Tan Cheng Tuan and his Family

Tan Kim Swee , Father of Tan Cheng Tuan.  Tan Cheng Tuan (the Muncipal Commissoner)  was a director of China Mutual Life Insurance Co when he died in 1902 and a SVI volunteer.   From other sources, (see below) Tan Cheng Joo was an agent of China Mutual Life Insurance Co in 1910 and Tan Cheng Yong was a SVI volunteer in 1904

All three names, Cheng Tuan, Cheng Joo and Cheng Yong was mentioned in the tomb.

光緒十七年辛卯季 1891 
清端 Tan Cheng Tuan
清風 Tan Cheng Hong 
清裕 Tan Cheng Joo
清陽 Tan Cheng Yong 

Page 3 Advertisements Column 5

The Straits Times, 30 July 1891, Page 3

Song Soon Kay 

The Straits Times, 7 April 1902, Page 4

The Straits Times, 15 April 1902, Page 5

Page 1 Advertisements Column 3
The Straits Times, 2 December 1902, Page 1

Page 3 Miscellaneous Column 2
The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 21 September 1904, Page 3

Volunteer Order

Transferred to SVC Reserve : Pte Tan Cheng Yong

Page 1 Advertisements Column 1

The Straits Times, 30 June 1904, Page 1

Tan Cheng Yong was the brother in law of Lim Hong Bee Neo 

The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits Settlement 1910

Tan Cheng Joo - Agents for China Mutual Life Insurance Co Ltd


Taken from the Annotated Song Ong Siang :

Mr Tan Cheng Tuan was born in Singapore in 1864. His father, Tan Kim Swee, was known as the Temenggong of Brunei.  He did a large business in jungle produce with Brunei and Malay ports, but his home was in Singapore. 

He married a niece of Ong Kew Ho, and Cheng Tuan was his only son. In partnership with Song Soon Kay, Tan Cheng Tuan went into business as shipchandlers, but the venture failed, and he subsequently launched out on his own account, in a similar business, at Boat Quay, under the style of Seng Tek Bee, which was wound up shortly after his death. He visited Peking; just after the Boxer revolt, and used to speak with pride of the occasion on which he sat for a few  minutes on the throne of the late Emperor of China. Dying soon after his return to Singapore, his superstitious friends attributed his death to his having dared to sit on the Chinese Emperor’s throne! At his death, which took place on the 7th April 1902, he was a director of the China Mutual Life Insurance Co. He was a man of affable manners and was very popular with the Straits Chinese com- munity. His patriotic spirit was shown by his joining the SVI on its formation in November 1901, and his funeral was attended not only by members of the Chinese Company, but also by a large number of the Eurasian volunteers. As uniforms and equipment had not yet then been issued, all volunteers attended the funeral in black clothes, and on arrival at the Alexandra Road burial ground, the heavy coffin was carried to the graveside by members of both companies of the SVI.

Tan Cheng Tuan was elected Municipal Commissioner for Central Ward in August 1897 (see ‘Municipal Election’ Straits Times, 3 Aug 1897, at 23). He resigned on 25 Apr 1900 (see ‘Municipal Commission’ Singapore Free Press, 26 Apr 1900, at 3). Tan was also Hokkien representative in the Chinese Advisory Board (see Yen Ching-hwang, ‘Class Structure and Social Mobility in the Chinese Com- munity in Singapore and Malaya 1800-1911’ (1987) 21(3) Modern Asian Studies 417–445).

35 Tan Cheng Tuan owned land and had six shophouses along Tanjong Pagar Road. Cheng Tuan Street (now expunged) off Tanjong Pagar Road, is named after him (see, Victor R Savage & Brenda SA Yeoh, Singapore Street Names: A Study of Toponymics (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2013) at 73).

36 Tan Kim Swee died in May 1891 (see The Colonies & India (newspaper), 21 May 1891, at 22). According to Buckley, he operated a ‘large business on Boat Quay between Market Street and Bonham Street; and between 1832 and 1834 built the houses that he occupied at the end of the Bridge’. He also owned land in High Street. See, CB Buckley, An Anecdotal History of Old Times in Singapore (Singapore: Fraser & Neave, 1902), at 151 and 215.

Page 12 Advertisements Column 2

The Straits Times, 2 September 1908, Page 12

Lim Hong Bee Neo revoked Yeap Yeow Teck power of attorney.

Lim Hong Keat (Lim Hong Kiat) was her brother 

Yeap Yeow Teck (Yap Yeow Teck)  mother was Lim Hong Poh (born 1859) 

Lim Hong Bee Neo would be born 1864

Lim Hong Poh Mrs Yap (Yeap) 
Lim Hong Buan Mrs Wee Theam Seng 
Lim Hong Bee Mrs Tan Cheng Tuan 
are sisters 

The Straits Times, 3 December 1912, Page 8

The tomb has these characters denoting a follower of the Eastern Dragon sect 


Likely to be the tomb of Lim Hong Bee Neo, widow of Tan Cheng Tuan 

Pic courtesy of Erwin 

A Will Case.

The Straits Times, 24 September 1913, Page 8

Wee Theam Seng  and Lee Kim Swee were executors of Lim

Hong Bee Neo estate 

Tan Cheng Tuan son Tan Soo Beng 

Page 14 Advertisements Column 5

The Straits Times, 7 October 1914, Page 14

Tan Chit Lee Neo was the eldest daughter of Tan Cheng Tuan 

The Straits Times, 13 October 1914, Page 8

Domestic Occurrence.

Malaya Tribune., 14 May 1921, Page 4

Lim Hong Poh mother of 

Yap Yeow Chuan

Yap Yeow Teck 

Yap Yeow Chin 

Yap Yeow Hin 

Mother in law of Wee Thong Poh 

Page 2 Advertisements Column 3
Syonan Shimbun, 7 March 1944, Page 2

Lauw Kim Guan, grandson of Tan Cheng Tuan married Ong Buan Neo , daughter of Ong Kim Tiang and granddaughter of Tan Hup Swee 


The Straits Times, 6 May 1958, Page 6

Mrs Lauw Hong Keng nee Tan Quah Guat Neo was another daughter of Tan Cheng Tuan. She was born in 1900


Lauw Kim Guan

Lauw Kim Seng 

Lauw Kim Chiang