中文
line
 
Home | Singapore's Opporunity | Biography of Lien Shih Sheng | The Fund
 
 
Maskhead
 
Biography of Lien Shih Sheng

Lien Shih Sheng became a prominent literary figure in Singapore during the 1950s to 1960s. His influence on literature in Singapore
   
Lien Shih Sheng Photo

was considerable and continues today. Known for his crisp style of writing, sound philosophies and down-to-earth nature, his personal mission was to communicate positive ways of approaching the challenges that we all face in our daily lives.

Born and raised in Fu’an County in Fujian Province, China, his values

were rooted in the basic values of Confucianism and Chinese culture. Before entering secondary school, he had developed a passion for fine Chinese writing and was already familiar with the ancient classics; thus the foundation for his lifelong academic pursuit had been laid. Always a diligent student, his good grades resulted in his acceptance to attend Beijing Yanjing University; where he graduated in 1931 with a major in Economics.

Although the 1930s were an unstable period, with Japan and China involved in a number of skirmishes; he traveled whenever possible and continued with his writing; first in Beijing and later in Hong Kong, where he began work at a newspaper and subsequently accepted a position teaching at Lingnan University.

When Hong Kong was invaded on 8 December 1941, countless lives were instantly turned upside down. There were thousands upon

letter

thousands of individual tragedies contained within the larger tragedy underway throughout Asia and the world. In addition to witnessing it both a journalist and an academic, and the profound effect it had on his philosophies and writing thereon; it was a certainty that he would be on a Kempeitai ‘wanted’ list if he remained in Hong Kong. Thus a midnight escape on a freight ship from Macao to Vietnam was arranged. Upon reaching a safe-house deep in the Mekong Delta, he resumed writing.

After the war ended, he began to explore the region in search of a place where he and his family could live and thrive. His journeys included Shanghai, Chongqing, and Nanjing in China; as well as Malaya and Singapore in Southeast Asia. After accepting a job as special correspondent from Nanyang Siang Pau (Nanyang Shang Bao), the leading Chinese-language newspaper in Singapore; the family joined him. He remained with the paper until his retirement in 1971, working his way through the ranks from writer to chief writer, editor, and eventually editor-in-chief.

In addition to his duties at the newspaper, Lien Shih Sheng was a prolific writer with over 20 volumes of published work. These include essays, letters, biographies, travelogues, and translations. A common thread in his writings is the focus on the ways of leading a life of virtue, quality, and achievement.  Frequent topics were the value of studying, relationships, family life, and international relations.

Apart from writing, Lien Shih Sheng was keenly involved in the arts and in cultural and educational activities; and held these posts: Committee member of the Nanyang University Founding Committee, Member of the Singapore University Council, President of the Nanyang Academic Society, Vice-president of the Chinese Academic Society, and Board Member of the Singapore Public Services Board.

In recognition of his many contributions, in 1963 he was awarded the Meritorious Public Service Award by the Singapore Government.

family

In1973, Lien Shih Sheng passed away.
Although he no longer walks among us today, his observations, thoughts and words remain with us and will remain an essential thread in the tapestry of Singapore’s cultural development.

The Works of Lien Shih Sheng

Correspondence

            Letters from the Coast (8 Volumes)

Biographies

            Biography of Gandhi
            Biography of Nehru
            Biography of Tagore
            Biography of the
            Western Heroes

Prose
            Travels in the South
            Famous Mountains and Waters
            Spring Tree Collection
            To the New Youth
            A Reveler’s Musing

books

Travelogues
            A Trip to My Motherland
            Journals from Europe

Autobiography
            Looking Back on 40 Years

 

   
 
line
 
Copyright © 2010 Lien Shih Sheng Youth Chinese Literature Endowment Fund