Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Penang Gangster to Pittsburg Preacher

"Choby" Siau, who turned from Penang gangster to Pittsburg preacher, in a dramatic transformation that displays God's grace and power, tells his story to Blogpastor.net! (7 Aug 2008). He was in Penang at the age of 13, from New Zealand. He was educated in an international school in Penang, taking drugs, involved in gang activities until 2004...the rest is his testimony in the video and the article.

The testimony from him, extracted from http://holyrapmusic.com/Choby-Siau.html:-

Hi I'm Choby Siau.

I have the privilege from the Lord Almighty to sit here today to share about the life changing experience that the Lord has done.

My life was falling rapidly apart and some are surprise that I still have breath.

Before I share with you the testimony God has so graciously given me, I'll tell you a little bit about my family background. My father is a traditional Chinese from Singapore and my mother is American that grew up in Pittsburgh. I got three other siblings, an oldest brother, a younger brother, and the youngest is the sister. Anyways I'll jump in to the testimony.

I was 11 years old and my family just moved from Singapore to New Zealand.

I never enjoyed first days to new schools, especially in a new country with new accents and new environments. But I never expected it to be so bad until I walked into the new class and every one was looking at me funny and I had no clue why. And I shortly understood that it was because I was a Chinese. And I understood very early in my year there that I was going to have it ruff.

My little brother went to the same school as me and he was also a victim to the racism, and I guess it was a normal thing for the Asian kids there as I noticed that they also got picked on. I was always a kid that liked to be on the edge but getting in trouble I would rather avoid.

But when the kids at the school started to become physically pushy with the little brother of the family that's when I first started to grip my fist.

Since then I lived my life by the code of violence, and I taught my self to protect my self and my little brother by my own means. And when violence became part of my life I found that it was a sense of power, especially after everyone started to treat me and my little brother better after I started to bang boys up. After a little while when I started to put my foot down me and some boys put a gang together called the SBz. And that's when I first became a gang member.

At the age of 11 I used to pick up cigarette buds off the floor and drink whatever alcohol I could find.

For the next year things got worse and worse and rebellion I ate for breakfast. Through the first year in New Zealand I bounced around to three different schools with a bad records though all of them. My parents were going through heavy stress so they decided to move the family back to Asia for hope that things would change.

My family moved to an island in Malaysia and at this point in my life I just turned 13. I was sent to a Christian private school called DALAT. And just a few months later I found out that my older brother became part of a local gang. And before long I was tied up in it. I didn't last one year in that private school before getting kicked out for gang affiliation. And after that I just hit the streets with nothing to lose. It didn't bother me that I didn't make it to high school because I was going to go all the way for the Chinese brotherhood. The deeper I got involved with the gang the more I understood about the standard that we lived by and what we could and couldn't do. And to my surprise I found out that the Chinese gangs in Asia aren't just "gangs" but the Chinese gangs in Asia are triads. And I became favored and mentored by my branch leader in the triad who I stuck close with. He taught me everything I needed to know about the traditions and brotherhood. I started to recruit youngsters and they follow me and they came under my protection. The branch leader and I became tight and he appointed me to his right hand.

So whatever problem the branch would face they would call me and I would come down and take care of the problem, and if the problem was to big then I would call my branch leader (or overseer).

I loved the brotherhood and everything about it. I rejected God but I always knew that he was real and that there was no other way but Jesus, but even knowing these things doesn't change a person. But the words I herd from church always stuck in my heart (Heb4:12 For the word of the Lord are living and active.) so I always kept conscience of what God wanted.

When I turn about 14 the triad was facing major crisis with numerous divisions and internal conflicts. And at that time the structure of the triad was falling in different areas of trust and organization. At the age of 14 I had close friends in different triads, and the triads deal differently then other gangs, in my part of Asia the triads rather work with different triads to keep the business running then spill blood and make business vulnerable.

During the triad crisis the role I played was becoming nerve racking in dealing with different problems because I had no upper hand to support me. It wasn't long before the triad branch fell through and I was left stranded with 30-35 members under me. One of my closest connections I had was with the most notorious triad among the secret societies in 2002. The connection I had was with a good friend and we both considered each other brothers, he took me in and every one under me with the promise of loyalty towards us and a protection that no other gang could show. When I joined that brotherhood I found out very shortly that they didn't play around, and they had no problem shedding blood in reaction of any sort of threat. The business of that triad had the biggest ecstasy dealership, they also sold a variety of other different drugs, they were involved with piracy dvds, vcds, music, loan sharks, territory protection fees, illegally used credit cards, etc.

I got deeper and deeper with no fear of imprisonment because they had connections with law enforcements. Being a member and as active as I was I found favor with the elders and they loved to see me. I was loyal to the death for the name of the triad. I was involved and wasn't going to change for anyone. But a few years later God gave me a devastating reality awakening that forced me to make one of two choices.

It was December of 2004 and it was the month that God showed me his mighty strength.

There were many times in the past before 2004 when I believed God spared my life. Many times that I believe he protected me from overdoses, being killed and killing, protection from countless things. But during the month of December at 17 years old he rocked my world.

I was at one of the clubs that the gang took as territory and I was with two of the boys chilling out as usual. That night the club shut down at 3:30 in the morning and we went to get some food at a near by out door coffee shop. After we ordered drinks one of my boys pointed at a guy from a rival gang who kept on staring at him. we rushed to the guy and his friends to bang him dude up. We broke some chairs on him and just trashed the dude. The next day I received a phone call from my boy that the people who we fought with the night before were at one of our territories (a shopping mall) with his people looking for us. As I was on the way I called some of my people to come down. When I arrived at the mall I immediately met with my two boys I was with the night before. We stood on the first floor in front of the double door elevator making phone so that our people would meet up stairs at a pool hall. After a few minutes I pushed the elevator button so we could make our way up stars to rally up. the elevator finally opened, and to my shock the rival gang members were standing in the elevator looking eye to eye. Both sides were stunned to see each other. There was about twenty of them that walked out of the elevator and as they walked out, to my stupidity I walked in the elevator and my two boys followed me. And as we were in side the metal box the rival gang surrounded the elevator and in the back round I could see more of their people join the surrounding.

And in my mind I was questioning in how they were going to respond to us. Whether they would start the rumble? or if they would talk triad to triad. A few seconds later I felt a great trembling fear consume my body, it was a fear that I have never in my life experienced. And I knew and I could feel that God was watching me, it felt like he was staring right at me, and my howl life started to flash before my eyes, and during that time I could just sense that there was a great spiritual battle happening right there in the middle of this gang situation. And not only could I sense the strong power of God in my midst but I also had a sense that Satan was waiting for me and I automatically had a gut feeling something bad was gonna happen. The leader who was staring right at us had a weapon covered up in the back of his shirt, he pulled it out and it was the traditional triad weapon, the machete.

The leader with the machete was in tremendous anger because we smashed his gang member. My heart melted not so much because I saw the machete, but because I just received revelation about the reality of the spiritual realm. And I knew that when that guy was going to start hacking us up there was no way that my inheritance was to be with God in heaven.

At that moment I knew that all my life's insurance in the most notorious triad couldn't save me, that the triad name couldn't save me, that my boys next to me couldn't save me.

(matthew16:26- what good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?) I knew that nothing that I gained could keep me from death. The intense anger that the rival leader gave was over whelming and I knew he was going to chop us up.

At that moment I step back in loose of all hope and whispered a prayer to God to save me from death. And immediately after that prayer a sense of confusion struck the whole situation and his own gang started to hold their leader back from hacking us, and my cell phone started to ring and directly after that one of my elders came out of no where and pushed the rival gang out of the way and made room for us to get out of the elevator. And in my heart I thanked God for keeping our blood from being shed.

But even after this situation I didn't change my hearts condition. And a about two days later I went to another club with a group of the gang and one of my boys bought me a ecstasy pill, and I popped it and about 20 minutes later I felt fear and intense trembling through my body, and I knew that the presences of the almighty was right there watching me, and he gave me great indication that he was there. And again I felt that there was a spiritual battle fighting in the heavenly realm, except this time it felt like it was more stronger and aggressive then the time in the elevator. A few minutes later I felt my body shaking in reaction to the ecstasy pill and I knew that the pill was spiked with to much raw poison.

