Keong Saik Road

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Keong Saik Road, Chinatown, Singapore.

Keong Saik Road (or Keong Siak Road; Chinese: 恭锡路) is a one-way road located in Chinatown within the Outram Planning Area in Singapore. The road links New Bridge Road to Neil Road, and is intersected by Kreta Ayer Road.

Etymology and history[edit]

Keong Saik Road was named in 1926 after the Malacca-born Chinese businessman, Tan Keong Saik, the son of Tan Choon Tian. The street in Chinatown is named in remembrance to his contribution to the Chinese community.[1]

Keong Saik Road became a prominent red-light district with a high concentration of brothels located in the three-storey high shophouses flanking either side of the street in the 1960s. The street, along with Sago Lane areas became notoriously known as one of the "turfs" operated by the Sio Loh Kuan secret society.[2] The 1990s opened a new chapter for the road, with the site sprouting many "boutique hotels" like Royal Peacock Hotel, Hotel 1929, the Regal Inn and Keong Saik Hotel. Keong Saik Road now mainly houses coffee shops, art galleries and other shops for commercial use.[3]

Keong Saik Road is located within a conservation area known as the Bukit Pasoh Conservation Area, which was given conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on 7 July 1989. The buildings in the area mainly consist of two and three storey shophouses in transitional, late and art deco architectural styles.[4]

However, now the current Keong Saik Road is a far cry from the district it once was. Pubs, top rated restaurants, martial arts schools have popped in the vicinity and there are little traces of the brothels it was infamous for. The change in human and heritage landscape has been very significant.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ban Huat, Tan (3 January 1978). "Street talking : Tan Keong Saik". The Straits Times (Singapore). p. 6. 
  2. ^ "Stabbed after buying good luck idol". The Straits Times. 15 August 1973. p. 5. 
  3. ^ Savage, Victor R; Yeoh, Brenda S A (2004). Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names. Singapore: Eastern University Press. p. 219. ISBN 981-210-364-3. 
  4. ^ Urban Redevelopment Authority. ""Conservation of Built Heritage"". [dead link]