Archive for October, 2009


Wong Yunn Chii’s remarks

The NUS team at the opening, Lai Chee Kian, Wong Yunn Chii & Cheah Kok Ming. (Photo: VC)

Dear Victor,

Two small corrections:

1.  54-56 did not belong to Tun Tan’s family; rather it was the land holding of the Ong family since the mid-1900 (perhaps earlier) – as far as Mr Ong Sek Pek can remember.  I do not have the deeds paper to validate this point.

2.  Hock Guan & siblings were probably delivered by Dr Yeoh rather than Dr Ong, who by the mid-fifties had already retired, and handed over the practice to his assistant, Dr Yeoh (Mr Ong Sek Pek’s brother-in-law)


The reconstructed air well in one of the buildings. (Photo: VC)

One small opinion:

Ruskin, the great English romantic architect, offered that the most authentic way to relate to historical buildings is allow them to decay and stay in ruins.  Any intervention, no matter how sensitive and considered, will bound to tamper with the intergrity of the buildings.  Buidlings, however, are finally objects of interest – human interests, from the benign, the banal to the sublime.  But they are also objects for exchange and labour, and there is an inevitability in this arrangement as long we dwell in commerce and under capitalism.  Thus, the cycles of ownership, decay, repair, etc you highlighted.



54-56 Jln. Tun Tan Cheng Lock

Goh Hock Guan of class of  ’74  and his mother, Gan Diong See, age 73, were at the September opening of the above address in Malacca to support good friend Wong Yunn Chii. Some of you have written earlier about this subject  in this group.


Mdm. Gan Diong See and her son Goh Hock Guan  at the opening ceremony in September. (Photo: VC)

Hock Guan’s four siblings were all born in the maternity clinic, which was in this address, ran by the late Dr Ong Bak Hin.  At that time in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s it was a well known medical institution.

These two buildings, from the Dutch period (probably?) had been used for many purposes in the past, e.g. for housing, business, stable, hotel, clinic, junk store, etc. Finally it has become a centre for Asian Architectural and Urban Heritage. The life of the buildings continue.


Many old buildings are derelicts but worth millions of ringgit. (Photo: VC)

These two buildings were in ruins for many years and were then bought up cheaply by some Singaporean real estate speculators. Like many of the buildings along this road, all the properties today are worth well over the millions and still going up. Thanks and no thanks to the conservation of urban structures and the property market.


Agnes Tan at the opening. (Photo: VC)

Tun Tan Cheng Lock in his days was also a landlord and business tycoon who owned many lots along the street and elsewhere. But it was his daughter, Agnes Tan, who in 2004, gave the NUS S$1.5 million, to repurchase the property which once belonged to her family. The cycle of life, money and property.


The restored back court yard with it new toilets. (Photo:VC)

What may the history of  buildings and its inhabitants inform us?


ChuaCC’s Fund Latest

Thanks to all friends of ChuaCC for their generous contributions in the last few months. The amount collected now stands at RM21,508.00. Tedin Ng has finalised the account and you can see the details in the right column of this page. We did well and I am sure ChuaCC would have been proud of all our efforts.


From left: Victor Chin, Tedin Ng & Peter Yap. (Photo: Numpueng)

Tedin, Peter and myself met yesterday at Peter’s Cherry Cake House. We then went to the Public Bank and deposited RM20,000.00 in two lots in FD for one year. Bien was busy with family matters and was not able to join us.

We hope to find out from all of you what is the best way to start the bursary this year before the school closes. Please write your suggestion in the comments section of this blog.



Henry Goh’s tribute to ChuaCC

Wong Swee Lim recently sent me Henry’s tribute to Chua CC which appeared in the Methodist Church Malacca’s Newsletter August 2009. Here is his full text.


Greetings & Shalom!
Brothers & Sisters-in-Christ & Friends,

I have been asked to write an article on the Hon. Capt. Chua Cheng Chye of the 1st Malacca Boys’ Brigade (BB) Company who passed away on 7th November 2008, ten days short of his 86th birthday.

For many months, I have been looking for my old photos and thinking about what to write about him. I am sure there are many who have their own stories on how they enjoyed his talks and encouragement, and most of all, his glorious food especially the ‘Rumah Puteh’ barbeque cuisine.

This humble former headmaster of the Primary Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Malacca, had since the1960s or even earlier, touched the lives of many thousands of boys especially the Scouts and the BB members not only those from ACS but also those from other schools. He was not only my Hon. Captain, but also my mentor who helped me to improve my English language during my fifth form way back in the 1970s.


During the 17th National Day (Merdeka) parade, I saw my Gajah Berang School classmate Wong Peng Kuen, playing cymbals in a band. The next day, I asked him about the BB 1st Malacaa Company and he then invited me to attend the next BB meeting which would be held on the next Saturday at 1.30 p.m. in Wesley Methodist Church. Being eager, I reached the church grounds before the designated time. There, I saw that there were other boys not only from my school (Gajah Berang), but also from other neighbouring schools such as ACS, SFI, Tun Tuah, St.David, Malacca High School and several Chinese schools too. Peng Kuen introduced me to the BB Captain, Mr. Chua Cheng Chye, the ACS Primary Headmaster. He was sitting next to the Ranger Hall, watching the boys practising on their musical instruments. What struck me about Mr. Chua and the other BB officers was that they were volunteers and were not paid salaries or allowances, but they were willing to sacrifice their time and services to this great youth movement called the Boys’ Brigade.

I rose from rank and file, being first double promoted to corporal, then from sergeant to colour sergeant. Disappointed at having to play side drum or bugle, the flute was my last choice and to everyone’s surprise, I played pretty well in the band. Besides the band, we also had camps at the MGSS field with the Girls’ Brigade at one end and the boys at the other end. During the duration of the camp, the captains and officers from both the boys’ and girls’ companies were there to supervise the activities which ranged from reveille, roll-call, flag raising, camp inspection, food decoration, singspiration, and tying of knots and gadgets. We really enjoyed Mr. Chua’s singing and sermons during those camps.


Besides the compulsory meetings on Saturdays, we had extra band practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every Sunday morning without fail, Mr. Chua would be waiting and sitting along the ACS Secondary main corridor conducting the Bible Knowledge class. Normally about 8 to 10 boys would attend his classes and even if only one boy turned up, he would still conduct his class. As time went by, Mr. Chua taught us that we should start serving others rather than be served. Soon, we the boys grew up and many including me left Malacca. Captain Chua had taught us well about serving others and so we served in other churches, reviving and starting new BB companies in PJ & KL. Due to Captain Chua’s influence, some of the BB old boys are still serving the Lord in the BB.

Whenever I came back to Malacca, be it from KL, or Sabah or London, I would always visit Mr.Chua in his ‘ Rumah Puteh’. I continued to visit him when he moved to a flat in Tengkera and later on, the Graceful Nursing Home.


When people think of Captain Chua, they will always remember his black Austin A-35 which bore the number plate M 7175. When I came back from London in 1988, I used a motorbike to go to work and to the church grounds on Saturdays where I was serving as a BB officer. Captain Chua asked me to use his Austin to drive some of the BB boys home as they had missed the town bus. Those boys came from as far as Terendak Camp in Sungai Udang. This went on for many months and then finally, Captain Chua decided to sell his Austin to me. I bought over his Austin because it was safe on the road and solid in make like its owner, Captain Chua himself.

Upon the demise of my father on 1985 and my mother in 1986, Captain Chua became a father figure to me. Soon, he turned matchmaker and introduced me to a young, no- nonsense lady GB officer, none other than Miss Lim Ai Ling. After a two-year courtship, Ai Ling and I got married, thanks to the efforts of Captain Chua who had always been a bachelor boy until his dying day.

Many of us from within and without the BB have been blessed by the life of Captain Chua, and we have been very privileged to have known him. He was my mentor, counsellor, confidante and friend, always simple and generous in spirit. He is my inspiration although he is gone. I shall always miss him.


Please join in this fund raising project.
Donors to date:
1. Wong Yunn Chii - '71 (RM2000)
2. Lim Kim Tay - '71 (RM2000)
3. MACSIAN74 (RM2000)
4. Vic's Art Prints Sale (RM2500)
5. Tedin Ng - '71 (RM1620)
6. Class of 1971 (RM1038)
7. Woon Tai Hai - '74 (RM1000)
8. Paul Cheok - '76 (RM1000)
9. Chua Beng Own - '70 (RM1000)
10. Class of 1985 - (RM1000)
11. MACS '74 '09 Dinner (RM850)
12. Bien Hock Nien - '55 (RM500)
13. Victor Chin - '67 (RM500)
14. Jimmy Chiam - '80 (RM500)
15. Peter Yap - MES '71 (RM500)
16. Eng Kim Leng - '76 (RM500)
17. Heng Chin Lai - '78 (RM500)
18. Loy Kwee Keow - '76 (RM500)
19. Chin Kai Wah - '55 (RM500)
20. Albert Chan HL - '55 (RM500)
21. Dennis Ee - '76 (RM200)
22. Oh Kim Leng - '77 (RM200)
23. Wong Swee Lim - '56 (RM200)
24. Wee Hock Guan - '76 (RM200)
25. Raymond Ong - '73 (RM100)
26. Anonymous - (RM100)
27. Tommy Chen - '85 (RM490)

Total: RM21,998.00

Tedin Ng -'71 (RM5000)
Donation in kind to ACS primary

In Memoriam

Chua Cheng Chye 1922-2008
October 2009

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