Showing posts sorted by relevance for query chong fatt tze. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query chong fatt tze. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Cheong Fatt Tze 張弼士


Cheong Fatt Tze as he is known today was born in 1840 in Dapu, Guangdong. He was a Hakka, with birth name Chang Chin Hsun, and when he lived in Batavia and Penang, he was then known by his Hokkien name, Thio Tiauw Siat. His Cantonese name, Cheong Fatt Tze is much popular in today’s history.

Cheong Fatt Tze was born to a very poor family in China, at the age of 17, he left his native and lived in several places under the Dutch East Indies empire. He did some odd jobs before landed at Batavia and worked at a provision shop. As time passed, he married his employer’s daughter, Choo Neo (b. 1867). It was through the marriage, he was given financial support by his father-in-law to commence business on his own account and used Thio Tiauw Siat as his signature. His name Thio Tiauw Siat was spelled in a Dutch way, and was used in the Dutch and British colonies throughout his entire business life. However, he was commonly known in China as Chang Chin Hsun. 

In 1859, he secured a government contract in supplying food and daily provisions to the Dutch army and navy forces in Batavia. Through these contracts, he was then a well-known figure in the Dutch East Indies, and from Batavia he moved to Aceh when he was 35 years old, where he secured another contract in in supplying food and daily provisions to the Dutch army and navy forces in Aceh. Because of his articulate social life with the Dutch elites, he successful obtained the Opium, Liquor and Pawnbroker Farm in Aceh and by 1877, his farming interest had extended to half of the northern region of Sumatra, with vast interest in Government Farms in Edi, Temiang, Deli and Bengkalis, and in 1893 expanded to Rhio and Indragiri. In May 1893, he became the Honorary Vice-Consul of China in Penang. 

Followed by his business success in the Dutch colonies, in 1875, he commenced business in Penang in partnership with Lee Ah Ghee (Captain of Batavia) and Wong Boon Sin, under the name Chop Thio Joo Hoe at 15 Pitt Street. And ten years later he managed to obtain the Penang Pawnbroker Farm and became the Chinese Consul-General in Singapore, where another three years later he secured the Opium and Liquor Farm of Penang and Singapore. The onerous duties of this responsible Chinese diplomat position he fulfilled for five years and in return for his services was created a Mandarin of the Highest Order (First Rank Officer). In 1886, he established the Ban Joo Hin in Penang, and took great interest in steamship, tin mining, coconut, sago, fruit and pepper plantations, all distributed over Province Wellesley, Perak and Selangor. During his stay in Singapore when he was the Chinese Consul, his business was left to his attorneys and agents who were Cheah Chen Eok and Lee Ah Kam, with headquarters at Penang. 

It was not known why Cheong Fatt Tze drastically shifted his interest from the Dutch colonies to the British ones. He also owned a settlement called Karatan near Batavia, the place with a population of 8,000 with the length about 10 miles and width about 8 miles. This place was planted with paddy and fish was amongst the products. In partnership with a Dutch company, he owned various farms in Tjebaraosa, Tjelengsa, Klapa Moengal, Kongbong and Boyoung. The total area of all these districts was 60 miles in length and 305 miles in width and had over 100,000 populations. Where the principal produce was rice, birds’ nests and coffee. In 1879, he purchased a steamer, the Raja Kongsi Aceh, which plied between Penang and Aceh. In 1883, he acquired another steamer, the Hock Canton, which also had the same route as the former. After 14 years of experience in running the steamship business, in 1893 he established a steamship company at Penang, known as Kong Hock Kiok Limited Company and had nine steamers running to Perak, Tongkah, Klang, Asahan, and Deli. 

In 1904, he led a group of prominent Chinese leaders in Penang to establish the Chung Hwa Confucian School, and was claimed as the first modern Chinese school in Southeast Asia. Cheong Fatt Tze’s name had gained high reputation and recognition in the Imperial Chinese Palace, and was made a High Commissioner for Railways and Commerce in China in 1902, and later became the Special Commissioner for Trade in Southeast Asia in 1911. At one time he was given the opportunity to monopoly steamship business in China, but he declined as he was not able to run such a big venture. In 1905, he became a member of a commission to study the commercial affairs in Southeast Asia on behalf of the Chinese Board of Commerce. Upon his return to China, he had few audiences by the Emperor and Empress Dowager of China, their Majesties were satisfied with his reports. Little was known that, Cheong Fatt Tze had also established business affairs in his homeland, engaged in manufacturing bricks, textile, glass and salt farm by using modern machineries. In 1892, he founded the Chang Yu Winery in Shangtung, China, producing mainly fine Western wines with some traditional Chinese herbal wines. And in 1896 he founded various Chinese commercial banks and was a well-known banker in China and Dutch East Indies and was on the Board of Directors of the Canton Railway and the Bank of China. He was also a shareholder in the Sze Hai Tong Banking & Insurance Company Limited in Singapore. 

