CHAN KOON CHENG 曾混清, JP
Chan Koon Cheng was born in 1869 and educated at the Government Free School. Chan Koon Cheng was born to an old Straits Chinese family, where he can trace his lineage in a direct line for eight generations. In 1671, his ancestor who first came from China and settled in Malacca was Chan Pian Long who was a Chin Su. Chan Koon Cheng's grandfather, Chan Hong Luan was a lessee of the government spirit and opium farms in Malacca. While his father Chan Eng Hock was a tapioca planter.
In 1885, Chan Koon Cheng worked with Messrs Kim Guan & Co. as a shipping and goods clerk. He was also an agent for the Blue Funnel Liners (Alfred Holts' steamer). Two years later he was promoted to assistant agent and in 1888 acting agent. In 1889 he was made manager of the company and was transferred to Kuala Lumpur. However, he remained for only 10 months and had to resign due to ill-health. In 1891 he joined the SS Sappho as Chief Clerk, but shortly four years he resigned and commenced rubber plantation in partnership with Tan Chay Yan at a 60 acres land in Bukit Lintang (Kandang and Ayer Molek). In 1897 he planted 40 acres on his own estate at Bukit Duyong. Being established himself into plantation business, Chan Koon Cheng was also a manager for Messrs Guan Hup & Co, a post he held since 1895 until relinquished in 1900. In 1901, he commenced in planting 3,000 acres at Kemendor, Bukit Senggeh, Selandar, Kesang and Rim, and known as Kesang-Rim Rubber &Tapioca Estate and by the year 1906 he had the whole estate planted with tapioca and interplanted with rubber. By that time, he was a famous tapioca and rubber planter in Malacca. However, the estate was sold shortly afterwards.
Chan Koong Cheng had considerable houses and lands in Singapore, Selangor, Ngeri Sembilan and Malacca. He had five sons, three daughters and one adopted son. His sons were Chan Soo Chin, Chan Soo Khim, Chan Soo Ann and Chan Soo What, daughters were Chan Eak Jin, Chan Eak Hin and Chan Eak Sheng, and his adopted son was Yep Chiang Hoe (died in 1935). His only brother, Chan Koon Chiang lived at 137 Jonker Street died on 4 November 1908 at the age of 43 years. Chan Koon Cheng was a Municipal Commissioner in 1905 and Justice of Peace in 1906. He was a trustee of the Pulok Samah Burial Ground, a Visiting Justice of Malacca Prisons and a Licensing Justice under the Liquors Ordinance 1907. In 1911 Chan Koon Cheng was appointed to become the Adviser to the Malacca Plantations Limited. In 1912, together with E Kong Guan, Tan Chay Yan, Chan Cheng Siew and others they proposed the establishment of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Malacca and subsequently Chan Koon Cheng was elected as the President. He died on 26 October 1912 at the Paul Krudger Lodge, Klebang Besar, Malacca at the age of 44 years. In order to honour Chan Koon Cheng’s contributions, a bridge (1908) and road were named after him. His beautiful mansion was located at Wolferstan Road, Malacca.