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Transcript of Narayana Pillay
Thank you for your attention!
He built his own warehouse and started his business afresh when Raffles gave him land now known as Raffles Place.
After he stabalised himself, he built a Hindu temple called the “Kling Temple” and paid some money for the land. The Kling Temple was originally at Telok Ayer Street but due to lack of fresh water for rituals, it was rebuilt at the South Bridge Road site in 1823. The Kling Temple is known as today’s Sri Mariamman Temple and was gazetted as a National Monument.
He also built a Hindu Institute for the education of Indian boys.
The Early Days
Narayana Pillay first came to Singapore in June 1819 with Stamford Raffles. He once worked in Penang, but came to Singapore because he was attracted by Raffles' demonstrative ideals of Singapore.
Upon arrival, Pillay started off as a chief clerk at the Treasury then later became the first building contractor in Singapore. The Sri Mariamman Temple was built.
Life in Singapore
He also started selling cotton goods at Cross Street. His bazaar became the largest and famous in Singapore when the British merchants gave him large amounts of cloth on credit.
Unfortunately in 1822, his bazaar was burnt in a terrible fire. He promised the British merchants he would repay within 5 years. Only John Morgan(a British merchant) agreed and Pillay managed to repay the $2000 he owed within 2 years.
He gained acknowledgement as a leader amongst the Indians and was given the authority to settle disputes amongst the Tamils.