Monday, February 06, 2017

Wee Tiang Wah (Bukit Brown)

Wee Tiang Wah (alias Kim Kow) passed away at the age of 48 on 17th April 1940. He was said to be one of the founders of the Oleh Oleh Party and one its Presidents. Its members recognised him as an able actor and helped in the philantrophic activities (e.g. China Red Cross Fund ) of the party. He was also a member of the United Chinese Musical Association.  Mrs. Wee Tiang Wah passed away at her residence in No 4, Block J, Henderson Road on 2 April 1935, leaving behind her husband, Wee Tiang Wah of Eastern Plumbers, a son and a daughter. Mrs. Wee Tiang Wah is buried also in Bukit Brown.

Mr Wee Tiang Wah (seated on the left) with the
United Chinese Musical Association members c1928 

Wee Tiang Wah at Hill 4 Section C, plot 2050

Wee Tiang Wah was a prolific actor, so much so, in one of the Oleh Oleh Party drama called "The Wastrel" , he got into the role of a Chettair by shaving his head bald, wearing Indian clothes and on occasions spoke Tamil.

Oleh Oleh Party was founded in 1932 with the objective of helping the poor and needy through the promotion of music, drama and performances. There were many groups or minstrel bands that played old-time English classics and used stringed instruments and costumes. This bands or troupe mushroomed in 1930s wherever Peranakans lived. Some of the well-known bands include: Cornwall Minstrels, Wales Minstrels, Merrilads, Springdale and Forget-me-not. Members usually met regularly in patrons' or members' houses. The Minstrel bands performed at social parties. They also put up sketches and stage shows, sometimes for charity. Minstrel activities came to a halt before the World War 2. Oleh Oleh Party survived after the war and died out by 1960s. Peranakan plays were put up by Gunong Sayang Association, (in which Koh Hoon Teck was well known) survived till this day.


The Chinese Association. (1928, February 11). Malayan Saturday Post, page 4
Domestic Occurences/ (1935, April 4). Malaya Tribune, page 10
Success of "The Wastrel" . (1938, September 12). Malaya Tribune, page 12
Untitled. (1940, April 22).Malaya Tribune, page 3

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