Saturday, 19 May 2012

Chee Hoon Bong


Chee Hoon Bong was born in Malacca to Chee Yam Chuan. His family had lived in Malacca for up to four generations before him. Chee Hoon Bong was the owner of the City Saw Mills and Bukit Beruang Estate in Malacca, where he planted tapioca, and numerous fertile lands in Malacca. He was a director of his father’s owned firm, Leack Chin Seng & Co. and also a partner in the firm Lim Tiang Wah & Co. (Chop Swee Hong). Chee Hoon Bong was a headman for the Hokkien community in Malacca, and was appointed Justice of Peace for six years. In 1883, when the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements passed the Ordinance X of 1883, in order to prevent encroachments upon the Crown Colony lands, he immediately called for a meeting among people of interest in their estates in Malacca for solving their problems of illegal lands. The Chee Hoon Bong Scholarship named after him was created and endowed to St Francis’ Institution, Malacca for the best-excelled students in term of academic achievements. He died on 28 September 1903, leaving four sons and three daughters. His sons were Chee Tye Cheng (1860 – 1921), Chee Swee Cheng (1866 – 1935) and Chee Sim Cheng (1873). His family residence was at Heeren Street.

Cheang Jim Chuan 章壬全


Cheang Jim Chuan was born in 1878 in Singapore to Cheang Hong Lim. He inherited considerable amount of his father’s estate and became a millionaire at a very young age. Cheang Jim Chuan took minor interest in business affairs, but he was a member of the Singapore Opium and Liquor Farm. He married Chan Kim Hong (1876 – 1934) and had two sons and two daughters. His sons were Cheang Theam Chu and Cheang Theam Kee. Cheang Jim Chuan’s eldest son, Cheang Theam Chu married Khoo Giang Neo daughter of Khoo Heng Wan, his second son Cheang Theam Kee married Cheong Tuan Neo, second daughter of Cheong Keong Chye of Singapore on 1 July 1931. His eldest daughter was married to Dr Cheong Chee Hai, the eldest son of Cheong Choon Beng. Cheang Jim Chuan’s second daughter, Emily Cheang Seok Cheng was married to Woon Chow Tat, fifth son of Woon Hong Heng of Kuala Lumpur on 27 September 1930. Cheang Jim Chuan and family first lived at the family house at Havelock Road (in 1931 the house was sold to the Scheut Missions), his family then moved to several places including the Maidstone at 42 Cairnhill Road and lastly, the Riviera at 112 Pasir Panjang Road and 10 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore. Cheang Jim Chuan died in 1940.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cheang Hong Lim 章芳琳


Cheang Hong Lim was born in 1825 in Singapore to Cheang Sam Teow. His family with ancestry at Tiang Thye (Chang Tai), Zhangzhou, was well-known in the Chinese community section in Singapore. Cheang Hong Lim had great interest in the Opium and Liquor Farm of Singapore. He was a member of Singapore Po Leung Kok (Women’s Shelter Home) where he was a co-founder, and was made a Justice of Peace. Cheang Hong Lim was also known as a generous philanthropist to various charity fundraisings. He was the largest donor for the building of a new convent in Singapore, where a sum of $3000 was endowed, and in 1876, a sum of $900 was given to the Portuguese Church of St Jose for the alterations of the gas chandeliers. And a sum of $3000 was also donated to convert the front space of the Central Police Station into a public garden, where the park was later named after him. In 1874, he donated $100 for the Bengal Famine, near Bihar, British India. In 1875, he founded the Cheang Wan Seng School (later Cheang Jim Hean School and Telok Ayer Grammar School). Cheang Hong Lim was the Headman for the Hokkien Community in Singapore, and was the owner of a private fire-brigade force, with 37 firemen. He also extended his charitable deeds to the French colonies in Southeast Asia, and had earned him recognition from the French Government, where he was presented with a medal. He also offered to fund the building of iron rail fence around the park near the Singapore Chinese Recreation Club ground, in which also donated by him in 1885. Cheang Hong Lim also funded the refurbishment of Fuk Tak Chi Temple in 1869 and the reconstruction of the Tiang Thye Temple in 1887, as the old one built by his father in 1849 was in a deplorable state, and a wet market at Havelock Road, where the market was named after him. He was the single largest sponsor for providing armed weapons, including contributed one of the four Maxim guns to the Singapore Volunteer Artillery. Cheang Hong Lim had two wives, Bek Chit Boey and Lim Kwee Eng, eleven sons and three daughters. He died on 11 February 1893, and left a Will of his estates worth millions of dollars dated on 30 October 1878 to his 14 children. His sons were, Cheang Jim Hean, Cheang Jim Chuan, Cheang Jim Kheng, Cheang Jim Khean, Cheang Jim Siew, Cheang Jim Ho, Cheang Jim Seong, Cheang Jim Eng, Cheang Jim Kwan, Cheang Jim Kong and Cheang Jim Khoon. His daughters were Cheang Cheow Lean, Cheang Kwee Lean and Cheang Sai Lean. His property at Hong Lim Market was given to his granddaughter, Cheang Tew Meuy. His eldest son Chean Jim Hean died in 1901 at his family residence, Annan Bank, River Valley Road and buried at Alexandra Road.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Cheah Tek Thye


