Friday, 26 February 2010

Kwa Chooi Seng

Kwa Chooi Seng
Kwa Chooi Seng was born in Penang. He was the eldest son of Kwa Soo. Kwa Soo was a merchant in Penang, where he came to Taiping in 1877 and commenced in tin mining and smelting business. Kwa Chooi Seng was one of the heads of the Hokkien community in Taiping and the owner of the large tin mines and lands in the Larut district.

He owned a loaded property in several towns in Perak and other Malay States. Kwa Chooi Seng and his two brothers, Kwa Chooi Kim and Kwa Chin Chuan were proprietors of a 200 acres rubber estate in Kamunting, Taiping. In 1914, the Kwa brothers generously donated a piece of land nearby the Taiping Hospital to the Penang missionaries for building a Christian school, known as St. George's Institution in the town.

Kwa Chooi Seng had two sons and one daughter and was married twice. The Kwa brothers were buried at the Hokkien Cemetery, Taiping, Perak. Began with Kwa Chooi Seng's son Quah Chye Soon, the family has changed the surname from Kwa to Quah.

Kwa Chooi Kim was married three times, he decided to settle in Penang after the demise of his father Kwa Soo. Kwa Chooi Kim was a supporter of Kuomintang movements in China. He had offered Dr Sun Yat Sen, a Chinese revolutionist a house in Taiping, when Dr Sun was in the town.

Kwa Chor Su
Kwa Soo or also known as Kwa Chor Su was born in China. He migrated first to Phuket, Thailand. Kwa Soo married a Siamese wife and commenced his tin mine business there. He then moved to Penang in 1850s and later to Taiping in 1877, where he married second time there. Kwa Soo also involved in the Larut Wars, and partnered with Chung Keng Kwee. Kwa Soo was famed for his generosity in funding the welfare of Buddhist temples in Phuket and Taiping. The Siamese temple in Taiping was built on the land donated by him.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

The Loh Family in Perlis

(revised on 22 Nov 2011 & 25 Nov 2012)

Perlis is the smallest state in the Malay Peninsular. The history of the Chinese settlements in Perlis is very often lack of documentation. The early Chinese groups migrated to Perlis were the Hakkas from Cenxi of Guangxi and Dapu of Guangdong. Other Chinese ethnics including those from Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan came later. The Chinese influx to Perlis was probably due to the discovery of tin mines near the northern region of the State neighboring to the Thai border. 

Located far away from the capital, Kangar, is the little mining town, known as Kaki Bukit or meaning foothill in English. This place is occupied by the Chinese Hakka descends and was once headed by a prominent Chinese miner, Loh Seng Heng and his family. Kaki Bukit was first discovered by Lt. Col. Sir John Campbell in the early 1930s when he led a team to explore the inner site of Wang Kelian. Around this time, there was already a Chinese chief, named Lee Lei Kam, who represented the Chinese community in Perlis. He was appointed as the Chinese Kapitan by the Raja of Perlis and lived in Kangar. Kapitan Lee Lei Kam served during the 1930s but shortly afterwards the Kapitan system was abolished.

During the exploration led by Sir John in 1928, one of team members was Loh Seng Heng. He  later amassed large tin mining concession by the State Government of Perlis, as token of appreciation for his keenness to develop the newly-found tin mines at Wang Kelian. Loh Seng Heng, later the patriarch of the Loh Clan in Kaki Bukit was of Dapu Hakka origin. He co-founded the Kaki Bukit Tin Mines together with Sir John in 1935. During the early time of the mine establishment, Loh Seng Heng brought in Chinese coolies particularly selected from Guangxi region and neighbouring area of southern Guangdong in China.

According to the folks, there was a time where more than 3,000 coolies were employed to cast the tin ore near the foothill. However, there were no  official documentation regarding with the records of coolies deployed and the actual capacity of tin mined there. Loh Seng Heng's eldest son, Loh Ah Tong inherited his father's property worth millions and they owned a beautiful spacious English mansion near the former mine sites in which still exist today.

Loh Ah Tong who later joined politics and became a member of the State Council. In recognition to his contribution to the Chinese community in Perlis, he was conferred the title Dato' by the Raja of Perlis.

Dato' Loh Ah Tong,
AMN, PJK, JP
Loh Ah Tong was born in 1904 in Lahat, Perak to Loh Seng Heng, he married Lee Leong Ying. Loh Ah Tong was educated at St. Michael's Institution in Ipoh and had various business interests, ranging from tin mining to rubber plantation and land proprietorship.

Loh Ah Tong was the Unofficial Member of Perlis State Council and Perlis State Executive Council in 1948. He was also the Chairman of Local Council for Kaki Bukit (1957 - 1960), Member of Licensing Board, Committee Member of the Perlis State Welfare for the the Committee Chinese Advisory Board. Loh Ah Tong was the President of Adult Education Association, Perlis Football Association, Malaysian Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, Henry Gurney Memorial Fund of Kaki Bukit, Vice-President of the Malayan Chinese Association. His other appointments including, Adviser Juvenile Court, Visitor of Kangar General Hospital, Chairman of the Board of Governors for Stella Maris School (Kangar) and Kong Hwa School (Kaki Bukit), Chairman of Ching Wah Koong Fooi Association (Kaki Bukit) and many other appointments. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Choong Cheng Kean 庄清建

CHOONG CHENG KEAN

Choong Cheng Kean was born on 16 June 1857 in Xianglu Village, Amoy to Choong Chuo. Being the only son of a poor family, he first came to Tongkah in 1875 and worked at a provision shop. It was shortly afterwards he moved to Kedah and worked at a provision shop. It was in Kedah he married his employer’s daughter Lim Gek Kee in 1881, and was also known as Lim Cheng Kean. Though he first married a wife in China named Teoh Kuan Neo, but the couple had no issue and lived all her life in China had adopted several children. And when Choong Cheng Kean died in 1916 she was disgraced for not named in the Will of Choong Cheng Kean’s Estate. Choong Cheng Kean’s success was through the help from his father-in-law in Kedah. Choong Cheng Kean first started his own provision shop at Alor Star, and had then befriended with the Regent of Kedah, Tunku Abdul Aziz who often stopped by his place for drinking and gambling habits. It was through this friendship ties with the Kedah Royalties, Choong Cheng Kean enjoyed a long term paddy rice monopoly in the state, including held the opium, liquor and gambling syndicates. When his career thrived, he adopted several secondary wives distributing over Penang, Kedah and Thailand. Following with his successful career, in 1894 he built the Choong Mansion in his ancestral village. And 13 years later he funded the construction of the Choong Clan Temple. Choong Cheng Kean was a shareholder of Eastern Shipping Company and several other Chinese companies in Penang and Kedah. His sons were Choong Lye Hock , Choong Lye Hin and Choong Lye Teong. Eldest son, Choong Lye Hock married Lim Liew Saik (1884 – 1936) and they had two sons and four daughters. One of Choong Lye Hock’s sons, Choong Soo Ghee was the appointed trustee of his Estate and in 1940 one of his daughters, Choong Sim Gay married to Chua Keat Siew eldest son of Chua Lye Hock. When Choon Cheng Kean died on 23 June 1916, he was then a well-established millionaire in Penang, where his amassed wealth was able to pass down five generations after him.

