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charitable halls


Charitable non-governmental organisations mainly affiliated with the Teochew community.


  • As a charitable non-governmental organisation, charitable halls have developed and contributed significantly to society since the end of the Ming Dynasty.
  • Charitable halls in Singapore are mainly founded and managed by the Teochew community, and centred on the worship of the monk, Master Song Dafeng.
  • Master Song Dafeng, whose secular name was Lin Ling\'e, was born in the second year of Baoyuan in the Song Dynasty (1039). After becoming a monk, his travels took him to Chaoyang County, Chaozhou, where he built a stone bridge to help local villagers cross the river. To honour him and promote his values, the locals erected a charitable hall known as “报德堂” and carried out various charitable deeds.
  • In 1916, the first charitable hall in Singapore, Seu Teck Sean Tong Yiang Sin Sia, was officially established. Its origins can be traced to its parent temple, “大吴修德善堂”, in Chao’an County, China.
  • Charitable halls carry out charity work while promoting Master Song Dafeng\'s spirit of helping those in need. This is encapsulated in his spirit of relief work with regards to Birth, Age, Illness, Death and Agony.
  • In addition to providing free medical care and medication, and establishing dialysis centres and nursing homes, charitable halls also help families manage funeral arrangements. Hence, some charitable halls also provide services for the placement of ancestral altars and ashes within the hall.


During the Japanese Occupation, almost all community organisations were banned from conducting activities. However, charitable organisations such as charitable halls were allowed to continue operations. (Lianhe Zaobao, 11/12/2017)


  • In 1942, during the Japanese Occupation, various charitable halls in Singapore jointly established the Blue Cross Charitable Institution to provide aid to the wounded, help the poor, and assist in the collection and burying of corpses.