Cheah Tek Thye was born in 1860 in Penang to Cheah Chow Pan. He was educated at the Penang Free School, St Xavier’s Institution and Doveton College in Calcutta. His father in partnership with Khoo Seck Chuan was the principal importer of China goods in Penang. Cheah Tek Thye first worked as assistant to his brother, Cheah Tek Soon’s company, the Sing Eng Moh & Co. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Kean Guan Insurance Company in Penang as secretary. He was the owner of Eng Moh Hui Thye Kee Estate in Semelin, Kedah, a 3400-acre land planted with 20,000 coconut trees and 30,000 rubber trees. He was a director of the Chinese Overseas Bank, and was an agent for Lipton’s wines. Cheah Tek Thye was famed for being an active sportsman. He owned several racehorses and won numerous tournaments in the Straits Settlements and also in the Federated Malay States. He had been elected as a Municipal Commissioner of Penang for two terms, the President of the Cheah Clan Temple of Penang and an ex-officio of the Penang Free School. In 1903, a two faced turret clock with dials three feet in diameter on the tower of the grand stand on the Penang Turf Club was donated by him. In 1925, he was made a Commissioner of the Peace. Cheah Tek Thye was married twice, whom his first wife was the youngest daughter of Koh Teng Choon (a grandson of Koh Lay Huan), but she died after thirteen years of married life and within a year later, Cheah Tek Thye married daughter of Gim Tong. Cheah Tek Thye had four sons and four daughters. One of his sons, Dr Cheah Toon Lok was awarded a research grant of the Jordan Scholarship in Tropical Medicine, where he based at the Medical Hospital of Hong Kong University and later became a prominent politician in the country. Cheah Tek Thye died on 11 January 1935 at his house at Northam Road and was buried at the Cheah Cemetery, Mount Erskine.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Cheah Tek Soon 谢德顺

Cheah Tek Soon was born in Penang to Cheah Chow Pan, and was brother to Cheah Tek Thye and Cheah Tek Lee. Cheah Tek Soon was the owner of the Sing Eng Moh & Co., and had founded the first Chinese insurance company in the Straits Settlements, known as Kean Guan Insurance Company. Cheah Tek Soon was best known for his impressive five-story house at Northam Road. In spite of the spacious house, Cheah Tek Soon never married, he invited his brothers to live with him. One of his brothers, Cheah Tek Thye had given his daughter, Cheah Liew Bee for his adoption. Cheah Tek Soon was active in the Chinese community affairs, he was a donor to the establishment of the Penang Chinese Town Hall in 1881 and donated a Bandstand at the Penang Town Hall in 1884. 

Cheah Tek Soon in partnership with Cheah Eu Ghee 谢有义 was a government contractor. In 1893, both men were in charged for repairing the road from Tanjong Tokong to Tanjong Batu in Penang which cost $5,000. Besides that, he and Cheah Eu Khay had business interest in steamships 

When Cheah Tek Soon died, he left all his estate to his adopted daughter, Cheah Liew Bee, including his mansion at Northam Road. Cheah Liew Bee who had married to Goh Say Eng (1875 - 1941), was a loyal supporter of Dr Sun Yan Sen's revolution movement in China. Had contributed all the Cheah’s properties to keep Dr Sun's movement alive and had led the couple live in dire conditions. Cheah Tek Soon’s another brother, Cheah Tek Lee was a business partner with Cheah Chen Eok, where he acted as intermediary for Thai merchants in Penang, Perak and Kedah. Cheah Tek Lee had married two daughters of Khaw Teng Hai@Khaw Soo Cheang (1797 – 1883), the Governor of Ranong.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Khoo Hock Cheong 邱福種

Khoo Hock Cheong

Khoo Hock Cheong was a tin miner, planter and contractor. He was born in 1855 in Fujian, China and was son of Khoo Tek Heok. Khoo Hock Cheong came to Penang in 1870, where he left his ancestral village, Xinjiang in Sandou district, Haicheng county of Fujian province.

