Hakka clan Wui Chiu Fui Kun, one of S’pore’s oldest, marks 200th anniversary

Wui Chiu Fui Kun Singapore president Terene Seow (in red) and DPM Lawrence Wong at the 200th anniversary celebrations of the clan association, on Dec 8, 2022. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Chinese clan associations like Wui Chiu Fui Kun should promote Singapore’s unique Chinese culture, help new immigrants integrate into the country’s multiracial society, and actively attract youth as part of succession planning.

Speaking at the Hakka clan’s 200th anniversary dinner at Orchard Hotel on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said Chinese community organisations, including clan associations, play an important role in preserving Singapore’s unique culture.

They also help to strengthen Chinese Singaporeans’ sense of identity, and ensure cohesion among different races.

Mr Wong cited examples like lohei (tossing of raw fish salad during Chinese New Year), Nonya dumplings, as well as getai (live stage shows) and auctions during the Hungry Ghost Festival as part of Singapore’s distinctive Chinese culture.

“I hope clan associations will also exercise their creativity in organising activities with strong local flavour, to help new immigrants blend faster and deeper into our multiracial society, and find their sense of belonging,” he said in Mandarin.

Mr Wong added that to ensure succession planning and the clans’ long-term survival, they should have activities that attract the younger generation.

Wui Chiu Fui Kun, which has about 300 members, is one of the oldest clan associations in Singapore.

It is active in giving back to the community with its charity concerts, including one in May to raise funds for Singapore Red Cross.

It is also quick to adopt technology, such as using online conferencing tool Zoom for meetings and WhatsApp for its annual general meeting during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Terene Seow, its president, said the clan’s forefathers had built the Fuk Tak Chi temple in Telok Ayer, Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng columbarium, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, Nanyang Hakka Federation and schools to benefit society.

She added in Mandarin: “We will continue to contribute to the community and organise charity, cultural and youth activities to deepen awareness of Chinese culture, and promote cultural exchanges with other races.”

The clan, which bagged the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations’ (SFCCA) Outstanding Association Award in September 2021, is planning to move to its freehold building in Joo Chiat Road.

It will have a heritage corner for the preservation of its artefacts for future generations.

The dinner was attended by more than 800 guests, including Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Chee Hong Tat, MP Yip Hon Weng, SFCCA president Thomas Chua, and Hong Kong artistes Eric Tsang, Kenneth Ma and Elaine Yiu.

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