Saturday, 24 December 2011

Chan Kang Choon

CHAN KANG CHOON

Chan Kang Choon was born in Guangdong, China. In 1872, he arrived at Penang and ventured business partnership and had known Leong Fee, who was later the Chinese Vice-Consul in Penang and had great tin mining interests in Perak.

At the end of 1882, Chan Kang Choon was a well-established merchant. Besides being a partner in the Penang Opium and Spirit Farm, he had tin mining interests in Perak. Where, later he lived in Kinta valley, Perak and had his children there.

Chan Kang Choon owned large property in Penang, Hong Kong and Guangdong, China. His son, Chan Kye Choo was a lawyer and his daughter, Chan Peik Kwan was the wife of Wang Jingwei (1883 –1944), the President of the pro-Japanese Nanjing government. One of Chan Kang Choon’s nephews was Leong Yew Koh, the first and the only Chinese Governor of Malacca.

Cheong Fatt Tze 張弼士

CHEONG FATT TZE 張弼士

Cheong Fatt Tze as he is known today was born in 1840 in Dapu, Guangdong. He was a Hakka, with birth name Chang Chin Hsun, and when he lived in Batavia and Penang, he was then known by his Hokkien name, Thio Tiauw Siat. His Cantonese name, Cheong Fatt Tze is much popular in today’s history.

Cheong Fatt Tze was born to a very poor family in China, at the age of 17, he left his native and lived in several places under the Dutch East Indies empire. He did some odd jobs before landed at Batavia and worked at a provision shop. As time passed, he married his employer’s daughter, Choo Neo (b. 1867). It was through the marriage, he was given financial support by his father-in-law to commence business on his own account and used Thio Tiauw Siat as his signature. His name Thio Tiauw Siat was spelled in a Dutch way, and was used in the Dutch and British colonies throughout his entire business life. However, he was commonly known in China as Chang Chin Hsun. 

In 1859, he secured a government contract in supplying food and daily provisions to the Dutch army and navy forces in Batavia. Through these contracts, he was then a well-known figure in the Dutch East Indies, and from Batavia he moved to Aceh when he was 35 years old, where he secured another contract in in supplying food and daily provisions to the Dutch army and navy forces in Aceh. Because of his articulate social life with the Dutch elites, he successful obtained the Opium, Liquor and Pawnbroker Farm in Aceh and by 1877, his farming interest had extended to half of the northern region of Sumatra, with vast interest in Government Farms in Edi, Temiang, Deli and Bengkalis, and in 1893 expanded to Rhio and Indragiri. In May 1893, he became the Honorary Vice-Consul of China in Penang. 

Followed by his business success in the Dutch colonies, in 1875, he commenced business in Penang in partnership with Lee Ah Ghee (Captain of Batavia) and Wong Boon Sin, under the name Chop Thio Joo Hoe at 15 Pitt Street. And ten years later he managed to obtain the Penang Pawnbroker Farm and became the Chinese Consul-General in Singapore, where another three years later he secured the Opium and Liquor Farm of Penang and Singapore. The onerous duties of this responsible Chinese diplomat position he fulfilled for five years and in return for his services was created a Mandarin of the Highest Order (First Rank Officer). In 1886, he established the Ban Joo Hin in Penang, and took great interest in steamship, tin mining, coconut, sago, fruit and pepper plantations, all distributed over Province Wellesley, Perak and Selangor. During his stay in Singapore when he was the Chinese Consul, his business was left to his attorneys and agents who were Cheah Chen Eok and Lee Ah Kam, with headquarters at Penang. 

It was not known why Cheong Fatt Tze drastically shifted his interest from the Dutch colonies to the British ones. He also owned a settlement called Karatan near Batavia, the place with a population of 8,000 with the length about 10 miles and width about 8 miles. This place was planted with paddy and fish was amongst the products. In partnership with a Dutch company, he owned various farms in Tjebaraosa, Tjelengsa, Klapa Moengal, Kongbong and Boyoung. The total area of all these districts was 60 miles in length and 305 miles in width and had over 100,000 populations. Where the principal produce was rice, birds’ nests and coffee. In 1879, he purchased a steamer, the Raja Kongsi Aceh, which plied between Penang and Aceh. In 1883, he acquired another steamer, the Hock Canton, which also had the same route as the former. After 14 years of experience in running the steamship business, in 1893 he established a steamship company at Penang, known as Kong Hock Kiok Limited Company and had nine steamers running to Perak, Tongkah, Klang, Asahan, and Deli. 

