Tan Lark Sye
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Tan Lark Sye (b. 1897, Tong An County, Fujian province, China - d. 1972, Singapore) the founder of Aik Hoe & Co., a rubber exporting firm, President of the Hokkien Huay Kuan and founder of the former Nanyang University (Nantah).
He was born in Tong An County in Fujian province, China, and came to Singapore in 1914. He first worked for "Rubber King" Tan Kah Kee before founding his own rubber-exporting firm in 1925, the Aik Hoe & Co., which became the largest rubber exporting firm by 1938.
He was renowned as a vocal Chinese community leader in the early 1950s, calling on the public to support the then University of Malaya, Singapore. Later, as President of the Hokkien Huay Kuan, he proposed setting up of a Chinese university and founded the former Nanyang University (Nantah), which began classes on 15 March 1956. He gave $5 million to get it started whilst the Hokkien Association of Singapore donated a 523-acre plot of land in Jurong. The former Nantah occupied NTU's present campus in Jurong from its founding in 1956 until its merger with the University of Singapore in 1980 to become the National University of Singapore (NUS).
On 30 March 1998, an official appeal was launched to endow a chair to promote the study of the Chinese language and culture. The professorship is to honour Tan Lark Sye's contribution to education and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth commemorated in 1997.
1897 : Born in Tong An County in Fujian province, China.
1914 : Came to Singapore and worked in rubber factory owned by Tan Kah Kee.
1925 : Founded Aik Hoe & Co,
1949 : Elected president of Hokkien Huay Kuan.
1950 : Chaired the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
1956 : Chaired the Nanyang University Council.
1958 : Officiated the opening of Nantah with then Singapore Governor, Sir William Goode.
1963 : Accused of supporting communist activities, citizenship revoked.
Bonny Tan, 2002
Chan, K. B., & Claire, C. (1994). Stepping out: The making of Chinese entrepreneurs (pp.324-330). Singapore: Prentice Hall
(Call no.: SING 338.04089951 CHA)
Chinese community and the Tan Lark Sye link. (1999, January 1). The Straits Times, p. 43.
Tan Lark Syes name still sells. (1998, April 24). The Straits Times, p. 42.
He made his fortune in rubber. (1998, March 31). The Straits Times, Prime News, p. 2.
Centre for Chinese Language and Culture, Nanyang Technological University. (2004).A brief biography of Mr Tan Lark Sye. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2052, from Nanyang Technological University Web site: www.ntu.edu.sg/cclc/research/NTUFund.htm
The information in this article is valid as at 1998 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic.
Tan, Lark Sye, 1897-1972
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