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“Humanities is the study of human affairs and what that means is that we want to understand better how as human beings we think and behave. We also study interdisciplinary approaches where humanities come into contact with other aspects of the world.”

Professor KK Luke, Acting Chair

Introduction to the School of Humanities

History of Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Building and Tan Lark Sye Walk


Image by NTU

As a tribute to Singapore education pioneers,  the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences building was officially named the "Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Building" on 19 October 2019. The road in front of the Chinese Heritage Centre was named "Tan Lark Sye Walk". Education Minister Ong Ye Kung officiated the naming ceremony, calling the naming of the building and road a way to “remember the spirit of philanthropy, resilience and self-reliance, of an earlier generation”.

The SHHK building and the Tan Lark Sye Walk are situated within our university’s heritage district, where the former Nantah Administration Building, which is the present Chinese Heritage Building, and the Yunnan Gardens stand. The Chinese Heritage Building is a gazetted national monument.

Back in 1953, when there was a shortage of Chinese-medium higher education institutions, Tan Lark Sye, then President of Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (SHHK), envisioned the establishment of Nanyang University (Nantah). Tan Lark Sye personally contributed S$5 million to kickstart the school building fund. Additionally, SHHK generously donated 523 acres of land along Jurong Road, where the current NTU campus stands.

This initiative soon gathered momentum among the communities and individuals in Singapore and Southeast Asia to support the building of Nantah. Support poured in from all walks of life and in numerous forms, ranging from monetary donations to volunteered labour. According to SHHK’s President Mr Tan Cheng Gay in 2019, the building of Nantah “sets a remarkable precedent in Singapore's education landscape, fostering a shared cultural identity crucial for nation-building”.

Dr Chua Thian Poh, Past President of SHHK, expressed that the naming of the SHHK building and Tan Lark Sye Walk will inspire future generations of students to remember the unity and dedication of our community to education and promote our commitment to Singapore's future progress and prosperity. 

Source: Naming of “Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Building” and “Tan Lark Sye Walk” at NTU – Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (shhk.com.sg)

Read more: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/ntus-college-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences-building-named-singapore