Couplet from Jo Sin Ting, home of prominent businessman Wong Ah Fook

A classic rags-to-riches example of many successful Chinese immigrants, Wong Ah Fook came to Singapore in 1854 as a carpenter who then established himself in the building business and then branched off into agriculture, revenue farming, gambling, gambling, banking and land development. His hard work and enterprising spirit paid off, making him a successful, influential businessman who developed close links with the Johor sultanate.Although his country house near Kampung Java Road was on flood-prone low land, Wong believed the stream in front of his house flowed south from the direction of Johor and carried the wealth of Johor, where he had many prosperous businesses, in its waters.On either side of his main door was a pair of couplets (seen here) that reads:“Family facing the water,House shining in the mid day sun.”

c. 1900
Object size: L179 x W49 x T3.5
Accession No.
Collection of
National Museum of Singapore
Credit Line
Gift of the Trustees of Wong Ah Fook's Estate