News Details | 19-Oct-2019

​Building and road at NTU campus named after Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan and Mr Tan Lark Sye

​• The building for the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences  is named Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan building

Nanyang Valley renamed Tan Lark Sye Walk

To mark the contributions of the pioneers in Singapore’s education journey, the building that houses the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CoHASS) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will be named the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (SHHK) Building. In addition, Nanyang Valley, a road adjacent to the Chinese Heritage Centre which is the old Nantah Administration Building, will be renamed the Tan Lark Sye Walk

The naming of these two features is especially timely and meaningful in Singapore’s bicentennial year.

A plaque unveiling ceremony was held at the CoHASS building this afternoon to commemorate the naming. Joining Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education, at the ceremony were Professor Subra Suresh, NTU President; Dr Chua Thian Poh, SHHK Immediate Past President; Mr Tan Cheng Gay, SHHK President, plus 300 guests and attendees. 

Professor Subra Suresh, NTU President, said: “The naming of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan building and Tan Lark Sye Walk acknowledge the historic contribution of our local communities towards Singapore’s tertiary education development. Their legacy should not be forgotten by future generations of Singaporeans, even as we revel in the progress that Singapore has made in her education journey, with two top-ranked universities that are among the world's best, and a strong research, innovation and education ecosystem that is the envy of the world, and that other countries aspire to emulate.”

Established in 1840, the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan is one of the largest clan associations in Singapore. 

In 1953, then SHHK Chairman Mr Tan Lark Sye, a prominent Chinese businessman and philanthropist, mooted the idea of establishing Nanyang University to advance the nation's education and development.  The SHHK donated 523 acres (211.66 hectares) of land at Jurong Road for its campus, while Mr Tan personally offered S$5 million. This elicited a groundswell of support from communities in Singapore and Malaya, who then contributed generously to the cause.  

Mr Tan Lark Sye also became the first Chairman of the Executive Committee of Nanyang University, which was founded in 1955 and officially opened in 1958. The Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) was subsequently inaugurated on the same grounds in 1981. In 1991, NTI merged with the National Institute of Education to form Nanyang Technological University. 

On the setting up of Nanyang University, Mr Tan Cheng Gay, SHHK President, said: “The initiative received unprecedented waves of support from communities and individuals across all sectors of society in Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia. Given Singapore’s early state of development at that point, it was an impressive milestone in the development of Singapore’s education system. It also united the local community as part of Singapore’s journey towards nation building.”

On the naming of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Building and Tan Lark Sye Walk, Dr Chua Thian Poh, SHHK Immediate Past President, said: “I hope all of us, especially the younger generation, can remember, learn, and inherit the true spirit of philanthropy, unity and solidarity of our distinguished predecessors. And in this new era, let’s continue to leverage new opportunities together so that Singapore can continue to thrive and shine.”

After the naming, Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan will continue to operate at its headquarters and Cultural Academy at Sennett Road. 

Both the SHHK building and Tan Lark Sye Walk, formerly known as the CoHASS building and Nanyang Valley respectively, are located in the historic area of the campus. In particular, they are situated next to the Chinese Heritage Centre, a gazetted national monument that was the former Nanyang University Administration Building. 

Also located nearby are the Nanyang Lake and Yunnan Garden, which was the venue for the official opening of Nantah in 1958. The Garden is currently being refurbished to preserve its legacy while enriching it into an educational and recreation hub for today’s students and the public to enjoy.

Scheduled to be officially opened by the first quarter of 2020, the refurbishment will seamlessly integrate the Yunnan Garden with the Chinese Heritage Centre and an expanded Nanyang Lake to form a heritage precinct on the NTU campus. 

NTU Students’ Union President Bryan Michael Chiew Sen, a second-year Public Policy and Global Affairs student from the School of Social Sciences, said: “The contributions of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan and Mr Tan Lark Sye continue to set the foundation for Singapore’s education excellence. Naming these two facilities after them will ensure that their mark on Singapore will be remembered for decades to come. The rejuvenation of this precinct will also bring new relevance and vibrancy for today's students, and enable them to gain a deeper appreciation of our heritage.”

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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman 
Senior Assistant Director 
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University
Email: feisalar(at)

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past six years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s healthcare district.
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