Friday, 2 October 2009

The Chinese Kapitans In Malay States 马来亚华人甲必丹

According to historical records, the Kapitan post was originally created during the Portuguese and Dutch rules in Malacca and the Dutch East Indies . The then colonialists needed a smooth administration in their colonies, but the fact was they were unable to do so without the help from the local residents. And for the reason that their colonies had the status as international trading ports, thus, merchants from all around the globe will have trade there. As a solution to enhance the better understanding between the colonists and the trading community, the post of Kapitan or also known as today's 'ambassador' was established to represent the county they belonged to. The Kapitan is not only limited to the Chinese from China, but there are also Kapitans for India, Arab, Java, etc.

This Kapitan system was later adopted by the British in their early administration in the Malay states and colonies in the Straits Settlements. The office of the Kapitan of China was designated as the representative of the Chinese business community outside mainland China. The Kapitan of China means the chief for all Chinese, and only had the power of attorney in a particular state in overseas. For instance, in Malaysia, the state of Kedah, Perak, Kuala Lumpur (for Selangor), Sungei Ujong (Ngeri Sembilan), Malacca, etc. had their own choice of Chinese leaders. The Kapitan post was elected by the Chinese business community and appointed by the colonial ruler on behalf of the Malay Sultans and Rajahs. The Kapitan will be given an official seal (chop) to perform his duty and styled after the Imperial Qing court. 

During this time, the Kapitan was responsibled in collecting taxes from the Chinese merchants on behalf for the local Malay rulers. The Kapitan also has the power of attorney in governing and making laws for his own settlements. The Kapitan's formal attire was in accord to the Imperial Qing Dynasty Mandarin Officer style, where a resemblance of a headgear with a peacock feather and a dark silk robe with ranking symbol. This unique post was later abolished in the early 1900s. However, today the Kapitan post still exist in the Borneo Island, particularly in Sarawak.

CHINESE KAPITANS OF MALACCA
(1572 - 1617) Tay Hong Yong (Tay Kie Ki) - Appointed by the Portuguese)
(1614 - 1688) Li Wei King (Koon Chang)
(1662 - 1708) Lee Chiang Hou (Chong Kian)
(1643 - 1718) Chan Ki Lock (Chan Lak Kua)
(1725 - 1765) Chan Hian Kway (Kwang Hwee)
(1703 - 1784) Tan Seng Yong
(1748 - 1794) Tan Ki Hou (Siang Lian)
(1750 - 1802) Chua Su Cheong (Tok Ping)
(1771 - 1882) Chan Yew Liang (Keng Sin)

CHINESE KAPITANS OF PENANG
(1787 - 1826) Koh Lay Huan 辜禮歡 (the first Kapitan for Penang)
(1894 - 1908) Cheah Ching Hui 謝清輝
(1908 - 1918) Cheah Yong Chong 謝榮宗

CHINESE KAPITANS OF KUALA LUMPUR
(1858 - 1861) Hiu Siew 丘秀
(1862 - 1868) Liu Ngim Kong 刘壬光
(1868 - 1885) Yap Ah Loy (Yap Tet Loy) 叶亚来
(1885 - 1889) Yap Ah Shak (Yap Chee Ying) 叶致英
(1889 - 1902) Yap Kwan Seng 叶观盛

CHINESE KAPITANS OF KUALA TRENGGANU
(1736 - 1820) Teo Tioh Eng (Zhang Zhaorong)
(1782 - ?) Kow Geok Seng
(1798 - 1847) Lim Eng Huat
(1810 - ?) Kow Teck Lee
Low Kian Tee
(? - 1899) Wee Teck Siew
Kow Swee Leng

CHINESE KAPITANS OF JOHOR
(1845 - 1857) Tan Kee Soon (Kapitan of Tebrau)
(1859 - 1869) Tan Cheng Hung (Kapitan of Tebrau)
(1869 - ?) Seah Tee Heng (Kapitan of Sekudai)
(1870 - 1875) Tan Hiok Nee (Major China / Kapitan of Johor Bahru) 
Lim Ah Siang
(? - 1917) Lin Jin He
CHINESE KAPITANS OF PERLIS
Lee Lei Kam (The only Kapitan of Perlis)

CHINESE KAPITANS OF PERAK
(1830 - ?) Tan Ah Hun 陈亚汉
(1875 - 1900) Chung Keng Quee 鄭景貴
(1875 - 1899) Chin Ah Yam (Chin Seng Yam)
(1886 - 1906) Khaw Boo Aun @ Khaw Ewe Kuang
(1930 -1935) Chung Thye Phin 鄭大平

CHINESE KAPITANS OF KELANTAN
Leung Cheng Wat (Wee Chai)

OTHER CHINESE KAPITANS
(? - 1922) Wee Hee Hoon (Kapitan of Bagan Api Api in Dumai, Riau), he died at the age of 46, leaving behind seven children. 
(? - 1924) Oey Teng Kiang (Kapitan of Palembang, Sumatra)
Wee Leong Tan (Kapitan of Selat Panjang, Sumatra)
(1915 - 1925) Wee Boon Teng (Kapitan of Selat Panjang, Sumatra)
Foo Pak Yin (Kapitan of Brunei)
Koh Heen (Kapitan of Sandakan)
Oei Leong Tan (Kapitan of Bengkalis)
Ng Eng Kee (Kapitan of Singapore) he had four sons (Quee Gam, Quee Lam, Quee Hock and Quee Teng) and 23 grandchildren


Yap Ah Loy
Kapitan Yap Ah Loy (or Yap Tet Loy) was the third Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, served from 1868 until 1885 and was a member of the notorious triad of Hai San. Born on 14 March 1837 in Dan Shui Village, Guiye District, Huizhou Prefecture, Guangdong Province, Yap Ah Yap was belonged to the Huizhou Hakka clan.

(1837-03-14)




Yap Hon Chin (Yap Ah Loy's son)
Yap Loong Shoon (Yap Ah Loy's son)

Yap Ah Shak
Kapitan Yap Ah Shak (or Yap Chee Ying) was the fourth Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur. Yap Ah Shak of Hakka origin was born in Huizhou Prefecture, Guangdong Province in China. His career as Chinese Kapitan had begun in Sungei Ujong (now the State of Negri Sembilan). His appointment as the Kapitan of Sungei Ujong was supported by Wong Ying, a famous Guangdong miner cum merchant and his allies. The appointment of Yap Ah Shak as the Kapitan was linked to a coup-de-tet against the then Kapitan Sam Meng Lei. Kapitan Sam Meng Lei was an incapable leader in Sungei Ujong, he was trapped in between the waged civil wars between the two Rajahs in Sungei Ujong and subsequently killed during the strike. It was said that, Kapitan Sam Meng Lei had lost his popularity, when he could not voice-out the dissatisfaction among the Chinese merchants regarding with the increase of revenue income imposed by the Malay rulers. However, the problem was never solved dynamically by Yap Ah Shak, because due to the invitation of Kapitan Yap Ah Loy of Kuala Lumpur to appoint him as the assistant and overseer of Yap Ah Loy's mines and coolies. Therefore, Yap Ah Shak left Sungei Ujong, after less than a year service. According to some records, the reason Yap Ah Shak left Sungei Ujong, was probably he knew that there will be brighter future in Kuala Lumpur rather than in Sungei Ujong. Yap Ah Shak died in 1889 and passed the Kapitan office to his best friend, Yap Kwan Seng. Yap Ah Shak had three sons and one daughter, Yap Loong Hin, Yap Futt Yew, Yap Chin Fook and Yap Tenga.
Yap Loong Hin, Yap Ah Shak's son
Yap Loong Hin, J.P. 

