My Island Penang

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Kee Tek Phang

Sungai Bakap Justice of Peace

Kee Tek Phang, my grand father 2 times removed is the third son of Kee Lai Huat. He, Kee Tek Phang together with his two elders brothers were in public services in the early 20th century.

This little town of Sungai Bakap by now (late 19th century) was getting known for its founder demise and good work.

Chor Chor Kee Lai Huat vision for the future generation of the Kee Clan continued in the 3 sons who took their father's words seriously.

For a young simple man to a wealthy man. From struggling in his younger days, leaving his family behind in China, braving to Penang. Working as a supervisor before he got married to the daughter of Batu Kawan pioneer Khaw Lau Hup till he passed on.


And saving every cent until he could purchased 1000 acres of swamp land from a French man, he was indeed a hard and smart working frugal man. Chor Chor Kee Lai Huat vision was done on earth.

That earned him a place as a founding member of the Penang Chinese Advisory Board when it was constituted on 27th March 1890.

Second Generation

And these started the public services of his three sons after his demise in 1892, one of which is Kee Tek Phang.

Those were very grand times as history of Province Wellesley and Perak were now strictly watched over by the British after the Larut Wars.

This era between 1830 to 1874 went through changes in both the Perak and Johore sultanate where the Taochiew from Province Wellesley played an important part changing the Malaysian history.

A much more extensive page about Larut Wars is written by Peter, who stays in Sitiawan. Read from Peter, a Dutch man who has been living in Sitiawan for the past three years. He wrote an excellent page about Larut Wars and Pangkor Treaty.

They purchased tin mines with their uncles Khaw Boo Aun and Khaw Boo Kho, then friends of one of the three founding Chinese Kapitan of Perak Chin Ah Yam, also leader of triad in the Larut Wars 1861 - 1874.

Ah Chor Kee Tek Phang and his brothers took over the running of the homes and their business. Not much was written on the second lineage generation of the six sons of Kee Lai Huat.

Kee Tek Phang Funeral Notice 1939 in Penang

The only record I have is of Ah Chor Kee Tek Phang funeral notice. It was a grand laying in state for him, 1 month on Aug 9th 1939, corresponding Chinese 24th day 6th noon, KI BAU YEAR.

I will quote his obituary to show how the king's English is beautifully blended in together with old Hokkien. :)

"The funeral of Mr. Kee Tek Phang J.P. who passed away on August 9 will take place at Sungai Bakap on Thursday, October 12 at 10 am for the interment at the Kee Family Burial Ground at Sungai Bakap, P.W.

Deceased leaves behind eleven sons Messrs Kee Ban Soon, Ban Cheng, Ban Keat, Ban Chuan (my grandfather), Ban Yeam, Ban Hoe, Ban Chua, Ban Kiar, Ban Joo, Ban Hee, and Ban Hai.

Nine daughters in law and eight daughters, Mdn Kee Thuan Gnoh, Mrs Chew Mua Tong, Mrs Koay Thuan Choon, Mrs Yong Kee Teik, Mrs Cheah Keng Choo, Mrs Toh Ewe Keat, Mrs Lee Teik Kooi, and Miss Kee Thuan Gim.

Three grand sons in law, five grand daughters in law, seventy nine grandchildren and seventeen great grand children to mourn their loss.

Friends and relatives are requested to refrain from sending Bit Chean or Sweet Meat. Those wishing to attend the funeral are informed that special conveyances will be awaiting at Butterworth from 7.30am to 9.00 am to take them to Sungai Bakap, P.W."

These content page would not have been possible without Wu Liu 1952 Sunday Gazette Pioneer of Province Wellesley.

My heartfelt appreciation and gratitude also to Penang Taochiew Association and Xiao Cultural organization for some interesting facts about my maternal side Ah Chor' uncle Khaw Boo Aun.

Celebration day in Kee Kongsi Sungai Bakap in the 19th century Penang

Also coupled with confirmation or hear says with stories and tales my uncles and aunts, who could remember of the colorful childhood. But nevertheless they talked with almost respect for Ah Chor Kee Tek Phang and my great great uncles.

In the early 20th century, Ah Chor Kee Tek Phang and his brothers often entertained. Guests were accorded with warm welcome.

Welcoming Sir Gerald Templar to Kee Lai Huat Sungai Bakap 1952

My aunt told me the ladies of the Kees could prepared good western dishes for the guests. Not forgetting our own Straits settlement food that was being concocted for the guests to taste. And how they were cooked and served to the ancestors

Celebrities, Malayan Civil Service and important British officials from the Governor of the Straits Settlement were given all co operation, possible support and help in administrative matters.

They would always be invited for the annual function of the Kees usually held on the 16th day of the 11th month of Lunar calendar (English month- December).

Third Generation

General Sir Gerald Templar with Mr and Mrs Kee Hup Hor 1952 Sungai Bakap Penang

The third generation, like in all family tradition became Justice of Peace of Penang or Kedah. In 1947, Kee Hup Kim (Kee Teik Leng's son) was appointed J.P. for Penang.

Year 1948 to 1950 he served in the Kedah State Council and JP in year 1951. Kee Hup Keng was JP for Kedah after having rendered yeoman service to the Chinese community and Government.

The most distinguish of them all was Kee Hup Hor. He was a Justice of Peace during the British regime in 1941. During World War Two, he was the unofficial member in the Chinese Straits Settlement.

Then in 1960, he received a PJK on the occasion of the birthday of his Excellency, the Governor of Penang, Tun Uda bin Raja Mohamad.

Fourth Generation

My Grandfather Kee Ban Chuan and family in 1950 Penang

This post Merdeka award was bestowed upon him for fostering peace and racial harmony to Sungai Bakap.

Kee Hup Hor's son Kee Yong Chin was the elected member of the post-Merdeka Legislative Assembly and he served con currently in the state Executive Council.

My grandfather Kee Ban Chuan, son of Kee Tek Phang continued looking after the tin mines and rubbers estates. But with bad management and they finally had to sell off the estate and reside in Penang.

Present day, an aunt Kee Phaik Cheen served our Penang people till this day. She served in various bodies, one of which was the Penang Tourism Board.

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