Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Khoo Phee Soon and family (Bukit Brown)

Khoo Phee Soon (1862- 1939) was a well know ship owner and rice merchant, who had operations in Penang, Malacca, Bangkok and Singapore. He was also a shareholder in the Singapore Slipway & Engineering, Limited. He owned and or leased steamships /sails such as the Chow Phya, Rotorua,Omapere, Perak,Waihora, Avagyee, Vidar, Janet Nicoll.

The Straits Times, 26 August, 1903
(source: NewspaperSG)
Khoo Phee Soon died in 5th March 1939 at his residence in No. 146 Carpmael Street and is buried in Block 4 Division C. He left behind 5 sons, Khoo Peck Hock, Khoo Peck Enh, Khoo Peck Guan, Khoo Peck Cheng and Khoo Peck Khye, 2 daughters ; Khoo Eng Phaik ( Mrs Chua Kwee Seng) , Khoo Eng Yan  (Mrs Chia Keng Teow) and 2 son-in laws.

Khoo Phee Soon's tomb in Bukit Brown
Khoo Phee Soon's tomb revealed after
many years hidden by a Banyan tree

Father: Khoo Tiong Poh 邱忠波 (1830-1892)
Khoo Phee Soon's father was Khoo Tiong Poh / Khoo Teong Poh . Born in China, Khoo Tiong Poh was the eldest son of Khoo Eng Chye 邱应财 and came to the Straits Settlement when he was 22. He went on to be a prominent shipping figure and a leader among the Hokien community. In November 1874, after being in business as partner in chop Teong Ho, Market Street, Khoo Tiong Poh decided to leave and partner with Rajah Wichit of Phya Puket to become senior partner of a prominent shipping company called Bun Hin and Co, based in Malacca Street, with offices in Penang, Hong Kong, Swatow and Amoy. He was also a partner in Ann Bee and Co. (a ship chandlery business). He own steamships such as Cheang Hock Kian, Carisbrooke, Pearl and Petrel.

Family Tussle and Disputed Property
Khoo Tiong Poh died at the age of 62 on 1 March, 1892 after a prolong illness and was buried in Penang , his remains shipped by s.s. Cheang Chew to be buried in his plantation. Khoo Tiong Poh had 3 wives (Yeoh Siew Kim, Tan Poo Neo, and Tio Oo Neo) and 8 sons (Khoo Geen Soon alias Khoo Phee Soon, Khoo Geen Haw, Khoo Geen Keat, Khoo Geen Lek alias Khoo Mah Lek, Khoo Geen Choe, Khoo Geen Yew, Khoo Geen Tah, and, Khoo Geen Teow), and 4 daughters (Khoo Sor Pek, Khoo Sor Tin, Khoo Sor Gan, and Khoo Sor Lan)

After the death of Khoo Tiong Poh, there were multi-claims for his assets and estates and cash of $250, 950.87  from plaintiffs consisting of Tan Poo Neo and Khoo Gin Keat and defendants consisting of Khoo Phee Soon, Khoo Mah Lek, Khoo Gin Cho, Khoo Teong Pan and Yeoh Siew Kem Neo. There was also a  case dubbed as the "Nye Rai vs Lim Loh" or " Raffles Square case", a claim on properties at Raffles by Nye Rai, administrator of Prah Primoon Sombat Puket. The estate of the late Khoo Tiong Poh was outstanding indeed with houses and land all over Singapore !
source: NewspaperSG

Ong Sam Leong connection (Khoo Peck Lock)
One of Khoo Phee Soon's sons, Khoo Peck Lock (1889-135) died before him and his name was not mentioned in the tombstone. Khoo Peck Lock married Ong Boey Neo, daughter of Ong Sam Leong, and he was the secretary of New World before he died.

Khoo Peck Lock, whose residence is in No 46 East Coast Road died on 20 September 1935 at the age of 46, leaving behind is wife Ong Boey Neo (the only surviving sister of Ong Boon Tat and Ong Peck Hock) and three daughters (Khoo Gek Choo, Khoo Gek Khee, Khoo Gek Hiok). As a mark of respect, New World Amusement Park and all it shows were closed on the 20th September.  Ong Boey Neo died in April 1951. Both Khoo Peck Lock and Ong Boey Neo are also buried in Bukit Brown close to Ong Sam Leong's family cluster of Mr and Mrs Ong Sam Leong, Boon Tatt and Peng Hock.

Khoo Peck Lock and Ong Boey Neo
Tomb of Khoo Peck Lock and Ong Boey Neo (partially hidden by fern)
Close-up of Khoo Peck Lock's tomb 

Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press
The late Khoo Tiong Poh. (1892, March 3).The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, page 2
Advertisements.(1897, May 27). The Straits Times, page 2
A valuable estate.(1899, June 8).The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, page 2
The Raffles Property case. (1900, November 20). The Straits Times, page 3
Untitled. (1906, August 14). Eastern Daily Mail and Straits Morning Advertiser, page 2
Obituary.(1935, September 20). The Straits Times, page 12
Death. (1935, September 20). The Straits Times, page 2
Funeral of Mr Khoo Peck Lock. (1935, September 23). The Straits Times, page 13
Acknowledgements. (1939, March 13). The Straits Times, page 2
Death. (1939, March 6). The Straits Times, page 2
Death. (1951, April 23). The Straits Times, page 13
Wong Yee Tuan. Uncovering the Myths of Two 19th-century Hokkien Business Personalities
in the Straits Settlements. Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, Volume 5 , 2011

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