Yap Loong Hin was the eldest son of Yap Ah Shak. Born in 1873 in Kuala Lumpur, Yap Loong Hin was the Head of Yap Clan, owner of tin mines in several Malay states, trustee and the president of many educational and social institutions in Selangor. Yap Loong Hin had five wives, three sons, three daughters and 11 grandchildren. He died in 1937 and was buried at the Birch Road Chinese Cemetery. 
  

Yap Kwan Seng
Kapitan Yap Kwan Seng was the fifth Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur and also marked as the last one upon his death. Famously known as the last Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, Yap Kwan Seng was also famed for his philanthropic contributions in economics, educations, social and health welfare in British Malaya.Yap Kwan Seng of Hakka origin was originated from Liangpoi Village, Chixi Township, Taishan County, Zhuhai Prefecture, Guangdong Province in China, where he was born there in 1846. He was the eldest son of Yap Hoin Yin. Yap Kwan Seng first arrived in Malaya at the age of 16 years. He first arrived at Malacca to visit a friend and learning the great success in managing tin mining in Malaya. The curious young Yap Kwan Seng, was then decided to remain in the country after spending some time in assisting Kapitan Yap Ah Shak.Yap Kwan Seng later commenced tin mining own his own account and was successfully in securing from the government in monopolizing the State Selangor Farms (Opium & Liquor). In 1888, on the death of Kapitan Yap Ah Shak, subsequently, Yap Kwan Seng was elected to replace the Kapitan office. He was given a seat on the Selangor State Council and Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board. Yap Kwan Seng died at his residence at Kuala Lumpur in 1901, leaving a family of fifteen sons and ten daughters, and estates valued at several million dollars. His estates were left in trust to Messrs. Teh Seow Teng, Tong Tung and Yap Tai Kee (his eldest son). Yap Tai Kee died shortly after his father and his position was taken by the second son, Yap Tai Cheong.

Chin Seng Yam
Kapitan Chin Seng Yam (陈亚炎) or commonly known as Chin Ah Yam (of Ho Hup Seah) was a famous Chinese Kapitan of Perak. He was a powerful leader of a notorious triad of Ghee Hin during the early 1850s. His main opponent was Kapitan Chung Keng Quee of Hai San triad. Chin Ah Yam of Dapu Hakka origin, was given a seat in the first Perak State Council and earned the title Kapitan following with his appointment. Chin Ah Yam was originally a Hakka chief in Larut District of Perak, where he represented the Ghee Hin tribe based in Penang. Chin Ah Yam of Ghee Hin and Chung Keng Quee of Hai San were a long time enemies, they fought for power and control of tin mining rights in Perak. However, their little quarrels had never thought that it could lead to a great turbulence to the State's economy by waging a series of twelve years wars. In the late 1880s, the importance of Ghee Hin in Larut had ceased, with the control of tin mines was transited to the Hai San. Following with the British Colonial intervention in Perak for peace keeping, in January 1874, the infamous Pangkor Treaty was signed among the two leaders of the triads and the Malay rulers and chiefs and marked the end of the Chinese wars. Where Chin Ah Yam, signed a separate Chinese Engagement at Pangkor, undertaking to cease the wars between the two triads, resulted Chin and his triads were immunized from the obligation to pay the claim for causing chaos in the State, thus gaining more popularity from his triad members. Before, Chin Ah Yam died in 1899, it was said that he had visited England. The Chin family later spelled their surname as Chan. Chin Ah Yam's children were Chin Guang De, Chin Guang Yuan, Chin Yu Lin, Chin Yuet Ming, Chin Yuet Qing and Chin Ng Zi.

Chung Keng Quee
Kapitan Chung Keng Quee or commonly known as Chung Ah Kwi was one of the early Chinese Kapitans in Perak. He was the chief of the Hakka miners in Larut District and the headman of Hai San triad society.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Yap Kwan Seng

Kapitan Yap Kwan Seng was the fifth Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur and also marked as the last one upon his death. Famously known as the last Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, Yap Kwan Seng was also famed for his philanthropic contributions in economics, educations, social and health welfare in British Malaya.Yap Kwan Seng of Hakka origin was originated from Liangpoi Village, Chixi Township, Taishan County,  Zhuhai Prefecture, Guangdong Province in China, where he was born there in 1846. He was the eldest son of Yap Hoin Yin. Yap Kwan Seng first arrived in Malaya at the age of 16 years. He first arrived at Malacca to visit a friend and learning the great success in managing tin mining in Malaya. The curious young Yap Kwan Seng, was then decided to remain in the country after spending some time in assisting Kapitan Yap Ah Shak.Yap Kwan Seng later commenced tin mining own his own account and was successfully in securing from the government in monopolizing the State Selangor Farms (Opium & Liquor). In 1888, on the death of Kapitan Yap Ah Shak, subsequently, Yap Kwan Seng was elected to replace the Kapitan office. He was given a seat on the Selangor State Council and Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board. Yap Kwan Seng died at his residence at Kuala Lumpur in 1901, leaving a family of fifteen sons and ten daughters, and estates valued at several million dollars. His estates were left in trust to Messrs. Teh Seow Teng, Tong Tung and Yap Tai Kee (his eldest son). Yap Tai Kee died shortly after his father and his position was taken by the second son, Yap Tai Cheong.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Chee Family of Malacca

The Chee family is noted as one of the oldest Chinese families in Malacca. The arrival of the Chees were dated during the early time of the Malacca establishment. Hitherto, the family's presence is still eminent in Malacca, where more than 12 generations have been passed down. 

The Chee was originated from Zhangzhou Prefecture in Fujian Province of China. The first Chee who migrated to Malacca was Chee Soo Sum (1689 - 1752), who was a scholar and General of Ming Dynasty. Chee Soo Sum came to Malacca during the second half of the eighteenth century. The reason for his migration was partly due to his refusal to serve the newly founded Qing Dynasty under the Manchurian's tenure. Chee Soo Sum died in Malacca and was buried at the Bukit Cina Cemetery. One of his sons, Chee Tiow Seng also died in Malacca on 16 December 1832 and was buried at the Bukit Cina Cemetery. Chee Tiow Seng's son Chee Kim Guan died on 13 January 1839 and his grave could not be found until today. 