In 1912, together with Loke Yew, he personally endowed $50,000 to the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Arts during its early establishment. In return for his generosity, the University conferred him Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa in 1916.

Cheong Fatt Tze had at least eight wives and was the father of eight sons and six daughters, all distributed over the Dutch and British Colonies in Southeast Asia. His mansion at 14 Leith Street, Penang was occupied by his third, sixth and seventh wives. All his sons were educated at the St Xavier’s Institution. He died in 1916 in Batavia due to pneumonia and as a mark of respect, the Dutch and British decreed to fly their flags at half-mast. 

His fourth son, Chang Kiam Hoe (Thio Nghean Leong) was a well-known figure in Penang and Perak. He had vast interest in tin mining business in Ipoh, Perak as well as large plantation estates in Province Wellesley and Kedah. He was appointed as a trustee in Cheong Fatt Tze’s Will. 

Cheong Fatt Tze had uncountable number of fine houses all over China, Dutch and British Colonies in Southeast Asia, among of all, he laid a legacy that remained forever by building the finest Chinese mansion in Southeast Asia, which was then known as Le’ Bleu Mansion. The double-story mansion built in between 1897 to 1904 was enough to accommodate his large extended families with 34 rooms. Where he expected the mansion shall live for nine generations after him. The most intriguing part of Cheong Fatt Tze’s Will, besides the inheritance of his estate to all his wives and children, he mentioned the future management of his favourite mansion in 14 Leith Street, Penang. In his will, he said that ordinary repairs of the mansion shall be paid for a monthly sum not exceeding $250. And the house was given to his seventh wife Tan Tay Po @ Chan Kim Po and his last son, Cheong Kam Long and must not be sold until the death of Cheong Kam Long. 

Cheong Fatt Tze’s business affairs in the Straits Settlements were under the management of his cousin Thio Chee Non also known by the name Chong Yit Nam and Chong Chee Non who was the Kapitan of Deli. While his Penang estate was managed by Thio Siow Kong at 5 Beach Street. Cheong Fatt Tze Estate first appointed Henry Haley Busfield, Choo Shou San and Soo Beng Lim as Executors and Trustees of his estate in Penang, and in 1937 under the Court’s order the positions were taken by Cheong Hock Chye and Wee Sin Choe. 

Throughout the time after his death, one by one Cheong Fatt Tze’s considerable property was sold out, and the most significant sale which almost ended up his entire estate was in 1939. And in 1988 the last call for the sale of old porcelain and Chinese furniture belonged to Cheong Fatt Tze at the family mansion at 14 Leith Street was auctioned by Dominion Victor & Morris of Singapore. Cheong Fatt Tze’s illustrious life ended with the death of his last son, Cheong Kam Long in 1989. Where the family sold the last property of Cheong Fatt Tze at 14 Leith Street, Penang to a corporate company by Cheong Kam Long’s wife Thong Siew Mee. One of Cheong Fatt Tze’s sons, Thio Phin Long who was also a trustee of his estate violated his capacity by defrauding the estate through illicit transaction involving the three wholesale and retail druggist businesses, and since then escaped to Hong Kong with his son Thio Chee Fook to avoid the warrant arrest on him in 1931. Today many of Cheong Fatt Tze’s descendants lived in Australia.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

China and her Overseas People

The Chinese Consulates 

The formation of the Chinese Consulates in Singapore and Penang in 1877 and 1890 respectively, was primarily to serve as communication platform between the Chinese Government and the overseas Chinese. Apart from that, it was also the Chinese Government's initiative to gain support and loyalty from her wealthy overseas members. 

The office of the Vice-Consul functions in various aspects and capacities. The diplomatic rule of the Chinese Vice-Consul was based in demography and geography of British Malaya. For instance, the Penang branch engaged with the Chinese affairs in Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Perlis. Whereas, the Singapore branch concerned in the area such as Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu. 

