Tan Swee Hoe and family (Batu Pahat)

Sometime back in August 2012, i wrote an article about Tan Swee Hoe who is buried in Bukit Brown. Tan Swee Hoe came to Singapore as a young boy and worked his way up, eventually becoming one of founders of Ho Hong Bank, and later a director of Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC)  after it merged with it. He was also for two terms, the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Batu Pahat, shareholder of Ho Aik Steamships. Tan Swee Hoe was a member of the Council of State, Johore and received a title S.M.J (Setia Mahkota Johore) from the government of Johore in 1929 for his contributions. He owned several property in Singapore and Batu Pahat.

Tan Swee Hoe
In January 2014, i was fortunate to make a trip with like minded friends to Batu Pahat to visit one of the properties he owned as well as a temple he contributed too and finally the grave of his son.

Tan Swee Hoe's mansion
First on my wishlist was Tan Swee Hoe's mansion on 160 Jalan Kluang, Batu Pahat. The mansion is still own and occupied by Tan Swee Hoe's descendants. So, without their explicit permission, i am unable to enter. I really do hope one day we can get the permission to visit.

160 Jalan Kluang, 83000 Batu Pahat,  Johor
Beautiful Entrance Columns
160 Jalan Kluang, 83000 Batu Pahat,  Johor
Gates leading to the mansion 
A view of the mansion and its grounds
Close to his mansion is a major street, and the name of the Street is Jalan Tan Swee Hoe (1.861872, 102.952064) and a Chinese Temple whose patron was Tan Swee Hoe and its renovation was made possible by one of Tan Suan Khiong's son.
Temple along Jalan Kluang 
Temple granite engraving
Temple plaque
Tan Swee Hoe passed away at the age of 67 year old at 11:00 am on July 29, 1939 at No 759 Grove Road, Singapore and is buried on August 6, 1939 in Bukit Brown, Hill 4, Division C, plot 1684. He is survived by 2 widows ( Madam Lim Lai Hua and Madam Yap Ann Nim), 6 sons (Tan Suan Khiong, Tan Suan Chee, Tan Suan Chew, Tan Suan Chuan, Tan Suan Kok and Tan Suan Poh) and 6 daughters, 4 sons-in-law (Yap Leong Teck, Chiok Eng Khiam, Lim Bock Seng and Phay Chong Whatt), 3 daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.

For the name of the sons there are spelling variants as further research indicate the the middle name Suan is also spelled as Swan.

One of his wife, Madam Lim Lai Hu passed away in January 25, 1941 at 10:10 pm at the age of 46 at 759 Grove Road.

Tan Swee Hoe
Son: Tan Suan Khiong
His eldest son, Tan Swan Khian (or Tan Suan Khiong), passed away at the age of 54 on March 27, 1948.
He was the Chairman of Ho Hee Ltd, Batu Pahat;  chairman of Ho Guan Investment, Singapore and a director of Ho Aik Steamships, Singapore. He left behind a widow and 12 children. Tan Swan Khian is buried in a chinese cemetery off Jalan Tanjung Labuh, Batu Pahat.

Tan Suan Khiong ( Tan Swan Khian) sprawling tomb in Batu Pahat

Mr and Mrs Tan Suan Khiong
Mr and Mrs Tan Suan Khiong
Son: Tuan Suan Poh
Tuan Suan Poh was conferred the Dato Paduka Mahkota Johor (D.P.M.J.) in 1976 on the occasion of the 82nd Birthday of the Sultan of Johore. Tuan Suan Poh passed away on July 16, 1985 at the age of 56. Heis survived by his wife, Datin Ng Siew Ling, sons; David Tan Hock Yiam and Richard,Tan Hock Meng and daughters; Penny Tan Chee Peng, Lily Tan Chee Luan. The cortege left from 111, Jalan Kluang.
Tuan Suan Poh, Patron of Che Eng Khor, Batu Pahat


Unknown said…
Guess you have missed your opportunity as the place has been sold and would be torn down to be developed into a condo.
Rojak Librarian said…
oh dear Sheree Tan !! any chance of visiting the place before that happens !?
Ainee said…
Nice post about Tan family. Is it true it's going to be torn down soon?
Douglas Tay said…
Haha... Just jump in to pay a visit if the place is empty. ;p
Ainee said…
Latest update.it is indeed in the process to be torn down. The roof tiles are no longer there. The grass has reclaim the land.
Rojak Librarian said…
oh dear. That's sad.
Memories said…
Yup, it is sad. But the beautiful memories of this house and the time spent will remain forever in the minds and hearts of those to whom it holds special meaning...
Awan Esa said…
you can come here to BP like now..because they are doing the construction..you may ask them to let you in to see the villa..the only thing left is the villa..
jia shyan said…
My ply ground during childhood days. Pity the mansion had been demolished. The land of temple also been sold. Sad.
adore said…
Wow you really dig them out "from the grave"! My school was situated along Jalan Tan Swee Hoe and since young, his name has always been familiar to me. What's more I would always stand outside that mansion to wait for my bus after school. Yes, the roof is torn down but the walls are still there. Apparently they are going to make it into a park with the walls there. Not sure how true it is. Now the area is sot rounded with tapes. I couldn't go in to take photos. But I'm very curious how come of the readers comment that the house used to be a playground? Was it like a open house before??
adore said…
Are you some how related to the house before? I'm curious about how the house hv left you memories. Left a comment below, just in case you want to know why I'm interested :)
James Moh said…
Hi There ...First off, I must congratulate you on your informative and educational article on The late Mr. Tan Swee Hoe and his family. Like you , i love history and especially B.P. , as i am BP boy. I admire your will do get to the roots on the articles you're writing about. I am a Blogger too, but does it with mostly Pics as i am slow at typing and one prone to errors... Ha, Ha. Anyway, you can come anyeime right now and have a look at His Former residence. I just took a tour last week and posted some pics over at my FB page here :


Have yet to post it at my Blog as i am too busy this few months. Here's an article i wrote about The Old Trades of Batu Pahat :


Thanks for a wonderful write up and I will be sharing most of your info here with my Students soon.

Thanks again and Take care ... Uncle James.
Unknown said…
Is this the only grand bungalow in batu pahat. Its prime state was before Japanese invasion as they migrate away before the Japanese came down from northern Malaysia in WW2.
Anonymous said…

New owner Johor Sultan plans to convert the mansion into a Chinese cultural centre.
Unknown said…
I miss tan sweet hoe house.now cannot enter that area anymore.no more lagendry house.now you remind me Chinese temple tu.dah lama xlalu situ since exit Taman Sri Jaya tak boleh keluar untuk laluan ke bandar.dah ada devider.
Lim TK said…
This comment has been removed by the author.

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