Chee Kim Guan's son Chee Yam Chuan (1819 - 1862), who was later flourished the family's name and restored it to its former glory. Chee Yam Chuan was an exemplary in forging business partnerships with the local Malays. His far business sight had gained him a popular merchant with the local Malay leaders, thus caused jealousy from people with interest. Chee Yam Chuan was assassinated in 1862 during attending a wedding dinner in Malacca. 

When the British took over Singapore and founded a colony there, Chee Yam Chuan and his parents (Chee Kim Guan and Goh Him Neo) were among the early settlers. It was in Singapore he met Lim Leack and Tan Chin Seng son of Tan Oh Lee, and established the Leack, Chin Seng & Co., a general store selling food stuffs and etc. The business in Singapore could not make him rich but able to meet the end of the day. He then moved back to Malacca and his life changed when he came to know Raja Jumaat, the son of a Riau prince in Selangor, where both were business partners in tin mining and close ally in monopoly tin mining in Selangor. In 1851, Chee Yam Chuan established a branch of Leack, Chin Seng & Co. in Malacca. The company was initially a food provision store selling tin and tapioca, but later ventured into logistic and steamship. The firm was under the management of his son, Chee Hoon Bong.

When Raja Jumaat was granted the Lukut district by Sultan of Selangor in 1846, where he and Chee Yam Chuan were the main partners in developing tin mines at there. Raja Jumaat's son Raja Bot, lived with Chee Yam Chuan in Malacca for some time, where he acted as Chee's business intermediary with the Malays. In 1849, Raja Jumaat's brother, Raja Abdullah also borrowed large sums of money from Chee Yam Chuan to open up mines in Klang.

After 37 years of Chee Yam Chuan's demise, in 1925 his grandson, Chee Swee Cheng built a family temple at Heeren Street and named in honour of Chee Yam Chuan. The management of this temple is under the Chee Yam Chuan Temple Trust. Despite the tremendous surge of modernization in the Chinese culture today, the Chee family still keeping a tradition of electing the head of the Chee clan and its trustees. And the presence of male dominance in the family is still strong, as only male descendants are allowed to join the committee members and also have the rights to vote, elect and appoint the Chee patriarch and trustees. Today, the elegant Chee Yam Chuan Temple at 117 Heeren Street, Malacca functions as the family hall of meeting and celebrating family festivals. 

Chee Swee Cheng and relatives

Chee Kang Cheng and family members

REFERENCES:

  1. Wright, Arnold, Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya, London (1908)
  2. Khoo Kay Kim, The Western Malay States, 1850-1873: The Effects of Commercial Development on Malay Politics (1972)
  3. Ong Siang Song, One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore, (1967)
  4. Kernial Singh Sandhu, Paul Wheatley, Abdul Aziz bin Mat Ton, Melaka: The Transformation of a Malay Capital, C. 1400-1980, (1983)
  5. Constance Mary Turnbull, The Straits Settlements, 1826-67: Indian Presidency to Crown Colony, (1972)
  6. Kam Hing Lee, Chee Beng Tan, The Chinese in Malaysia, (2000)
  7. Chee Beng Tan, The Baba of Melaka: Culture and Identity of a Chinese Peranakan Community in Malaysia, (1988)
  8. The Sunday Times, 13 Dec 1991, Chee Yam Chuan Temple Notice of Meeting: NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN That a General Meeting of the Members consisting of the Male descendants (aged 21 years or above and professing the Buddhist Religion) of:- (1) Chee Jin Siew @ Chee Kiat Bong; (2) Chee Him Bong; (3) Chee Pee Bong; (4) Chee Teck Bong (5) Chee Hoon Bong @ Chee Hun Bong; (6) Chee Lim Bong; (7) Chee Hee Bong; (8) Chee Peck Bong; (9) Chee Quee Bong @ Chee Kwi Bong; (10) Chee Siang Bong; the lawful sons of Chee Yam Chuan deceased, late of No. 117, Heeren Street (now known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock) 75200 Melaka (hereinafter called "the Members of Chee Family") will be held on the 28th day of December, 1991 at 2.30 p.m. at Aman Damai Room, Level 5, The City Bayview Hotel, Jalan Bendahara, 75100 Melaka, for the purpose of passing proper Resolutions:- (i) To elect and appoint Ten (10) members of Chee Family as "the Committee members" to represent the members of Chee Family"; (ii) To elect and appoint Seven (7) members of Chee Family as the New Trustees of "The Chee Yam Chuan Temple trust" of the movable and immovable properties of the said trust in place of the existing trustees; (iii) To approve the draft of the Trust Deed; (iv) To empower and authorise the Committee Members to execute the said Deed of trust thereby appointing the said New Trustees of the Chee Yam Chuan Temple trust to the intent that the title to and possession and management and control of all the movable and immovable properties of Chee Yam Chuan Temple Trust be vested in the said new Trustees to be held upon Trusts declared in the said Trust Deed; (v) To authorise and empower the New Trustees to execute the said Trust Deed and to apply to the High Court of Malaya in Malacca for the approval of the said trust Deed and for an Order vesting all the said properties to be held by them as the Trustees of the said Chee Yam Chuan Temple Trust; (vi) To approve, confirm and ratify all the acts, deed and things done or made by the existing Trustees from time to time of the said Chee Yam Chuan Temple Trust (formerly known as "the Chee Yam Chuan Temple") and to discharge and release them absolutely from any liability in respect of their management and/or administration of the said Trust until the date of appointment of the said new Trustees; and (vii) To approve, confirm and pass the Audited Accounts of the Existing Trustees' management and/or administration of the said Chee Yam Chuan Temple Trust (formerly known as "the Chee Yam Chuan Temple") up to the 31st day of December, 1990). dates this 14th day of December, 1991. By Order of the Trustees of Chee Yam Chuan Temple TAN SWI CHAY & CO. SDN. BHD. Secretaries SECRETARIES OFFICE: TAN SWI CHAY & CO. SDN. BHD. No. 22 (Upper Floor of No. 20) Jalan Hang Jebat 75200 Melaka Malaysia Notes:- i) A member entitled to attend and vote at the said Meeting has to be present in person, upon notifying the Secretaries in writing of his intention to attend and vote aforesaid not less than forty-eight (48) hours before the time of the meeting. ii) Draft copies of the trust Deed are available for inspection by any member during normal office hours on any day which is not a public holiday at the Secretaries office at No. 22 (Upper floor of No. 20), Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Foo Choo Choon 胡子春

FOO CHOO CHOON 胡子春

Foo Choo Choon or Woo Chu Chun was born on 31 August 1860 in China to Foo Yu Chio. He was the scion of an ancient Hakka family, whose ancestral home in Chung Hang Eng, Yongding County, Fujian, China, which is very near to Guangdong. His grandfather was the first in his lineage migrated to Penang and was one of the pioneers in the Straits Settlements. Foo Choo Choon's father was born in Penang, but spent most of his time in China. 

