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History

Tung Shin Hospital, previously known as Pooi Shin Thong, was founded in 1881 by Kapitan Cina Yap Kwan Seng, and located at Sultan Street, Kuala Lumpur. Initially, it merely provided traditional medical care for patients.

In 1894 it was converted into a non-profit organization and its name was changed to Tung Shin Hospital. The hospital was then shifted to the present address. A new single story ward was built in 1917. It was rebuilt in 1959 into a double storey, U-shape medical ward and completed in 1961. It was built and named the Welfare Ward and has since become the Chinese medical ward was built and named Loke Yim Ward. In 1963 it was rebuilt into a double-storey Female Ward which was completed a year later.

Har Par Building was built as a hall in 1935, it was converted into Chinese medical out-patient clinic, office, hostel and western specialist center. Presently become library of Chinese Medical Department and activities center for staff Sport and Recreation Club.

A bold expansion programme for Western Medical Department was initiated in 1985. This 10 storey block with a total built-up area of 240,000 sq. feet was finally completed in 1989. It has a bed capacity of 238.

In 2002, Lee Yan Lian Ward was demolished for the construction of a 12-storey Chinese Medical Building. The new block has a built up floor area of 180,000 sq. feet was completed in July 2005 and operational in January 2006. The building consist of Chinese Medical Department with out-patient clinics, in-patient ward with bed capacity of 108 beds, administration office, Tung Shin Academy of Nursing and hostel for staff with the capacity to accommodate 250 people.

 

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The founder of Tung Shin Hospital, Mr. Yap Kwan Seng, was born in 1846 and died in 1901. Though lived only for 55 years, his life marked an important chapter in the early history of Kuala Lumpur. Like his contemporaries Kapitan Yap Ah Loy, Kapitan Yap Ah Sak, Loke Yew, Chew Yeok and others, Yap Kwan Seng helped shaped the humanistic landscape of the city.

A successful miner, a Hakka community leader as well as the fifth and last Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur who sat on Selangor State Council and Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board; Yap Kwan Seng founded or co-founded many important institution in Kuala Lumpur, including the Selangor Kwang Tung Cemetary, Victoria Institution, Tung Shin Hospital, Tai Wah Ward at the Pauper Hospital (forerunner of the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital), Chak Kai Association, most of them still exist today. Even the Brickfields area got its name from the brick factory he built there to take part in Kuala Lumpur first redevelopment project in the late 19th century. Yap Kwan Seng was such prominent in the capital’s history that his presence is still felt today in Kuala Lumpur – the Jalan Yap Kwan Seng and Jalan Sin Chee Kee (off Jalan Pudu) which was named after his shop.

Yap Kwan Seng’s struggle from rags to riches was legendary. In 1846, the young Kwan Seng left his farmer parents at the age of 18 to come to Malaysia as his birthplace Chak Kai was a hilly district not promising for farming. He first worked in a tin mine in Seremban and soon saved up some money for future venture. The industrious and intelligent young man won the trust and confidence of a miner Yap Ah Shak, a close friend of Yap Ah Loy who succeeded his kapitanship later in 1885-1892. In 1870, Yap Kwan Seng followed Yap Ah Sak to help out Yap Ah Loy in the Selangor Civil War. The Yaps and company took seven years to rebuild war-torn Kuala Lumpur.

Yap Kwan Seng’s business venture, political carrer and social work complement each other throughout the years. When Kuala Lumpur became the administrative center of Selangor Government in 1880 and the largest town of Malaya by 1886, miner Yap Kwan Seng benefited greatly from the prospering economy. He owned tin mines that, by 1889, employed up to 7,000 labours with tin production outstripped that of Kapitan Yap Ah Shak. His venture into construction industry amassed him more wealth. Meanwhile, as more mine workers suffered from various epidemics and diseases, Yap Kwan Seng established “Pooi Shin Tong”, one of Kuala Lumpur’s earliest charity bodies, to provide free medical care and funeral assistance.

In 1889, Yap Kwan Seng succeeded Yap Ah Shak’s kapitanship. This enabled him to bid for concession of chandu and liquor business ad a capital outlay of $ 1 million in 1892-94. In the years of 1893-95, he set up gaming houses and pawn shops. Nevertheless, kapitanship brought to him more social responsibilities besides business opportunity. In 1894, he and other Chinese community leaders founded the Tai Wah Ward at the Pauper Hospital (the forerunner Kuala Lumpur General Hospital) to accommodate the severely ill before the returned to China. He and others co-founded Victoria Institution to provide better medical for the poor. He also co-founded the Selangor Kwang Tung Cemetary . In 1890, he headed a fice-member Coolie Depot set up the Selangor Government to help settle and locate employment for the new immigrants from China. In 1990, he donated $ 10,000 for the relief of Indian’s great famine, together with other Chinese leaders made one of the international charitable courses in the Malayan Chinese community.