Tan Kim Seng Bridge (GPS: 2.19458, 102.24852) is the bridge across the Malacca River. It links Dutch Square with the Chinatown part of Malacca at Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Street). It bears the name of the wealthy early 19th century Straits Chinese philantropist, Tan Kim Seng, who donated it to the town. Tan Kim Seng was a Hokkien who was born in Malacca in 1805. He amassed a fortune as a trader. In addition to the bridge, he also donated land for the establishment of the Chinese cemetery.
The Tan Kim Seng Bridge is located near the Tan Beng Swee Clocktower, which bears the name of his son. The clocktower was built by his grandson, Tan Jiak Kim, in memory of the latter's father.
In 1840, Tan Kim Seng moved to Singapore, where he continued to be extremely successful, and donated generously to Singapore society. He is remembered there with the Tan Kim Seng Fountain and Kim Seng Road. He founded the Chinese Free School, one of the better schools in Singapore in the early 19th century. Kim Seng Bridge of Singapore was also named after him.
The original Tan Kim Seng Bridge was destroyed by the British in 1942 to check the advance of Japanese troops at the onset of the Second World War. After the war, the British built the bridge that is still standing today.
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