Foo Choo Choon's boyhood was spent in China, looked after by his paternal grandmother, due to his mother demised at a young age. At the age of thirteen, Foo Choo Choon came to Penang to receive his early English education. His versatility in speaking fluent English and Chinese had made him a favourite among the Western community, as well as for the Chinese. Soon after he completed his English education in Penang, Foo Choo Choon worked in his uncle’s tin mines in Taiping, Perak. The young Foo successfully learned the basic management of running tin mines. Few years later he commenced business on his own account. Subsequently he moved to Kinta District in Perak and settled down at Lahat, which he had employed thousands of workers. 

Ill health necessitated him to return to China for treatment. And upon returned to Malaya, he became connected with the Tronoh Mines owing to the owners abandoning their workings. He visited and examined the place thoroughly, and subsequently obtained a sublease of the land, upon which he decided to install extensive modern plant. Although this decision was not entertained favourably in many quarters, the result achieved has since testified to the wisdom of the proprietor. 

Foo Choo Choon’s acquisition of wealth has been accompanied by many philanthropic acts. On returning to China, during a famine, he built and supplied several public granaries, established schools in his native district and directed that the revenue from his property there should be utilized in assisting the poorer scholars. His generosity during the Shantung famine was the means of bringing him to the notice of the Chinese Government, and he received the honorary title of magistrate, with the additional privilege of wearing peacock feathers. Further acts of generosity raised him to the rank of Taotai and finally to the position of Commissioner of the Salt Revenue. 

In the Federated Malay States, he has been recognized always as one of the most advanced Chinese in educational reform and towards the movement, he has contributed largely by instituting and maintaining many Chinese and English schools. Foo Choo Choon was a naturalized British subject and was a fellow of the Society of Arts in England. 

In addition to the Tronoh Mines, he was proprietor of the Sungei Besi and other mines in Selangor, was the director of the Kledang Mines Ltd of the Ipoh Foundry Ltd and the Tanglin Rubber Syndicate, besides owning several estates. In which he had employed some 10000 coolies. 

Foo Choo Choon had always identified himself with public affairs in the Federated Malay States. He was the president for the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States of the Chinese Board of Education, Perak Mining and Planting Association, Kinta; Penang Anti – Opium Society and the Chinese Widows and Orphans’ Institution, Ipoh. 

Foo Choo Choon was the member of State Council of Perak, the honorary member of Chinese Advisory Board of Perak and president of Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce (1913). He founded the Perak Mining and Planting Association, Chinese Maternity Hospital and the Chinese Girls’ School at Ipoh and the Mandarin School at Lahat. He was a committee member of King Edward VII School (Taiping), Yuk Choy Middle School (Ipoh) and was the patron of the Perak Anti-Opium Society. 

In 1906, the Chinese Emperor, by special command, ordered the Viceroy Shum of Canton to confer on Foo Choo Choon the Order of Merit for his services to his country, and this decoration, together with a gold medal, was sent from China and presented by a special envoy. Two years later, the Imperial Chinese Court conferred him the rank of King Hing of the third class mandarin, and had him appointed to become the Chinese Minister to Siam. However, Foo Choo Choon declined the offer, as he would consider it a greater honour, if the Imperial Court would grant him some mining concessions in Hainan, instead of a title. 

Foo Choo Choon died on 27 March 1921 in Penang. He married Chung Keng Quee’s niece and had three children; Foo Meow Chin (胡茂菁), Foo Meow Ying (胡茂英) and Foo Meow Wong (胡茂煌).

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Lim Leng Cheak & Family

LIM LENG CHEAK 林宁绰
ONE of the most powerful Chinese families in the Kedah state was of course, Lim Leng Cheak and sons. Lim Leng Cheak was born in 1850 in Penang. He was the son of Lim It Kim (d. 1873). Lim Leng Cheak’s family was originated from the coastal village of Sandu in Xiamen Island, Fujian Province. In the beginning, he was employed as a clerk in a mercantile office. A few years later he commenced business on his own account by commencing a general store. By careful management he was able to save a little capital and went to Aceh, Indonesia, where he entered into partnership with another Chinese merchant. The partners purchased two sailing vessels and did a large trade in carrying pepper from Aceh to Penang and there disposing of it. Later, they ran a fleet of steamships between the same ports and when his partner retired from business in 1879, Lim Leng Cheak took over the entire concern himself. At the invitation of the Sultan of Kedah, which whom he was on terms of cordial friendship, he opened up a new enterprise, a tapioca estate in the Kulim district of that potentate’s territory. The Sultan also granted him a twenty years’ monopoly in 1888, when he established a rice mill in Alor Star, Kedah. This privilege was extended to his successors and was enjoyed by the Lim family in monopolizing the rice business, earning him as the biggest rice dealer in the Malay States. In addition to these operations, Lim Leng Cheak also planted coffee and coconuts in Kulim. In 1893, he started a rice mill in Penang and became a director of the Singapore Opium and Spirit Farm. When Lim Leng Cheak died at the age of 51 on 16 February 1901, he left an extensive and varied business of the first importance. His family consisted of fifteen children, with eight sons and seven daughters. One of his sons, Lim Eow Hong was the managing executor of the business. It is said that Lim Leng Cheak’s father made a fortune quite early. It was even said that Lim It Kim’s wife came from a Thai noble family. Lim Leng Cheak had at least seven wives, distributed between Kedah, Penang, Ipoh, southern Thailand and Kuala Lumpur. His principal wife, Tan Say Seang (陳西祥) was a generous philanthropist in Penang, in which she was a founder of a Chinese girls school in Penang and became patron for several temples in Penang.  

Mr & Mrs Lim Leng Cheak
LIM LENG CHEAK’S CHILDREN
Sons:
  1. Lim Eow Hong 
  2. Lim Eow Thoon (married Goh Saw Chooi & Lim Gaik Lee) 
  3. Lim Eow Hooi (married Yeoh Saw Geok) 
  4. Lim Eow Teng 
  5. Lim Eow See 
  6. Lim Eow Cheng (married Ooi Seok Heang in 1917)
Daughters:
  1. Lim Kwee Sean (Mrs Goh Boon Keng) 
  2. Lim Kwee Guan (Mrs Cheah Tat Jin) 
  3. Lim Kwee Hiang (Mrs Saw Hui Eow)

LIM EOW HONG 林耀煌, JP
Lim Eow Hong was the eldest son of Lim Leng Cheak. He was born in 1878 and educated at Penang Free School. Besides, English education, Lim Eow Hong also received Chinese education in Penang. At the age of 17, he became an assistant to his father and four years later he was appointed as manager at his father’s firm. His second brother, Lim Eow Thoon also involved in the family business, where he took over the management of rice mill in Penang. The Messrs Lim Leng Cheak was the owner of the Chip Bee Rice Mill in Alor Star, Chip Hong Bee Mill (Bridge Street, Penang) and a large tapioca mill in Kulim, Kedah. They conveyed their product in their own fleet of steamers. The tapioca estate in Kulim estate was run by thousand of workers. The Lim family also imported large quantities of paddy and prepared both white and boiled rice in their mills. These products were supplied to Kedah, Prai, and the Federated Malay States besides exporting to Ceylon, India and Mauritius. They sold sugar locally and tapioca they sent to London, Havre, Nantes and other European ports. Messrs John Buttery & Co. was their London based agent. Lim Eow Hong was one of the leading Chinese leaders, committee member of Penang Free School, director of the Straits Echo, director of Penang Opium & Spirti Farm, eastern Shipping & Co., Great Eastern Insurance and Criterion Press, committee member of Penang Association and co-owner of Penang Foundry. His eldest son received education at Dollar, Scotland.