I knew that the pill I ate was a killer and that my body physically wasn't able to fight against it. At this time my boys had no clue what to do so they carried me out side the club and I could feel death overwhelming my body. I felt like God was going to take my life because I didn't repent after he saved me from being murdered two nights back. And I knew that he was the only one that could stop me from fading away. I remember that I looked up to the sky and mumbled a pray, a prayer that Jesus would save me from death and I told God that I would change my life. And immediately after I spoke to God I could feel the presence of death release from my body. And I knew that God showed mercy to me. I knew that God spared my life from death twice. During the next few days I thought about all that had happened, about how God saved me both times, but at the same time I had major doubts that it was God that spared me. I thought maybe it was just a mind game or a little coincidence. And doubt flooded my mind. And I thought to my self that I have everything in the brotherhood. I thought that I have too many brothers depending on me. And I told myself that the triad gave me more then God ever gave me. And I hardened my heart towards God and I tried to block out what happened the last few days.

But no matter how much I tried to block out what happened it kept on coming back to my mind, and not only could I stop thinking about what happened I also thought about my howl life. I thought about when I was 11 years old and when I got into my first fights and how I formed a gang with the boys. I remembered about all the rebellion I showed to authorities. I thought about my parents moving to Malaysia from New Zealand because I wasn't quitting the behavior I picked up. I was concerned about the future because I had no education. All these thoughts I couldn't help but think about.

But as these thought flooded my mind I still thought that I would be missing out if I left the gangster way of life. Because I knew it was going to be one way or the other. And I foolishly came to the conclusion that the gangster life was the only way I knew, and to give that up was to give up everything I lived for.

It was December 28 of 2004(about 3 days later after the pill incident) on of my friends called me on my cell phone, he told me he was on his way to pick me up so that we could spend time together. When he arrived I got in to his car and we took off down the road. As we were driving for a few minutes I felt like I had to put my seat belt on and I told my boy to do the same. We drove a little further and my boy started to hit the gas and we started to fly down the street. And before you even knew what hit my friend lost control of the car and the car started to intensely drift left to right. And during that time as the car was loosing control reality set in and everything from the last few days dawned on me. and I was more terrified then ever before because I knew that God already gave me warning and that he showed me mercy to my soul, but the very fact that I was not willing to change my life I knew that I was completely guilty. The car was traveling at a speed that life expectancy would be terminated. The car ran right over a side walk that was parallel to the road at a speed that was impossible to see what we were going to crash in to. I felt the bump from the side walk and I was out.

A few seconds later I woke from the short black out and my body felt like it had raced a thousand miles an hour. I could see directly in front of me that the wind shield was shattered but I didn't pay to much attention to it. I immediately looked to see if my friend was ok and he was going through a fit. His whole body was shaking intensely with blood rushing down the side of his face. I unbuckled my seat belt to rush out of the car to get my friend out. As I opened my car door (the left side because Asian cars they drive opposite side) I threw my self as fast as I could out side, but when I did this I unexpectedly fell about 5 feet and hit the ground. As I got up I didn't understand why I fell until I realized that the car was sitting in between two huge branches from a tree that went "Y" shape. (the car jumped off the side walk and flew in to the tree)

And not only was the car sitting in the middle of two tree branches, but the front of the car crashed into a roof of a small village house on the other side of the tree.

The ambulance rushed my friend and I to the hospital. Everything was so overwhelming that I could hardly take it. I was almost in disbelief about what had just happened.

And not only about what just happened but also surprised that I was still alive. I knew that if the car would have hit the tree a little lower then the impact would have killed us, and also if the car would have flown a little higher we would have completely smashed into the village house and killed the people inside. And as I thought about that car and how it just sat in the middle of those two branches perfectly I knew that it was only God.

I didn't understand why God would save me a third time. First he saved me from the knife, then he saved me from the pill, but even after those two things I didn't change my heart towards him.

When I was laying in the hospital I was praying and weeping the howl night I was there. I understood that God could have let me gotten killed. I understood that he could have sent me straight to hell. I knew that the Almighty King of Kings was trying to wake me up to reality. And I believe that God was drawing the line for me. I believe in my heart that if I didn't give my life to Jesus there in the hospital then my life would have been taken from me shortly after.

Now its 2 ½ years later. After I gave my life to Christ he changed my life completely. I quit the Chinese triad 6 months later. He allowed me to get my GED and when I first started to study for my GED I didn't even know most of my 2 times tables, and I never read a book in my life. But 10 months later I passed the test. He broke my addictions to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs you name it. God has given me the grace to go through a DTS (Discipleship training school) with YWAM. And I am currently in the ministry as a missionary telling people about what Jesus has done and what he can do for others. God has filled me up. And he restored everything that was broken in my life. And now I see that there is no other way. I look back at all I gained in the triad and it all means nothing. Because everything I had gave me no fulfillment. But Jesus fills up every need. And now I'm part of an everlasting Kingdom, and my heart, love and loyalty is to God by his grace.

And now its hardcore for Christ.

(Luke14:27 and anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.)

(Luke13:24 Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter but will not be able to.)

(source: http://holyrapmusic.com/Choby-Siau.html)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Helen Chuah - Deputy Mayor of Colchester 2010-2011

The Map of Colchester

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Deputy Mayor of Colchester, from Penang

The Deputy Mayor of Colchester is from Penang. Another Penang lang in UK that make us proud. Hellen Chuah, the girl from Penang, who went to UK to do nursing in the 70s.


Colchester is a historical army town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.

At the time of the census in 2001 it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain, Colchester claims to be the oldest town in Britain. It was for a time the capital of Roman Britain and also claims to have the United Kingdom's oldest recorded market.

Colchester is 60 miles (97 km) northeast of London

Colchester is home to the University of Essex, Colchester Zoo and Colchester United Football Club. It has a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.

Colchester's Mayor 2010-2011 is Conservative Councillor Sonia Lewis, the deputy Mayor is Helen Chuah, from Liberal Democrats.

Colchester is reputed to be the home of three of the best known English nursery rhymes: 'Old King Cole', 'Humpty Dumpty' and 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'.

Colchester Borough Council
Colchester Borough Council has 60 councillors who between them represent the 27 wards. Some wards have three councillors, smaller wards have one or two councillors. The Mayor, Sonia Lewis is councillor for Lexden Ward, from Conservative Party. Hellen Chuah is councillor for St Anne's ward, which has 2 councillors, the other councillor is Barrie Cook from the same political party, Liberal Democrats Party.

Following the Colchester Borough Council elections of 6 May 2010 the political make-up of the Council is: Conservatives 24, Labour 7 Liberal Democrats 26, Highwoods Independent 3. The previous make-up of the council was Conservatives 27, Labour 7, Liberal Democrats 23, Highwoods Independent 3.

The Mayor
The Mayor sits as non-political chairman of the council. The mayoralty is customarily awarded to the most senior councillor of one of the political groups, who take it in turn. The nomination is only rarely challenged. He or she serves for a year as Deputy Mayor.

The annual ceremony of the installation of a new Mayor takes place each May, following the borough council elections. The Mayor's election takes place at the first meeting of the newly formed council.

Deputy Mayor- Helen Chuah

Helen came to Colchester from Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia in October 1971. She worked full time as a qualified nurse after completing her training and also raised a family. Serving as a Councillor for St Anne’s Ward since 1998, she also joined Colchester Centurion Rotary Club about 9 years ago to encourage international understanding, goodwill and peace throughout the world. Helen said “It is a great privilege to be elected as Deputy Mayor of this great town”.

You can visit her profile at http://tmf.colchester.gov.uk/CouncillorDetail.asp?sec_id=2771&id=222

Related articles:

1. Colchester Borough Council, http://www.colchester.gov.uk
2. Colchester, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colchester

Monday, August 23, 2010

Penang Queen Scholars

In British Malaya, a Queen's Scholar was a holder of one of various scholarships awarded by the Government of the Straits Settlements to further their studies in the United Kingdom. The scholarship may be Higher Scholarships(1885-1890) or Queen Scholarship(after 1890). The scholarship were the prestigious scholarship awarded to the best student in Strait Settlement, later on to FMS(Federated Malay States)in 1931. Initially most of the scholars were Eurasians and from Singapore, but Chinese and Malay, Indian gradually won the scholarship. The scholarships were award on merit, regardless of race, religion, and family background; unlike some government scholarship today.

