Pioneers: The philanthropist of Yew Siang Road

12 May 2021

We hope you’re having as much fun as we are, learning about the historical figures behind the names of roads in the Pasir Panjang area! Today we shall find out more about the pioneer named for Yew Siang Road, a residential side road opposite Pasir Panjang MRT station.

Chia Yew Siang (谢有祥) (b. 1867, China–d. 8 May 1930, Singapore) was a merchant and philanthropist. He was the managing proprietor of Chop Hong Hoe at George Street, and is believed to have traded in rubber and spices.

A prominent member of the Chinese community in Singapore, he was part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and was one of the thirteen members of the China Republican Party (Singapore branch).

Chia Yew Siang had 3 bungalows in Pasir Panjang at the site now occupied by Bijou at Jalan Mat Jambol. (see map sketched by his son, Chia Boon Leong. The compound is outlined in red). He had 6 wives during his lifetime and some of them lived within the compound with their children.

Upon his death in 1930, he was buried at Bukit Brown cemetery. His family recently cleared the foliage around his tomb, which had become overgrown during the last year of Covid. They have graciously shared a photograph with us here.

Did you know that one of Chia Yew Siang’s sons used to be a local football icon in the 50s? Read more about Chia Boon Leong and his days playing soccer on the sandy beaches of Pasir Panjang.

Also check out other pioneers who had roads named for them in our neighbourhood: Chwee Chian Road, Siok Wan Close and Zehnder Road.

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