LIM EOW THOON 林耀椿, CH, JP
Lim Eow Thoon was the second son of Lim Leng Cheak. He was born on 6 December 1886 in Penang. After completing his schooling in Penang Free School he joined his father’s firm as an assistant and since 1901 he engaged with his father’s business and became the managing partner of Chop Chip Hong Bee & Co. owned by Leng Cheak & Co. which was one of largest rice and oil mills in Malaya. Besides the rice mills business, he also co-owned the Batu Puteh estate and other estates under his father’s will. Lim Eow Thoon was a member of the Chinese Recreation Club; he was an active sportsman, where he played tennis, football, cricket and billiards. Lim Eow Thoon was a keen patron of the Penang Turf Club; he owned the well known racing house, The Gunner which won two gold cups in 1906 and several other racehorses. On 4 March 1904, he married Goh Saw Chooi, the second daughter of Goh Ewe Keong of Penang. Lim Eow Thoon’s private residence was at No.278, Penang Road, Penang. His eldest son was Lim Seong Wah. Lim Eow Thoon died in 1976 at age of 90 years. 

Lim Kwee San (Mrs Goh Boon Keng)
Born in Penang, Lim Kwee Sean was the eldest daughter of Lim Leng Cheak and Tan Say Seang. She married Goh Boon Keng in 1894. Goh Boon Keng was the fourth son of Goh Oon Kee (d. 1877). He was born in 1872 in Penang and received English education at the Penang Free School, where he attained a gold medal in 1887 and four scholarships. Upon the completion of his studies, Goh Boon Keng worked at the Merchantile Bank for three years and later joined the firm, Messrs Behn, Meyer & Co. In 1896, Goh Boon Keng commenced on his own account as general revenue farmer in the Malay states. He also involved in the business of opium, gambling, tin mining and other farms, as well as a superintendent and general managing partner of the rice mills in Bridge Street, Penang. Goh Boon Keng who acted as his father-in-law’s representative, had travelled extensively in Europe, Asia and had explored all the Malay states. He also involved actively in various social activities; Goh Boon Keng was a committee member of the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Recreation Club of Penang, the Penang Literary Association, a director of the Straits Echo & Co. the Goh family’s residence was located at No. 159, Beach Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Lim Kwee Guan (Mrs Cheah Tat Jin)

Lim Kwee Guan was the third daughter of Lim Leng Cheak. She married Cheah Tat Jin in May 1906. Born in 1886 in Penang, Cheah Tat Jin was the second son of Cheah Chen Eok and grandson of Cheah Sim Hean. He was educated at the St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang. Cheah Tat Jin worked for his father’s Pinang Opium and Liquor Farm, besides being a partner with the firm Keng Bee, a shipping company. He was a member of the Penang Turf Club and the Chinese Recreation Club. Cheah Tat Jin and family lived at Eokham, Penang.



The decline of Lim Leng Cheak’s family

Lim Leng Cheak in the Official Mandarin Attire

The founding father of Leng Cheak & Co., Lim Leng Cheak died in 1901 and after his demise, the family business continued to expand in the 1900s, at least superficially. Under the terms of the will of Lim Leng Cheak, the estate was divided into 20 shares. His widow, Tan Say Seang received 8/20 and the four sons 3/20 each. The four daughters were provided with money legacies of $30,000 each. The fourth son Lim Eow Teng died on 4 July 1916 and although he had been married he left no issue. Therefore, the shares were divided into 17 shares instead of 20 and distributed among the widow Tan Say Seang and three sons, Lim Eow Hong, Lim Eow Thoon and Lim Eow Hooi. The will stipulated that its provisions should come into effect only when the youngest son had attained the age of 21. The widow Tan Say Seang, Lim Eow Hong, Goh Boon Keng (the eldest son-in-law) and Lim Phee Cheak (Lim Leng Cheak’s brother) were appointed his executors and trustees. However, during their lifetime, Goh Boon Keng and Lim Phee Cheak took no active part in the administration of the will. As the widow, Tan Say Seang was illiterate, while the other sons were minors, hence, Lim Eow Hong was appointed to manage the estate on her behalf during the period prior to 1918. The family business had found itself in financial hot water, which led the matriarch, Tan Say Seang to lose confidence in the management of her eldest son Lim Eow Hong. As their executive manager, it was said that Lim Eow Hong had been playing ducks and drakes with the estate and also had been misappropriating certain estate property to say nothing about overdrawing his share. Up to the year 1918, it was estimated that Lim Eow Hong had overdrawn sums on the estate amounting to between $300,000 and $500,000, a sum excess of his own shares in the company.

Lim Eow Hong
Lim Eow Thoon
Lim Kwee San
Tan Say Seang and family

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Ng Boo Bee 黄务美


Ng Boo Bee, JP
The most famous tin miner, opium farmer and contractor in the history of British Malaya, of course is Ng Boo Bee. Ng Boo Bee was the eldest of three sons of Ng Koh Sung and U Choot Kwah of Nan'an, Fujian. Educated in his native country, Ng Boo Bee's original name was Ng Chek Boo (黄则务), he first berth at Jakarta and later Medan before called at Penang in 1879. He spent a short time in the island before lived in various towns within Perak. Ng Boo Bee commenced his business in bricks manufacturing and timbers supply at Taiping, Ipoh and Telok Anson. His trading company was named under chop Swee Bee and commenced in construction industry. Ng Boo Bee was the contractor for constructing the first railway in Malaya which connects Taiping and Port Weld. He was famed for his tin mines at Kamunting, in which he had employed more than 3,000 Chinese coolies at one time.

Ng Boo Bee was awarded a Mandarin title under Yan Yun Shi (盐运使) by the Qing Government for his meritorious services to his native. He was also appointed as Visiting Justice by the British government. Ng Boo Bee married Ewe Keoh Neoh (尤却娘) (b. 1868) and had seven sons and three daughters. Lam Looking was the family's relative on the maternal side. Their second daughter married Chuah Yew Khuan and the third one married Lim Leong Hock. At the age of 60, Madam Ewe had six grandsons, they were Ng Geok Aw, Ng Geok Soo, Ng Say Tee, Ng Say Choon, Ng Say Thuan, and Ng Say Phuan, and seven great grand children. All the descendants were embodied in the family photo taken in January 1928, when Ewe Keoh Neoh celebrated her grand 60th Birthday at the family's residence. Ng Boo Bee died on 24 September 1921 and buried at the Taiping Fujian Cemetery.