Queen scholarship was established by Rt Hon Sir Cecil Clementi Smith G.C.M.G. (1840 – February 6,1916)in 1889, to fund bright Singaporean students to further their studies in British universities. He was the Governor of the Straits Settlements(1887 - 1893).

Two scholarships were given every year from 1886 to 1905, then from 1906 to 1909 only one. It was discontinued in 1911, but restored in 1931 until 1939. But this time there were only two annual scholarships available for the entire F.M.S., one reserved for a Malay and the other for a non-Malay. So, to win it meant one really had to be the crème de la crème of the whole country. In 1940, the selection of Queen's Scholars was transferred to a Board of Selection appointed by the Senate of Raffles College in Singapore. In 1959, the Queen's Scholarship was replaced by the Singapore State Scholarship, now the President's Scholarship. Initially Eurasian was in the running nearly every year. Technically Queen's scholarship for undergraduate study was only from 1886-1939.

1885-1890 Higher Scholarship for Strait Settlement(only for top boys)

The first scholarships, originally known as the Higher Scholarships, were founded in 1885 by Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, the Governor of the Straits Settlements, in honour of Queen Victoria. The main objectives of introducing Higher Scholarships was to allow promising boys an opportunity to complete their studies in the United Kingdom, and to encourage a number of boys to remain in school and acquire a useful education. From the period 1885-1890, Higher Scholarships were only awarded to the top boys in the Straits Settlement.

1891-1910 Renamed Queen's Scholarship(opened for both sex)for Strait Settlement

Thereafter, the Higher Scholarships were renamed the Queen's Scholarships and was opened up to all British subjects of either sex. Recipients of the Queen's Scholarships would proceed to study at either Cambridge or Oxford universities.

1911-1930 - stopped
The Queen's Scholarships were discontinued in 1911

1931-1939 Opened to FMS

The Queen's scholarship was restored in 1931. It was now opened for students from FMS(The Federated Malay States).FMS was a federation of four protected states in the Malay Peninsula— Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang—established by the British government in 1895, which lasted until 1946, when they, together with the Straits Settlements(Penang,Singapore & Malacca) and the Unfederated Malay States(Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Terengganu),formed the Malayan Union, which gained independence as Federation of Malaya in 1957.

1940-1959 Post Graduate Scholarship

In 1940, the selection of Queen's Scholars was transferred to a Board of Selection appointed by the Senate of Raffles College in Singapore. The Queen's Research Fellowships were also introduced for outstanding graduates of Raffles College and King Edward VII College of Medicine (later merged to form the University of Malaya) to study postgraduate courses in selected universities in the United Kingdom.

1957 Malaysia(Agong Scholarship)

With Merdeka achieved in 1957, the Queen's Scholarship was replaced by the Agong Scholarship and thus vanished into the footnotes of history.

A Public Service Department (PSD) said Agong scholarships for Malaysian citizens comprised six for Master degree and six for PhD candidates in science and technology, economy and law. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Scholarship Programme introduced since 2006 is to recognize and give candidates the chance to pursue higher level. The investment in human capital will contribute to national development. Priority would be given to those who are multi-lingual, active in community activities, creative and innovative and top local public or world renowned universities (Ivy League) and equivalent. Candidates should be under 30 years-old, possessing a Master's degree and degrees recognised by the government with CGPA of minimum 3.75 or first class and command more than one international language.

1959 Singapore(President Scholarship)

In 1959, the Queen's Scholarship was replaced by the Singapore State Scholarship, now the President's Scholarship, a very prestigious scholarship like Queen's scholarship. This is truly the continue of Queen's scholarship.

List of Queen's Scholars( Penang scholars are marked ***)

I. 1886-1905 - 2 Scholarships

Queen’s Scholarships, named in honour of Britain's Queen Victoria, were inaugurated in 1885 in the Straits Settlements by Sir Cecil Clementi Smith. There were two objectves for the Scholarship: Firstly, to allow promising boys an opportunity to complete their studies in England and, secondly, to encourage a number of boys to remain in school and acquire a really useful education. This was a noble aim at a time when there was no university in the Straits Settlements nor the Malay States, and when most families could hardly afford to send their children to school let alone to England for a university education. It was only for Strait Settlement, English subjects.

1886 - C. S. Angus and James Aitken. Both were from the Raffles Institution, Singapore.

1887 - *** P. V. S. Locke from Penang Free School, and won a scholarship from the Raffles Institution. He graduated M.B., Ch.B., at Edinburgh, and returned to Penang, where he built up a large practice. He was Penang first Queen's scholar.

Lim Boon Keng from Raffles Institution. Lim became the first Chinese in Singapore to win the Queen's Scholarship. This enabled him to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Lim Boon Keng's choice of medicine was apparently determined by two personal episodes. His father Thean Geow died of blood poisoning after a razor cut and no doctor could help him. Also, one of Lim's brothers died at the age of 7 after falling off a chair. These two unfortunate accidents affected Lim deeply and he resolved to study medicine so he could save lives and heal the sick.

1888 - *** Dunstan A. Aeria, like his predecessor, studied first at the Northern Settlement, and finished at the Raffles Institution. He passed in civil engineering in London. After doing good business at Kuala Lumpur, he has settled in Singapore, and is engaged on construction work at Johore.

1889 - H. A. Scott was a Raffles scholar

1890 - ?

1891 - H. O. Robinson and F. O. DeSouza. The former, who was from the Raffles Institution. The latter was the first pupil from the St. Joseph's Institution, Singapore, to win the scholarship.

1892 - A. H. Keun passed out from the Raffles Institution, Singapore

1893 - H. C. Keun, brother of A. H. Keun, was also from the Raffles Institution & Ung Bok Hoey from Penang Free School

1894 - H. A. D. Moore studied first at the Raffles Institution, but won the scholarship from the Anglo-Chinese School, and Koh Leap Teng (MB B.CH)from Penang Free School.

1895 - *** J. C. J. da Silva was first at St. Xavier's School, Penang, and later at the Raffles Institution. He was enrolled at Guy's Hospital, London. During his first
two years he displayed great promise, and attracted the special attention of his teachers. Unfortunately, how- ever, he was not as careful with his limited allowance of £200 per annum as with his work, with the result that for the next two years he was always in pecuniary difficulties. He could not afford to meet his fees, so that at the termination of his four-year scholarship he found himself hopelessly stranded in London. After hacking at journalism for a few years, he returned to Penang, and was for many years Sub-Editor of the Straits Echo. He died in 1918, at the early age of 41.

1896- *** Dr. Wu Lien-teh (伍连德) from Penang Free School, Penang.He was admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1896,[1] after winning the Queen's Scholarship held in Singapore. He had a successful career at university, and won virtually all the available prizes and scholarships. His undergraduate clinical years were spent at St Mary's Hospital, London.

In 1903, Dr Wu returned to the Straits Settlement after finishing his medical studies. However, there was no specialist post for him. This is because, at that time, there was a two-tier medical system in the British colonies, where only British nationals could hold the highest position of fully-qualified medical officers or specialists. So, Dr Wu spent the first 4 years of his medical career researching beri-beri and then, he was in private practice.

He was very vocal in the social issues of the time, and founded the Anti-Opium Association in Penang. This attracted the attention of the powerful forces involved in the lucrative trade of opium. This led to a search and subsequent discovery of a mere one ounce of tincture of opium in Dr Wu's dispensary, which was considered illegal although he was a fully qualified medical doctor who had purchased this to treat opium patients. His prosecution and appeal rejection attracted worldwide publicity, including an invitation from the then Grand Councillor Yuan Shikai of the Chinese Government in Peking to take the post of Vice-Director of the Imperial Army medical College in Tientsin (Tianjin).

