Our History and Achievements

Tan Tock Seng potrait

Mr Tan Tock Seng ( 陈笃生) was born in Malacca in 1798 to an immigrant Hokkien father and  Peranakan mother. In 1819, at the age of 21, he moved to Singapore to sell fruit, vegetable and fowl. He soon became a notable businessman, owning huge parcels of land and property.

Mr Tan was an influential Chinese leader and was the first Asian to be appointed a Justice of Peace. His role in helping the early Chinese immigrants settle disputes earned him the title "Captain of the Chinese".

In 1844, at a time where crime, violence, disease and poverty were rife and the poor were dying from malnutrition, diseases, gangrenous sores and opium addiction, Mr Tan contributed Spanish $7,000 to the construction of the first Chinese Pauper's Hospital and tasked it to take care of the 'diseased of all nations'. This was how Tan Tock Seng Hospital came about - founded on a legacy of compassion, philanthropy and care.

Through the next century and beyond, the hospital continues its mission as a people's hospital. It went on to make many milestone achievements in patient care. When SARs struck Singapore in 2003, the Hospital stepped forward to play a key role in the national response efforts.

Today, Tan Tock Seng Hospital stands at Jalan Tan Tock Seng and is one of the largest multi-disciplinary hospitals in Singapore. Mr Tan's descendents continue to lend the hospital their support to this day.

TTSH is honoured to bear the name of Mr Tan Tock Seng. We are committed to always answer our founder's call for compassion, philanthropy and care and to ensure that his legacy lives on in all of us.

Trace our heritage in moving sand with a sand art performance by Sand Artist Stacey Lee.