Lee Choon Seng (李俊承; 1888–1966) was a businessman, philanthropist and a prominent leader of the Hokkien community in Singapore. He founded several companies including Eng Hin Company and Thye Hong Biscuit and was also one of the founders of the Singapore Buddhist Lodge. Lee also held leadership roles in various Chinese community organisations such as the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan and Ee Hoe Hean Club. He also led the Chinese community in Singapore to raise support for the China Revolution led by Sun Yat Sen. Lee was the managing director of Ho Hong Bank and advocated the merger of the Chinese banks to form the Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation, which he later served as chairman. Lee passed away in August 1966 at 78.
Selected books on Lee Choon Seng
柯木林. (主编). [Ke, M. L. (Ed.).] (1995). 新华历史人物列传 [Who’s who in the Chinese community in Singapore]. 新加坡：教育出版公司, p. 47.
Call no.: RSING 959.570092 WHO-[HIS].
The book contains the biographies of 1,175 Chinese personalities in Singapore, covering the period from 1819 to 1990. Each biography contains birth and death dates, dialect group, occupation and affiliated organisations of the Chinese personality. Lee Choon Seng’s biography is also included.
方百成, 杜南发. (编委主任). [Fang, B. C. and Du, N. F. (Ed.).] (2012). 世界福建名人录, 新加坡编. [Prominent figures of the world Fujian communities: Singapore]. 新加坡: 新加坡福建会馆, pp. 115 – 116.
Call no.: RSING 920.05957 PRO
The book contains the biographies of 155 Chinese Hokkien personalities in Singapore, covering the period from 1819 to 2012. Lee Choon Seng’s biography is also included, with details on his philanthropy work and leadership positions in different organisations.
Selected works by Lee Choon Seng
- 李俊承. [Lee, J. C.] (1940). 印度古佛国游记 [Pilgrimage to India : the land of Buddha].
Call no.: RCLOS 915.4 LJC-[HYT].
Written by Lee, this book records his pilgrimage to India in 1939. It includes images of temples and Buddhist figures in the cities he had visited in India, and includes the Chinese temple in Sarnath, which he had sponsored to be restored.
李俊承. [Lee, J. C.] (1949). 觉园集. Singapore: –.
Call no.: RCLOS C811.008 LCC
- 李俊承. [Lee, J. C.] (1956). 觉园续集. Singapore: 李俊承.
Call no.: RCLOS C811 LJC
李俊承. [Lee, J. C.] (1964). 觉园诗存. Singapore: -.
Call no.: RCLOS C811 LCC
- 李俊承. [Lee, J. C.] (-). 觉园玉屑. Singapore: -.
Call no.: RCLOS C811.008 LCC
A series of self-published titles of Lee’s collection of poems. Each title starts with Jue Yuan, the esteemed name of Lee’s abode.
Selected newspaper articles on Lee Choon Seng
Mr. Lee’s dream temple come true. (1953, August 4). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
Mr Lee founded and built Poh Ern Shih (Temple of Gratitude), a temple off Pasir Panjang Road, dedicated to the Chinese community that had cost $70,000 to build. Aside from the main hall, the temple also consists of a hall installed with the ancestral tablets of Lee’s family.
Leading S’pore banker Lee dies at 82. (1966, June 6). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
This article, published after the death of Lee, mentions his role as chairman of the board of directors of the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation and his various appointments in different companies and organisations. The article also mentioned the family he left behind – two wives, six sons, nine daughters, five sons-in-law, six daughters-in-law, 31 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Selected oral history interview on Lee Choon Seng
- Lim, B. S. (Interviewer). (1991, May 2). Oral history interview with Dr David Chew Beng Hwee [Accession No. 003003, Reel 7 of 14]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
An interview with Dr David Chew Beng Hwee. He recounted Lee Choon Seng’s contributions to Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) and during the Japanese Occupation.