He first started a provision shop in Penang and three years later he was joined by a partner and extended his business. At the same time he took charge of a sugar plantation and factory and commenced to import European goods. Twelve years later the partnership was dissolved and for few months he did no business at all.

In 1887, he started to trade as a merchant and in 1888 held the lease of the Situl General Farms in Kedah. Losing heavily in this venture, he was obliged to give up business and start another, with several partners, he became the dealer in indigo and tapioca. Two years later, finding that this business did not pay him well, he withdrew from it and went to Telok Anson, where he established himself as a rice and tin merchant.

At the end of two more years he went to Kuala Lumpur and opened up a business in partnership with a Singapore firm as a dealer in tin, opium, rice, coffee, etc. there he remained for about nine years. He then entered into contracts for supply of labours to load and unload the goods conveyed by the Federated Malay States Railways in Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Malacca. In 1912, he was the loading and unloading contractor for Port Swettenham.

In his later life, Khoo Hock Cheong ventured into rubber plantation and tin mining and owned numerous landed properties in Kuala Lumpur, Port Swettenham and several parts of Selangor. His main office was at the Old Market Square under the name Chop Hock Cheong. Through his illustrious business life, Khoo Hock Cheong soon assimilated into the Western culture, by sending his children for English education as well as actively socialising with the European elites.

Khoo Hock Cheong was a committee member of the Selangor Miners in 1914 until 1917. He died in 1917 in Kuala Lumpur. In 1917, his youngest son Khoo Soon Leong married Yap Kon Keow, the only daughter of Yap Loong Kee and Low Hup Neoh. Khoo Hock Cheong’s family residence was located at No. 117-B Ampang Road, Kuala Lumpur, next to Chua Cheng Bok’s Mansion. The names of his children are taken from his tombstone, however there are contradictions between the Chinese names and the Roman-spelled names. 

Yeoh Geok Kheng

1. Khoo Soon Ghee 邱順義 (probably is Khoo Chye Poh)
2. Khoo Soon Heng 邱順興 (probably is Khoo Chye Beng)
3. Khoo Soon Leong 邱順隆

1. Khoo Chye Poh 邱彩樊 (probably is Khoo Chye Huan)
2. Khoo Chye Hoon 邱彩雲 married Law Yew Swee
3. Khoo Chye Ha 邱彩縀 (probably is Khoo Chye Tuan)

1. Khoo Hong Shaw
2. Khoo Hong Chye
3. Khoo Hong Kuan
4. Khoo Khee Seng
5. Khoo Khee Huat
6. Khoo Khee Choon
7. Khoo Khee Leong
8. Khoo Hong Chow
9. Khoo Hong Leng
10. Khoo Hong Cheng
11. Khoo Hong Poh

1. Khoo Cheng Hoon
2. Khoo Cheng Choo
3. Khoo Gaik Choo
4. Khoo Gaik Kim married Chua Boon Peng son of Chua Cheng Liat in 1938

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Cheah Tat To


Cheah Tat To was born in 1871 in Penang, and was the eldest son of Cheah Chen Eok. He was first educated at the Convent Penang and St Xavier’s Institution, before to the St George’s College, England. In 1894, he left for England to study law and by 1897, he was called to the English bar of Lincoln’s Inn but did not complete his terms. In 1900, he returned to Penang and became a member in the Opium and Liquor Farm, where his father was the Superintendent of the Farm. Shortly afterwards, he planned to continue his law studies in England, but the intention remained with no proceed.

Cheah Tat To was a Director of Menglembu Lode Mining Ltd, member of the Penang Turf Club and Chinese Recreation Club. He had two sons and one daughter. Both his sons, Cheah Wat Hye and Cheah Wat Sun were well-known tennis players in the country. On 12 February 1925, Cheah Tat To only daughter Cheah Guat Teong Kooi married Dr Lee Tiang Keng, a prominent figure in Penang. The Cheah family lived at the Coombe Hill, a spacious private residence owned by Cheah Chen Eok.