The primitive role of the Vice-Consul was also concerned in protecting the Chinese and their business interests. However, in the early 1900s, other Chinese organisations such as the Chinese Advisory Board (1890), Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Po Leung Kuk (1885) as well as other Chinese clan associations had surged in all major towns in the British Malaya, thus the importance of the Vice-Consul had apparently ceased.

In 1891, the Vice-Consul of Singapore was promoted to the rank of Consul General for Southeast Asia. And in 1933, a Chinese Consulate was established in Kuala Lumpur and dealt with the Chinese affairs in the Federated Malay States, the engagements were mostly in civil, commercial and political affairs. In subsequent to this newly formed Consulate in Kuala Lumpur, thus, the functions of the Consuls in Singapore and Penang were ceased. 

Although the function of the Chinese Consulate had relinquished many of its concerns. However, the issuance of visiting passports to the overseas Chinese still evident. These passports were permission granted to the overseas Chinese for returning to their home districts in China. In 1939, the Chinese Consul in Kuala Lumpur, Shih Shao-tseng made a new policy, by having the local Chinese associations to stand as witnesses to the applicants of passport.

List of Chinese Vice-Consuls in Penang
1890 - 1894 - Cheong Fatt Tze 張弼士 (Chang Pi-shih/Thio Tiauw Siat)
1894 - 1895 - Chang Yu Nan 張煜南 (Thio Chee Non/Chong Yit Nam/Chong Chee Non)
1895 - 1901 - Cheah Choon Seng 謝春生 (Tjia Tioen Sen)
1901 - 1907 - Leong Fee 梁輝 (Liang Pi-joo)
1907 - 1912 - Tye Kee Yoon 戴喜云 (Tai Hsin-jan)
1912 - 1930 - Tye Phey Yuen (Tai Shu-yuan)
1930 - 1931 - Yang Hsiao-tang 楊念祖
1931 - 1933 - Lu Tzu-chin 呂子勤
1933 - 1941 - Huan Yen-kai

In the first five appointed Chinese Vice-Consul in Penang, the office was held by the Hakka-origin Chinese with business interests in Southeast Asia. Most of these men were illiterate, and their connections were through family-link and business collaborations. Cheong Fatt Tze and Chang Yu Nan were cousins, and Cheah Choon Seng was a business partner with Cheong Fatt Tze, whereas Leong Fee was his son-in-law. Ironically, these leaders were not Straits Chinese or British subjects but Chinese from the Dutch East Indies and they were pro-Qing government's policies in China. Their representative in the Chinese Consulate could suggest unpopular and feudal, as most Straits Chinese were then received Western education and some had been influenced by Dr Sun Yat Sen's uprising movement against the Qing Government. In fact, there were already formed the silent community in resisting the Qing Government. Early pioneers such as Goh Say Eng, Ooi Kim Kheng, Loh Chong Huo were founders of Tongmenghui in Penang, which fight against the corrupted Qing Government.  On 17 August 1900, Tan Jiak Kim, Seah Liang Seah, Dr Lim Boon Keng and Song Ong Siang founded the Straits Chinese British Association in Singapore. Two months later, a similar branch was set up in Malacca. The Penang wing was established in 1920. This association was a pro-British movement led by the Hokkien-origin Chinese, many of their members held high government positions and recognized by the British as local Chinese leaders. They represented the Chinese in the Straits Settlements and British Malaya in the local Legislative Council and State Councils. Following with the fall of Qing Dynasty Government in 1912, the appointment of the Vice-Consul in Penang by the Republic of China were more selective-based in term of education and experience backgrounds. For instance,Yang Hsiao-tang was educated at the Kiangsu Provincial College in Suzhou and prior his appointment he had held various government positions in China. And Lu Tze-chin who acted for a short term was a capable young man graduated from the Peking Academy in 1922 and Nankai University, Tianjin in 1926. He was later appointed as the first Chinese Consul in Kuala Lumpur. 

NOTE: Yang Hsiao-tang was educated at the Kiangsu Provincial College in Suzhou born in Shanghai in 1890. He was educated at the Kiangsu Provincial College in Soochow. He joined the diplomatic service as a secretary in the Bureau of Foreign Affairs at Shanghai in 1911, and later became the chief secretary and director of the Land Office of the Bureau. In 1926, he was promoted Superintendent of Customs and concurrently Commissioner of Foreign Affairs at Nanking. He was appointed Chinese Consul-general at Penang in 1930 and transferred to Shanghai as Director of Shanghai Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1931. He was also in the Land Bureau of the City Government of Shanghai Municipality. 