In the winter of 1910, Dr. Wu Lien-teh was given instructions from the Foreign Office, Peking, to travel to Harbin to investigate an unknown disease which killed 99.9% of its victims. This turned out to be the beginning of the large pneumonic plague pandemic of Manchuria and Mongolia which ultimately claimed 60,000 victims. Dr Wu would be remembered for his role in asking for imperial sanction to cremate plague victims, as cremation of these infected victims turned out to be the turning point of the epidemic. The suppression of this plague pandemic changed medical progress in China. Dr Wu was the first president of the China Medical Association (1916–1920) and directed the National Quarantine Service (1931–1937).

In 1937, with the Japanese occupation of much of China and the retreat of the Nationalists, Dr Wu moved back to Malaya where he worked as a General Practitioner in Ipoh. He retired from medicine at 80 years old. He died on 21 January 1960, aged 81.

1897 -?

1898 - Quah Sin Keat (BA, LSA) from Penang Free School

1899 - *** R. E. Smith was from the St. Xavier's School, Penang. He took up medicine in London, but returned to the Straits without completing his course. He is a B.A. of Emanuel College, Cambridge. On his return he joined the Educational Department of this Colony, and was for some years on the staff of the Raffles Institution.
He is the Head-master of the King Edward School, Ipoh(Taiping?).

II: 1900- 1905 opened to FMS students
In 1900 Queen's Scholarships were made available in Malaya for undergraduate degree courses at a British University. Two scholarships were offered for each of the Federated Malay States – Selangor, Perak, Pahang, and Negri Sembilan – and pupils competed for them in annual scholarship examinations set by the Colonial Office in London.

1900 - William Samuel Leicester passed out from the Raffles Institution.

Chan Sze Pong - attended the Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur in High Street and he was under fourteen years of age when he obtained Third Class Honours with distinction in Arithmetic in the Cambridge Preliminary Examinations. As the Cambridge Local Examinations were not available in Kuala Lumpur then, Sze Pong left the Victoria Institution and joined Raffles School where he passed his Junior Cambridge in 1898 and Senior Cambridge in 1899. On winning this Queen's Scholarship in 1900 - worth £250 a year tenable at an English University for five years - he proceeded to England where he entered Caius College, Cambridge. After passing his B.A., Natural Science Tripos, and M. B. examinations, he returned to Kuala Lumpur in 1908 and practised his profession for a short period. He then left for China where he was in charge of the Peking Hospital.

1901 - *** R. H. McCleland is L.C.E. of DubUn. He is from the Penang Free School. He passed in engineering at Trinity College, Dublin. He was in the Civil Service of this Colony. ***Yeoh Guan Seok (BA, LLB) from Penang Free School.

1902- ***Koh Kheng Seng (BA) , Penang Free School

1903 - W. J. C. LeCain was from the Raffles Institution.

*** Chan Sze Jin had a remarkable and brilliant career in the V.I. Born in 1886, first won the Treacher Scholarship in 1898 and, following that, the Rodger Medal five times in succession, the first time when he was just twelve years old. It is interesting to note that his godfather was Mr J. P. Rodger (later Sir), who first instituted the Rodger medal in 1895! Sze Jin served in the St Mary's Boys' Brigade in the late 1890s and when that metamorphosed into the V.I. Cadet Corps in 1901, he was made one of its first two sergeants.

Joining the Penang Free School to prepare for the Scholarship Examination, Sze Jin won the Queen’s Scholarship in 1903. He then joined his elder brother in Cambridge where he took up law at Downing College in 1904. He passed his B.A. and L.L.B. in 1907, and his Law Tripos and History Tripos Part II in 1908, upon which he joined the Inns of Court, London. He was called to the Bar in 1910. On his return he started the law firm Chan and Swee Teow in Singapore and practised as a barrister with remarkable success.

Chan Sze Jin was a member of the Straits Settlements Legislature and the Executive Council for many years. He took a prominent part in public affairs and served on various committees including the British Malaya Opium Advisory Committee, the Singapore Board of Education, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, and the Council of the College of Medicine, Singapore. He was also active in social affairs and was the first president of the Island Club (which was Sze Onn Sze Jin formed because the British excluded Chinese from their own Golf Club). He received the C. M. G. in 1941 in recognition of his public service. The then Governor of Singapore, Sir Shenton Thomas, personally went to his house to confer the honor on him. Sze Jin passed away in 1948.

 *** W. W. Davidson (BA), Penang Free School

1904- Noel L. Clarke won the scholarship from the Raffles Institution & ***Lim Guan Cheng (MB, BCH,ETC)from Penang Free School

1905- E. R. Carlos, F. R. Martens, and R. L. Eber, all of whom were from the St.
Joseph's Institution. Martens, who is not a British subject, was debarred. It is known that his average in higher mathematics has never been beaten, he having
secured 99^ per cent.

III: 1906-1910 - only one scholarship

1906- *** J. R. Aeria won the scholarship from St. Xavier's School, Penang. He proceeded to Edinburgh, and graduated M.B., Ch.B. He is now Medical Officer at Muar. His cousin, W. A. Aeria, was for many years in the Medical Department of this Colony.

1907 - C. H. da Silva, a St. Joseph's boy, was barely sixteen when he won the scholarship

1908 - *** Khoo Heng Kok (BA, LLB) from Penang Free School. He graduated in law from Gray's Inn, University of London, becoming the first Khoo to graduate from an overseas institution.

1909 - Stephen de Souza won the scholarship from the St. Joseph's Institution, Singapore.

1910 - George Russell won the scholarship from the Raffles Institution

Note:  It was reported that from 1911, the Queen scholarship was discontinued, it only restored in 1931. The following list however was obtained from Old Frees website:

1924-  Tneh Say Koo (BA, ACA), Tan Ah Tah (BA, LLB) , both  from Penang Free School

1925- Yeoh Cheng Hoe (LRCR, MRCS)from Penang Free School

1926- Oon Khye Beng (BA), from Penang Free School. He went to Cambridge University to read Engineering at Downing College.

1927- Lim Kheng Kooi (BA, LLB)& Cheah Heng Sin (BA), both from Penang Free School

1928- J. W. D.Ambrose (BA,BCL), from Penang Free School


1930- Ooi Tiang Eng (MA, BM, BCH, ETC), from Penang Free School. He obtained his medicine degree MABM,  BCH from Oxford University. He was awarded Milne Gold Medal for taking first place in the examination for the degree of the Doctor of Tropical Medicine(Liverpool). This was the first time the award had been won by a Chinese.
(The Straits Times, 9 April 1939, Page 8)

IV: 1931-1939 Scholarship restored
But this time there were only two annual scholarships available for the entire F.M.S., one reserved for a Malay and the other for a non-Malay

1931- Tan Sri Ong H. T. from Saint George's Institution, Taiping - recipient of a Queen Scholarship in 1931 to study Law in London, he was Federal Counsel in Kuala Lumpur, and later posted as the Chief Federal Judge of Malaya.

1932 - ?

1933 - In 1933, Ross Arulanandom from Victoria Institution. He became the first Victorian to snare the Queen's Scholarship after it was restored. Ross was born on March 30, 1914. Ross sailed for England in August 1933. He went to St. John’s College, Cambridge where he gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours on 23rd June 1936.

1934 - Hector Jesudason from Victoria Institution,Kuala Lumpur, won the Queen’s Scholarship in 1934. There is not much information about him except that he was a School Prefect. Hector was at Jesus College, Cambridge. He then went on to complete his studies in medicine at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Mr. Benedict Ponniah from St John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya. He obtained his prestigious Queen's Scholarship in the year 1934. The qualifying examination was offered to all citizens of the Commonwealth who satisfied a pre-qualification requirement. Benedict Ponniah sat for the examination at St. John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, West Malaya. He was the only one in 1934 to be awarded the scholarship from all candidates in Malaya and Straits Settlement

*** A.V. Winslow (BA, LLB) , from Penang Free School

1935 -Tan Sri Datuk Ahmad bin Mohamed Ibrahim,from Raffles Institution, Singapore
He was appointed as Professor of Legal Studies at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya (1969 - 1972), Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Malaya (1972 - 1983), Professor Emeritus, University of Malaya (1984) and the Shaikh and the Dean of the Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University of Malaysia (1983 - 1999).
After a distinguished scholastic career in Singapore and Cambridge University, Al-Marhum held a wide range of law-related appointments in Singapore : Magistrate, District Judge, Law Lecturer, Advocate & Solicitor, Member of Legislative Council, District Judge, Senior Crown Counsel, State Advocate General, Attorney General, Ambassador to United Arab Republic, and the island's main negotiater in legal matters connected to the merger of Malaya and Singapore. He was instrumental in the establishment, and the founding dean, of two prominent Law Schools : the Faculty of Law in University of Malaya, and the Kulliyyah of Laws in the International Islamic University Malaysia.

