Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Lim Leack 林烈

Lim Leack

Lim Leack or Lim Liak was born in 1804 in China with ancestry in Jingli (鏡里). He migrated to Straits Settlements in 1825. In his early time he commenced general trading under the firm Chop Hiap Chin, in which engaged principally in tin and tapioca.

In 1824, Singapore was officially established as a British Crown Colony, eyeing on the business opportunity in the new colony, Lim Leack moved there and co-founded a well-known firm, Messrs. Leack, Chin Seng & Co. The company's early founders were Lim Leack and Tan Chin Seng (son of Tan Oh Lee). It was later joined by Chee Yam Chuan. The Messrs. Leack, Chin Seng & Co., supplied various Chinese food and stuffs to the early Chinese immigrants, and was then known in Singapore as the single largest importer of goods from China. In which, stood on par with Wee Bin & Co. and Yap Whatt & Co. The firm was located at No. 29 Market Street, Singapore. 

In 1851, in partnership with a prominent Straits Chinese merchant, Tan Chin Seng, they opened a branch of Leack, Chin Seng & Co. in Malacca engaged in  logistic and steamship. Apart from this, the firm in Malacca was also an exporter of tin and tapioca to China. However, in engaging the business in China, Leack, Chin Seng & Co., represented itself as a British trading company by raising the Union Jack in their vessels.

Lim Leack also had the interest in property investment, in 1828 he bought three land lots in Singapore. In 1855, he purchased a 9-acre land at Tiong Bahru from the British East India Company and left it for his descendants. The land was later claimed by the Singapore government for development in 1927.

Lim Leack's family was also known for their staunch support to Tengku Kudin during the civil war in Selangor (1867 - 1874). The relation between the Lim family with the local Malay elites is an exemplary of early social and political engagements of different ethnics in the then Malaya. However, this formation is mainly driven for the purpose of ensuring continuous economy monopolization. In which, the Lim family had the interest in tin mining concession in Selangor.   

When Lim Leack died on 22 August 1875 in Hong Kong, his eldest son Lim Tek Hee (also spelled as Lim Teck Ghee) took over his business interests and inherited a considerable amount of his wealth under the Estate of Lim Leack dated on 28 June 1863.

The contributions of Lim Leack towards the economy growth of early Singapore's foundation was considered invaluable. In 1941, Lim Liak Street in Tiong Bahru Estate, Singapore was named in honour of him. 

1. Yeo Im Neo (d. 1887)

1. Lim Teck Ghee (d. 1892) married Tan Poh Neo (1839 - 1910)
2. Lim Teck Whee (d. 1883) married Wee Watt Neo (1842-1924)
3. Lim Teck Chiang
4. Lim Tang Hun (adopted) married Wee Hoon Neo

1. Lim Lan Neo

1. Lim Chan Sin son of Lim Teck Whee
2. Lim Chan Siew (1877-1931) son of Lim Teck Whee

Great Grandchildren:
1. Lim Chin Chye (1896-1955) son of Lim Chan Siew
2. Lim Eng Chiang
3. Lim Eng Hock
4. Lim Eng Chye
5. Lim Ong Seng
6. Lim Teo Gek Neo

Great Great Grandchildren
1. Lim Bock Chwee

1st revision on 15 January 2013, with family information from Mr Lim Soon Hoe.
2nd revision on 23 January 2013 on Lim Leack's business sketch.
3rd revision on 18 August 2013 on the descendants. 

Note: This article is an ongoing research with S.H. Lim. The contents may be altered from time to time. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Khoo Cheng Lim 邱清林

Khoo Cheng Lim was born in 1808 in Fujian, China to Khoo Wat Seng. Khoo Wat Seng was among the early Chinese settlers in Penang and was the co-founders of the Khoo family clan temple, Ee Kok Tong in 1835 (later known as Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi). 

Khoo Cheng Lim who was Khoo Wat Seng's eldest son, was first married Lim Neo in China, in which he had two sons, Khoo Soo Chuan and Khoo Soo Teong. He later moved to Penang to join his father. In Penang, he married Koh Keng Yean (辜輕煙) daughter of Koh Kee Jin. The Koh family was a well established member in Penang and its patriarch Koh Lay Huan was the Kapitan of Penang. The marriage was arranged so as to increase the power of the Koh-Khoo families in the Straits Settlements.

Khoo Cheng Lim had four sons through Koh Keng Yean, and his youngest son, Khoo Cheow Teong was a Chinese Kapitan of Asahan, and was made a Justice of Peace by the British in Penang. Khoo Cheng Lim's youngest son through his principal wife in China, Khoo Soo Teong was born in 1883, he married Quah Neo in China and had four sons. His second son, Khoo Ban Seng later moved to Penang and worked for his uncle, Khoo Cheow Teong. Khoo Ban Seng married Yeoh Cheam Neo (d. 1939) and had a son, Khoo Ewe Aik.