Lu Tze-chin or Lu Tzu-chin was born in Hanyang, Hubei in 1904. He graduated from the Peking Academy in 1922 and Nankai University, Tientsin in 1926. In 1928 he passed the Diplomatic and Consular Service Examinations held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lu Tze-chin had held the office of Chancellor of the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver, Canada (1929), Deputy Consul in Penang (1930), Deputy Consul in Singapore (1932), and acting Vice Consul in Penang (1933). 

Qing Dynasty Titles and Honours 

After the collapsed of the Ming Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty Government followed the Ming's ruling structure and system. The Emperor headed the six ministries (六部), each ministry was assisted by two chancellors (尚書) and four assistant-chancellors (侍郎). The only difference in the Qing's court is the ethnic classification. Each position in the Qing's court was filled by a Manchurian (the royal family member) and a Han Chinese official whom passed the state examinations. The Manchurian functions as an overseer to his Han Chinese counterpart in performing the duty. Despite the same ranking, both wore a different official attire. In which, the Manchurians will have a small round emblem on the robes and a square emblem for the Han officials. 

The Qing official attire design came with the identification of hierarchy known as the Mandarin Square (補子). This Mandarin Square distinguishes into the division of military and civilian with nine rankings (九品), each ranking has a unique emblem, the first class rank being the highest and the ninth class rank being the lowest. The Mandarin Square was first used during the Mongol rule in Yuan Dynasty, after the fall of the Yuan Dynasty, the Ming's court then adopted this official ranking system. In 1391, Emperor Hongwu decreed bird patterns on the squares should be restricted to civil officials, and animal patterns reserved for military officials. However, the Qing's court started to use this system in 1652, during the rule of Emperor Shunzhi. Below are the emblem patterns used in the division of military and civil officials: 

1. Qilin
2. Lion
3. Tiger - Leopard (after 1644)
4. Leopard - Tiger (after 1644)
5. Bear
6. Panther
7. Panther - Rhinoceros (after 1759) 
8. Rhinoceros
9. Sea Horse

1. Crane
2. Golden Pheasant
3. Peacock
4. Wild Goose
5. Silver Pheasant
6. Egret
7. Mandarin Duck
8. Quail
9. Paradise Flycatcher

The Mandarin square for the Han officials has two identical pieces, one for the chest and the other for the back, each measures 12 inches square. The Qing's official attire came in a set of dark robe, red floss-silk fringes headgear and beads. There are two type of headgear used according to the season. The summer headgear has a conical shape woven from strips of bamboo and edged with silk brocade and the winter headgear usually a black skull cap with upturned fur brim. There is also a peacock feather (hua ling) attached on the headgear, this plume is a special distinction conferred by the Emperor. A single-eye plume was conferred upon nobles and officials down to the sixth class official. On the top of the headgear there is a knob that identifies the ranking of the official. The colours of the knob also distinguish the ranks, as show in the following: 

1. Royalty and Nobility wore numerous pearls 
2. First class official = red ball (originally a ruby)
3. Second class official = solid red ball (originally coral)
4. Third class official = translucent blue ball (originally sapphire)
5. Fourth class official = solid blue ball
6. Fifth class official = translucent white ball (originally crystal)
7. Sixth class official = solid white ball (originally mother of pearl)
8. Seventh to Ninth class official = gold or clear amber balls of various designs

In the mid 19th and early 20th centuries, the Qing's court offered numerous official titles and honours to the wealthy overseas Chinese, this honour was known by the Europeans as Mandarin of the Blue Cotton. This was for the purpose in exchange of lucrative donations and investments to fund the government's expenditure in solving famine, natural catastrophe and major infrastructure investments (such as railways, factories, mining and banking). By then, many overseas Chinese had built considerable wealth and their purchase of these honorific titles was merely to enhance their social status. Most of the wealthy Chinese merchants purchased these titles under the category of Honorary, and had no absolute ruling power as of those officials in the same rank who had passed the state examinations in China.

