Officially named in 1926 after Tan Keong Saik, a Malacca-born businessman who co-founded Straits Steamship Company (SSC). SSC was a Singapore-European shipping enterprise that played a vital role in Singapore’s maritime industry by facilitating the transport of tin ores, coffee, pepper, rice, and rubber between Singapore and Europe. Keong Saik also championed education for Chinese girls, while being appointed as Justice of Peace and Municipal Commissioner. Although the road was once linked to the red-light district in Singapore, it is now lined with boutique hotels, offices and bars.
In 1956, this road was named after the Second World War martyr, Major General Lim Bo Seng. He was an immigrant from China who eventually became a leader of the Chinese community in Singapore and raised money for the Chinese war effort against the Japanese. As a prominent agitator, he was often wanted by the warlords. Through his persistance, he managed to hinder Japanese troop movements. Even though his heroic resistance led to his eventual capture and death, he will always be remembered through this road and the public memorial at the Esplanade.
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