated in exhibitions in Singapore and Malacca. In 1912, he opened a studio on Stamford Road, and moved to Orchard Road in 1920. Called the Empire Studio, the firm was a popular source for painted portrait photographs (see essay by Daphne Ang). In 1918, he became the cartoonist for Eastern Illustrated Review. His brother Low Kway Soo was also a noted artist who painted Tan Jiak Kim and Loke Yew, but he later went to medical school to pursue a different career.   Low Kway Song made portraits of Sun Yat-sen, Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, business tycoon Aw Boon Haw, and Peranakans such as Tan Beng Swee and Tan Cheng Lock. He was reportedly the first Singapore artist to receive a four-figure sum for a commission, the portrait of Oei Tiong Ham in 1927.   Low Kway Song met his wife Chan Yew Neo, a Singapore Peranakan, in Bangkok while he was working there, and they married in 1910. In 1939, he helped to revive a Malay-language Methodist service in Malacca. His paintings of Christian images survive in churches in Malacca. Low Kway Song also excelled in the performing arts. He was a founding member of the Merrilads Musical and Dramatic Association, a popular Peranakan performing group which started in 1923. Fluent in Baba Malay and English, he was called Merri Papa. All the female roles were performed by men, and during Chinese New Year, the company would perform in Peranakan wedding costumes. Low’s play in Malay, The Fortune Teller, was first staged in 1926 at the Happy Valley, and then repeated over twenty times at other venues such as the Star Opera and New World.

Oil painting of Sun Yat Sen
Low Kway Song
Singapore, 1930s
Print
Collection of Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, 2011-01655

Tengku 1
Low Kway Song
Singapore, 1961
Oil on canvas
Collection of Low Keong Hee Richard and Low Keong Ann Arthur

Low Kway Song made portraits of Sun Yat-sen, Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, business tycoon Aw Boon Haw, and Peranakans such as Tan Beng Swee and Tan Cheng Lock. He was reportedly the first Singapore artist to receive a four-figure sum for a commission, the portrait of Oei Tiong Ham in 1927.

Song Ong Siang
The first Chinese from Malaya to receive a British knighthood, Song Ong Siang was highly erudite and deeply committed to reforming the Chinese community in the Straits. That he was also among the most pro-British of all Peranakans embodies the complexities of Singapore’s transition to the modern world.   The second Chinese Queen’s Scholar, Song Ong Siang studied law at Cambridge University. On his return to Singapore, he established the law firm Aitken and Ong Siang with his fellow-Queen’s scholar James Aitken. In 1894 Song started the first romanized Malay newspaper in Singapore, the Bintang Timor, although the project lasted only a year. In partnership with Lim Boon Keng, Song spearheaded several progressive initiatives, especially the Straits Chinese Magazine, the Straits Chinese British Association, and the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.   Song served on the Straits Legislative Council and represented the colony at Edward VII’s coronation in 1902. He was a proud member of the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force, in which he became captain. When he married Helen Yeo in 1907, it was the first military wedding of a Chinese officer in Singapore, and he was given a military funeral when he died in 1941.   His father, Song Hoot Kiam, had converted to Christianity, a faith Song fol­lowed. Song was an elder of the Straits Chinese Church (later renamed Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church) for forty-one years, and the president of the Chinese Christian Association.

Song Ong Siang
Julius Wentscher
Singapore, 1936
Oil on canvas
National Museum of Singapore, HP-0017

In 1936, Song Ong Siang was knighted, the highest British honour a Straits Chinese had received to that date. In commemoration, a life-size portrait of Song was commissioned by the Straits Chinese Consultative Committee, with funds from the Straits Chinese British Association.

The German artist Julius Wentscher painted Song in Singapore in 1936. Wentscher and his wife, Tina Wentscher (1887–1974), who was associated with the Berlin Secession, travelled throughout Asia from 1931, living in Malaya from 1936 to 1940. Because they were Jewish, they could not return to Germany. With the outbreak of World War II, they were interned in Australia and later settled in Melbourne.

Wentscher’s portrait is one of the most powerful ever created in Singapore. Its strong, spare lines – the black chair legs set against simple columns – are derived from German Modernist art and focus on the intensity of Song’s gaze. The portrait was displayed in Victoria Memorial Hall next to other images of Singaporean dignitaries, until this gallery of notables was dismantled in 1959.

One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore
Song Ong Siang
Singapore, 1923
Book
Collection of the National Library Board

In 1923, Song Ong Siang published One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore, a highly detailed survey of Chinese life in Singapore and an original source still extensively used by researchers.

The book is more specifically about Peranakans; the preface quotes Lim Boon Keng in defining the Peranakan Chinese as local-born and English-educated, who “constitute a class by themselves”.