For instance, Khoo Seok Wan (Singapore) received his Juren 举人 title in 1894 and Chan Yap Thong  (Perak) received his Xiucai 秀才 title, both lads had passed the provincial examinations in China. Unlike Cheang Hong Lim (Dao Yuan degree 道員) who had purchased numerous titles for his family in 1869 (including for his ancestors and his 11 sons), his father Cheong Sam Teow was given the title Jin Shi (进士), the highest scholar title. In between 1877 until 1912, there were 295 holders of Qing honour titles and ranks, of this figure, 5 obtained through the imperial examinations. These titles include civilian titles from First grade Guang Lu Da Fu to the lowest Ninth Grade Deng Shi Zuo Lang as listed below:

Qing's Court Civilian Degrees 
1st Class Official = Guanglu Dafu 光祿大夫
2nd Class Official = Jinshi Chushen 进士出身
3rd Class Official = Tong Jinshi Chushen 同进士出身
4th Class Official = Zhong Xian Dafu 中憲大夫
5th Class Official = Fengzheng Dafu 奉政大夫
6th Class Official = Chengde Lang 承德郎
7th Class Official = Zheng Shilang 征仕郎
8th Class Official = Xiuzhi Zuolang 修職佐郎
9th Class Official = Dengshi Zuolang 登仕佐郎

Cheng Hong Kok 清芳阁 in 1897, it was an elite merchants' club. Some of its members had purchased the Qing honours and showed off their mandarin robes.

Chinese community in Singapore presented the Queen Victoria statue to Sir Cecil Smith in 1889

Khoo Cheng Teow in his Mandarin attire

Low Kim Pong 劉金榜

Foo Choo Choon, 3rd Class Rank Civilian Official

Mei Quong Tat, 4th Class Rank Civilian Official in 1894
(Courtesy: State Library of Victoria)

  1. Chee, L.S. (1971). The Hakka Community in Malaya, with Special Reference to Their Associations, 1801-1968. Unpublished Dissertation (M.A.). Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya
  2. Khoo, S.N. (2008). Sun Yat Sen in Penang. Penang: Areca Books. page 22 - 23
  3. Tan, K.H. (2007). The Chinese in Penang: A Pictorial History. Penang: Areca Books. page 122
  4. Song, O.S. (1923). One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore. London: John Murray
  5. Ramsay, C. (2007). Days Gone by: Growing Up in Penang. Penang: Areca Books. page 23
  6. The Straits Times, 4 October 1933, Page 12
  7. Ministry of Interior National Government of China. (1936). Who's Who in China: Biographies of Chinese Leaders 5th Edition. Shanghai: The China Weekly Review. page 181, 269 - 270
  8. Reynolds, D.R. (1995). China, 1895-1912 State Sponsored Reforms and China's Late-Qing Revolution, 28(3-4)
  9. Yen, C.H. (Sept. 1970). Ch'ing's Sale of Honours and the Chinese Leadership in Singapore and Malaya (1877-1912). Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 20-32

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Cheah Choon Seng 謝春生


Cheah Choon Seng or Tjia Tioen Sen (spelled in Dutch) was born in 1848 in Pontianak, Indonesia and received Chinese education. He was also known as Cheah Meng Chi (謝夢池) and Hsie Yung Guang (謝榮光). He married daughter of Chong Hi, the Burgermeester (Mayor) of Pontianak. With the help from his father-in-law, during his early time, Cheah Choon Seng was a contractor supplying food and daily provisions for the Dutch East Indies Government. For eight years he secured various government contracts in Pontianak, before moved to Kota Raja (now Banda Acheh) and took the contracts for railroad constructions and other government contracts. Cheah Choon Seng also engaged in opium, liquor and gambling farm interests in those Dutch colonies.

He was appointed Lieutenant of China and served the position for 21 years before given the title Kapitan. During his time in Dutch East Indies, Cheah Choon Seng was the catalyst in forming goodwill and friendship bonds between the Chinese and Dutch governments. He was decorated with the Ster voor Trouw en Verdienste (Gold Star Loyalty and Merit)  for his significant and meritorious services rendered to the Dutch Government. 

Cheah Choon Seng was the founder of Deli Bank in Medan and became the Managing Director of the firm. He also owned considerably property at Kota Raja and several parts in the Dutch colony. In 1895, Cheah Choon Seng was appointed as the third Chinese Vice-Consul to Penang. He took this post seriously, where in 1897, he ceased all his business in Dutch East Indies and passed it to Leong Mok On. In return, he focused his task as the Chinese government representative in the Southeast Asia. 

