See Hoot Kee 薛佛记

Introduction

See Hoot Kee (薛佛记; 1793–1847) was a pioneer in the Hokkien dialect community in Singapore. Born on 28 October 1793 in Malacca, he was the eldest child in the family.

See ran a tin mining business at the Lingle area in Malacca and arrived in Singapore in 1826 to extend his business. He was known for his philanthropic contributions to the Hokkien community in Singapore, and was one of the biggest donors to building funds of schools, temples and cemeteries (such as Heng San Teng [恒山亭], previously owned by the Hokkien Huay Kuan, but is now part of the Bukit Brown Cemetery). See had six sons and eleven daughters. He returned to Malacca when he turned 46, and was head of the Cheng Hoon Teng [青云亭] until his demise eight years later on 26 September 1847. Cheng Hoon Teng is a Chinese temple practising the three doctrinal systems of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, and is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia today.

 

 

Selected books on See Hoot Kee

  • 庄钦永. [Chng, David, K. Y.]. (). 新加坡华人史论丛. [Collected essays on Chinese in nineteenth century Singapore]. Singapore: 南洋学会 [South Seas Society], pp. 22–24.
    Call no.: RSING 959.57 CDK-[HIS] This is a detailed narrative on See’s family and philanthropic deeds, including a business conflict involving See’s tin business at Lingle, Malacca.

 

  • 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 of Singapore]. 新加坡: 教育出版公司, p. 213.
    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 the birth and death dates, dialect group, occupation and affiliated organisations of the Chinese personality. A short biography of See Hoot Kee is included on page 213.

 

  • 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. 301–303.
    Call no.: RSING 920.05957 PRO
    The book contains the biography of 155 Chinese Hokkien personalities in Singapore, covering the period from 1819 to 2012. See Hoot Kee’s biography is included on pages 301 to 303, which described him as highly-respected in the Chinese community, and who had contributed greatly to the Hokkien community through philanthropic endeavours.

 

Selected articles on See Hoot Kee

 

 

 

 

Selected newspaper articles on See Hoot Kee

  • 柯木林. 探索与解密: 新华先贤第一份遗嘱. (2017, September 17). 联合早报. Retrieved from Lianhe Zaobao website.
    Kwa Bak Lim’s detailed narrative provided an insight into See’s will, which was the first will from the Singapore Chinese pioneers, and the significance of this legal document to the Singapore Chinese community.

 

  • 游学华. 薛佛记一门数杰. (1997, June 1). 联合早报, p. 54. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
    A short account of See Hoot Kee’s descendants who had made remarkable achievements.

 

  • 庄钦永. 读史劄记二则. (1983, June 5). 联合早报, p. 38. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
    A detailed narrative on See’s family and philanthropic deeds, including a business conflict involving See’s tin mining business at Lingle, Malacca.

Written by Mervin Teo