Lim Boon Keng
The life of Lim Boon Keng encompassed many of the diversities and complications of the early twentieth century in Singapore. He studied medicine in Britain, en­tered Singapore politics, and invested in banking. Most important, he advocated for educational and political reforms in both the Straits Settlements and China. His approach was one of embracing compromise: political change within the British colonial structure and a neo-Confucianism that stressed a respectful moderniz­ing of traditions. Lim might be considered an emblem of the Peranakans around 1900. Fluent in Malay, English, but less so in Mandarin, Lim moved comfortably in British, Chinese, and Peranakan societies, and he personally embraced Christianity and Confucianism.   The first Chinese to be awarded the Queen’s Scholarship, Lim Boon Keng stud­ied medicine at University of Edinburgh, from which he graduated with first-class honours in 1892. Like a number of prominent Peranakans of his time like Tan Jiak Kim and his friend Song Ong Siang, he joined the Straits Legislative Council, be­came a justice of the peace, and was given a British honour, in his case an OBE.   Lim Boon Keng took on a number of important causes in the 1890s. Together with Song Ong Siang and Tan Boo Liat, he founded the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School in 1899.  Just before the opening of the school, Lim wrote that the school “met with a great deal of opposition and criticism, the bitterness of which only those who have worked so hard for its success, can fully speak.” Lim’s wife gave Chinese lessons to the entering class of thirty.   Lim Boon Keng and Song Ong Siang started the Straits Chinese Magazine in 1897, and helped to found the Straits Chinese British Association. Lim advocated that the Chinese embrace the modern world while retaining their traditional cul­ture. He condemned opium use, gambling, and prostitution. Peranakans were not spared. In an article of 1909, “Race deterioration in the tropics”, Lim thought that the mixed blood of the Peranakans had led to “extravagant habits, vice, distaste for work, eccentricity, excesses, and recklessness”. The campaign against opium was an important personal issue for Lim Boon Keng, since much of his family’s fortune came from opium, his father and grandfather having run Cheang Hong Lim’s opium monopoly. The opium trade was encouraged by British colonial policy in Asia, and they derived vast profits from the trade – over $5 million in 1914 in Singapore – nor was there social censure on opium profits in the nineteenth century. In 1898, well after the death of his father, Lim began his campaign against opium by accusing the British of profiting from the vices of the Chinese.   Lim Boon Keng was also concerned with reform and education in China. He sup­ported Sun Yat-sen. Beginning in 1921, he served as president of Amoy University (Xiamen University), which was founded by his friend Tan Kah Kee. Some Chinese students were displeased with the prominent role of an overseas Chinese, and Lim was ridiculed for giving lectures on Confucianism in English. During this period, Lim published a translation of the ancient poet Qu Yuan’s 离骚, The Li Sao: An Elegy on Encountering Sorrows, with a preface by Rabindranath Tagore.   The growing independence movements in Southeast Asia led to more compli­cations in identity, many of which are addressed in Lim’s sophisticated satirical novel of 1927, Tragedies of Eastern Life: An Introduction to the Problems of Social Psychology, which is set in a fictional multicultural Malayan town. 

Lim Boon Keng with Japanese officers in front of the Syonan-To Overseas Chinese Association
Inscribed: 林會長文慶博士惠存 / 昭南島華僑協會敬贈 / 昭和十八年三月十七日 (A gift to President Dr Lim Boon Keng / Respectfully presented by the Syonan-To Overseas Chinese Association / 17 March, 18th year of Sho–wa).
Singapore, 1943
Photograph. National Archives of Singapore.

The plaque above the door reads: 昭南島華僑協會 (Syonan-To Overseas Chinese Association). Singa-pore was renamed Syonan (“light of the south”) by the Japanese government. At the far right is Wee Tam Kim, an employee of the association.

“The Oversea Chinese Association, Syonan. To Yokohama Specie Bank, Limited. Document of Lien”
Singapore, 23 June 1942
Personal Collection of Alex Tan Tiong Hee, Trustee of Settlement of Dr Lim Boon Keng (1921)

During the Second World War, the Japanese forced Lim Boon Keng to lead the Overseas Chinese Association, an occupying organization meant to control the local Chinese. Lim and other prominent Chinese leaders were ordered to raise $50 million for Japan’s war effort. Only $28 million could be found and the businessmen were forced to borrow the remainder.

The document of extortion was signed by eleven Singaporean businessmen. The first signature is that of Lim Boon Keng.

“The Oversea Chinese Association, Syonan. To Yokohama Specie Bank, Limited. Document of Lien”
Singapore, 23 June 1942
Personal Collection of Alex Tan Tiong Hee, Trustee of Settlement of Dr Lim Boon Keng (1921)

During the Second World War, the Japanese forced Lim Boon Keng to lead the Overseas Chinese Association, an occupying organization meant to control the local Chinese. Lim and other prominent Chinese leaders were ordered to raise $50 million for Japan’s war effort. Only $28 million could be found and the businessmen were forced to borrow the remainder.

The document of extortion was signed by eleven Singaporean businessmen. The first signature is that of Lim Boon Keng.