Cheah Tat Jin 谢达仁


Cheah Tat Jin was born in 1886 in Penang and was the second son of Cheah Chen Eok. He was educated at St Xavier’s Institution before served the Penang Opium and Liquor Farm as Supervisor, where his father was the Superintendent of the Farm. Cheah Tat Jin was a business partner of Keng Bee and the Director of the Eastern Trading Co, Eastern Shipping Co., Eastern Smelting, Tongkah Harbour Tin Dredging Co and Menglembu Lode Mining Ltd. He also had interest in the Gambling Farm of Singapore and tin mining interest in Perak. Cheah Tat Jin was a member of the Penang Turf Club and the Chinese Recreation Club. 

On 11 May 1906, he married Lim Kwee Guan, third daughter of Lim Leng Cheak. His eldest son, Cheah Wat Lum married Lily Lim Bin I (1911 – 1952), eldest daughter of Lim Kar Chang and a granddaughter of Lim Chin Tsong of Rangoon in 1926. His only daughter, Cheah Chew Teong See (6 December 1911 - 21 February 1999) married Lim Kean Chuan (10 October 1906- 25 February 1993), the only son of Lim Cheng Law on 8 March 1926. 

Cheah Tat Jin and family lived at Holland House, Northam Road and had three sons and one daughter. Cheah Tat Jin and family were heavily influenced by Western lifestyle, they had dressed and mannered like Europeans.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Cheah Kee Ee


Cheah Kee Ee was born in 1867 in Penang, and was a relative to Cheah Choon Yew. He was a well-known miner and planter in Penang and Perak, and a member of the Federal Chamber of Mines, Ipoh. 

Cheah Kee Ee and Dr R.M. Connolly were business partners in the Tin Trust Limited. His company was also an agent of Ipoh Marble & Lime Works Syndicate Ltd. He also owned large coconut plantation estates at Bagan Datoh, and was the proprietor of the infamous Ban Kee Wine & Spirit Distilleries

Cheah Kee Ee who was English educated, was best known for his vocal stand against polygamy marriage among Chinese community, in which making him unpopular among his people of older generation. He was in the committee of the Chinese Widows' and Orphans Institution, Perak during the when Chung Thye Phin was the President. 

In 1924, he was the Chairman of the Straits Chinese British Association of Penang. However in the same year too he was defeated to J. Crabb-Watt in an election for the seat in the Penang Association of Municipal Commission. In 1926, he was appointed as a committee member in preparing the Straits Settlements Chinese Marriage Report to be presented before the Governor of Straits Settlements, Sir Laurence Guillemard. 

Cheah Kee Ee married Lee Keong Onn and lived at the family residence, Morningside at Burmah Road, Penang. His daughter Cheah Swee Hoon was married to Dr Lim Chwee Leong (1891 – 1957) son of Lim Cheng Sah, where one of their prominent sons, Lim Chong Eu was later the second Chief Minister of Penang. While his nephew, Dr Cheah Poh Cheng was the first holder of Cheah Kongsi Scholarship, where he received a degree in Licentiate of Medicine and Surgery from the King Edward VII Medical School, Singapore. Cheah Kee Ee's another daughter, Cheah Keng Hoon was married to Ong Swee Hoon.

Cheah Eng Wah 谢荣华

Cheah Eng Wah 谢荣华

Cheah Eng Wah was born in 1873 in Penang to Cheah Chan. He was educated at Penang and employed by Low Boon Kim in Kuala Lumpur as office clerk for six years, before went to Khoo Gin Ho’s firm of Chop Wan Hong as manager. He remained for two years at Chop Wan Hang and later served Khoo Kai Chai and Low Boon Tit’s mines as mining clerk in Kuala Lumpur. After two years, he was then transferred to Seremban by the company and promoted to mine manager. A position that he held for three years before resigned and ventured into tin mining on his own account. 

Cheah Eng Wah’s mine at Rasa, Selangor was operated by about one thousand workers. He also owned a mine at Ulu Yan, where about 400 workers were employed. In partnership with J.A. Russell, he commenced tin mining at Kuala Kubu, where about 250 workers were employed. Cheah Eng Wah was a member of the Merchants’ Clubs of Penang and Kuala Lumpur. He had a daughter.