Monday, 26 December 2011

Cheah Cheang Lim 謝昌林


Cheah Cheang Lim was born on 6 December 1875 in Taiping. He was the sixth son of Cheah Boon Hean and Foo Kang Nyong. His grandfather left Shitan, Fujian and first migrated to Penang in the early 1800s and commenced in pepper and cloth trading under the firm Chop Eng Huat. Business rival in Penang during the early years was not competitive, thus, he expanded the business to plantation and was the importer and exporter of goods to and fro China with his own vessels. His second son, Cheah Boon Hean took charge of his vessels and traded porcelain ware and cloth in Sumatra. Cheah Boon Hean later commenced mining interest in Taiping and was then well established man in Perak. 

Cheah Cheang Lim was educated at King Edward VII School and later worked at the Taiping Post Office (1890 - 1894), as his father’s business was in-charged by his elder brother, Cheah Cheang Hooi. On 14 November 1896, he married Khoo Bai Hua of Penang (10 October 1878 – 6 March 1930) and had one son and three daughters. His son was Cheah Gim Leng, born in 1902. In 1894, Cheah Cheang Lim became private secretary to his uncle, Foo Choo Choon of Lahat and became appointed assistant manager in 1896 and general manager and attorney in 1900. He was the owner of the 50 acres Lahat Kiri Mines, with about 300 working force. 

Cheah Cheang Lim also acquired one of the richest tin mines in Perak in Tronoh for his uncle and by 1899 was appointed Manager of the Perak and Penang Mining Company Ltd. Cheah Cheang Lim also had tin mines in Sungei Besi, Selangor. He was the Chairman of Ipoh Foundry Ltd and Director of the Tanglin Rubber Estate Syndicate Ltd. In 1904, he donated a land in Chamberlain Road, Ipoh for the building of the Chinese Maternity Hospital. 

Cheah Cheang Lim was the Treasurer of Perak Anti-Opium Society, a committee member of the Perak Literary and Debating Society, and Ipoh Gymkhana Club, and a trustee of Cheah Kongsi, Penang. He also founded the Straits Chinese British Association and the Chinese Widows and Orphans Fund in 1903. In 1919, he founded the Cheah Boon Hean Scholarship for his alma mater in Taiping. 

In 1906, the international commodity price for rubber hiked drastically, and many investors turned to rubber plantations instead of tin, Cheah Cheang Lim who had been ventured into rubber plantation even before the over-demand, had made him a big fortune when the price went to its peak in 1910. He was then in the Board of Directors of the Gunong Rapat Syndicate Ltd. His business affairs were then managed by his brother, Cheah Cheang Hee and his brother-in-law, Khoo Soon Keng. Cheah Cheang Lim was given a seat in the Federal Council in 1927 and was a strong promoter for the restoration of Queen’s Scholarships and took great interest in securing the market price for rubber and tin. 

Cheah Cheang Lim had residences in Penang and Ipoh, he died on 15 November 1948. His famous residence was at 13 Leith Street, Penang.

1 comment:

  1. A widow of Cheah Ghim Leng just passed away.