1936- Tun Mohamed Suffian Mohamed Hashim from Clifford School, Kuala Kangsar. The first Malay to obtain Queen's scholarship. During World War II, unable to return home from England because of the Japanese Occupation, he worked as a news broadcaster and commentator with the All-India Radio, New Delhi, and later with the BBC in London where he acquired an interest in current affairs and in lucid writing.

Tun Suffian read law at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge before becoming a member of Middle Temple. He also held an honorary LL.D. from the National University of Singapore and an honorary D.Litt from University of Malaya. Tun Suffian had a long association with the Constitution of Malaysia, first with its drafting and then with its operation as a member of the Legal Department, and finally with its interpretation from 1961 when he was elevated to the bench of the Federal Court.In 1973, he was made chief justice of Malaya. He had served as the Pro-Chancellor of University of Malaya. In 1975, his outstanding record as a public servant won international recognition in Manila, the Philippines, where he received a Magsaysay Award, regarded as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize.He died on 26 September 2000.

Tan Sri Datuk Professor Ahmad Ibrahim
Born in Singapore on 12 May 1916, he was educated at Victoria Bridge School, Raffles Institution and Raffles College Singapore, where in 1935, he graduated with an Honours London Bachelor of Arts, External degree. In 1936, he won a Queen's Scholarship, to study at St. John's College, Cambridge University, which he completed in 1939, with first class honours in Economics Tripos I, and Law Tripos II, and graduated with a B.A. (Cantab). While at Cambridge, he won the George Long Prize for Roman Law, and was exhibitioner, scholar and McMahon Law student of St. John's College. He obtained the Certificate of Honour, in the Bar Final exams, Middle Temple, London. Was called to Bar Middle Temple in November 1941. He was Singapore's first Attorney-General.

1937 - *** Tun Dato' Seri Dr. Lim Chong Eu (simplified Chinese: 林苍祐; traditional Chinese: 林蒼祐) is a Malaysian politician who served as the second Chief Minister of Penang for a record 21 years. He was also the founding president of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, a member of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional.

Dr Lim was born in 1919 in Penang. He attended school at the Penang Free School, where he was the King's Scholar in 1937. He later obtained a degree in medical and surgery from the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, in 1944. Dr Lim served as Chief Minister of Penang from 1969 to 1990.

1938 - Tun Ismail bin Mohd. Ali from Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He was awarded the Queen's Scholarship in 1938, the 2nd Malay student after Tun Suffian. He sailed for England on July 31st 1938. A year into his three-year economics course in Cambridge, war broke out in Europe. Worse, in late 1941 Malaya, in turn, was engulfed by war and came under Japanese occupation; Ismail was now cut off from home. He volunteered his services in fire watching as there were German air raids on Cambridge. He played badminton and tennis at Cambridge, captaining the badminton team. On finishing at Cambridge, he secured an extension of his scholarship to read law for one and a half years, graduating in 1943 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. In 1962 he became the Governor of Bank Negara, a position he would hold for 18 years.

1939 - Yap Pow Meng was the third son of Yap Tai Hong, and a grandson of Yap Kwan Seng, one of the Pow Meng in science lab V.I.’s founding fathers. Yap Pow Meng secured his Queen's Scholarship in 1939. He sailed at the end of July to England. Hostilities broke out between Britain and Germany at about the time he started at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge to read for his medical degree (MBBCh). Pow Meng obtained his M.B. (Cambridge) in 1946, D.P.M. (London) in 1948, M.D. (Cambridge) in 1957 and F.R.C.P. (Edinburgh) in 1963. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He became a world authority on the phenomenology of culturally-determined psychiatric syndromes such as koro, latah and other conditions seen primarily in Asia. He also wrote on such subjects as drug dependence, suicide, aging and other sociocultural aspects. Pow Meng founded the Hong Kong Mental Health Association in 1961. From 1963 he was a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health at the World Health Organization. From 1969 to 1971 he was Associate Professor in charge of Transcultural Psychiatry at the Clarke Institute of the University of Toronto, Canada. He returned to Hong Kong in 1971 to become the first Professor of Psychiatry there.

1940 - Rodney Russel Lam was the eldest of four brothers who went to the V.I. (The others were Randolph Sherwin, Rudolph Theodore and Ronald Victor.) By the time Rodney carried off the V.I.’s third consecutive Queen’s Scholarships in 1940, war had already engulfed Europe and unbeknowns to all, it was to come to this part of the world very soon. Rodney had left rather suddenly in June, not for England but for the Singapore Medical College instead. Rodney had completed his first year of studies when the relative tranquillity of Singapore was shattered in February 1942. The Pacific War had begun in late 1941 with the Japanese army overrunning Malaya and before long it was at the gates of Singapore. Rodney Lam Rodney got away on the last convoy out of Singapore. Rodney spent one year in medical college in Bombay before making his way to Edinburgh in 1943 where he finally could resume his medical studies in the country he was supposed to go to in the first place! One of his classmates at Edinburgh at that time was Lim Chong Eu, later to be Tun Dr Lim, Chief Minister of Penang. Rodney graduated from Edinburgh with M.B., Ch.B. He was the captain of the university lawn tennis club and was also a member of the Scottish Universities tennis team. After leaving Edinburgh Rodney did post-graduate work at London University and obtained his Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Rodney sat for his FRCS and became an orthopaedic surgeon. He married Miss Yeo Lian Sim who had also escaped from Singapore to Bombay. With the Mandarin stage name of Yang Lian Shin, Mrs Lam carved a singing career in Europe singing English, French, German, Italian and Chinese songs. Until he passed away in 1996, Rodney Lam was serving as a consultant on the Hospital Board of the southeastern region in Canterbury, England.

*** Chung Shiu Tett (BA, LLN), from Penang Free School

V: 1941-1959: Post-graduate Scholarship for graduates of Raffles College and the King Edward VII College of Medicine

In 1941, the Scholarship rules were amended again. They ceased to be awarded to school candidates for undergraduate courses and only graduates of Raffles College((now NUS Campus at Bukit Timah) and the King Edward VII College of Medicine were eligible for awards intended for postgraduate studies.

Note: Raffles College was merged with the King Edward VII College of Medicine to form the University of Malaya on 8 October 1949, with campus at Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Singapore division of University of Malaya was renamed the University of Singapore on January 1, 1962.

Malaya and Singapore were under Japanese occupation from 1942 until 1945

1948- ***Dr  Cheah Bian Kung (MSc, PHD)from Penang Free School,  former Headmaster of MBS Penang(a Queen Scholar for Mathematics, graduated from London)

1949 - *** TAN SRI CHIN Fung Kee completed his secondary education at the High School, Bukit Mertajam and was awarded a Straits Settlements Scholarship to study at Raffles College, Singapore where he obtained a First Class Diploma in Arts. He then taught in his old school until he won a Queen’s Scholarship in 1949 to study Civil Engineering at the Queen’s University of Belfast. In Belfast he won the Foundation Scholarship in Civil Engineering and the Belfast Association of Engineers Prize. In 1952, Chin graduated with First Class Honors in Engineering and proceeded to complete his Master's at the same University while working as an assistant lecturer.
On returning to Malaya in 1954 he served as an engineer with the Drainage and Irrigation Department before joining the University of Malaya in 1956 as lecturer. He went on to be senior lecturer and finally professor. He was acting vice chancellor for seven years and for a period he was simultaneously the professor and dean of engineering, deputy and acting vice chancellor.