In 1904, he led a group of prominent Chinese leaders in Penang to establish the Chung Hwa Confucian School, and was claimed as the first modern Chinese school in Southeast Asia. Cheong Fatt Tze’s name had gained high reputation and recognition in the Imperial Chinese Palace, and was made a High Commissioner for Railways and Commerce in China in 1902, and later became the Special Commissioner for Trade in Southeast Asia in 1911. At one time he was given the opportunity to monopoly steamship business in China, but he declined as he was not able to run such a big venture. In 1905, he became a member of a commission to study the commercial affairs in Southeast Asia on behalf of the Chinese Board of Commerce. Upon his return to China, he had few audiences by the Emperor and Empress Dowager of China, their Majesties were satisfied with his reports. Little was known that, Cheong Fatt Tze had also established business affairs in his homeland, engaged in manufacturing bricks, textile, glass and salt farm by using modern machineries. In 1892, he founded the Chang Yu Winery in Shangtung, China, producing mainly fine Western wines with some traditional Chinese herbal wines. And in 1896 he founded various Chinese commercial banks and was a well-known banker in China and Dutch East Indies and was on the Board of Directors of the Canton Railway and the Bank of China. He was also a shareholder in the Sze Hai Tong Banking & Insurance Company Limited in Singapore. 

In 1912, together with Loke Yew, he personally endowed $50,000 to the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Arts during its early establishment. In return for his generosity, the University conferred him Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa in 1916.

Cheong Fatt Tze had at least eight wives and was the father of eight sons and six daughters, all distributed over the Dutch and British Colonies in Southeast Asia. His mansion at 14 Leith Street, Penang was occupied by his third, sixth and seventh wives. All his sons were educated at the St Xavier’s Institution. He died in 1916 in Batavia due to pneumonia and as a mark of respect, the Dutch and British decreed to fly their flags at half-mast. 

His fourth son, Chang Kiam Hoe (Thio Nghean Leong) was a well-known figure in Penang and Perak. He had vast interest in tin mining business in Ipoh, Perak as well as large plantation estates in Province Wellesley and Kedah. He was appointed as a trustee in Cheong Fatt Tze’s Will. 

Cheong Fatt Tze had uncountable number of fine houses all over China, Dutch and British Colonies in Southeast Asia, among of all, he laid a legacy that remained forever by building the finest Chinese mansion in Southeast Asia, which was then known as Le’ Bleu Mansion. The double-story mansion built in between 1897 to 1904 was enough to accommodate his large extended families with 34 rooms. Where he expected the mansion shall live for nine generations after him. The most intriguing part of Cheong Fatt Tze’s Will, besides the inheritance of his estate to all his wives and children, he mentioned the future management of his favourite mansion in 14 Leith Street, Penang. In his will, he said that ordinary repairs of the mansion shall be paid for a monthly sum not exceeding $250. And the house was given to his seventh wife Tan Tay Po @ Chan Kim Po and his last son, Cheong Kam Long and must not be sold until the death of Cheong Kam Long. 

Cheong Fatt Tze’s business affairs in the Straits Settlements were under the management of his cousin Thio Chee Non also known by the name Chong Yit Nam and Chong Chee Non who was the Kapitan of Deli. While his Penang estate was managed by Thio Siow Kong at 5 Beach Street. Cheong Fatt Tze Estate first appointed Henry Haley Busfield, Choo Shou San and Soo Beng Lim as Executors and Trustees of his estate in Penang, and in 1937 under the Court’s order the positions were taken by Cheong Hock Chye and Wee Sin Choe. 

