Sunday, 17 April 2016

Khoo Yang Tin 邱扬阵


Khoo Yang Tin was born in 1857 in China, with ancestry in Sinkang Village, Hai Teng District, Fujian Province. He came to Singapore in the late 19th century and in 1892, he founded a rice trading business under the style chop Aik Chiang. 

Khoo Yang Tin’s business was affluent and diversed. He also invested in real estates and plantations with substantial investments in Saigon and other Southeast Asian countries. Khoo Yang Tin was best known for his role as a financier, where he held the directorship in the Oversea-Chinese Banking Cooperation (OCBC). The Oversea-Chinese Banking Cooperation Ltd. was formed in 1932 with the merger of three banks, Chinese Commercial Bank (est. 1912), Ho Hong Bank (est. 1917) and Oversea Chinese Bank (est. 1919). Khoo Yang Tin was known as its founding shareholder. In which the his family had a major role in behind. 

Khoo Yang Tin and his family lived in a humble live and shy from publicity. It is little known to public that he was a generous philanthropist, who had provided various financial aids to educational institutions and welfare organizations in both China and Singapore. The Khoo Yang Tin Scholarship was created by his descendant, Khoo Choon Tin in his honour for the Anglo-Chinese Junior College in Singapore. One of his sons, Khoo Teck Puat (1917 - 2007) had donated SG$50,000.00 to the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Penang in 2002 for the establishment of the Khoo clan museum. 

Khoo Yang Tin died in 1943. He has 13 sons and nine daughters through his various wives. 

Yeo Kim Chiam
Yeo Kim Chiam (1881 – 1983)

Khoo Teck Soon
Khoo Teck Chuan
Khoo Teck Puat
Khoo Teck Imm 
Khoo Teck Quee

Khoo Tiam Tee
Khoo Ai Tee
Khoo Suat Ngoh
Khoo Suat Khim 

The Straits Times, 31 March 1983, p. 39
The Straits Times, 6 October 1985, p. 10
The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 14 November 1914, p. 12
Lee, K.H. (2003). Dahles, H., et al. (Eds.). Capital and Knowledge in Asia: Changing Power Relations. (p. 167) 
Gomez, E.T. (1999). Chinese Business in Malaysia: Accumulation, Ascendance, Accommodation. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press (pp. 75-77)
Tan, Y.W. (2003). Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi: The History and Architecture. Penang: Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi (p. 48)


  1. hello Mr.Khoo , could u plz tell me how to contact with you by email ? thanks !

  2. In the ancestral records entitled 新江邱曾氏族譜 updated on June 2014, the name in Chinese characters for Khoo Yang Tin is quoted as 邱扬阵 on page 179 while in the record proper on page 485 and page 488 the name is quoted as 阳阵. The pinyin for both 扬 and阳 are the same, i.e. “Yáng”.

    The biological father of邱扬阵 (邱阳阵) is 邱真粒 while the adoptive father is邱华列. 邱华列 and 邱真粒 are brothers and they are the third and fourth son of 邱埈著 respectively.

    I suppose the Chinese characters for Yeo Kim Chiam is杨金针 which is quoted in the record. The name of another wife quoted therein is 杨俭娘.

    1. Hi Philip. Thanks for the discovery. It is interesting to note that there is no mention of 邱华列's wife in the genealogy. In which, could suggest that all his three sons were adopted.

      It was recorded that 邱华列 was buried in Penang in 1839, this could suggest that he migrated and died there. The adoption of Khoo Yang Tin must be after 邱华列's death, as Khoo Yang Tin was born in 18 years later.

    2. Hi Eugene,

      Your analysis is correct. 邱华列 was born on 6 March 1810 and died on 25 Mar 1839 at an age of 29. As no wife was mentioned, I would assumed either he was not married when he died or if he had, his wife could had remarried and thus not recorded in the ancestral book. As he was buried in Penang, he must have immigrated to Penang when he died. 邱华列 father (邱埈著) died before him; on 2 October 1820. However邱华列 mother died on 16 August 1867 at a ripe old age of 87 years. I think she was the one who adopted the three sons for邱华列 from among the same Khoo clan. The three sons are邱荣秋 (Born: 17 March 1838), 邱新再 (Born: 11 November 1851), and邱扬阵 @ 邱阳阵 (Born: 8 September 1857). I would guess the adoption could had been done back in the ancestral place in Fujian as you had quoted that Khoo Yang Tin (邱扬阵) came to Singapore in late 19th century.

      I have come across another case where the mother adopted a son for her own son that died young without leaving any male heir. Adoption is very often done within the same surname clan and it would be from among the same generation from other clan members with more than one son. The chart attached below shows the case above and the many adoptions that were done within the immediate Khoo families.