1952-  ***Lim Kee Jin (MB, BS)from Penang Free School

1954 - ***Wong Lin Ken (MA ) &  Chan Kong Thoe (MBBS) , both from Penang Free School

1957 - ***Khoo Soo Hock (BA Hons)from Penang Free School

Other Queen Scholars from Penang(but year ubknown)

Lau Fook Khean (a Queen’s scholar who later became a doctor). From Penang?

Leong Yew Kwoh(1888-1963) from SXI Penang, come from Ipoh. (year awarded scholarship not certain)He was educated at the Anglo Chinese School, Ipoh and St Xavier Institution, Penang . He studied at London University on a Queen's Scholarship  in 1908,  studying economy, sociology, political science and law. He graduated in 1912 with an LLBHe was called to the Bar in 1920 and served as an advocate and solicitor in the Federated Malay States (FMS) and was also a member of the FMS Bar Committee. He practiced law in Ipoh from 1921-1932. On the 27 February 1949,Tun Tan Cheng Lock founded the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) alongside with Tun Leong Yew Koh and Colonel HS Lee , he was the first Secretary-General of MCA.He was the first Secretary General of MCA.  He was appointed as the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka on 31 August 1957 until 30 August 1959. In 1959, he was appointed as Justice Minister of Malaya. He died on 12 January 1963.

Note: Please help to complete the list and the missing link, thank you

 Names of Penang Queen's Scholars
The following were Queen's Scholars from Penang Free School: 1. Ung Bok Hoey 1893 2. Koh Leap Teng (MB B.CH) 1894 3. Gnoh Lean Tuck (MA, MD, ETC) 1896 4. Quah Sin Keat (BA, LSA) 1898 5. Yeoh Guan Seok (BA, LLB) 1901 6. R. H. Mac. Clelland (BA, LCE) 1901 7. Koh Kheng Seng (BA) 1902 8. W. W. Davidson (BA) 1903 9. Lim Guan Cheng (MB, BCH,ETC) 1904 10. Khoo Heng Kok (BA, LLB) 1909 11. Tneh Say Koo (BA, ACA) 1924 12. Tan Ah Tah (BA, LLB) 1924 13. Yeoh Cheng Hoe (LRCR, MRCS) 1925 14. Oon Khye Beng (BA) 1926 15. Lim Kheng Kooi (BA, LLB) 1927 16. Cheah Heng Sin (BA) 1927 17. J. W. D.Ambrose (BA,BCL) 1928 18. Ooi Tiang Eng (MA, BM, BCH, ETC) 1929 19. A.V. Winslow (BA, LLB) 1934 20. Lim Chong Eu (MB, BCH) 1937 21. Chung Shiu Tett (BA, LLN) 1940 22. Cheah Bian Kung (MSc, PHD) 1948 23. Lim Kee Jin (MB, BS) 1952 24. Wong Lin Ken (MA ) 1954 25. Chan Kong Thoe (MBBS) 1954 26. Khoo Soo Hock (BA Hons) 1957
(Source: Old Frees website)

Related articles:

1. Our Queen's Scholars;http://viweb.freehosting.net/QSchol.htm
2. Lim Chong Eu, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lim_Chong_Eu
3. Lim Boon Keng, http://exhibitions.nlb.gov.sg/limboonkeng/EN/SE03-Education-02.html & Lim Boon Keng, http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_855_2004-12-27.html
4. Dr Wu Lien-teh, Plague Fighter , http://www.squidoo.com/Wu-Lien-Teh
5. Did our beloved Malaysia miss out on an elite Malaysian, Mr Benedict Ponniah, becoming Secretary General of the United Nations?http://www.antonnicholas.org.uk/profiles/benedict.htm
6. Chin Fung Kee, http://theooifamily.com/ThePenangfileb/feb-2010/chinfungkee71.htm
7. Legacies lost and found, http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=50633
8. Founding father, http://www.iium.edu.my/laws/founder.php
9. Tun Ismail Ali - A Malaysian Legend, http://www.mir.com.my/lb/un/98html/19july98a.htm
10. Tan Sri Datuk Professor Ahmad Ibrahim, http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_529_2005-01-07.html
11. Tun Mohamed Suffian, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1357064/Tun-Mohamed-Suffian.html
12. First World's Chinese Students' Federation - 1905 , http://www.penang.gov.my/index.php?ch=16&pg=99&ac=26&lang=eng&format=
13. Queen's Scholarship, wikipedia

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Professor Dr Chan, Heng-Leong(1941-2003)

Professor Dr Chan, Heng-Leong was a Penangkia, he spent much of his childhood in Penang.

The following is the article by Assoc Prof Benjamin Ong and Dr Chew Chin-Hin, which appeared in The Royal Australian College of Physicians. As a Penang lang he deserved to be known by Penang people, how a doctor from Penang excel in Singapore. We are proud of him and his achievement.

Professor Dr Chan, Heng-Leong(1941-2003)

Qualifications: MBBS Singapore (1965) MRACP (1969) MRCP (1972) FRACP (1974) FAMS (1977) FRCP Lond (1984) FRCP Edin (1992) FACP (1993) FRCP Glasg (1997)

Born: 6/2/1941

Died: 26/5/2003

Professor Heng-Leong Chan, Professor of Medicine, National University of Singapore and Emeritus Consultant National Skin Centre, died on 26 May 2003 at the age of sixty-two.

Born in Kuala Kangsar, Malaya, on 6 February 1941, he spent much of his childhood in Penang. He graduated MBBS from Singapore's Medical School (then the University of Singapore) in 1965 securing several gold and silver medals and prizes.

He worked briefly as a lecturer in medicine at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. He obtained his MRACP in 1969 and MRCP in 1972. While in London he also received specialized training at the St John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin and obtained the Diploma of Dermatology in 1973.

On his return from Britain that same year, he was appointed lecturer at the University's Department of Medicine at Singapore General Hospital. He proved to be an excellent physician with a quiet and meticulous approach to patient care that endeared him to patients, peers and colleagues alike. However, it was the effect that he had as a teacher and role model for students that stood out. Ever approachable and patient, he was an encouraging mentor, and was genuinely interested that his students benefited to the full from his bedside tutorials and lectures. He was particularly keen to inculcate in students a durable appreciation of what he called 'medical humanities'.

In the specialty of dermatology, he proved a worthy champion and was instrumental in the early development of this area of clinical specialization. He would subsequently spend many years involved with specialty training for dermatology. He was a visiting scholar at the University of California in 1979 and Visiting Professor in Dermatology at the Harvard Medical School in Boston in 1987. Rightfully he was the foundation chairman of the Specialist Training Committee for dermatology and member of the parent Specialist Accreditation Board. He had also served on the Singapore Medical Council, the highest medical statutory authority for the regulation of professional and ethical standards.

The National University of Singapore, in recognising his contributions to clinical service, teaching as well as research, rapidly promoted him to Associate Professor in 1977 and Professor of Medicine in 1984. His academic contributions included over 100 publications that attest to his clinical interests in dermatological manifestations of systemic disease and adverse drug reaction. He authored two books in 1986 covering these areas and a third on cutaneous adverse drug reactions in 2001. Professor Chan also contributed as editor or editorial advisor to several medical journals, both local and international. He served as Head of the Department of Medicine over two terms at the National University Hospital. More recently, Professor Chan took on the added task of formulating guidelines in clinical and research ethics and of providing a consult service for difficult cases. He was Chairman of the Research Ethics Committee and in the Committee of Bioethics at the National University Hospital, and Chair of the Committee of Medical Ethics in the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Singapore.

He had been actively involved with Singapore's and international medical bodies: a long- standing fellow of Academy of Medicine, Singapore, of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Physicians of London of which he was Singapore's regional advisor. He was also a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, and the American College of Physicians. He was the Chief Examiner for the Master of Medicine (M Med) in internal medicine of Singapore's School of Postgraduate Medical Studies from 1993 and was much involved since 1995 in the arrangements of having the MRCP held in Singapore jointly with the M Med, and more recently with the PACES, the very first to be held anywhere (in 2001). Rightly he was Singapore's first member to serve on the MRCP Part 2 Board of the Royal College of Physicians.

