Monday, July 30, 2012

Khoo Kay Hian (Bukit Brown)

During the rubber boom of the 1910, Khoo Kay Hian / Khoo Kay Hean was well positioned and made money as a rubber broker based in The Arcade. He went on to be the founder of one of the best known stock broking firm in Singapore bearing his namesake, Kay Hian and Co in 1921. He was also a committee member of the Singapore Sharebrokers' Association (this was before it became the Singapore Stock Exchange).
Khoo Kay Hian
(photo courtesy of Kim, great grand daughter)

Throughout his career, he held various positions, they included: Assistant Secretary of the Ee Hoe Hean Club (1918) ; Management Committee of the Garden Club (1920) Chinese Lantern Procession (1922), Joint Honorary Secretary together with Lim Kee Cheok. (Lim Chwee Chian was the Chairman) and also Committee member of the Singapore Chinese Girls School (1925)

Contributions 
Kampong Martin Relief Fund (1916), Chinese Halifax Relief Fund (1917), Sir Arthur Young's Portrait Fund (1919), St Andrew's Hospital Building (1920), Nanyang University (1957).

Khoo Kay Hian 
Revolutionary Supporter and post 1911 efforts        
When Dr Sun Yat Sen arrived in Singapore in December 1911 from Europe in the P&O steamer called Devanha, he was greeted by the Singapore revolutionary leaders which included Dr S.C. Yin,  Teo Eng Hock, Tan Lian Chye, Khoo Kay Hian and Lim Nee Soon. Dr Sun Yat Sen went on to stay at Mr Tan Boon Liat's Golden Bell Mansion, in Morse Road, Keppel Harbour. He was heavily guarded by bodyguards and detectives as he made plan for the final push to overthrow the Peking (Beijing) Qing Emperor and the final creation of a Republican government in the capital with the Emperor as a figurehead.

In 1912, Mr Lu Chi Ye, former Assistant Commissioner of Justice to the Provisional Government of China and chief assistant to Dr Wu Ting Fong came down to Singapore together with Khoo Kay Hian to seek investments from the Straits and Netherlands Indies Chinese. (Nanyang or Overseas Chinese ). They were greeted by the Chinese Consul-General in Singapore together with members of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Mr Lu Chi Ye and Khoo Kay Hian later will travel to Penang and the other Federal Malayan States (F.M.S) to seek investments in the opening of mines in China.

This were evidential ties between this pioneers and how Singapore and its residents played a very important role in the political and economical reform of China.
source: NewspaperSG
Brush with law 1 : Fine $1,000 for being a betting bookie
In 1939, at the age of 53, Khoo Kay Hian was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty and fine $1,000 for allowing his office in 20 Malacca Street to a betting house for horses. His son, Khoo Hock Choo, 17 years old at the time pleaded guilty in an amended charged of  attempting to cause the disappearance of the 3 betting slip that were on his father's desk when it was raided by the police, by throwing it out of the window, with intention of protecting his father from legal punishment was fined $100. It was according in their lawyers defence, their first offence.

Brush with law 2: Opium Smoking Utensils
In 1961, a 21 year old youth impersonated himself as a police inspector to search Khoo Kay Hian's house in St. Martin's Drive. The "police impersonator" found opium smoking utensils and Khoo Kay Hian offered him a bribe of $1,000 to look the other way. He accepted the bribe, but however did not get away scot free because Khoo Kay Hian's son reported this "policeman" to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and the youth was later charge in the courts.

Death
Khoo Kay Hian passed away on January 18, 1966 reported at the age of 81 at his residence at 23 St. Martin's Drive at 9:35pm (however on his grave, he is listed to be 78 and a small plaque below it, 79 years of age.)
Khoo Kay Hian and Lee Poh Neo 

He is survived by his wife, Madam Lee Poh Neo, (daughter of  Mr Lee Woon Chwee and Wee Whye Neo)
a son (Khoo Hock Choo) and 3 daughters. (Helen Khoo Hong Peng, Irene Khoo Hong Leng and Khoo Hong Wan).  Khoo Kay Hian / Khoo Kay Hean , his wives, mother are buried in a cluster together in Hill 2, Division B.

Family

Son: Khoo Hock Choo  (27 January 1921- 20 December 2016)
Khoo Hock Choo went on to take over the father's company and also became a committee member of the Singapore Stock Exchange. In 2000, UOB Securities and Kay Hian Holdings Limited and UOB Securities Private Limited merged and eventually changed its name to UOB Kay Hian in 2001.

Postnote: Khoo Hock Choo passed away on 20 December 2016. He is survived by his wife, Doris, children; Marilyn, Serene, Jacqui, Kathy ; Sons-in-law; Ernest, Roy, Charlie, Dale ; Grandsons:Alex, Ian, Nick,John Matt ; Granddaughter: Sophie ; Granddaughter-in-law: Rachel
; Great Granddaughter: Ally Grace.

Daughter: Khoo Hoon Leng
In February 1941, Khoo Hoon Leng (third daughter) married Mr Tan Chi Lam (sixth son of  the late Mr and Mrs Tan Wi Yan) at the Ee Hoe Club where Dr Lim Boon Keng officiated.
Khoo Hoon Leng
(source: NewspaperSG)
Khoo Kay Hian's siblings include his brothers: Khoo Kay Yeow, Khoo Kay Tuan, Khoo Kay Chee. His sister is Khoo Siew Kim. Khoo Kay Hian's other wives include Tan Sing Yong (died October 3, 1949) and Tan Lai Neo (died June 21, 1930). Listed on Tan Lai Neo's tomb is her daughter, Khoo Hong Leng.

Wife: Lee Poh Neo
Lee Poh Neo is the daughter of Mr. Lee Woon Chwee and Madam Wee Whye Neo.

Wife: Tan Sin Yong 
Tan Sing Yong, died October 3, 1949 at the age of 58. She is listed as Cantonese and is buried in plot no 169, Block 2, Section D
Tan Sing Yong (second wife)
Wife: Tan Lai Neo (born 1905 died 1930 )
Listed on her tomb is a daughter: Khoo Hong Leng and son: Khoo Hock Choo
Tan Lai Neo 

Chen Xian Niang (died June 1945)
Khoo Kay Hian's mother
Khoo Kay Hian's family cluster is affected by the 8-lane highway:
Khoo Kay Hian (peg 1906)
Lee Poh Neo ( peg 1905)
Tan Lai Neo ( peg 1907)
Tan Sing Yong (peg 1908)
Chen Xian Niang, Khoo Kay Hian's mother (peg 1910)

Lee Poh Neo, Tan Lai Neo, Tan Sing Yong, Chen were exhumed on 24 June 2014.

References
Dr Sun Yat Sen. (1911, December 16). The Straits Times, page 9
Developing China. (1912, October 16). The Straits Times, page 9
A distinguish Chinese judge. (1928, January 28). Malayan Saturday Post, page 31
Well-known chinese broker was fined $1,000. (1939, June 17). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Domestic Occurences. (1940, April 1). The Singapore Free Press, page 3
Bogus Police officer got "squeeze". (1961, March 15). The Straits Times, page 6
Leading Singapore share broker dies, 81. (1966, January 20). The Straits Times, page 11
Death. (1966, January 19). The Straits Times, page 24

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