Ng Boo Bee's eldest son, Ng Ann Thye was the sole proprietor of his business. Ng Ann Thye a well known sportsman in Perak. He was a member of the Sanitary Board in Taiping where he resigned on 31 August 1917. His other son, Ng Ann Chung was the President of the Taiping Chinese Amateur Dramatic Association. In 1931, Ewe Keoh Neoh's eldest son, Ng Ann Thye sued his mother for the administration of accounts in connection with the estate of the late Ng Boo Bee which distributed over Penang, Taiping, Ipoh and Telok Anson and estimated to worth over million dollar. Ng Ann Thye alleged that his mother had been negligence in the performance of the duties undertaken in agreements concluded in 1924 under the will of Ng Boo Bee which was approved by the court. As a result, Ewe Keoh Neoh was removed from the trusteeship and Ng Ann Chung was entitled to accounts up the trustee on 24 August 1929.

The Ng family residence was located at No 2, Upper Museum Road, Taiping and named as Birch House, the building was sold to the Taiping Buddhist Association.  

Birch House, Upper Museum Road
A group photograph, seated second from left were, Ng Boo Bee, Sir John Anderson (Governor of Straits Settlements), Sir Frank Swettenham (picture taken on 24 July 1904). This picture was donated by Ng Boo Bee to the Perak Museum

Sons:
Ng Ann Thye (died on 3 May 1936) 
Ng Ann Cheng 
Ng Ann Tang
Ng Ann Thong
Ng Ann Chuan 
Ng Ann Aik
Ng Ann Chung

SOURCE OF REFERENCES:
  1. Wright, Arnold, Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya, London (1908)
  2. The Straits Times, Singapore, 3 December 1934: WEDDING AT TAIPING: A pretty Chinese wedding in the reformed style, took place at the Hokkien Hoey Kuan, Taiping yesterday, the contracting parties being between Mr. Ng Say Tee, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ng Ann Thye,...
  3. The Straits Times, Singapore, 3 May 1936: MR. NG ANN THYE DEATH OF WEILL-KNOWN PERAK SPORTSMAN (From Our Own Correspondent.) Ipoh. Saturday. The death has occurred of Mr. Ng Ann Thye, eldest son of the late Mr. Ng Boo Bee who was a millionaire tin miner 50 years ago owning many tin mines at Kamunting, near Taiping....
  4. Re: Ng Say Tee [1954] MLJ 177 — 1 [2014] High Court, Ipoh (Thomson J) ; Setting aside: Application to set aside creditor's petition and notice of bankruptcy. Summary: The bankrupt had prior to his bankruptcy executed a mortgage of his share in a residuary estate to the creditor to secure a loan. The creditor took out proceedings against the Official Assignee for payment of the loan and interest and in default of payment sale of the bankrupt's share in the residuary estate. Holding: A secured creditor's rights are governed by S 9(ii) of the Bankruptcy Enactment and he is entitled to proceed outside the bankruptcy and independently of it.

Loke Yew 陸佑

Loke Yew, CMG, LL.D

LITTLE is known about this man, named Loke Yew, except the famous road 'Jalan Loke Yew' (Loke Yew Road) in the hustle bustle city of Kuala Lumpur. He was known as one of the pioneers and a founding father of modern Kuala Lumpur. Loke Yew also famed for his philanthropic efforts in educational and medical fields in British Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. He was a naturalized British subject in 1903 and being the only British Malayan of Chinese descent to receive the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1915. When he died on 24 February 1917 he left an amassed wealth worth millions to his descendants, his properties were distributed to his heirs in four equal shares, they were each receiving property worth about $2.8 million in addition $3 million in cash, however the Loke Yew Estate worth at least $89 million were remained status quo with Choo Kia Peng as the Managing Trustee. Although, modern Malaysian history has sidelined him probably due to his staunch support to the British colonial (in 1916 he subscribed $1 million to the FMS War Loan), Loke Yew's story represents a phase in the development of the Malay States and other Asian countries. 

Loke Yew was born on 9 October 1845 in Dongjiang Village, Xinhui District, Jiangmen Prefecture, Guangdong Province, China. Born to a peasant family, he was the only male of four siblings. In his early boyhood, Loke Yew spent most of his austere time in helping his father in farming. At the age of 13, the ambitious young Loke Yew left for Singapore.

Loke Yew arrived in Singapore in 1858 and worked at Kwong Man General Store, a food provision shop at Market Street. It was here, he earned a meagre salary of $20 a month and managed to save up $99 after four years of hard work. He used the capital to commence his own food provision store under the chop Tong Hing Loong.

A life size portrait of Loke Yew by Low Kway Soo

In 1867, Loke Yew left for Perak and appointed a manager to look after all his businesses in Singapore. He was assisted by two local headmen in Larut, Chan Kam Chong and Ng Sow Swee, respectively. His tin mining investment in Taiping was disastrous following with a series of local chieftains’ rivalries. Thus, erupted the Larut Wars and all tin mines were ceased operations. 

In order to restore law and order, the British in Penang sent the Ghurkha troops to Perak. Backed with food supply experience, Loke Yew managed to secure a contract for supplying food to the British troops. After the wars ended, he remained for fifteen years in Perak, engaging principally in tin mining activities. It was reported that, Loke Yew was secretly affiliated with the Ghee Hin society, a notorious secret society originated from Penang. 

The tin mining concessions in Perak particularly in Taiping were not beneficial to Loke Yew. He recorded an estimated total loss of $60,000 to $140,000 in his first four years. However, when a new mining site was discovered at Kinta Valley, he took the opportunity to revamp his tin mining investment strategy. Loke Yew's survival was very much owed to his state revenue farm licenses such as opium, liquor and gambling. 

Loke Yew made a successful establishment in Kinta and expanded to Gopeng, Kampar and Tanjung Malim. At the same time, the drastic growth in Selangor and Negri Sembilan particularly in tin mining and rubber plantations had attracted Loke Yew to venture in every promising profits. Everything he ventured had turned unexpected profit, and gradually increased his wealth. However, Loke Yew's monopoly in the Perak Government's revenue farms were expired in 1905. For the 1906/1908 term, he lost the tenders to other wealthy Chinese merchants such as Chung Thye Phin, Ng Boo Bee, Foo Choo Choon, etc. Before that, Loke Yew paid $120,000 per month for the Perak farms, he lost to higher bidders of $170,000. By then, Loke Yew was no longer a resident of Perak. 

Loke Yew in Taiping
The wars in Perak had also caused the economy of other tin-mining-based states to slow down. Due to the consequences, the British government encouraged the mercantile community to rebuild the economy in Selangor. Loke Yew who saw the opportunity, therefore, he first established a pawnshop in Kuala Lumpur. In 1913, he founded the Kwong Yik Banking Corporation Ltd in Kuala Lumpur. However, the prosperity earned by Loke Yew not only enjoyed by himself and his family since he made Kuala Lumpur as his home. During the time he settled down in Kuala Lumpur, there were no public movement or any importance in Selangor had been without his great financial support. 

Loke Yew was the first man started a cement factory in Malaya. He established the cement quarry in 1906 at Batu Caves, Selangor, by using steam power to generate the production. The method of manufacture is not clear but it did not meet with much success. Loke Yew was the largest shareholder in the Messrs Alexander, Hall & Co. Ltd. of Aberdeen, the Pahang Motor Car Service, a shareholder in the Raub Straits Trading Company, Straits Steamship and Federal Engineers and Burmah Rice Mill. He also went into partnership with Thamboosamy Pillai in managing the New Tin Mining Company in Rawang. They were the first to use electric pumps for mining in Malaya. In 1904, Loke Yew was elected President of the Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman of Kwong Yik (Selangor) Banking Corp. Ltd in 1916.

