'We must repay their kindness': Man in search of Singapore relatives who've inherited land worth $140k in China

'We must repay their kindness': Man in search of Singapore relatives who've inherited land worth $140k in China
This Chinese man is looking to give away $140k worth of property to his benefactors in Singapore.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

A debt of kindness amassed through the generations is about to be repaid in full — or at least that's what this man hopes to accomplish.

In an interview with Shin Min Daily News, Chinese national Lin Yuanshui (transliterated) shared that he's in Singapore to repay his benefactors for acts of kindness that originated over a century ago.

Lin's uncle was a first-generation Singaporean whose dad had come to Singapore at the end of the 19th century.

Lin's grandfather in China passed away in his 30s, leaving behind Lin's grandmother and father.

When Lin's uncle learned of the situation, he sent money every month for 20 years to assist Lin's grandmother, who was raising her child alone.

The uncle also invested "2,000 taels of silver" to construct two buildings in their hometown for relatives to live in, Shin Min reported.

However, the families lost contact following the second world war when Japan invaded China, said Lin.

Lin shared: "In 1952, the Chinese government registered the two houses under the name of my uncle's son Lin Tianfu (transliterated), but the two houses were demolished last year."


According to Chinese policy, Lin's cousin, Tianfu, as well as his immediate relatives or descendants have the right to inherit the land that's worth approximately $140,000.

On this trip to Singapore, Lin is hoping to find his uncle's three sons: Lin Tianfu, Lin Tianfa and Lin Tianhe (transliterated).

Lin is unsure if the trio are still alive, but if they are, they should be in their 70s, he told the Chinese daily.

"My father would always tell me that without my uncle, we wouldn't be where we are today and we must repay their kindness in the future," he said, adding that right up till his death, his father had disallowed anyone from taking control of the property until their debt towards his uncle was repaid.

Lin shared that he arrived in Singapore on May 19 and will be leaving on June 15.

His only lead so far is that his uncle's descendants lived in the Jurong area.

"I spent nearly $4,000 on travel expenses and lodging this time, but the money was spent willingly. If I can't find them this time, I'll try again the next time — I'll keep coming until I find them."



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