Kim Seng Constituency

Kim Seng Constituency, estate, in the Bukit Merah area, located within the Central Region. It was named after Tan Kim Seng who had established himself as a Chinese leader and successful businessman. Today, the boundaries of Kim Seng division are: Indus Road and Alexandra Canal in the north; Jalan Bukit Ho Swee in the south; Kim Seng Road and Outram Road in the east; and Lower Delta Road in the west.

In 1857, Tan Kim Seng donated $13,000 to improve the town's water supply and the Commissioners erected a water fountain (now located at the Esplanade) in 1882, in appreciation of his contribution. A road and bridge also bear his name.

In the 1950s, Kim Seng and its neighbouring area, Bukit Ho Swee were a notorious crime-filled slum area with thousands of dilapidated huts. Squalid conditions affected the health and morale of residents. Two big fires in 1961 and 1968 made 9,000 people homeless and changed all that. The burnt-out, rundown shacks were replaced by modern flats and people were rehoused in what became Bukit Ho Swee and Kim Seng Housing Estates. The newly established Housing and Development Board ensured that the estate was self-sufficient, incorporating schools, business and social amenities in its design.

The boundaries of Kim Seng Constituency have shifted over the years, due to population and re-zoning changes. The Kim Seng area was made a constituency only in 1972. Prior to this, the area was part of the Delta constituency. In 1991, Kim Seng was incorporated into the Kampong Glam Group Representation Constituency, together with the former single wards of Kampong Glam, Cairnhill and Moulmein. The constituency is now looked after by the City Centre Town Council, located in Ganges Avenue, next to Kim Seng Community Centre. In the 1990s, the housing developments have been improved through the HDB's Main Upgrading Programme.

Key Features
Famous landmarks in this constituency today include the Giok Hiong Tian Temple (1887), which is one of the most architecturally decorative and ornate temples in Singapore, and Fuk Tak Tong Temple (1921), both on Havelock Road; the Chwee Hean Keng Temple (1927) on Zion Road; and Great World City and Times House in Kim Seng Road.

Vernon Cornelius

Ramachandra, S. (1961). Singapore landmarks, past and present (p. 20). Singapore: Eastern Universities Press.
(Call no.: RCLOS 959.57 RAM)

Tan, S. (1996). Kim Seng : a reflection of Singapore's success (pp. 14, 20, 44, 46, 62, 80, 82, 83). Singapore: Kim Seng Publication Committee.
(Call no.: RSING q959.57 TAN) 

The informationin this article is valid as at 1999 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive and complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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