Throughout the time after his death, one by one Cheong Fatt Tze’s considerable property was sold out, and the most significant sale which almost ended up his entire estate was in 1939. And in 1988 the last call for the sale of old porcelain and Chinese furniture belonged to Cheong Fatt Tze at the family mansion at 14 Leith Street was auctioned by Dominion Victor & Morris of Singapore. Cheong Fatt Tze’s illustrious life ended with the death of his last son, Cheong Kam Long in 1989. Where the family sold the last property of Cheong Fatt Tze at 14 Leith Street, Penang to a cooperate company by Cheong Kam Long’s wife Thong Siew Mee. One of Cheong Fatt Tze’s sons, Thio Phin Long who was also a trustee of his estate violated his capacity by defrauding the estate through illicit transaction involving the three wholesale and retail druggist businesses, and since then escaped to Hong Kong with his son Thio Chee Fook to avoid the warrant arrest on him in 1931. Today many of Cheong Fatt Tze’s descendants lived in Australia.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Aw Chu Kin 胡子钦

AW CHU KIN

Aw Chu Kin was born in Yonding, Fujian with Hakka descent. He was descended from a family engaged with traditional medicine background in China. Aw Chu Kin first arrived in Singapore and lived for some time until he proceeded to Penang to practice traditional Chinese medicine. By the time he came, Penang was a prosperous bustling place. He found no opportunity to expand his career there, thus he moved to Rangoon in 1868. In 1870, with the help from his uncle, he established the Eng Aun Tong Medicine Hall in Rangoon and passed down to his children when he died in 1908. Aw Chu Kin married Lee Kim Peik (李金碧) of Rangoon and had three sons, Aw Boon Leong, Aw Boon Par and Aw Boon Par. Eldest son, Aw Boon Leong died at the age of 18.

Aw Boon Par 胡文豹

AW BOON PAR 胡文豹, OStJ , CH

Aw Boon Par was born in 1885 in Rangoon and received English education. He was the third son of Aw Chu Kin. He lived all his childhood in Rangoon and helped his father to run the daily chores and also the family-owned business since he was very young. When his father died in 1908, he inherited his father’s medicine shop in Rangoon, known as Aun Eng Tong (Hall of Everlasting Peace). His famous invention including the Ban Kim Ewe (Ten Thousand Golden Oil), a concoction to remedy all maladies, later renamed to Tiger Balm.

Aw Boon Par and his brother Aw Boon Haw were best known to public as great philanthropists. He and his brother had generously donated more than USD20 million for charity purposes, all the money went to the construction and maintenance of hospitals and schools, Po Leung Kuk (Women’s Shelter House), disaster reliefs and many others to be named.

In 1938, Aw Boon Par was awarded the Certificate of Honour by King George VI, and in return for his valuable services to the Hong Kong St John Ambulance Association and Brigade, he was appointed Officer of the Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem.

He had three wives, Tay Piah Lan, Daw Saw and Teo Hong Yin. His sons were Aw Cheng Chye married Tay Chwee Sian daughter of Tay Kee Ming of Penang in 1949, and was a Director of Chung Khiaw Bank, and second son Aw Cheng Tek. Daughter, Aw Cheng Sim married Lee Aik Sim and was commissioned by his father to run the Sing Sian Daily in Bangkok. His daughter, Aw Cheng Hu was married to Lee Chee Shan (1909 – 1986), she was the President of family-owned Chung Khiaw Bank. Lee Chee Shan was a nephew to Aw Chu Kin’s wife. Aw Boon Par died in 1944.

Wives:
1. Tay Piah Lan (1888 - 1944) married in 1908
2. Daw Saw (1898 - 1985) married in 1914
3. Teo Hong Yin (1906 - 1965) married in 1927

Sons:
1. Aw Cheng Chye (1924 - 1971) married Tay Chwee Sian (b. 1926) in 1949
2. Aw Cheng Teik (b. 1932) married Lee Siew Chee in 1973.

