Thursday, February 19, 2009

One of Malacca's Illustrious Sons V1

I have another page of him under Paying Tribute but I felt that he deserves a better mention. I have great respect for this gentleman. When you talk to him, you do not see any signs of arrogance, you only see sincerity in is hope that all the youth of Malacca has his enthusiasm.

Chinese educationist Datuk Sim Mow Yu, who was famous for his Chinese calligraphy, died at the age of 96 at his home in Bandar Hilir at 9.15pm yesterday.

Sim was brought home in an ambulance by family members at 8pm last night from the Pantai Ayer Keroh Medical Centre.

He was admitted to hospital on Dec 26 for illnesses related to old age and was discharged on Jan 21 to allow him to celebrate Chinese New Year at home.

However, Sim was re-admitted to the intensive care of the hospital on Feb 3.

He was one of the founders of MCA Youth back in 1955.

Sim, who was then the deputy chief of MCA youth wing, was expelled in 1966 from the party “for fighting for the Chinese language to be one of the official languages of Malaya.”

In 1987, he was arrested under the Internal Security Act in Operasi Lalang and detained for two years.

Sim, had retired as SJK (C) Ping Ming headmaster and was honorary adviser to Chinese educationist organisation Dong Jiao Zong which he headed for 28 years.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One of Malacca's Illustrious Sons 5

The late Tun Leong Yew Koh (the pre-independence Health minister) went on to become the first Governor of Malacca after independence. Mr Leong Yew Koh, was a KMT major general who became a cabinet minister and later became governor of Malacca.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One of Malacca's Illustrious Sons 4

Tun Ghafar Baba (February 18, 1925 - April 23, 2006) was a Malaysian politician from Melaka and a former Deputy Prime Minister. He was born on February 18, 1925 in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, the son of an impoverished villager. Ghafar Baba became a teacher and later became a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) political party, which is part of the governing Barisan Nasional coalition.

In 1986, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister by then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Previously, Musa Hitam held the deputy premiership but he resigned, citing irreconcilable differences with Mahathir. In October 15, 1993 during UMNO election, he was challenged by Anwar Ibrahim. Ghafar Baba was defeated by Anwar Ibrahim and subsequently lost the deputy premiership.

On 23 April 2006, he passed away at Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur due to a heart attack. He had been in critical condition for several months prior to his death. He was 81 years old. He was buried in an official state funeral at Makam Pahlawan near Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur on the same day alongside the graves of former Malaysian Prime Ministers, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail before nightfall.


  • Teachers' Union secretary (1946 - 1948)
  • Melaka UMNO Secretary (1951)
  • Melaka UMNO Chairman (1955)
  • Melaka Chief Minister (1959 - 1963)
  • UMNO High Council member (1957)
  • UMNO Information Chief (1958)
  • UMNO Vice President (1962 - 1987)
  • Barisan Nasional Secretary-General
  • Federal Territory Barisan Nasional Chief
  • Deputy Prime Minister (1986 - 1993)
(Source :

(Note : Although he was not born in Malacca but he did spend most of his career in Malacca)

One of Malacca's Illustrious Sons 3

Goh Keng Swee (simplified Chinese: 吴庆瑞; pinyin: Wú Qìngruì; bn October 6, 1918 in Malacca) is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore.

Goh was a son of a rich Malacca family and was raised as a Methodist.[1] Although his father, Goh Leng Inn, was a manager of a rubber plantation, his mother was from the family that produced famous Malaysian politicians Tun Tan Cheng Lock and his son, Tun Tan Siew Sin - who would someday be Goh's lifelong political opponent.

After studying at Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore, Goh went on to graduate from Raffles College (today the National University of Singapore) with a Diploma in Arts, and entered the Civil Service to focus on social welfare issues. Shortly after the start of the Second World War, Goh joined the Singapore Volunteer Corps, a local militia, but after the fall of Singapore he returned to his previous work. In 1946, he joined the Department of Social Welfare, and was active in post-war administration. During the Japanese occupation in 1942, Goh married Alice Woon and they had a son.

Following the Second World War, Goh won a scholarship, which enabled him to pursue a degree at the London School of Economics (LSE). Goh graduated with a First Class Honours in Economics and with the help of a University of London scholarship, awarded in 1951, was able to continue with doctoral studies. Goh completed his PhD in Economics in 1954, and returned to the Department of Social Welfare, where he served as the Director of the Social and Economic Research Division.

During his time in London, Goh met fellow students that were seeking independence for Malaya, including Lee Kuan Yew and Toh Chin Chye. A student discussion group, the Malayan Forum was organised with Goh as the founding chairman. Following his return to Singapore, Goh detached himself from active politics, but retained ties to the People's Action Party (PAP), of which he was a member. In August, 1958, Goh resigned from the Civil Service to work full-time for the (PAP), and was a key member of the Central Executive Committee. He was later to become its vice-chairman. On a PAP ticket, Goh successfully contested the Kreta Ayer seat in the 1959 Legislative Assembly elections, and joined the first government of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as Minister of Finance. In this role, he was to assume stewardship of Singapore's economy, and in the following decade Goh was to serve as the chief architect of the country's economic development. He was succeeded in this position by Hon Sui Sen, who became the Finance Minister in 1970.

