Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Khoo Hun Yeang 邱汉阳

Khoo Hun Yeang
Khoo Hun Yeang was born in Penang in 1860 to Khoo Thean Teik. His father was a prominent figure in Penang and Perak. Khoo Hun Yeang was educated in Penang and joined his father's business in coconut plantation in Province Wellesley.  He managed the business successfully for 10 years and returned to Penang to assist her father's interest in the Penang Opium and Spirit Farm in which he remained for another 6 years. 

Khoo Hun Yeang later commenced business on his own account in Penang under the firm chop Chin Lee & Co., trading in tin and general trades. In 1899 he joined the Singapore Opium and Spirit Farm, and was appointed managing director of the farm from 1902 until 1906. He relinquished his interest in the Singapore farm and went to Kuching to venture in the construction industry. 

Khoo Hun Yeang was the Vice-Chairman of the Penang Chinese Town Hall, a Board Member of the Kek Lok Si Temple and the Cheng Hoon Giam Temple (Snake Temple). The main street, Khoo Hun Yeang Road, in which he built in Kuching was named after him. He died in Medan in 1917 and was buried in Kampung Bahru, Penang, at his family burial ground. He was survived by a principal wife Ong Gek Chai (王玉钗), 8 sons, his two elder sons Khoo Siew Jin (b. 1884) and Khoo Siew Ghee were prominent merchants in Singapore.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Chan Chew Koon 曾秋坤

Baron Chan, FRCPCH, MBE
© Gary Lee; Universal Pictorial Press and Agency Ltd
Chan Chew Koon was the first Chinese Lord appointed to the House of Lords in Great Britain. Chan Chew Koon or Michael Chan was born on 6 March 1940 in Singapore. He was educated at Raffles Institution, Singapore and studied medicine at Guy's Hospital.

Michael first served as lecturer and pediatrician at the University of Singapore (now National University of Singapore). Shortly after his return to Singapore, in 1974 he continued his studies in Von Willebrand's disease (a study on the symptoms similar to hemophilia) under the supervision of Professor Roger Michael Hardisty at the University of London's Institute of Child Health. In 1976, Michael then posted as lecturer and pediatrician at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (University of Liverpool). He remained for almost 18 years before appointed as the director of Ethnic Health Unit in National Health Service. 

Michael was an active social activist concerning the rights of minorities in Great Britain. He was an advisor to the Secretary of State for the Home Department and a commissioner of Commission for Racial Equality, a non-departmental public organisation in the UK which aimed to solve racial discrimination and promote racial equality. Michael also held various important positions in the field of race relations in the UK, and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1991. 

In 2001, he was appointed member of the peerage and became Lord Chan of Oxton in the County of Merseyside. Michael married Irene Chee Wei Len in 1965 and has a son, Stephen Chan and daughter, Ruth Chan. He died on 21 January 2006. 

A Pictorial History of the Overseas Chinese: Song Ong Siang Chinese Portraits Collection

One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore 
One of the highly sought after reference materials in Chinese studies in the Straits Settlements would be the classical One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore compiled by Song Ong Siang (later Sir). This 602-page book was first published in 1923 by John Murray, London and later reprinted by the University Malaya Press (1967) and Oxford University Press (1984). 

The objective of the compilation is to document all influential Chinese in Singapore since its inception as a British Colony in 1819. Hundred of Chinese community leaders, merchants, politicians, etc. are discussed in an anecdotal flow beginning with the history of Singapore as a British Colony. The stories of the Singapore Chinese business interests and contributions to the development of early Singapore are embodied in this book. There are over 100 Chinese individual portraits and family photographs featured in this hard-bound book.