Daughters:
1. Aw Cheng Hu (1915 - 2010) married Lee Chee Shan (1909 - 1986) in 1932
2. Aw Cheng Sim (b. 1921) married Lee Aik Sim (b. 1925) in 1950

Aw Boon Haw 胡文虎

AW BOON HAW 胡文虎, KStJ, OBE, CH

Aw Boon Haw was born in 1882 to Aw Chu Kin, a traditional medicine practitioner. At the age of 10 years he went back China to have Chinese education. When his father died, he was called back Rangoon by his brother, Aw Boon Par to work at his father’s shop, Eng Aun Tong Medicine Hall. Eng Aun Tong (Hall of Everlasting Peace) could only make the brothers meet the ends and survive for the day, but not really well-to-do.

In 1926, Aw Boon Haw and his brother migrated to Singapore. The idea to shift the business from Rangoon to Singapore was a risk. And the Aw brothers introduced the famous ointment Tiger Balm, a registered trademark of Eng Aun Tong and later became a famous household product. Aw Boon Haw’s success was not only limit to his ability in marketing the medicine. Over the years, he expanded his business and became a banker, financier, industrialist and newspaper proprietor.

His Sin Poh Amalgamated Ltd controlled 13 newspapers in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong (Sing Tao Daily), including two English language dailies, the Singapore Standard and Hong Kong Standard. He was famously known for being the owner of two popular Malaysia Chinese dailies, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Guang Ming Daily. His active involvement in settling newspaper, particularly the Sin Chew Jit Poh in 1929 was to serve the purpose to publicise his medicine products. Where he fully utilised the concept of advertisement to express his ideas and inventions to the public.

In 1950, he took a major step by establishing the Chung Khiaw Bank, aimed at small-scale business loan. Being an established man throughout the Straits Settlements and British Malaya, Aw Boon Haw moved to Hong Kong and left his brother in Singapore. Shortly afterwards, Aw Boon Par also left for Rangoon. It was after the World War II ended, Aw Boon Haw returned back Singapore and reorganised his business.

In 1929, he was honoured by the Chinese National Government of Taiwan with a First Class Gold Medal and a certificate, for the purchase of one hundred dollars Government Bond. In 1933, he was presented a Certificate of Honour in recognition of his loyal and valuable services to His Majesty’s Government. In 1936, Aw Boon Haw was honoured by the Chinese Government with a gold medal and a certificate of honour for his charitable bequests in donating a laboratory for the Shanghai Hospital, including a sum of $10000 was remitted for relief work in the China floods in 1935 and $7000 in 1931, and many other donations given to the people and government of China. The recognition was presented by Sze Zau Hsung, the acting Chinese Consul-General in Singapore. In 1938, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his philanthropic services in the British Malaya and Straits Settlements. In 1950, Aw Boon Haw was honoured by King George V with Associated Knight of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, the Order was presented by the Governor of Hong Kong and he was the only Chinese to have earned the distinguish coveted honour.

In 1954, while on his way back to Hong Kong from the United States, Aw Boon Haw suffered heart attack and he died at Honolulu Hospital. His body was sent to Hong Kong for burial. It was said that during his lifetime a sum of more than ten millions dollars was given away for charity goods, but Aw Boon Haw took no account to note his philanthropy deeds.

Aw Boon Haw had four wives, Cheng Peng Foong (1883 – 1959), Chan Kam Chi, Wong Yoke Seah and Khoo Siew Eng, his third wife was the occupant of his villa at Tai Hang Road, Hong Kong. He had seven sons and two daughters. His sons were Dato’ Aw Kow, Aw San, Aw Hoe, Aw It Haw, Aw Er Haw, Aw San Haw and Aw Si Haw. Daughters, Aw Sian and Aw Sin. After his death, the handover of the family business was disastrous, his heirs squabbled and left his wealth in tatters.