In addition, he initiated the Graduate Diploma of Dermatology in 1999 for the School of Postgraduate Medical Studies. In this as in all that he achieved in his life, Professor Chan was thorough and persuasive without being overbearing and a fair and balanced examiner.

The many generations of doctors he taught, trained and nurtured will always be immensely grateful to him. They will be his lasting tribute. Professor Chan was also a devoted family man and he is survived by his doctor wife, Beang Khoon, and two sons. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Author: B ONG/C-H CHEW

Related articles

1. Professor Chan Heng Leong(6 February 1941 – 26 May 2003), http://www.sma.org.sg/sma_news/3507/eulogy.pdf

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hon Sui Sen , 韩瑞生(b 1916-d 1983)

Hon Sui Sen, a Penang Hakka Catholic from Balik Pulau(浮罗山背), and an Alumni of SXI(Saint Xavier's Institution), Strait Settlement Penang.

He was in Penang from 1916 when he was born in Balik Pulau until he was accepted into Raffles College, Singapore in 1935. He spent his childhood and school days in Penang. A Penang born Strait Settlement Chinese who excel in Singapore, Penang Lang is very proud of his achievement.

He was the Minister of Finance, Singapore from 1970 to 1983, the first Chairman and President of the Development Bank of Singapore, the first Chairman of Economic Development Board, and Member of Parliament for Havelock constituency. He was one of the the early Singapore statement who had shaped the economic development of Singapore.

Hon Sui Sen(韩瑞生)(b. 1916 - d 1983)

Hon Sui Sen(韩瑞生), his full name was Benedict Hon Sui Sen (b. 16 April 1916, Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia - d. 14 October 1983, Singapore).


Early life

Hon received his early education at St. Xavier's Institution in Penang, Malaya, topping the Senior Cambridge examination in 1932. His Catholic education so inspired him that he had intentions of joining the Brotherhood. In 1935, he won a scholarship to Raffles College and made his way to Singapore where he studied the pure sciences. He graduated with a Class 1 diploma in Science in 1938. Married to Annie Voon during World War II at the Sacred Heart Church in Singapore, Hon was an avid reader of a wide range of literature and liked listening to classical music.

1916 - Born at a Catholic Hakka family in Balik Pulau, Penang, Strait Settlement. He is a Hepo Hakka(河婆客, 潮汕半山客)from 祠堂埔村 Jiexi(揭西县), Guangdong Province, China.

The surname of Han

The surname Hon is actually Han(韩)surname, Hon is the pronunciation of Han in Hakka dialect. Han (韩) is currently ranked 25th in China in terms of the number of bearers at around 8 million persons, it is also the surname for Korean(Han is considered the oldest surname in Korea, dating back 5000 years according to genealogy records). The famous personality from the Han family are Han Xin '韩信' - Famous Western Han general.

In Guangdong Province, there is a concentration of Han Chinese with the surname of Han at Hepo town, Jieyang county(揭阳河婆镇), now Jiexi county(揭西县). Jiexi County is a county of Guangdong Province, China. It is under the administration of Jieyang city(揭阳/揭陽市)formed in 1991. The Teochew dialect is predominantly spoken in this region, but the Hakka dialect, has its limited presence among Hakka people in Jiexi County. The Hakka there is called Hepo khek(河婆客). Some call them "pan-san-hak"(半山客), san-hak means Hakka, pan means half, which means not a full blood Hakka. "pan-san-hak"(半山客 which literally means the Hakka of half mountain, or half Hakka. Hon Sui Sen, should be Han Sui Sen(韩瑞生) is a Hepo Hakka, ancestral land was at the village with the name "祠堂埔村".

Jiexi(揭西县), Guangdong, China(潮汕半山客)

“半山客”是潮汕地区对潮汕客家人的称呼. 半山客原是潮州、揭阳、汕尾、汕头、丰顺一带的客家人,又称潮汕半山区居民. 半山鹤是客家方言的一种口音,特指丰顺的半山客. 半山鹤,本身是发音转写词,原音又可译写为半山福。半山客在潮汕则称半山客,在梅州(丰顺)则称半山鹤。潮汕福佬地区,多把客家人称为山客,而半山客则指非纯属山客,意思是潮汕地区这些客家人. 河婆客是潮汕半山客.

广东揭西县河婆镇韩屋楼,下马石,宫墩,明山楼,河皮塘,共有2万多人 。其中韩屋楼现有8000余人。


1924? - Primary school? He may had skip some years
1930? - SXI
1932 - Junior Cambridge at the St. Xavier’s Institution in 1932. His classmates included the late Datuk Wong Pow Nee (a Chief Minister of Penang after Merdeka), the late Lau Fook Khean (a Queen’s scholar who later became a doctor) and the late Datuk Khor Cheang Kee (a famous journalist; for years Chairman of the Board of Governors, SXI), and the late Brother Dr. Michael Jacques FSC.
1934? - Senior Cambridge(some article said 1932, which may be wrong)
1935 - won scholarship to Raffles College, where he studied the pure sciences
1938 - He graduated with a Class 1 diploma in Science

Civil Service Career

1939 : Joined the Civil Service and appointed to the Straits Settlement Civil Service as a Police Courts Magistrate(警庭推事).
1942? - Collector of Land Revenue prior to the Japanese occupation of Malaya and Singapore

Japanese Occupation(WW2)日本侵占新加坡

1942 : The Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War II occurred between about 1942 and 1945 after the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. Singapore was renamed to Syonan-to (昭南島 Shōnan-tō), which means "Island of the Light of the South" or "Southern Island (obtained) during Shōwa period".
Hon Sui Sen married Annie Voon See Chin, soon after the bomb raids of World War II started.
"In Penang, I stayed with Hon Sui Sen (later to become our minister for finance). In 1942, some four months into the occupation of Singapore, Hon had sent his wife and baby daughter back to Penang and boarded with my family in Norfolk Road as a paying guest"(interview with Lee Kuan Yew on Japanese Occupation).

1943: Hon Sui Sen returned to his hometown Penang. Balik Pulau was the good place to escape from the war as many civilian had done. A tough time for the new family.

1945: Singapore was officially returned to British colonial rule on 12 September 1945, following the formal signing of the surrender instrument at City Hall. Hon Sui Sen and family returned to Singapore to resume his duty.

Post war period

1954 - PAP was formed

1957 : Commissioner of Lands(新加坡土地局局长).

Political Career

1959 - PAP won the election on 13-5-1959. At the founding day of Economic Development Division, there were only 4 persons, Dr Goh Keng Swee as Minister, Hon Sui Sen as Permanent Secretary, Tong Dow Ngiam as young cadet Administration Assistant and office boy(Tong Dow Ngiam & Simon Tay, 2006).

1959 : Permanent Secretary (Economic Development), Ministry of Finance
1960: an attachment to the World Bank in 1960 for 6 months & attended an economic management course, where he met Dr Albert Winsemius. He was Singapore's long-time economic advisor from 1961 to 1984

1961 - 1968 : Dr Goh Keng Swee established the Economic Development Board(经济发展局) and Hon Sui Sen was its first Chairman.

1961 -
As Chairman of the EDB (founded August 1, 1961), Hon played a key role in the implementation of Singapore's industrialization strategy, with the Jurong Industrial Estate (JIE) as the first major project. Sited on swamplands in the west of Singapore, the JIE soon became the centrepiece of an industrialization program that stretched from garments and toys to petrochemicals and electronics. The first factory in Jurong, the National Iron and Steel Mill, was opened on August 2, 1963. By 1968, there were about 300 factories employing 21,000 people in Jurong. In conjunction with the development of the industrial estate, satellite towns were built in the west of Singapore, transforming the Jurong area into a centre of both industrial and residential development.

1964 - SIM or Singapore Institute of Management(新加坡管理学院)
He was also a council member of the Singapore Institute of Management from 1965 to 1968. 1964年新加坡管理学院在当时财政部长韩瑞生的倡议下成立,学院开始以成人提供管理知识和培训为创院目标,至今升格到大学, SIM University(新跃大学)。

He formally retired from the Civil Service in 1965

1968 - 1970 : Chairman and President, Development Bank of Singapore(星展银行有限公司).