Cheah Choon Seng who was then a well-known Hakka Chinese merchant, retired from the government post in 1903 and handed it to his son-in-law, Leong Fee. But had been reappointed as Acting Chinese Vice-Consul to Penang from 1906 to 1907. In the British colony, Cheah Choon Seng took great interest in tin mining. He owned the Tambun mines in Perak and Bentong mines in Selangor. He was also an active member in the social circle in Penang, where he joined the Penang Chinese Town Hall and various Chinese associations and co-founded the Chung Hua School in Penang. Cheah Choon Seng had one son, four daughters and three adopted sons. He died on 4 February 1916 at his Penang residence, 8 Leith Street, and was buried at his ancestral village in Songkou (嵩口镇), Meixian County of Guangdong.

Cheah Choon Seng's mansion at 8 Leith Street, Penang was situated next to Cheong Fatt Tze's mansion, it was later demolished to make way for adjoining Northam Road and Farquhar Street. The legacy of Cheah Choon Seng in supporting Chinese education was passed to one of his grandsons, Cheah Sinn Kee. Where the Cheah Sinn Kee Shield was founded to support Chinese schools sport events in Penang.

On 31 March 1912, Cheah Choon Seng made his will and appointed Cheah Hee Nyan as the will executor and trustee.  

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Loke Yew 陸佑

Loke Yew, CMG, LL.D

Very little is known about this man, named Loke Yew, except the famous road 'Jalan Loke Yew' (Loke Yew Road) in the hustle bustle city of Kuala Lumpur. He was known as one of the pioneers and a founding father of modern Kuala Lumpur. Loke Yew also famed for his philanthropic efforts in educational and medical fields in British Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. He was a naturalized British subject in 1903 and being the only British Malayan of Chinese descent to receive the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1915. When he died on 24 February 1917 he left an amassed wealth worth millions to his descendants, his properties were distributed to his heirs in four equal shares, they were each receiving property worth about $2.8 million in addition $3 million in cash, however the Loke Yew Estate worth at least $89 million were remained status quo with Choo Kia Peng as the Managing Trustee. Although, modern Malaysian history has sidelined him probably due to his staunch support to the British colonial (in 1916 he subscribed $1 million to the FMS War Loan), Loke Yew's story represents a phase in the development of the Malay States and other Asian countries. 

Loke Yew was born on 9 October 1845 in Dongjiang Village, Xinhui District, Jiangmen Prefecture, Guangdong Province, China. Born to a peasant family, he was the only male of four siblings. In his early boyhood, Loke Yew spent most of his austere time in helping his father in farming. At the age of 13, the ambitious young Loke Yew left for Singapore.

Loke Yew arrived in Singapore in 1858 and worked at Kwong Man General Store, a food provision shop at Market Street. It was here, he earned a meagre salary of $20 a month and managed to save up $99 after four years of hard work. He used the capital to commence his own food provision store under the chop Tong Hing Loong.

A life size portrait of Loke Yew by Low Kway Soo

In 1867, Loke Yew left for Perak and appointed a manager to look after all his businesses in Singapore. He was assisted by two local headmen in Larut, Chan Kam Chong and Ng Sow Swee, respectively. His tin mining investment in Taiping was disastrous following with a series of local chieftains’ rivalries. Thus, erupted the Larut Wars and all tin mines were ceased operations. 

In order to restore law and order, the British in Penang sent the Ghurkha troops to Perak. Backed with food supply experience, Loke Yew managed to secure a contract for supplying food to the British troops. After the wars ended, he remained for fifteen years in Perak, engaging principally in tin mining activities. It was reported that, Loke Yew was secretly affiliated with the Ghee Hin society, a notorious secret society originated from Penang. 

The tin mining concessions in Perak particularly in Taiping were not beneficial to Loke Yew. He recorded an estimated total loss of $60,000 to $140,000 in his first four years. However, when a new mining site was discovered at Kinta Valley, he took the opportunity to revamp his tin mining investment strategy. Loke Yew's survival was very much owed to his state revenue farm licenses such as opium, liquor and gambling. 