“The Oversea Chinese Association, Syonan. To Yokohama Specie Bank, Limited. Document of Lien”
Singapore, 23 June 1942
Personal Collection of Alex Tan Tiong Hee, Trustee of Settlement of Dr Lim Boon Keng (1921)

During the Second World War, the Japanese forced Lim Boon Keng to lead the Overseas Chinese Association, an occupying organization meant to control the local Chinese. Lim and other prominent Chinese leaders were ordered to raise $50 million for Japan’s war effort. Only $28 million could be found and the businessmen were forced to borrow the remainder.

The document of extortion was signed by eleven Singaporean businessmen. The first signature is that of Lim Boon Keng.

1946 to 1965: Nation Building
Political activism - In the aftermath of World War II, many of Singapore’s emergent leaders were drawn from the English-educated Peranakan community. While some chose to continue to work closely with the British for gradual change, others were inspired by independence movements. Peranakan women were pioneers in the women’s rights movement, and assisted in the passing of the Women’s Charter. Banks and reconstruction - Peranakans helped restore Singapore’s economy, which had been devastated by the war. For example, local banks offered liberal loans to allow old businesses to resume and new ones to set up. In the 1960s, commercial banks also helped finance economic development for Singapore’s new industries. Arts and popular culture - The Straits Chinese reform movement of the early 20th century associated Peranakans with leisure and lavish excess. Since colonial times, the community was actively involved in the cultural sector, particularly in music, theatre, and entertainment. After the war, amateur musical and dramatic societies remained popular among the Peranakans.
Tan Cheng Lock
The first genuine Chinese politician in the Straits Settlements, Tan Cheng Lock be­lieved fervently in a united Malaya without racial political divisions. He came from an old Peranakan family in Malacca. His great-great-grandfather, Tan Hay Kwan, had emigrated from Fujian province and died in Malacca in 1801. Tan’s grandfa­ther, Tan Choon Bock, sealed the family’s wealth until 1980, leaving his immediate descendants to fend for themselves. Goh Keng Swee, Singapore’s first finance min­ister, was Tan Cheng Lock’s first cousin once removed. Tan Cheng Lock attended Raffles Institution in Singapore, but could not afford to attend university. He taught English for a few years and in 1908 started working in a rubber plantation before setting up several plantations of his own.   In 1912, he joined the Municipal Commission of Malacca, and in 1923, was appointed to the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements. Unlike previous Chinese legislators who sought to protect Chinese rights through small measures in cooperation with the colonial government, Tan took a much more forceful approach. In particular, he argued for the elimination of racial discrimination in the civil service and police force. As a result, Chinese were allowed to join the new Straits Settlements Civil Service. He also urged that a majority of the Legislative Council be elected rather than appointed, and noted that a number of British colonies, in­cluding Burma, Jamaica, and Ceylon, already elected a majority of their legislators. As early as 1926, he advocated for the creation of “a united self-governing British Malaya, with a Federal Government and Parliament” and aimed for the “complete elimination of the racial or communal feeling.”   Tan objected strongly to the Aliens Ordinance of 1933, which instituted harsh controls over more than one million Chinese immigrants living in the Straits, os­tensibly to exclude political agitators, both Nationalist and Communist. Tan char­acterized it as an “anti-Chinese policy, probably with a political objective, founded on fear and distrust, which the Chinese on the whole as a community have done nothing and have absolutely no cause to merit”.   In 1932, Tan was appointed to the Straits Executive Council. In 1937, he rep­resented the Straits at the coronation of George VI, and in 1952, he was knighted.   In 1935, he temporarily retired from his political and business responsibilities to move his family to Switzerland so that his wife could recover from tuberculosis. During the Second World War, he lived in Bangalore, India, where he and other exiles began to form plans for an independent state that would combine Malaya and Singapore. Tan advocated a race-neutral future for the country, with voting rights for all and political parties that would not be based on ethnicity. In 1943, he formed the Overseas Chinese Association. He wrote: “It is the firm conviction of the writer that the ideal to be aimed at by every community in Malaya is that they should learn to regard themselves as Malayans first irrespective of their race.”   In 1946, the British split the Straits Settlements and intended to grant Malaya self-rule to the ethnic Malays, with the exclusion of the Chinese and Indians. Tan objected vociferously and advocated equality for all races in Malaya: “It has been a long-standing grievance of the non-Malays born in the Malay States that they have no proper political status, though those born in the Colony are British subjects. If Malaya is to become ultimately one country and one nation, the people born within its confines should have a common citizenship”.   Believing in independence for a united Malaya-Singapore, without racial favou­ritism, Tan Cheng Lock in 1946 led an alliance called the Pan-Malayan Council of Joint Action, but this movement was defeated by Communist infiltration and the outbreak of the Emergency in 1948.   In 1948, H. S. Lee, a tin magnate and member of Malaya’s Executive Council, and Tan Cheng Lock formed the Malayan Chinese Association, which was intended to rally the Chinese community against the Communist insurgency. The association languished until Tan organized it into a political party in 1951 with a commitment to independence for Malaya. Tan first proposed an alliance with the multiracial Independence of Malaya Party. However, H. S. Lee arranged an electoral pact for the 1952 local elections in Selangor with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Because of this success at the polls, Tan concluded a permanent alliance with Tunku Abdul Rahman, leader of UMNO. The Alliance Party won the first Malayan elections in 1955 and Abdul Rahman became chief minister. The Alliance also won three seats in the Singapore general election of 1955. Tan enjoyed considerable personal popularity, even among working-class Chinese. He was an eloquent speaker in English, but was not fluent in Chinese and had to rely on a translator when addressing crowds. Tan attended the first meeting of the Peoples’ Action Party in Singapore in November 1954, and continued to ex­press hopes that Singapore and Malaya would be united.   After 1952, Tan began to retire from public life, and did not contest a seat in the 1955 general elections nor enter the first Malayan cabinet. H. S. Lee became the finance minister, and Tan’s son Tan Siew Sin (1916–1988) became minister of commerce (1955–59) and later finance minister (1959–74).