1968 - Development bank of Singapore(星展银行有限公司)
DBS was established in 1968 as the development bank of Singapore. It was the catalyst to Singapore's economic development during the nation's early years of independence. Hon Sui Sen was appointed as Chairman and President.

1968 - JTC Corporation (裕廊集团), formerly the Jurong Town Corporation (裕廊镇管理局), is Singapore's lead agency in charge of planning, promoting and developing industrial facilities and infrastructure. JTC is formally incorporated on 1 June 1968.

1968 - NOL(Neptune Orient Lines,海皇轮船)
The company Neptune Orient Lines began life on 30-12-1968 as Singapore’s national shipping line, wholly owned by the Singapore Government just as it was becoming clear that containerisation was the way of the future. Then Finance Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee was the key decision-maker in the planning and establishment of the company, including issues regarding leadership and trade routes. Other officials involved in the planning of NOL’s aims and objectives, capital structure and trade activities included Hon Sui Sen, J. Y. Pillay, Sim Kee Boon and Eric Khoo.

1970 - 1983 : Member of Parliament for Havelock constituency & Minister of Finance.

11 Aug 1970 - 13 Oct 1983 : He succeeded fellow founding father Goh Keng Swee as finance minister. He was the Minister of Finance until his death on 13-10-1983.
Hon devoted 44 years of his life to Public Service. In 1970, Singapore had only a handful of suitable leaders to guide the infant economy. Dr Goh Keng Swee had been moved to the Ministry of Defence from the Ministry of Finance and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was initially in a quandry as he sought for a suitable replacement until he decided on Hon. Although he had little formal training in economics (his only official exposure being an attachment to the World Bank in 1960) he managed to more than double Singapore's GDP from S$2,462 in 1970 to S$5,752 in 1982 and raised Singapore's official reserves six times over.

Hon Sui Sen was a big man. It will not be easy to find another Finance Minister to repeat this delicate exercise in on- the-job ... Singapore's official reserves went up over six times from $3.1 billion in 1970 to $18.9 billion in 1983(Joan Hon, daughter of Hon Sui Sen,1984, from the book Relatively speaking authored by her)

Monetary Authority of Singapore(新加坡金融管理局) (establish in 1971)
1970, Parliament passed the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act leading to the formation of MAS on 1 January 1971. The MAS Act gives MAS the authority to regulate all elements of monetary, banking and financial aspects of Singapore. Hon Sui Sen was the 1st chairman from Jan 1971 - Jul 1980

1979 - Singapore's Finance Minister Hon Sui Sen paid a visit to China in late 1979

1981 - Hon Sui Sen was one of the first board member of The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd or GIC(新加坡政府投资公司). The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Private Limited (GIC) is a sovereign wealth fund established by the Government of Singapore in 1981 to manage Singapore's foreign reserves.

1983 - Hon Sui Sen died in office
He died of a heart attack in October 1983. He died in office, the first PAP minister to die in office. He give his best to Singapore until the last second of his life, a great Singaporean. ".... I've seen my closest friend [former Finance Minister] Hon Sui Sen on his deathbed; he had had a heart attack and was fighting for his life, doctors were there, the priest was there, but there was no fear in his eyes. He and his wife were devout Catholics. They were both convinced they would meet again in the hereafter. I believe a man or a woman who has deep faith in God has an enormous strength facing crises, an advantage in life"(an interview of Lee Kuan Yew by Time on his view of religion on 13-12-2005).

1962 : Meritorious Service Medal
1967 : Distinguished Service Medal
1969 : Conferred the nonorary deegree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Singapore.
1982 : Named Economy Minister of the Year by Euromoney magazine.
1984 : Posthumously awarded The Order of Temasek for distinguished service.

Father: Peter Hon Boon Poh, rose from being a corporate accountant to gain wealth in the tin mining industry and began to invest in rubber and coconut estates until the Depression led to a decline in the family wealth. He then turned to operating cinemas.
Mother: Catherine Loh Soon Yin
Brother : Louis Hon, elder brother
Sisters: Margaret Hon, Theresa Hon (younger sisters), Martha Hon, youngest sister.
Wife: Annie Voon See Chin. They were married soon after the bomb raids of World War II started.
Daughters: Joan Hon, Elizabeth Hon, Vivien Hon and Brenda Hon

A mentor & talents developer
Hon Sui Sen, a former permanent secretary and head of Economic Development Board, was one of our best civil servants. I persuaded him to become an MP and then finance minister. He recommended several, among them, people whom he had worked with: Goh Chok Tong吴作栋, S Dhanabalan丹纳巴南, Tony Tan陈庆炎. They were three heavyweight ministers(extracted from Speech by Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew on ministerial salaries in Parliament, Friday 30 June 2000). He finds a talent, he gives him a role, a job which suits his talent, and he will tell them, " There is always room at the top".

His Legacies

Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library Building(韩瑞生纪念图书馆)

Hon Sui Sen Auditorium, National University of Singapore.

Hon Sui Sen Drive, Hon Sui Sen Drive is located at Buona Vista district,

The Hon Sui Sen Endowment

Looking at the background of Mr Hon Sui Sen, we can understand why his mentor Dr Goh Keng Swee(吴庆瑞博士, b1918-d 2010) and Lee Kuan Yew have high confidence and trust on him. He was a management genius with golden touch, from Economic Development Board, Development Bank of Singapore to Ministry of Finance. It revealed that he was one of the pillar of Singapore's economic development, and right hand man of Lee Kuan Yew. Lee Kuan Yew appointed Dr Goh Keng Swee to manage finance in early days of Singapore formation, Dr Goh gave his confidence to Han Sui Sen and hand picked him to lead Economic Development Board, and allow him liberty to choose his people for the job. The mutual understanding and chain of trust on the capability of the people they appointed, allow them to excel in their job, was the main success story of Singapore. In short, appointed the right person, and provide them the liberty to do their best. Dr Goh Keng Swee was from Strait Settlement Malacca, he was "The architect of Singapore's prosperity". Singapore's gain was Malaysia's loss. Mr Hon Sui Sen is the proudest son of Penang, and St Xavier's Institution.

Lee Kuan Yew(Singapore) as Political Visionary, Dr Goh Keng Swee(Malacca)as Economic Architect, Hon Sui Sen(Penang)as the Capacity Builder, ironically were all from the Strati Settlement of Singapore, Malacca and Penang, and educated at Raffles College(between 1935-1942); is it coincident?.....a beautiful combination, a powerful team. Dr Goh Keng Swee(Malacca)and Hon Sui Sen(Penang)were the man behind Singapore's economic success......

Mr Hon Sui Sen, a great son of Penang, a great man for Singapore.....

Raffles College
Yong Nyuk Lin,杨玉麟(1934 -1937) - headed the Raffles College alumni association, business partner of Lee Kuan Yew during WW2, brother-in-law of Lee Kuan Yew.
Hon Sui Sen, 韩瑞生(1935-1938)
Goh Keng Swee,吴庆瑞 (1936–1939).
Lee Kuan Yew (1940-1942)

Related articles/references:
1. Hon Sui Sen(1999), by Michael Mukunthan, National Library Board Singapore
2. The architect of Singapore's prosperity(2010), by Fiona Chan and Gabriel Chen, The Strait Time, Singapore; http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100517-216720.html
3. A Mandarin and the making of public policy:reflections(2006), by Tong Dow Ngiam, Simon Tay, published by NUS Press, Singapore(This is a must read book on Hon Sui Sen's early days in Economic Development Board)
4. Lee Kuan Yew on Religion; http://thebookofshadow.blogspot.com/2005/12/lee-kuan-yew-on-religion.html
5. Strategic pragmatism: the culture of Singapore's Economic Development Board(1996), by Edgar H. Schein, published by MIT Press(Pg 39 & Pg 40)
6. Lim Kim San: A Builder of Singapore(2010), by Asad Latif, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies( pg 8 & 9 on Lee Kuan Yew's comment on Hon Sui Sen's dilemma prior to enter politic)
7.History of Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library, http://lib.nus.edu/linus/95jul/hmlibhis.html
8. Hon, J. (1984). Relatively speaking. Singapore: Times Books International.