The Saw Seng Kew Building (GPS: 5.41752, 100.34254) at 23 Beach Street is a double-storey office building that was erected in the early 20th century. The facade facing Beach Street comprises five arches rendered in imitation of rustication. On the upper floor are recessed double windows between pairs of pilasters. On the left and right side are balustraded balconies. The cornice projects at the top below the parapet.
The building was taken over by the business interest of Saw Keng Kew, the founder of Southern Bank and the president of MCA Penang in the 1960's. Saw Keng Kew made his fortune in rubber and banking, and was involved in politics. He served as chairman of Kwong Wah Yit Poh, Penang Rubber Trade Association and the United Hokkien Association. It was Saw Keng Kew who championed Penang to be made a modern harbour. He was influential in getting the Federal Government to expand the port facilities of George Town and Butterworth in 1968. Saw Keng Kew also contributed generously to Chung Ling High School and the Penang Chinese Girls' High School, as well as to the Federal School of the Deaf and Blind.
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