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The story of the oldest Chinese tombs in Singapore July 28, 2006

Posted by kentneo in Artifacts.

Text by Raymond Goh, 24 Sept 2006 

The Tomb of Qiu Zheng Zhi (邱正直) was built in 1842 (道光壬寅).  He comes from the village of  Hai Teng Province Sin Aun 海澄县新安
He have 4 sons, 3 daughters and one grandson listed.

One of his sons listed in the tombstone Khoo Qin Zhan  (邱睛霑)  donated 5 Dollars in 1854 to rebuilt the Fuk Tak Chi (福德祠), which is a museum now in Telok Ayer Street.
In 1861, he also donated 12 Dollars for the Chui Eng Public School (萃英书院). Now the place is converted to a Thai Restaurant (Bamboo Court). (Source: Singapore Chinese Epigraphs Collections)

Please see the plaque found in Fuk Tak Chi regarding the donation by Khoo. The plaque was erected in 1854 to commenorate the renovation of Fuk Tek Chi temple. One plaque praises the powers of the Tai Pak Gong Diety. The other plaque list the donors to the renovation.  Khoo’s name was on one of the plaques. There was also a plaque erected in 1886 which was a testimony to the dispute between the Hakka Chinese and the Cantonese Chinese.

Now Haizheng Province Sin Aun already was a properous place since the Tang Dynasty Period.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, many clansmen from Sin Aun migrated to Taiwan, Dutch Batavia (now Jakarta) and Malacca with the repeal of the ban on maritime trade by the Manchu government. Since the rise of British power in the Far East, Siam, Burma (Myanmar), Singapore, Malacca, Kedah and Penang had been their favourite choices. Among these places, Penang saw the most Khoo immigrants in the 19th century.

(see migration chart from Khoo Kongsi website)

The Khoos of Khoo Kongsi (丘公祠) from Penang also come from this village 新安 (Sin Aun).

The early pioneers of Singapore that also come from æ–°åžµ is  Khoo Cheng Tiong (邱正忠 or é‚±ç¬ƒä¿¡). He was born in 1820 and come to singapore in 1840.  He might be a relative or contempatory of 邱正直, as he and his brothers first two characters are 邱正.

Khoo Cheng Tiong (邱正忠)  is a famous Singapore rice merchant and was the president of  Thong Chia Medial Institution. His 3rd brother Khoo Cheng Cheok 邱正朝 even has a street Cheng Cheok Street (at Tanjong Pagar previously) named after him.

Khoo Cheng Tiong is also the father of Khoo Siok Guan (邱菽园), the famous scholar poet in Singapore, who started the Tian Nan Press in 1898, was an editor of Sin Chew Jit Poh and died in 1941

The other tomb which is of a couple, the wife of of an Eurasian.  Their daughter is called “Holland”.
The daughter must have married a brother of the Khoo family or very close relative because their descandents share a common name for the first 2 characters:
邱睛. That is why they can be buried at the same area.

Please share your corrections/amendment, additions to this tomb research.

Raymond Goh



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