One of Loke Yew's impressive interests was in automobile. He began the interest with the purchase of a steam yacht from the Governor of German New Guinea. His wife was known for being the first Straits Chinese to ride in an auto during the family trip to Europe in 1903. Loke Yew was awed with the horseless carriage where he founded a private motor mail service with a capital $10,000. The firm owned about 15 motorcars with capacity ranging 5 to 25 horsepower. In March 1905, the Federated Malay States Government awarded his firm a mail contract in Pahang and Selangor.    

On 1 May 1915, Loke Yew was knighted with the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG). The presentation was held at the Kuala Lumpur Town Hall by the High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Henderson Young. In which, Loke Yew became the first and the only British Malayan to receive the prestigious accolade. The CMG was awarded to him for public services in the Malay States.

Loke Yew had donated $50,000 and five wards to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore in 1909, $50,000 to the Raffles College, Singapore, $30,000 and land to the Methodist's Boys School, Kuala Lumpur, $30,000 and 5-acre land for the Old Men's & Cripples' Home (Paupers' Home & Infirmary), Kuala Lumpur, the founding of Treacher Technical School and Victoria Institution both in Kuala Lumpur, etc. He also donated $50,000 to built the Chinese Town Hall, Kuala Lumpur, and $25,000 for the Guangdong Flood Relief in 1915.

In the early 1910s, the Hongkong University was suffering from financial crisis and shortage of academic staff. In 1912, Loke Yew and Cheong Fatt Tze, each donated $50,000 to the university in order to revive the situation. However, by 1915, the situation was getting serious and perhaps the university will have to be closed down. Again Loke Yew endowed half a million dollar with interest free for the purpose of research and scholarships. Thus, a scholarship trust known as Loke Yew 'Dono' Scholarship was set up for the Chinese students from British Malaya and Straits Settlements. Within that period of time, the university was overpopulated by students from that two British colonies.

In recognition for Loke Yew's generous philanthropic action, on 14 January 1917, the Hongkong University invested honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) to him. The degree was invested by Sir Charles Elliot (the Vice-Chancellor) at Loke Yew's house, and witnessed by Sir Edward Brockman. Sir Edward presenting Loke Yew to Sir Charles with his introduction:
"This was the first presentation of an honorary degree to an inhabitant of British Malaya."
Loke Yew who wore the cerise gown, green hood and black cap of the degree upon receiving the scroll. Sir Charles in his speech said:
"The brilliant nature of your career in the Federated Malay States has abundantly demonstrated your intellectual capacity, and the wealth you have acquired you have largely devoted to educational and philanthropic objects. The University feels it a great honour to enrol you among its members, and, on your side, we hope it will not be distasteful to be enrolled among the honorary graduates of Hongkong University, among whom we aim to include those most distinguished in the pursuit of learning themselves or in encouraging it in others."
However, Loke Yew did not survive long to hold this honour, in a month later he died on 24 February 1917. 

The Hongkong Daily Press reported on 21 March 1917,
“…on the remarkable career of the late Towkay Loke Yew in Malaya. from humble origins this remarkable Chinese rose to a position of great affluence. … he was a most practical friend of Hongkong University … he heads the original list of donors to the original endowment fund, and not long ago, handed over a sum of half-a-million dollars without interest for twenty one years. … He desires to offer learning to others which had been denied to him.”
In 1956, the Hongkong University’s Great Hall was renamed Loke Yew Hall in memory of the great benefactor, Loke Yew. 

In his later time, Loke Yew celebrated his life not by wealth, but his value and believe in education. He was known for generosity towards educational institution, in which the early establishment of schools such as Victoria Institution, the Hongkong University, etc. were greatly indebted to his aids. In order to compensate for his denied rights to education, he sent all his children including daughters to have Western education in England and the Loke Yew Scholarship was founded by the Trustees of Loke Yew to award financial aids to needy students in Malaya. A larger than-life-sized bronze statue of him was erected at his mausoleum Hawthornden Estate. The statue was designed by Frederick J. Wilcoxson after a photograph of Loke Yew in the academic gown for an honorary LL.D by HKU. 

Loke Yew in the academic gown
Loke Yew had six sons, one adopted son, four daughters, five grandsons and seven granddaughters.

Spouses:
1. Leung Suet (1st wife)
2. Leung Jun (2nd wife)
3. Lim Shuk Kwei (3rd wife)
4. Lim Cheng Kim (4th wife)

Sons:
1. Loke Wan Piu
2. Loke Wan Chok
3. Loke Wan Chiew
4. Loke Hon Chow
5. Loke Wan Wye (aka Allan Loke) (d. 1941)
6. Loke Wan Yat (d. 1987)
7. Loke Wan Tho (1915 - 1964)

Daughters:
1. Loke Yuen Hing (aka Loke Joon Ying; Julien Loke Yew) (1878 - 1936)
2. Loke Yuen Ying
3. Loke Yuen Theng
4. Loke Yuen Peng (1917 - 2012)

Grandsons:
Loke Yung Hong
Loke Yung Cheong (b. 1909)
Loke Yung Lok
Loke Yoong Sun
Loke Yung Wai (b. 1934)

Granddaughters: 
Loke Yuen Choon
Loke Yuen Cheng
Loke Yuen Chong
Loke Yuen Kin
Loke Sok Sam

References:
Bard, Solomon (Ed.). (2002). Voices from the Past: Hong Kong, 1842-1918. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. (p. 355)
Godley, Michael. (2002). The Mandarin-Capitalists from Nanyang: Overseas Chinese Enterprise in the Modernisation of China 1893-1911. Cambridge University Press. (pp. 12 - 14)
Lam, Seng Fatt. (2011). Insider's Kuala Lumpur (3rd Ed.): Is No Ordinary Travel Guide. Open Your Eyes to the Soul of the City (Not Just the Twin Towers...). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. (p. 56)
Song, Ong Siang. (1923). One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore. London: John Murray. (p. 540)
Sprigg, Christopher (Ed.). (1928). British Malaya (Vol. 2). London: Newton & Company (pp. 62 & 72)
Wright, Arnold. (1907). Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Publishing Co., Ltd. (pp. 893-895)

News Archives:
The Straits Times, 19 February 1900, Page 3
The Straits Times, 21 May 1903, Page 4
The Straits Times, 30 March 1904, Page 4
The Straits Times, 27 September 1909, Page 6
The Straits Times, 24 July 1915, Page 8
The Straits Times, 6 March 1916, Page 8
The Straits Times, 2 October 1916, Page 8
The Straits Times, 5 January 1917, Page 9
The Straits Times, 3 February 1922, Page 8
The Straits Times, 4 February 1922, Page 8
The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 15 October 1924, Page 8


*1st revision on 28 Feb 2014