Goh was a democratic socialist at heart, but recognised that socialist planning principles had to work within the context of Singapore's geopolitical and economic context. Notably, there were great pressures from communist agitators working through the Chinese-medium schools and trade unions. There were divisions within the PAP as well, with the pro-communist faction working to wrest control of the party from the moderate wing, of which Goh and Lee Kuan Yew were key members. A key source of division was the issue of merger with Malaya, to form a new state of Malaysia. Goh and the moderates believed that this was a necessary condition of Singapore's economic development because Malaya was a key economic hinterland; merger would also provide an alternate vision against communism for Singapore's Chinese majority. In July 1961, sixteen members of the pro-communist faction broke away from the PAP to form the Barisan Sosialis, and captured control of the main trade unions.

The Singaporean government won approval from Tunku Abdul Rahman for a merger in 1961, with the Tungku being motivated by a desire to stabilise the security situation in Singapore, and notably to neutralise the perceived communist threat. Singapore merged with Malaya and the British Borneo states in 1963 to form the Federation of Malaysia. Merger however proved to be problematic for the Singaporean leaders. There was a clash of fundamental principles, both political and economic; notably on the issue of Malay dominance. Communitarian violence in 1964 was inflamed in Singapore by Malay and Chinese activists. Goh played a crucial role in orchestrating the subsequent exit of Singapore from the Federation in August, 1965.

Upon independence in 1965, Goh also became Minister for the Interior and Defence until 1967, assuming responsibilities for strengthening Singapore's military and domestic security capabilities. A key policy was the creation of National Service, a mandatory conscription system for able-bodied young males. In 1979, Goh moved on to the Education Ministry, where his Goh Report greatly influenced the development of Singapore's education system, introducing key policies such as streaming and religious education.

Goh retired as Deputy Prime Minister in December 1984, due to personal reasons.

It is currently believed that Dr Goh is in extreme poor health at an age of 90 years old.

(Source :

One of Malacca's Illustrious Sons 2

Tun Tan Siew Sin (simplified Chinese: 陈修信; pinyin: Chén Xīuxìn; 21 May 191617 March1988) was Malaya's (later Malaysia's) first Minister of Commerce and Industry, Finance Minister for 15 years, and president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA, later Malaysian Chinese Association).

Early life

The only son of Malaysian statesman and MCA founder Tan Cheng Lock, Tan Siew Sin was born on 21 May 1916 in Malacca and educated at Raffles College in Singapore. Before then, he went to a Girls School which his father decided to, that is Suydaim Girls School which is now the Methodist High School.

In 1935, he felt ill and was diagnosed as having tuberculosis. He fully recovered after an operation in Switzerland for treatment. Three years later, he moved on to his higher education in the field of law in England and graduated with First Class Honour at the Middle Temple, one of the four inns of court in London.

(Source :

Tun Tan Siew Sin was Malaya's (later Malaysia's) first Minister of Commerce and Industry, Finance Minister for 15 years, and president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA, later Malaysian Chinese Association).

Tan Siew Sin took over as president of the MCA in November 1961, and became Minister of Finance not long afterwards. He held on to both positions until retiring for health reasons on 8 April 1974. After resignation he became an advisor to the government on economic questions.

Tan Siew Sin died on 17 March 1988 in Kuala Lumpur.

His widow, Catherine Lim Cheng Neo, whom he married on February 8, 1947 was an active campaigner for family planning. They had three daughters.

In Kuala Lumpur, there is a street, Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin (formaly Jalan Silang) which was renamed after him in 2003.

(Source :

With MCA

Tun Tan Siew Sin led the MCA and the Malaysian Chinese through the most turbulent period in Malaysia's history. After he took over the reins of the party in 1961 he wasted no time in settling internal squabbles. The MCA under his leadership was given nine key Cabinet portfolios. Then in 1963, Indonesian President Sukarno launched his "Confrontation" against Malaysia and threw the country into a turmoil. Tun Tan asserted his strong leadership in galvanising the Chinese to fight against Indonesia's aggression.

The following year, Tun Tan was appointed the Deputy Chairman of the Alliance. General elections were held and the MCA won 27 of the 33 parliamentary seats. Despite the Confrontation and all forms of sabotages, the Alliance won with a resounding victory in the general elections held on April 25.