His adopted sons through his first wife, Dato’ Aw Kow married Tan Kah Joo daughter of Tan Leng Tian in 1940 was the Managing Director of Sin Chew Jit Poh, Singapore Standard and Chung Khiaw Bank, he was made a Dato’ by Sultan of Pahang in 1963. And Aw San who was appointed to General Manager of Eng Aun Tong. Aw Boon Haw’s another adopted son, Aw Hoe (1919 – 1951) was the Managing Director of Sin Chew Jit Poh and Singapore Standard, he died in an air-crash tragic. Aw Hoe and Aw Sian (original name, She Moi) was adopted by Aw Boon Haw’s second wife. Aw Sian who was adopted from a distant relative in Burma at the age of five years she was a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Through the third wife who lived in Hong Kong, Aw Boon Haw had two sons, Aw It Haw and Aw Er Haw. And by his fourth wife, he had two sons and a daughter, Aw San Haw, Aw Si Haw and Aw Sin. Aw Boon Haw also employed his nephew, Aw Cheong Yeow son of Aw Chung Chek (1876 – 1961) was the manager of his newspaper firm, Sin Chew Jit Poh and his brother Aw Cheong Lian who was educated in Singapore was employed at Aw Boon Haw’s gold mine in Pahang.

Aw Boon Haw in his full honour decorations


Wives:
1. Tay Piah Hong @ Cheng Peng Foong (1885 - 1959)
2. Tan Kim Wee @ Chan Kam Chi (b. 1906) married in 1919
3. Ooi  Geak Cheah @ Wong Yoke Seah (b. 1908) married in 1924
4. Khoo Siew Eng @ Yau Siu Ying (b. 1914) married in 1937

Children:
1. Aw Kow (1914 - 1983) married Tan Kah Joo (b. 1923) in 1940
2. Aw Swan (1915 - 1986) married Lim Saw Swee (b. 1918) in 1938
3. Aw Hoe (1921 - 1951) married Chan Sau Yong (b. 1919) in 1939 and Hoi Lan Yin (b. 1923) in 1947
4. Aw Sian (b. 1931)
5. Aw It Haw (b. 1930) married Akiko Nagase (b. 1927) in 1960
6. Aw Jee Haw (1930 - 1942)
7. Aw Seng (b. 1937) married Liow Yee Lee (b. 1932) in 1957
8. Aw Sar Haw (1941 - 1942)
9. Aw See Haw (b. 1950) married Ng Shun Yee in 1975

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Taik Ho & Co. 得和公司

Toh Khay Beng 杜啟明, JP
One of the oldest and renowned general stores in Taiping, was the Taik Ho & Co. (得和公司), stationed at No 82, Main Road. Its head company was at Taiping, with a branch office at No 93, Belfield Street, Ipoh. The firm was commenced by Toh Khay Beng in 1889. 

Born in 1859, Toh Khay Beng was among the early batch of Chinese immigrants settled in Taiping during 1870s. Being a son of Tong'an, Fujian, he came from China and commenced his early business in Penang in 1883. And for nine years he had been actively engaged in tin mining in Perak and managed to establish himself into various businesses. For twelve years Toh Khay Beng had been a member of the Taiping Sanitary Board and was one of the local Visiting Justices.

Taik Ho & Co. was a well-known provision shop selling liquors, opium, various imported food stuffs and was a licensed arms dealer. His firm also arranged sedan chairs and coolies to transport the Europeans to the Larut Hills. Toh Khay Beng died in July 1923 after battling with a long illness since 1916 and his firm was left to his sons Toh Eng Swee and Toh Eng Hoe. In order to honour the early pioneer of Taiping, the Sanitary Board decided to name a road after him. In 1910, his son Toh Eng Hoe founded the Guan Ho Distillery (源和酒廠), which located next to Taik Ho & Co. Today the management of Taik Ho & Co. has been incorporated with its subsidiary the Guan Ho & Co. Ltd. (得和源和有限公司), which was established by Toh Eng Hoe. Under its new name, Taik Ho & Guan Ho Ltd, the managing directors are Toh Theam Chuan 杜添全 and Toh Teck Au.

Toh Kay Beng was also known as a generous philanthropist to several  Chinese temples and associations, as well as endowed financial support to educational institutions in Taiping. In order to honour this early pioneer, the Taiping Sanitary Board named a road after him in the town. 