Loke Yew made a successful establishment in Kinta and expanded to Gopeng, Kampar and Tanjung Malim. At the same time, the drastic growth in Selangor and Negri Sembilan particularly in tin mining and rubber plantations had attracted Loke Yew to venture in every promising profits. Everything he ventured had turned unexpected profit, and gradually increased his wealth. However, Loke Yew's monopoly in the Perak Government's revenue farms were expired in 1905. For the 1906/1908 term, he lost the tenders to other wealthy Chinese merchants such as Chung Thye Phin, Ng Boo Bee, Foo Choo Choon, etc. Before that, Loke Yew paid $120,000 per month for the Perak farms, he lost to higher bidders of $170,000. By then, Loke Yew was no longer a resident of Perak. 

Loke Yew in Taiping
The wars in Perak had also caused the economy of other tin-mining-based states to slow down. Due to the consequences, the British government encouraged the mercantile community to rebuild the economy in Selangor. Loke Yew who saw the opportunity, therefore, he first established a pawnshop in Kuala Lumpur. In 1913, he founded the Kwong Yik Banking Corporation Ltd in Kuala Lumpur. However, the prosperity earned by Loke Yew not only enjoyed by himself and his family since he made Kuala Lumpur as his home. During the time he settled down in Kuala Lumpur, there were no public movement or any importance in Selangor had been without his great financial support. 

Loke Yew was the first man started a cement factory in Malaya. He established the cement quarry in 1906 at Batu Caves, Selangor, by using steam power to generate the production. The method of manufacture is not clear but it did not meet with much success. Loke Yew was the largest shareholder in the Messrs Alexander, Hall & Co. Ltd. of Aberdeen, the Pahang Motor Car Service, a shareholder in the Raub Straits Trading Company, Straits Steamship and Federal Engineers and Burmah Rice Mill. He also went into partnership with Thamboosamy Pillai in managing the New Tin Mining Company in Rawang. They were the first to use electric pumps for mining in Malaya. In 1904, Loke Yew was elected President of the Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman of Kwong Yik (Selangor) Banking Corp. Ltd in 1916.

One of Loke Yew's impressive interests was in automobile. He began the interest with the purchase of a steam yacht from the Governor of German New Guinea. His wife was known for being the first Straits Chinese to ride in an auto during the family trip to Europe in 1903. Loke Yew was awed with the horseless carriage where he founded a private motor mail service with a capital $10,000. The firm owned about 15 motorcars with capacity ranging 5 to 25 horsepower. In March 1905, the Federated Malay States Government awarded his firm a mail contract in Pahang and Selangor.    

On 1 May 1915, Loke Yew was knighted with the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG). The presentation was held at the Kuala Lumpur Town Hall by the High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Henderson Young. In which, Loke Yew became the first and the only British Malayan to receive the prestigious accolade. The CMG was awarded to him for public services in the Malay States.

Loke Yew had donated $50,000 and five wards to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore in 1909, $50,000 to the Raffles College, Singapore, $30,000 and land to the Methodist's Boys School, Kuala Lumpur, $30,000 and 5-acre land for the Old Men's & Cripples' Home (Paupers' Home & Infirmary), Kuala Lumpur, the founding of Treacher Technical School and Victoria Institution both in Kuala Lumpur, etc. He also donated $50,000 to built the Chinese Town Hall, Kuala Lumpur, and $25,000 for the Guangdong Flood Relief in 1915.

In the early 1910s, the Hongkong University was suffering from financial crisis and shortage of academic staff. In 1912, Loke Yew and Cheong Fatt Tze, each donated $50,000 to the university in order to revive the situation. However, by 1915, the situation was getting serious and perhaps the university will have to be closed down. Again Loke Yew endowed half a million dollar with interest free for the purpose of research and scholarships. Thus, a scholarship trust known as Loke Yew 'Dono' Scholarship was set up for the Chinese students from British Malaya and Straits Settlements. Within that period of time, the university was overpopulated by students from that two British colonies.

