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Teoh Tiang Chye

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Died  Bukit China
Place of death  Bukit Cina
Teoh Tiang Chye
Occupation  Dispensary keeper, Licensed Auctionerphilanthropist
Children  4 sons (Teoh Hong Tye @ Boon Leng; Teoh Hong Tiat; Teoh Hong Tee; Teoh Tian Lock); 1 daughter

Teoh Tiang Chye was a Justice of the Peace in Malacca, since 1904, then part of the British territory called the Straits Settlements, . He was a Dispensary Keeper and a Licensed Auctioneer operating from No. 9 Heeren Street. During his lifetime, Tiang Chye had made contributions to the benefit of the people of Malacca.

In March 1926, Tiang Chye presented Bukit Jelutong Chinese Cemetery, Malacca with a brick built shade - 54 feet long; 20 feet wide, with cement concrete flooring and tiled roofing - for public use, at the crematorium.

In July,1928, he contributed generously to build three isolation ward (medicine) at the Quarantine Camp, Mata Kuching, - for contagious disease such as smallpox - Malacca. Tiang Chye personally supervised the building of the isolation ward which was built at the cost of Straits Dollar $10,000, complete with bathroom and beds. During the handover ceremony, among the distinguish guest that were present is the Resident Councillor - Hon. Mr C F Green and Hon. Tan Cheng Lock. Tiang Chye's words as picked up by the Malacca Guardian were "You were about to declare the wards open. Sir, when they are opened, I pray to God that no cases of small pox be admitted to them. They are there, however, if the necessity should arise."

He was made a Member of the Visiting Committee for Malacca General Hospital when it was opened in 1934, however resigned after 3 terms, in 1937.

The British had encouraged the locals to grow the Hevea brasiliensis during the late 18th Century. When the price of rubber dropped drastically in the early 1930s, being effects of the Great Depression; the rubber dealers and owners were badly affected. Tiang Chye had taken the lead on 26 August 1930 to address the issue and with a Petition to the Governor asking:- (i) Exemption from payment of rubber assessment until there is an improvement in the condition of the industry. (ii) Reduction of 3/4 of the quit rent payable on all rubber estates. (iii) Exemption from payment to the Malacca Agricultural Medical Board. As the result of the Petition, on 14 November 1930, the Governor agreed to reduce the quit rent starting from New Year to $1 per acre (from $4 previously) and allows for rent installments where necessary. However, the Government is unable to grant exemption of payment of Rural Board assessment and medical cess. With regards to payment of rent on undeveloped land, government has yet to consider.

Sometime in 1933 while clearing the shrubs, lallang and undergrowth at Bukit China, Tiang Chye found a forgotten grave belonging to a Japanese naval officer who died on 3 April 1861, on the training ship - Iskuba Kan - when it was in the Straits water, near Malacca. He told two Japanese ladies about it while they were searching for medicinal herbs near the place and in turn became known to a Japanese professor, Mr Sekiguchi. Since that day of discovery, the crews of every Japanese man-of-war that lands near Malacca will pay their respect to the grave.

In April 1935 he had presented the Malacca Historical Society with the antique 1/2 picul rice measure, known to the Malay as saat. This unit of measurement was in use before the Weight and Measures Ordinance came into being.

The Colonial Secretary had on 14 Jan 1937, appointed Tiang Chye as one of the member of the Board of Visiting Justices for the Settlement of Malacca.

Family

Unfortunately for Tiang Chye, his wife, Mdm Ong Soon Neo, 49, died due to illness in May 1911. Together, they had one daughter and four sons. The eldest son is Teoh Hong Tye @ Teoh Bong Leong, who is also a Licensed Auctioneer in Malacca, handling the family business.

On 24 December 1929, Tiang Chye holds a wedding reception for his eldest grandson, Teoh Bock Chiang to Ms Chee, daughter of Mr & Mrs Chee Koon Cheng of Singapore, together with his relative and friends at No. 56, Tranquerah Road, Malacca.

His second son Teoh Hong Tiat had 4 daughters and 3 sons; Hong Tiat is currently survived by his son Teoh Bock Kim.

References

Teoh Tiang Chye Wikipedia


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