Taik Ho & Co., No 82 Main Road, Taiping was demolished in 1977 

The interior view of Taik Ho & Co.

Dato' Dr Toh Eng Hoe 杜榮和, CBE, AMN, DPMP, PJK, JP
Born in Taiping, Toh Eng Hoe was educated at King Edward VII School, Taiping, where he was awarded Sir William Taylor’s prize for the best essay and a silver medal as the head boy of the school in 1915. He was matriculated at Penang and went to Hong Kong University on 1916. But in a year later, he had to discontinue further studies on account of his father’s illness. With a Master of Surgery (MCh), Toh Eng Hoe was a registered doctor and served the Taiping General Hospital for some years.

On the death of his father, Toh Khay Beng in 1923. Toh Eng Hoe became the sole proprietor of Taik Ho & Co, well-known provision shop, Chop Guan Ho and the Taiping Spirit Distillery. He was also a well-known planter and a racehorse owner and had established a motor-garage in Barrack Road (Taiping) in 1926.

Being a busy man, Toh Eng Hoe had always taken an active part in public matters and was the president of the Chinese Sporting Club (Taiping), Chin Woo Athletic Association (Taiping) and the Chinese Benevolent Society. He was also a senior unofficial member of the Sanitary Board of Larut & Matang, member of the Rubber Licensing Board, Small Holdings (Restriction of Sale) Committee, Public Gardens Committee, Visiting Justice to the Taiping Jail, Visitor to the Larut District and General Hospitals and the Decrepit Settlement. He was also a member of the Perak State Council (1948 – 1955).

Toh Eng Hoe also associated himself with all social activities and his name was a valuable asset to the Hokkien Association where he was the president and also the Taiping Literary Improvement Association, Chinese Advisory Board of Perak, the Cheng Luan Seah (Penang) and a trustee of the Toh Kongsi (Penang) and a director of Taiping Cinema Ltd.

Toh Eng Hoe was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1933 by the Sultan of Perak and made an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1956. The contributions and services of Toh Eng Hoe to the people and government of Perak were credited as invaluable. He was decorated with Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP) which carries the title Dato. In his later life, Toh Eng Hoe was made a Member of the Order of the Defender of the Realm (AMN) for his meritorious service to the country. And was conferred with a Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK) by the Sultan of Perak.

Toh Eng Hoe's Children:
  1. Toh Theam Hock: Second son. A lawyer, called to the Malayan Bar in 1959. On 10 March 1962, he married Mona Lim, eldest daughter of Lim Buan Tee of Ipoh. Toh Theam Hock was a Member of Parliament for Kampar. He died in Taiping and had an adopted daughter, through Mona Lim. Mona Lim was a teacher at Convent Taiping. Toh Theam Hock was the President of Malaysia Food Processors Association, where he himself was the Chairman of the General Foods Processing Company (M) Bhd, Taiping. 
  2. Toh Guat Cheng: Second daughter. Married Dr Ng Khye Weng, second son of Ng Ah Tuck of Penang. The couple had since moved to live in the United States of America.
    Chinese Sporting Club, Barrack Road, Taiping. Its president Toh Eng Hoe seated next to the right shield.

    Monday, 11 July 2011

    Lam Looking 林六經

    Lam Looking

    His name is pronounced as ‘Lam Loke Ying.’ Born in Penang in 1863, Lam was a native of Xinhui, Guangdong. He received his early education in Penang, where his family was well-known and respected for many generations. At the age of 18, Lam proceeded to study at the Chinese Imperial Naval Arsenal at Fuzhou, majoring in sea navigation, and became a ship commander in the Franco-Chinese War. He retired his military service and was knighted with Mandarin of the Blue Button decorated with the Chinese Imperial official attire and a peacock feather headgear.

    From China, Lam retired to Kampar and ventured into tin mining business and had contributed in the development of Chinese welfare and educations. He was awarded with Order of Merit with a gold medal presented by the Governor of Guangdong. His eldest son, Lam Weng Yoon was the president of Wah Seong Kok, the Literary Association of Kampar. While his second son Lam Weng Chak married Cheng Shaw Moiey, second daughter of Cheng Oi Seng (Hong Kong). 