Tan Cheng Lock
Low Kway Song
Singapore, mid-20th century
Oil on canvas
Collection of the family of Tan Cheng Lock

Star and neck badge awarded to Tan Cheng Lock as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)
1952
Collection of the family of Tan Cheng Lock

In 1932, Tan was appointed to the Straits Executive Council. In 1937, he rep¬resented the Straits at the coronation of George VI, and in 1952, he was knighted.

Malayan problems: from a Chinese point of view
Tan Cheng Lock
Singapore, 1947
Book
Collection of the family of Tan Cheng Lock

Malayan problems: from a Chinese point of view
Tan Cheng Lock
Singapore, 1947
Book
Collection of the family of Tan Cheng Lock

Tan Chin Tuan
Tan Chin Tuan was the son of Tan Cheng Siong, general manager of the Oversea- Chinese Bank. Tan went to the Anglo-Chinese School; his plans to study law in England were cut short by the death of his father. At seventeen, he became a junior clerk at the Chinese Commercial Bank, and worked his way to assistant manager, as well as manager of Eastern Realty, the bank’s property arm. In 1932, the Chinese Commercial Bank merged with Ho Hong Bank and Oversea-Chinese Bank to form Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), and Tan became assistant man­ager in charge of properties. During the Second World War he was promoted to managing director of OCBC at age thirty-four, with responsibility for protecting the bank’s assets outside of Japanese-occupied territory, and for registering the new head office in Bombay. He became chairman of the bank in 1966.   While in Bombay, Tan joined with Tan Cheng Lock and Tan Siew Sin to found the Overseas Chinese Association, which lobbied the Colonial Office for the in­dependence of Malaya and citizenship for immigrants.1 Tan worked closely with the colonial government for gradual self-government. He served as a Municipal Commissioner in 1939 and was appointed to the Advisory Council of the British Military Administration in 1945. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1946, and from 1948 to 1955 was the representative of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce. In 1951 he became the deputy president of the Legislative Council, the highest political rank held by an Asian under colonial rule. In 1951, he was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1969, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia decorated him with the order of Panglima Setia Mahkota.   Tan was responsible for OCBC’s far-sighted strategy of investing in blue-chip companies during periods of uncertainty. He subsequently became chairman of four of the largest companies in Singapore: Fraser and Neave, Great Eastern Life Assurance, Malayan Breweries, and Straits Trading. He was also chairman of Eastern Realty Company, Overseas Assurance Corporation, Wearne Brothers, Raffles Hotel, and Robinson and Company. He established the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation in 1976 to support charitable causes. 

Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Civil Division)
1951
Collection of the family of the late Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan

This medal was presented to Tan Chin Tuan in 1951 for his contributions to the British Empire through his service on the Executive and Legislative Councils. Tan was also awarded the Queen’s Coronation Medal in 1953.

Trophy from Singapore Turf Club’s Spring Cup
Singapore, 1957
Collection of the family of the late Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan

Tan was an avid racing enthusiast, and owned a collection of prized racehorses, three of which he shared with Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first prime minister of Malaysia; these included Flying Princess, the winner of this trophy. His passion for horse racing started in 1951 when he was invited to sit on the management committee of the Singapore Turf Club. He was chairman of the club from 1983 to 1986.

