In autumn in the early 20th century, Tan Kah Kee was traveling to Singapore by boat. On the way temperature dropped drastically, he found out other passengers were shivering due to cold weather. Then he asked the storekeeper: "I am Tan, give blanket to the passengers and I will pay for them". The storekeeper misunderstood that he asked to give blanket to those whose surname were Tan. Then most of the passengers pretended that their surname were Tan and took the blankets.
When Tan was checking around, he saw a teenager huddled in the corner and was shivering. He told Tan that his surname is not Tan and he couldn’t lie to get blanket. The boy's honesty impressed Tan.
In a summer after few years, Tan was stuck in the street due to heavy rain. A young guy passed an umbrella to him. Tan just took the umbrella and told him to get it back tomorrow in Khiam Aik company. The day after, the young guy showed up and thanked him for the blanket few years ago. It suddenly dawned to Tan that this young guy is Lee Kong Chian.
The honesty and worthiness of Lee brought a tight relationship to both Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian.