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Lim Hua Chiam

A powerful Hai San Secret Society headman of Lim Kongsi

A 19th tycoon

Lim Hua Chiam, was a co-founder of the Penang Chinese Town Hall in 1881 and of the Criterion Press in 1883. He settled in Penang in 1850 and by thrift and hard work. Ten years later, he began trading with Acheh as a 'junk-trader'.

Whenever Sin Kheks or newcomers arrived from China, he would allowed them to stay until they found jobs. Everyone was entitled to 5 cents a day. Additionally, a towel and a bar of soap was given to all.

Datuk Lim recalled how 5 cents was defined in those days and it was considered " goh lui tua koay gu chea lian" - (5 cents as big as a bullock cart wheel)

His accomplishments in his time

  • Committee member of the Kian Teik Society in the mid 19th-century
  • Founding members of its affiliates, the Cheng Ho Seah and Tong Kheng Seah.
  • Held prominent positions in the Hokkien Cemeteries and many Fukien temples.
  • Head man of Seh Lim Kongsi (1878-1912)
  • President of the Lin Shih Tun peng T'ang chi Mien shu Tang (1878-1912)
  • The undisputed leader of the Fukien Chinese in Penang till his death (1895- 1912)
  • One of the first members of the Chinese Advisory Board in 1890
His family

In 1900, when Lim Hua Chiam a powerful Chinese secret society headman was celebrating the birth of a new baby boy, a magnificent ceremony was held.

On the list over 200 people came to offer their congratulations - Chinese businessman in the making of a Malay state, 1882-1941 Xiao An Wu.

Articles taken from Historical Personalities of Penang, narrated by Datuk Lim Bian Yam.

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