Goh Keng Swee
Born in Malacca, Goh Keng Swee was the first cousin once removed of Tan Cheng Lock. In the late 1930s, he joined the colonial civil service in the War Tax Department. He later completed a PhD at London School of Economics. While in London, he started the Malayan Forum with a group of students from Singapore and the Straits, and forged close ties with Lee Kuan Yew and Toh Chin Chye.   Goh joined the People’s Action Party in 1956 and won the Kreta Ayer seat in the 1959 general election. When he conducted social surveys for the colonial civil service, Goh learned of the deplorable living conditions and poverty of many Singaporeans, particularly in densely populated areas such as Chinatown, which was largely made up of Cantonese-speaking labourers and domestic servants. He became minister of finance in 1959, an ideal platform from which to begin to rectify these conditions.   The only trained economist in the new government, Goh devised the State Development Plan (the only one in the history of Singapore), in which he laid out a long-term blueprint for Singapore’s economic development. Many of the in­stitutions he created remain important today, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, and the Economic Development Board, which was intended to attract foreign investment. He also began construction of the Jurong Industrial Estate in swamp land, a project called “Goh’s Folly” by critics. Said to have left “his fingerprints on virtually every aspect of public policy for 25 years from mid-1959”, Goh served as minister for finance, defence, education, and as deputy prime minister. Lee Kuan Yew said: “of all my Cabinet colleagues, it was Goh Keng Swee who made the greatest difference to the outcome of Singapore”.   Although he held his parliamentary seat until he retired in 1984, Goh was not a dynamic campaigner. Lee Kuan Yew recalled, “Keng Swee was dreadful; with a first class mind, he prepared his speeches meticulously, but delivered them in a dull monotone, mumbling, reading from a script, and looking bored.”   Goh was a keen golfer who achieved a hole-in-one three times. Ismail Abdul Rahman, the Malayan foreign minister, encouraged Goh and Lee Kuan Yew to take up the game. Golf allowed politicians to discuss sensitive matters in an informal setting. For example, it was after a golf game that Malaysian deputy prime minister Abdul Razak first intimated to Goh that he was thinking of separating Singapore from Malaysia.   When relations between Malaysia and Singapore began to deteriorate in 1965, Goh secretly negotiated the separation with Abdul Razak and Singapore’s law min­ister, Eddie Barker. This process was kept secret from the British and members of the Singapore cabinet who had strong emotional ties to Malaysia, namely S. Rajaratnam and Toh Chin Chye.

Plaque presented to Goh Keng Swee by his Kreta Ayer constituents
Singapore, 1970s
Lacquered and gilded wood
Courtesy of Mr and Mrs Goh Kian Chee

The inscription, 德政兼優, can be translated “both virtuous and accomplished in governmental affairs”.

Lim Kim San
Lim Kim San was the first chairman of Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB), the government department created in 1960 to rapidly build public housing.   Both of Lim’s parents were from Sumatra, and his mother’s family from Bengkalis (Riau province) included a number of Chinese kapitans. Lim Kim San was educat­ed at the Anglo-Chinese School and Raffles College, and graduated with a diploma in economics in 1939. During the Japanese Occupation, he was twice detained and tortured by the military police. He later helped run his family’s rubber, commod­ities, salt, and gasoline businesses, and also took over his father-in-law’s sago and pawnshop interests. He invented a machine to produce sago pearls efficiently, and made his first million by the age of thirty-four.   He joined Singapore’s civil service in 1959 as a member of the Public Service Commission and chaired the Housing and Development Board from 1960 to 1963. Both were voluntary positions. Looking back on this, Lim called this a case of “fools rushing in where angels fear to tread”, but he was also deeply struck by the extreme poverty he had witnessed. In the three years under his leadership, the HDB built more than 26,000 flats, more than its predecessor, the Singapore Improvement Trust, had built in thirty-two years. Low-cost housing units were required not only to resettle squatters, but also for the 15,000 made homeless by the catastrophic Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961. Home ownership was introduced in 1964 to allow lower income families to buy flats.   In 1962, Lim was the first person awarded the Order of Temasek. The follow­ing year, he was elected to parliament, and headed in succession the ministries of national development, finance, defence, education, and environment, until his retirement in 1981. Lim was regarded as a shrewd and intuitive judge of character, and in the 1980s was the talent scout for the People’s Action Party, heading the final selection panel for candidates.

Wedding slippers
Singapore, 1940
National Museum of Singapore, 2007-00142. Gift of Mr Lim Kiat

Marriage certificate of Lim Kim San
Singapore, 1940
Courtesy of National Archives of Singapore. Lim Kim San Collection

Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew was the eldest son of Lee Chin Koon and Chua Jim Neo. His paternal grandfather, Lee Hoon Leong, was the attorney of Oei Tiong Ham and managed his affairs in Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew’s maternal grandfather, Chua Kim Teng, was a Peranakan Hokkien.   Lee attended Raffles Institution but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1946, he went to study law at the London School of Economics, but transferred to University of Cambridge the following year. In London he became involved in the Malayan Forum, and this growing political involvement landed him and Goh Keng Swee on the Special Branch’s watch list. While in Britain, Lee campaigned for his friend David Widdicombe, the Labour Party candidate for Totnes, Devon.   Lee said that his decision to become a lawyer arose from purely pragmatic considerations: his parents had encouraged him to adopt a profession “or I’d run the risk of a very precarious life”. Lee chose law because he did not like medicine, and wanted to be self-employed rather than work as an engineer in a company.   He and his wife Kwa Geok Choo joined the Singapore law firm of Laycock and Ong; he campaigned for John Laycock, his employer and a leader of the Singapore Progressive Party, in the 1951 Legislative Council election. He took on a number of high-profile labour union cases, and became legal advisor to unions, clan associations, and students, including a group of students from University of Malaya who had been arrested for sedition for their publication Fajar; and Chinese Middle School students who had protested against the National Service Ordinance. These were all potential political supporters, many of whom were from the Chinese-educated majority. He later founded the law firm Lee and Lee, with his wife and brother Kim Yew.   Lee joined the Peranakan-dominated Straits Chinese British Association in the hope of launching a political party from it, but the idea was resisted by the leaders of the association. Instead, in 1954, Lee led the formation of the People’s Action Party (PAP) and became its first secretary-general. One of three party can­didates to contest the Legislative Assembly election of 1955, he won the Tanjong Pagar constituency. In 1959, the PAP won a spectacular victory of 43 out of the 51 seats, and Lee became Singapore’s first prime minister, a position he held until November 1990.   Lee fought for merger with Malaya in 1961, an initiative which split his party, leading to the formation of the Barisan Sosialis in July 1961. When Malaysia was formed in September 1963, Lee became one of fifteen Singapore representatives in the new Malaysian parliament. However, relations between the two sides dete­riorated rapidly; community tensions and political acrimony were only quelled by Singapore’s separation from Malaysia in 1965.   Lee Kuan Yew never publicly declared himself a Peranakan, since his chief con­cern for the nation was to foster a collective sense of unity and national identity that would surmount ethnic, racial, or communal divisions. Shortly after becoming prime minister, he specifically rejected being called Peranakan in a parliamentary ex­change with Mrs Seow Peck Leng. Nonetheless, his wife Kwa Geok Choo said: “Both Kuan Yew and I come from Peranakan families, speaking no Chinese, not even dialect.” Lee’s mother had published a Peranakan cookbook in 1974, and his sister Monica reported that he missed his mother’s excellent cooking.

Swearing-in of Lee Kuan Yew as Singapore’s first Prime Minister
Lai Kui Fang
Singapore, 1992
Oil on canvas
National Museum of Singapore, 1997-02077

With no photographic records of the closed-door event held at City Hall, this recreation of the swearing-in of Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister on the afternoon of 5 June 1959 provides a suggestion of that historic moment.

It shows Lee and Sir William Goode, the last British governor of Singapore, as well as an aide at the left. The artist, Lai Kui Fang, trained in Paris in the 1960s.

Chua Seng Kim (Mrs Seow Peck Leng)
Chua Seng Kim (Mrs Seow Peck Leng) was Singapore’s first female opposition member of parliament. She was the founding president of Singapore Women’s Association, a position she held for thirty-seven years (1954–91).   Educated at Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and Raffles Girls’ School, she taught at Telok Kurau English School and was principal of Cantonment School (1954–58). She was the first female secretary and vice-president of the Singapore Teachers’ Union, and led the battle for the entry of married women teachers into the government’s new Education Service Scheme. She founded the Siglap Girls’ Club to serve the needs of underprivileged girls, which later became the Singapore Women’s Association. Singapore’s first woman opposition politician, Mrs Seow represented Mountbatten for the Singapore People’s Alliance from 1959 to 1963. In September 1959, she told the Legislative Assembly that a new Malayan nation should depend on local-born, English-educated “Peranakans who, though comprising several races, for various reasons, some because of intermarriage, have decided to make Singapore their homeland.” Moreover, she stressed the distinctiveness of their cul­ture; Peranakans have “in the course of over 100 years developed a language, liter­ature, drama, songs and dances, traditions, customs, costumes, hair styles, cuisine, games and religion of their own”. This “synthesizing” culture should be a model for a multiracial state. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew responded that he would not like to be known as “peranakan” if the term meant foreigners locally born, but would prefer the concept “the people of Malaya”.   Mrs Seow proposed legislation to outlaw polygamous marriages. This led to the passing of the Women’s Charter in 1961. The abolishment of polygamy had the effect of making wives partners in marriage with full rights to social and economic protection. This liberated and empowered Singapore’s women. During her time as a member of parliament, she proposed the establishment of centres that would advise the poor, as well as the formation of more youth clubs. In 1965, she retired from politics to devote herself entirely to social work.

Singapore People’s Alliance poster with candidates
Singapore, 1963
National Museum of Singapore, 1996-01924

Singapore’s first woman opposition politician, Mrs Seow represented Mountbatten for the Singapore People’s Alliance from 1959 to 1963. In September 1959, she told the Legislative Assembly that a new Malayan nation should depend on local-born, English-educated “Peranakans who, though comprising several races, for various reasons, some because of intermarriage, have decided to make Singapore their homeland.”

Moreover, she stressed the distinctiveness of their culture; Peranakans have “in the course of over 100 years developed a language, literature, drama, songs and dances, traditions, customs, costumes, hair styles, cuisine, games and religion of their own”.