    Lam Weng Yoon's daughter Selena Lam was the first Asian woman to receive University of Queensland research grant. Selena completed her Bachelor of Science from University of Adelaide in 1959, and Master of Science in University of Queensland. She spent seven years in Australia for her studies and returned back to Malaya in 1963 posted as lecturer of bacteriology at University of Singapore. 

    In 1946, Lam Weng Chak was charged to the court for voluntarily caused hurt for the purpose of extorting confession. The offenses were committed in March 1942, when Malaya was under Japanese Occupation. 

    In 1919, Lam Looking bought Mess House of the Straits Trading Co. Ltd in Gopeng Road for $85,000. Lam’s family residence was named as King’s Villa at Gopeng Road, Ipoh. During his final two years, Lam’s health was deteriorating and was treated at Singapore. On 1 June 1937, he died in Ipoh at the age of 74.

    Chu Kik Moon 朱戟門

    CHU KIK MOON 朱戟門, JP

    Chu Kik Moon J.P., was a prominent resident of Seremban, perhaps he was the only man in the town to have sent all his children to have university education during the early times.

    His eldest son, Chu Chin Hon earned a Degree in Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) from Lingnan University, while his daughter, Chu Tsuk Lin was also in Lingnan University studied literature, and Chu Kik Moon's youngest son, Chu Chi Kin was in Hong Kong University.

    Chu Kik Moon was a great beneficiary and promoter of education, he had financially supported the Anglo Chinese School and several other schools in Seremban. Chu Kik Moon was first educated at Queen’s College, Hong Kong and then at Raffles Institution, Singapore for a jiffy.

    He settled down in Malaya in 1907 and was made a Justice of the Peace in 1937. He was notably known for his post as the President of Negri Sembilan Athletic Association, a committee member of the Chinese Maternity Hospital, a member of the Board of Visitors to the Decrepit Hospital, Tampin and was an honorary Treasurer of the China Relief Fund.

    Chu Kik Moon's Town House at No. 86 Paul Street, Seremban

    Wednesday, 6 July 2011

    Quah Beng Kee 柯孟淇

    QUAH BENG KEE 柯孟淇, OBE, JP

    Quah Beng Kee was descended from a well established Straits Chinese family. His father Quah Joo Moye was born in China. Quah Beng Kee was born in 1872 in Penang. He married daughter of Chew Choo In, the Chinese Kapitan of Deli, Sumatra. Quah Beng Kee had five sons and two daughters and was the owner of coconut estates in the Province of Wellesley and Northern Perak. He was educated at the Penang Free School and later to the Roberts' College in Calcutta.

    Quah Beng Kee was an appointed Justice for the Peace and decorated with Officer of the Order of British Empire in 1923. His family residence was at No. 95 Bishop Street, Penang, while his summer house Castledale was at Province of Wellesley. Quah Beng Kee's brothers, Beng Hong, Beng Hoe and Beng Kang were proprietors of the Beng Brothers Co. premised at Beach Street, Penang.

    In 1895, Quah Beng Kee establised the Guan Lee Hin Steamship Company and provided logistic services in Penang and Singapore and proved to be one of the most successful steamship companies in the British Malaya. In 1897, the company extended its ferry steamship service in between George Town, Province of Wellesley, Kedah and minor ports in Perak, marking the history as the first firm to operate ferry services in Malaya. Besides the Guan Lee Hin, Quah Beng Kee also seated as Director to several other major companies, including the Taik Lee Guan & Co. and Graham & Co. Ltd. Quah Beng Kee also extended his business in exporting copra from his estates of Otaheite in Glugor and Sungei Nibong. He also ventured into large ironworks and known as the Penang Foundry.

    Quah Beng Kee played his importance in the Chinese welfare in Penang, he was a committee member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Municipal Commissioner of George Town, Penang Habour Board and held important role in various associations. He died on 13 Novermber 1952.

    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.