Sunday, 2 December 2018

Yew Say Kheng 尤世琼

Yew Say Kheng in the Qing Mandarin Robe
Courtesy: The Star Newspaper

Yew Say Kheng was based in Penang with ancestry in Nan Jin Village (南金村 ), Mei Mao (美茂), Fujian. His father, Yew Aik Tong left China to Malaya in the early 19th century for trading purposes. As time progressed, the Yew family had amassed wealth from various resources, including pepper cultivation in Medan, Indonesia. But, not in the Government's opium farm. The family believed the detrimental sides of opium could harm the society. In order to deliver a strong anti-opium message to his descendants, Yew Say Kheng often sent relief funds to China for fighting the Opium Wars.

Yew Say Kheng remained a charitable person and had donated for various causes in Penang and China. His efforts were recognized by the Imperial Chinese's Courts, and he was bestowed with a Mandarin of Blue Cotton. An ancestral portrait of himself was commissioned as an honour to his contributions. 

Yew Say Kheng died in July 1930. He was described in the Nan Yang Famous Personalities Biographies as "a foresighted man, disciplined and brave, ... a selfless man whom often helped in famines and disasters".

Yew family
Courtesy The Star Newspaper

Lim Kim Kee

Yew Hun Teong
Yew Hun Eng

Yew Phaik Hoon wife of Quah Hong Chiam


  1. Lin Bo Ai. (1939). 南洋名人集傳 / Nan Yang Ming Ren Ji Zhuan (Volume 4). Entry No. 134.
  2. Bashir Ahmad Mallal. (1966). The Malayan Law Journal. Malaya Publishing House Limited. p. 216
  3. N. Trisha. (08 November 2015). The Yew clan of Penang remembers a heroic man. The Star Newspaper. Retrieved from

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Khoo Beng San 邱明山

Khoo Beng San or known as Che Beng was born in 1787, a second son of Khoo Hong Keow 邱煌乾 and Lim Hee Neo 林喜娘. He and his youngest brother, Khoo Beng Guan 邱明管 were among the early settlers in Penang during its establishment by the East India Company. Khoo Beng San was a 16th generation descendant of Khoo clan and belong to the Soo Pang branch.

He joined the opium farm (1819 – 1820 & 1827 – 1828) and commenced general trading under the chop Beng & Co. occupied at a corner lot of China Street Ghaut, Penang.  His firm at China Street Ghaut in Penang is an extension of the China Street, the place was also known by the local population as Beng San’s Junction 明山路头. Beng & Co. owned a 350-ton brig named Angelica which was used to ply the ports at Penang, Malacca and Singapore.  Khoo Beng San was a founder of the Kong Hock Keong 广福宫 (now known as Kuanyin Temple) in 1824  and the Tong Kheng Seah 同慶社 (United Celebratory Society) in 1843. 

He died in 1843 and was buried at Batu Lanchang.  Through his principal wife in China, Chee Gek Neo 许玉娘 he had two sons, Khoo Sim Toh 邱心地 and Khoo Sim Kang 邱心降. Whereas, by his principal wife in Penang, Chew Han Neo 周汉娘, he had two sons, Khoo Sim Peng 邱心榜 and Khoo Sim Kui 邱心魁. And with his secondary wife in Penang, Cheah Yin Neo 谢荫娘, he had two sons, Khoo Sim Ai 邱心爱 and Khoo Sim Bee 邱心美.


  1. DeBernardi, J.E. (2004). Rites of Belonging: Memory, Modernity, and Identity in a Malaysian Chinese Community. California: Stanford University Press. (p. 303)
  2. Loh, W.L. et al. (Eds). (2013). Biographical Dictionary of Mercantile Personalities of Penang. Kuala Lumpur: Think City and the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS) (p. 185)
  3. Wong, Y.T. (2011). Penang’s Chinese Merchants and the Indian Ocean in the Entrepot Age, 1820s-1890s. Paper presented at the Penang & the Indian Ocean International Conference 2011 on 17 and 18 September 2011 in Traders Hotel, Penang, Malaysia (p. 2)
  4. Zhāng Shǎo Kuān. (1997). Bīn Láng Yǔ Fú Jiàn Gōng Zhǒng Jì Jiā Zhǒng Bēi Míng Jí [Chng, K.Y. (1997). Penang Fujian Public Epigraphy Materials]. Xīn Jiā Pō: Xīn Jiā Pō Yà Zhōu Yán Jiū Xué Huì [Singapore: Singapore Society of Asian Studies]. (p. 179-180) 张少宽 (1997) 梹榔屿福建公冢暨家冢碑铭集. 新加坡: 新加坡亚洲硏究学会.
  5. Tan, L.H. (2007b). Bestowing Luck & Prosperity on All. Penang: Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple (p. 41&54)
  6. Wong, Y.T. (2015). Penang Chinese Commerce in the 19th Century: The Rise and Fall of the Big Five. Singapore: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute (p. 186)
  7. The Genealogy of Sinkang Khoo & Chan Clans (Vol. 2) (p. 1017 & 1018)