Three green diamanté kerosang
Singapore, 1970s
Peranakan Museum, 2007-52464. Gift of Mrs Seow Peck Leng

This trio of crystal ornamental brooches was worn by Mrs Seow with a kebaya. It belongs to a matching set of jewellery that she donated to the Peranakan Museum.

Maggie Lim née Tan
Maggie Lim née Tan was the first woman to win the prestigious Queen’s Scholarship. After qualifying as a doctor in London, she became a public health officer in Singapore and campaigned to raise awareness of birth control. In battling tradi­tional conceptions of women’s roles, she paved the way for a generation of Singapore women to fight for equal rights.   Lim was the daughter of businessman Tan Kwee Swee, and a seventh-generation descendant of Tan Tock Seng. As a result of earning six distinctions in the Senior Cambridge Examinations while studying at Raffles Girls’ School, she was admitted in 1929 to the all-male Raffles Institution to prepare for the Queen’s Scholarship, which had only just been opened to women in 1923. The first female recipient of the prestigious scholarship, Lim attended the London School of Medicine for Women and then practised at the Royal Free Hospital. In 1939 she became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.   Upon returning to Singapore in 1940, Lim became a public health officer. During the Japanese Occupation, she moved to the Endau Settlement in Johor, where she helped run a hospital while maintaining supply lines to the Malayan People’s Anti- Japanese Army.   After the war, she resumed her public health work. Lim specialized in maternal and child health, and was particularly concerned with the issue of couples having more children than they could afford. In 1949 she joined the newly founded Family Planning Association of Singapore and was responsible for recruiting doctors, rec­ommending forms of contraception, and helping to manage clinics. Her advocacy of birth control faced significant religious hostility.   When the People’s Action Party won the election in 1959, she persuaded the government to embark on an ambitious educational programme on family plan­ning, which toured community centres in 1960. Within a few years, the number of visitors to the Family Planning Association’s clinics doubled. Lim was appointed head of the Ministry of Health’s maternity and child welfare department in 1963, and succeeded Benjamin Sheares as president of the Family Planning Association. When the ministry established a board to assume most of the association’s work in 1965, Lim retired as president. She then worked abroad, including at the University of Hawaii’s School of Public Health and East-West Center.   Lim married Lim Hong Bee, also a Queen’s Scholar. In Britain, Hong became a left-wing political activist and the unofficial representative of Malayan Communist Party. He was banned from University of Cambridge “for devoting too much time to radical anti-Japanese agitation and too little to traditional English law”. He co-founded the Malayan Democratic Union in 1945. In 1947 he started the Malayan Monitor, a magazine supporting communism, and in 1949 attended the World Festival of Youth and Students in Budapest as the Malayan representa­tive; he ran into Goh Keng Swee and Lee Kuan Yew on the way there. Although Maggie Lim herself was apolitical, in 1951 their house was raided and she was ar­rested by colonial officials in order to pressure her exiled husband. The couple had two daughters; their marriage was later dissolved.   Maggie Lim’s brother, John Tan Thoon Lip, received the Queen’s Scholarship a year before she did. He read law at St John’s College in Cambridge. John was one of the first two Asians to join the Straits Settlements Civil Service, where he rose within the legal service to become registrar of the Supreme Court in 1952.

Silk jacket and cheongsam
Peranakan Museum
Gift of Patricia Lin

According to Maggie Lim’s daughter, this jacket originally belonged to Tan Kim Ching. By the time Lim inherited it, some parts had deteriorated, and she had it re-tailored as an evening jacket.

Kwa Geok Choo
Born into a prominent Peranakan family, Kwa Geok Choo was one of the eight chil­dren of Kwa Siew Tee and Wee Yew Neo. She attended the Methodist Girls’ School, and although her studies were interrupted by the war, she won the prestigious Queen’s Scholarship to read law at the University of Cambridge, where she graduat­ed with first-class honours, the first Asian woman to do so.   In December 1947, she quietly married Lee Kuan Yew in England. Upon return­ing to Singapore in 1950, they joined the law firm Laycock and Ong. In 1955 they started their own practice, Lee and Lee, in partnership with Lee’s younger brother, Kim Yew. The firm grew into one of the largest in Singapore and Kwa remained a practising conveyancing lawyer over the next forty years.   Lee Kuan Yew wrote: “My great advantage was I have a wife who could be a sole breadwinner and bring the children up. That was my insurance policy. Without such a wife, I would have been hard-pressed.” She is often credited as a moderating influence on the fiery Lee, as well as possessing an intuitive judgement of charac­ter. Lee observed: “She had an uncanny ability to read the character of a person. She would sometimes warn me to be careful of certain persons; often, she turned out to be right.”   As a founding member of the People’s Action Party, Kwa helped draft the party’s constitution. Although she attended the first organizing meeting, she was subse­quently excluded from the party’s inner circle. In 1965, she prepared an important clause in the Separation Agreement to guarantee Singapore’s water supply from Johor after separa­tion from Malaysia. Kwa was a keen advocate for women’s rights in Singapore and ensured that the issue formed part of the People’s Action Party’s agenda. In her only party political broadcast, on Radio Malaya in 1959 during the general election campaign, Kwa refuted the notion that women are inferior to men, and urged women to vote for the five women candidates of the party. She helped draft the Women’s Charter of 1961, which provided for monogamous marriages, protected women against physical abuse, and guaranteed financial protection in divorce. She also supported the removal of gender discrimination in salaries, and argued for the importance of women in the workforce and in public life.