Below is a list of the individual portraits from the book. To retrieve the these photographs, kindly send me a request.
  1. Boey Ah Sam 
  2. Chan Kim Boon 
  3. Chan Sze Jin 
  4. Chan Sze Onn 
  5. Chao Kim Keat 
  6. Cheang Hong Lim 
  7. Cheong Ann Bee 
  8. Cheong Chun Tin 
  9. Cheong Swee Whatt 
  10. Chia Ann Siang 
  11. Chia Guan Eng 
  12. Chia Hood Theam 
  13. Ching Keng Lee 
  14. Chao Chuan Ghiok 
  15. Chao Giang Thye 
  16. Eu Tong Sen 
  17. Foo Teng Quee 
  18. Gan Eng Seng 
  19. Gaw Boon Chan 
  20. Goh Hood Keng 
  21. Goh Lai Hee 
  22. Hoo Ah Kay 
  23. Hoo Ah Yip 
  24. Hoo Keng Tuck 
  25. Kiong Chin Eng 
  26. Koh Eng Hoon 
  27. Koh San Hin 
  28. Kow Soon Kim 
  29. Kum Cheng Soo 
  30. Kung Tuan Cheng 
  31. K.Y. Doo 
  32. Lee Cheng Yan 
  33. Lee Choo Neo 
  34. Lee Choon Guan 
  35. Lee Hoon Leong 
  36. Lew Yuk Lin 
  37. Lim Boon Keng 
  38. Lim Chwee Leong 
  39. Lim Han Hoe 
  40. Lim Ho Puah 
  41. Lim Keng Kiat 
  42. Lim Koon Yang 
  43. Lim Kwee Eng 
  44. Lim Leack 
  45. Lim Nee Soon 
  46. Lim Peng Siang 
  47. Low Ah Jit 
  48. Low Boon Pin 
  49. Low Cheang Yee 
  50. Low Kway Soo 
  51. Low Peng Yam 
  52. Michael Seet 
  53. Ng Sing Phang 
  54. Oei Tiong Ham 
  55. Ong Ewe Hai 
  56. Ong Sam Leong 
  57. Ong Tek Lim 
  58. S.C. Yin 
  59. Seah Cheng Joo 
  60. Seah Chiam Yeow 
  61. Seah Eng Choe 
  62. Seah Eu Chin 
  63. Seah Liang Seah 
  64. Seow Poh Leng 
  65. Song Hoot Kiam 
  66. Song Ong Joo 
  67. Song Ong Siang 
  68. Song Tiang Kay 
  69. Tan Beng Gum 
  70. Tan Beng Swee 
  71. Tan Boon Chin 
  72. Tan Chay Yan 
  73. Tan Cheng Tuan 
  74. Tan Chin Hoon 
  75. Tan Choon Bock 
  76. Tan Jiak Kim 
  77. Tan Jiak Ngoh 
  78. Tan Keong Saik 
  79. Tan Kheam Hock 
  80. Tan Kim Ching 
  81. Tan Kim Wah 
  82. Tan Kong Wee 
  83. Tan Poh Neo 
  84. Tan Soo Bin 
  85. Tan Soo Guan 
  86. Tan Soo Jin 
  87. Tan Teck Guan 
  88. Tan Yeok Nee 
  89. Tan Yong Siak 
  90. Tay Geok Teat 
  91. Tay Ho Swee 
  92. Tay Sek Tin 
  93. Tchan Chun Fook 
  94. Teo Hoo Lye 
  95. Teo Lee 
  96. Teo Teow Peng 
  97. Thong Siong Lim 
  98. Wan Eng Kiat 
  99. Wee Ah Hood 
  100. Wee Bin 
  101. Wee Boon Teck 
  102. Wee Guat Kim 
  103. Wee Kim Yam 
  104. Wee Swee Teow 
  105. Wong Ah Fook 
  106. Wong Siew Qui 
  107. Wong Tuan Keng 
  108. Yeo Swee Hee 
  109. Yow Ngan Pan

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. 

Wife:
1. Yeo Im Neo (d. 1887)

Sons:
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

Daughters:
1. Lim Lan Neo

Grandchildren:
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


Revisions:
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.