Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Khoo Kim Lian

Khoo Kim Lian, MBE, JP

Khoo Kim Lian was an English educated Straits Chinese. He was born on 11 July 1892 in Malacca. He joined the Malacca Volunteer Corps under the Chinese Company, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Khoo Kim Lian was a manager at the Lee Kong Liat & Sons, at Muar (1910 – 1912), he later became the manager for Tambalak Estate (1915 – 1950) and retired in 1952. He co-founded the Malacca Chinese Literary Association (1912) and the Malacca Volunteer Rifles (1915). He was also a member of the Eng Choon Association of Malacca. In 1951, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), for public services in the Federation of Malaya. He married Cheong Kon Neo. Khoo Kim Lian died in 1962.


  1. Supplement to the London Gazette, June, 1951, p. 3085 
  2. Lim, H.C. & Jorge, F. (2005). Malacca: Voices from the Street. Melaka: Lim Huck Chin (p. 140) 
  3. Morais, J.V. (1967). The Who’s Who in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur (p. 138)
  4. Chua, B.C. (2006). Our Story: Malacca High School, 1826-2006. Kuala Lumpur: MHS Anniversary (p. 145)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Cho Boon Poo 曹文富

Cho Poo
Courtesy: Normon Cho

Cho Boon Poo or Cho Bun Pu was among the early pioneers in planting gambier and tapioca in Malacca and Negri Sembilan, and rubber in Johor. He was also known as Cho Poo or Choe Pu in various documents and records. It was not known when Cho Poo came to Malacca or the exact year he was born. The Cho family with ancestry in Yong Chun, Fujian, China used to occupy 84 and 151 Heeren Street, Malacca, before moved to Seremban and Singapore. 

Surviving records have shown that Cho Poo's tapioca business had commenced in Negri Sembilan during 1898. His 5,000 acres tapioca estate near Negri Sembilan about 38 miles from Malacca was worth $28,000, when the estate was sold to the Hailam community from Singapore in 1895. This suggests that Cho Poo had vast interests in tapioca industry in Negri Sembilan and was then well established. His tapioca estate in Negri Sembilan was managed by his son, Cho Kim Choon whom lived at 9 Pahang Road, Seremban. Cho Poo's son through his first wife, Cho Kim Leong was a manager of the Cho Poo's rubber estate in Segamat, Johor. 

Cho Poo's fourth son, Cho Kim Tian was a First Class Medical Clerk and also a  committee member in the Junior Civil Service Association of Malacca. He was later promoted to Chief Clerk and Deputy Registrar of Births & Deaths, Malacca and joined the Malacca Volunteer Corps as Private in the early 1930s.

Cho Poo's youngest son, Cho Kim Hock was famed for being a state badminton champion during the 1930s until 1940s. Cho Poo died in 1932 and had five sons and one daughter. His two younger sons later migrated to Australia.

It is worth to note that many of Cho Poo's descendants had played pivotal role in the society. His grandson, Cho Jolly was a well-known racer in Seremban and also a scoutmaster. 

1. Kong Moey Yean
2. Lee Hong Neo 李凰娘

1. Cho Kim Choon (1891 - 1948) m. Lee Hock Neo (1892 - 1943)
2. Cho Keow Teng
3. Cho Kim Leong (1902 - 1945) m. Yeo Koon Neo (1913 - 1995)
4. Cho Kim Tian
5. Cho Kim Hock also spelled as Cho Kim Hawke

1. Cho Nyit Yew (Cho Jolly)

  1. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 23 July 1895, Page 3
  2. The Straits Times, 7 July 1948, Page 5
  3. The Straits Times, 15 May 1938, Page 30
  4. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 5 January 1909, Page 2
  5. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 16 October 1922, Page 4
  6. The Straits Times, 12 September 1937, Page 26
  7. Straits Settlements. (1938). Blue Book for the Year Ended 1938. Government Printing Office. Page 386
  8. The Straits Times, 15 January 1932, Page 18
  9. The Straits Times, 22 August 1973, Page 6
  10. The Straits Times, 15 December 1953, Page 5
  11. Directory Malacca 1935 & 1940 

Credit: Norman Cho
Revised on 8 July 2013 with information on Cho Kim Tian by Norman Cho