Kwa Geok Choo’s barrister wig, with stand and box
National Museum of Singa¬pore, 2002-00792

In December 1947, Kwa Geok Choo quietly married Lee Kuan Yew in England. Upon returning to Singapore in 1950, they joined the law firm Laycock and Ong. In 1955 they started their own practice, Lee and Lee, in partnership with Lee’s younger brother, Kim Yew.

The firm grew into one of the largest in Singapore and Kwa remained a practising conveyancing lawyer over the next forty years.

Lee Kuan Yew wrote: “My great advantage was I have a wife who could be a sole breadwinner and bring the children up. That was my insurance policy. Without such a wife, I would have been hard-pressed.”

Cheongsam worn by Kwa Geok Choo during the swearing-in ceremony of Lee Hsien Loong as Prime Minister
Singapore, 2004
Gift of Madam Kwa Geok Choo
National Museum of Singapore, 2010-03447

Cheongsams were worn by sophisticated Singaporean women, including many nyonyas in the 1920s and 1930s, but by the 1950s it had become daily wear for most working women. Kwa continued to wear the cheongsam for formal and public appearances.

Goh Soon Tioe
Goh Soon Tioe was a pioneer in the development of classical music in Singapore. Born in Padang, Sumatra, he came to Singapore at the age of thirteen to study at the Anglo-Chinese School. Goh only started violin lessons at fifteen but showed great promise, and in 1932 left for Switzerland to join the Conservatoire de musique de Genève, where he studied for three years. During his time there, he was award­ed the “Premier Prix” in each annual exam. Goh also subsequently trained under Alfred Marchot at the Royal Academy of Music in Brussels.   In 1954, Goh founded the Goh Soon Tioe String Orchestra. In the 1950s and 1960s he ventured into concert promotion by bringing internationally renowned musicians to perform in Singapore. However, he was not able to continue organiz­ing these concerts, as he observed, “costs are heavy and work is hard”.   At his studio above a garage in Oldham Lane and later in his home in Balmoral Crescent, he taught many of Singapore’s musical prodigies, including violinists Lynnette Seah and Lee Pan Hon, pianists Seow Yit Kin and Melvyn Tan, and con­ductor Choo Hoey. Goh was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1963 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the music scene in Singapore.

Poster for a piano recital by Annarosa Taddei, presented by Goh Soon Tioe
Singapore, 1956
National Museum of Singapore, 2007-55736

Sylvia Kho
Sylvia Kho was the best known bridal designer in Singapore from the late 1960s to the 1980s. Born Wong Sien Moy in Kanching near Kuala Lumpur to rubber plan­tation owner Wong Yat Hin and his wife Chia Kim Siew, Kho learned sewing and beadwork from her Peranakan mother. By the age of nine she could design, cut a pattern, and sew. She studied at the Methodist Girls’ School in Singapore. Upon graduation, she trained as a nurse, and worked at the Singapore General Hospital until the outbreak of the Second World War. She left Singapore for Semarang to join her fiancé, Kho Hock Chiao. There, she took lessons at a school run by a Dutch couple in cooking, baking, and dressmaking.   Upon her return to Singapore in 1946 she started a home business making bridal headdresses and corsages. Eager to provide a complete bridal service, she went to the United States, Britain, France, and the Netherlands to take courses in make-up, hairdressing, and silk-flower making. She opened her first boutique in Tanglin Shopping Centre in 1968, working with five tailors she trained personally, and twenty seamstresses who worked from home. Kho was always present at fittings and would cut the material herself. Her wedding dresses were made of luxurious laces and fabrics which she procured herself on trips to America and Europe. Her customers were mostly brides of wealthy businessmen, politicians, and royalty from regional families.

Singer sewing machine
United States, 1940s or 1950s
National Museum of Singapore, 2004-00209-001. Gift of Sylvia Kho

This industrial, high-speed sewing machine belonged to Sylvia Kho.

Wedding gown
Sylvia Kho
Singapore, 1990s
Satin, embroidered lace with pearls and sequins
National Museum of Singapore, 2004-00091. Gift of Sylvia Kho

The bodice of the dress is made of Swiss embroidered lace with pearls and sequins, while the sleeves are appliquéd with French lace. The body of the gown and the train are made from five layers of satin and French lace ruffles.

This was one of two hundred gowns donated to raise funds for St Luke’s Hospital for the Elderly in 2003. The gradual Westernization of Singapore’s fashion can be traced through these wedding dresses.

Credits: Story

The Peranakan Museum
http://www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg

National Heritage Board
http://www.nhb.gov.sg

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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