In recognition for Loke Yew's generous philanthropic action, on 14 January 1917, the Hongkong University invested honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) to him. The degree was invested by Sir Charles Elliot (the Vice-Chancellor) at Loke Yew's house, and witnessed by Sir Edward Brockman. Sir Edward presenting Loke Yew to Sir Charles with his introduction:
"This was the first presentation of an honorary degree to an inhabitant of British Malaya."
Loke Yew who wore the cerise gown, green hood and black cap of the degree upon receiving the scroll. Sir Charles in his speech said:
"The brilliant nature of your career in the Federated Malay States has abundantly demonstrated your intellectual capacity, and the wealth you have acquired you have largely devoted to educational and philanthropic objects. The University feels it a great honour to enrol you among its members, and, on your side, we hope it will not be distasteful to be enrolled among the honorary graduates of Hongkong University, among whom we aim to include those most distinguished in the pursuit of learning themselves or in encouraging it in others."
However, Loke Yew did not survive long to hold this honour, in a month later he died on 24 February 1917. 

The Hongkong Daily Press reported on 21 March 1917,
“…on the remarkable career of the late Towkay Loke Yew in Malaya. from humble origins this remarkable Chinese rose to a position of great affluence. … he was a most practical friend of Hongkong University … he heads the original list of donors to the original endowment fund, and not long ago, handed over a sum of half-a-million dollars without interest for twenty one years. … He desires to offer learning to others which had been denied to him.”
In 1956, the Hongkong University’s Great Hall was renamed Loke Yew Hall in memory of the great benefactor, Loke Yew. 

In his later time, Loke Yew celebrated his life not by wealth, but his value and believe in education. He was known for generosity towards educational institution, in which the early establishment of schools such as Victoria Institution, the Hongkong University, etc. were greatly indebted to his aids. In order to compensate for his denied rights to education, he sent all his children including daughters to have Western education in England and the Loke Yew Scholarship was founded by the Trustees of Loke Yew to award financial aids to needy students in Malaya. A larger than-life-sized bronze statue of him was erected at his mausoleum Hawthornden Estate. The statue was designed by Frederick J. Wilcoxson after a photograph of Loke Yew in the academic gown for an honorary LL.D by HKU. 

Loke Yew in the academic gown
Loke Yew had six sons, one adopted son, four daughters, five grandsons and seven granddaughters.

1. Leung Suet (1st wife)
2. Leung Jun (2nd wife)
3. Lim Shuk Kwei (3rd wife)
4. Lim Cheng Kim (4th wife)

1. Loke Wan Piu
2. Loke Wan Chok
3. Loke Wan Chiew
4. Loke Hon Chow
5. Loke Wan Wye (aka Allan Loke) (d. 1941)
6. Loke Wan Yat (d. 1987)
7. Loke Wan Tho (1915 - 1964)

1. Loke Yuen Hing (aka Loke Joon Ying; Julien Loke Yew) (1878 - 1936)
2. Loke Yuen Ying
3. Loke Yuen Theng
4. Loke Yuen Peng (1917 - 2012)

Loke Yung Hong
Loke Yung Cheong (b. 1909)
Loke Yung Lok
Loke Yoong Sun
Loke Yung Wai (b. 1934)

Loke Yuen Choon
Loke Yuen Cheng
Loke Yuen Chong
Loke Yuen Kin
Loke Sok Sam

Bard, Solomon (Ed.). (2002). Voices from the Past: Hong Kong, 1842-1918. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. (p. 355)
Godley, Michael. (2002). The Mandarin-Capitalists from Nanyang: Overseas Chinese Enterprise in the Modernisation of China 1893-1911. Cambridge University Press. (pp. 12 - 14)
Lam, Seng Fatt. (2011). Insider's Kuala Lumpur (3rd Ed.): Is No Ordinary Travel Guide. Open Your Eyes to the Soul of the City (Not Just the Twin Towers...). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. (p. 56)
Song, Ong Siang. (1923). One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore. London: John Murray. (p. 540)
Sprigg, Christopher (Ed.). (1928). British Malaya (Vol. 2). London: Newton & Company (pp. 62 & 72)
Wright, Arnold. (1907). Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Publishing Co., Ltd. (pp. 893-895)

News Archives:
The Straits Times, 19 February 1900, Page 3
The Straits Times, 21 May 1903, Page 4
The Straits Times, 30 March 1904, Page 4
The Straits Times, 27 September 1909, Page 6
The Straits Times, 24 July 1915, Page 8
The Straits Times, 6 March 1916, Page 8
The Straits Times, 2 October 1916, Page 8
The Straits Times, 5 January 1917, Page 9
The Straits Times, 3 February 1922, Page 8
The Straits Times, 4 February 1922, Page 8
The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 15 October 1924, Page 8

*1st revision on 28 Feb 2014