In 1968, the MCA set up Koperasi Serbaguna Malaysia (KSM) with the overwhelming support of the Chinese. In the same year, Tan Sri Khaw Kai Boh was given the task of setting up the Tunku Abdul Rahman college. In June, the Government agreed to the setting up of the college and also to provide funding on a dollar-to-dollar basis. On February 24, 1969, The Tunku Abdul Rahman College was formally set up, opening the doors to thousands and thousands of Chinese youths who would otherwise be denied an opportunity to tertiary education. Tun Tan also launched the Cadre Training Camp to provide training to party members.

However, after the May general elections in 1969, Malaysia suffered a great setback with the outbreak of the May 13 riots. The MCA bore the brunt of anti-establishment feelings during the May elections and after the electoral setback, the MCA withdrew from the Cabinet.

An emergency was declared after the May 13 riots which were blamed on provocation by the Opposition parties. The MCA rejoined the Cabinet later. Subsequently, Tun Tan devoted his time and energy to galvanise the Chinese community in working together with other races for a better Malaysia. The Chinese unity movement was launched and mass rallies were held all over the country. But as the movement grew in momentum, Tun Tan also became the target of attack by those from inside and outside the party who failed to appreciate his good intention.

In August 1971, the MCA held the 20th Delegates Conference when he laid down the guiding principles of MCA's struggles. He stressed the importance of unity, self- reliance and pragmatism and rejected confrontational politics. The establishment of the Tunku Abdul Rahman College, rather than lending support to the proposed Merdeka University, was a testimony of his political wisdom.

It was worth noting that at his time, he was longest serving finance minister in the Commonwealth countries and during his 15-year tenure, he laid the sound financial system which enabled Malaysia to subsequently to take off to become one of the Asian economic miracles.

After his resignation in 1974, he became the Economic Adviser to the Government and Chairman of Sime Darby Berhad.

The former Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak was full of praise of Tun Tan's stewardship in strengthening Malaysia's financial position and in making the ringgit one of the strongest in the world. When he passed away on March 17, 1988, the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman described his death as a great loss to the country. The Tunku also commended his leadership and loyalty to the country and his contribution to the unprecedented prosperity in Malaysia. Tun Tan dedicated the best part of his life to the nation and the people and his biggest desire was to see a prosperous Malaysia where the various communities live in peace and harmony.

(Source :

Saturday, March 15, 2008

One of Malacca's Illustrious Sons 1


Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock was born in April 1883 at Heeren Street (Malay: Jalan Heeren), Melaka, the third son of a family of seven brothers and sisters. He was the fifth generation of Chinese Malaysian, his great great grandfather migrated to Malacca from China 1771.

He had five children. His son Tan Siew Sin was a Finance Minister in Malaysia. Madam Agnes Tan (his last surviving child), who made the gift for National University of Singapore (NUS) to honour her father's name. Tan Cheng Lock was a successful businessman in the Malayan rubber, tapioca and gambier industries. He died in 16 December 1960 at the age of 77.

Early life

Born on April 5, 1883 in Malacca, Tan Cheng Lock attended Malacca High School and won the Tan Teck Guan scholarship, which was awarded to top performers in the school. He later continued his education at Raffles Institution in Singapore. After graduation, he taught at the Raffles Institution from 1902 to 1908.

After he left the institution, he moved back to Malaya and joined the rubber industry as assistant manager of the Bukit Kajang Rubber Estates Ltd., which owned by his cousin. Picking up the skills of the trade quickly, he was appointed visiting agent to Nyalas Rubber Estates, Malacca in 1909.

In 1909, Tan started three companies on his own, which were Melaka Pindah Rubber Estates Ltd., United Malacca Rubber Estates and Ayer Molek Estates Ltd.

In 1912, he was nominated as Melaka Council Commissioner by the British government. He was also appointed a Justice of the Peace for Malacca. Months later, he was also nominated as the Commissioner of the Town Council for the towns and Melaka Port as well.

Two years later, in 1914, he resuscitated the Malacca Chinese Volunteer and was an ordinary member until 1919. The following year in 1915, the Strait Chinese British Association (SCBA) was revived by him, then later he was elected as the President of SCBA.


Like many Straits-born Chinese of his time, Tan was partial towards Britain but was deeply influenced by ideas of independence which were sweeping across many British colonies. He advocated the concept of a “united self-governing British Malaya”.

Because of their wealth, Tan and his son Siew Sin hid in India during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. During their time there, they witnessed the struggles of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for independence, which inspired them to take up similar activities in Malaya.

Political career

In 1923, at the age of 40, he was appointed as an nominated member of the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements. Three years later and long before others did, Tun Tan spoke of a territorially unified and politically united Malaya in a speech to the council.

From 1933 to 1935, he was an unofficial member of the Straits Settlements Executive Council. He championed social causes like opium smoking, Chinese vernacular education and immigration issues.


On the 27 February 1949, Tun Tan founded the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) alongside with Tun Leong Yew Koh and Colonel H. S. Lee. Although he was 66 when elected to the position, Tun Tan was regarded as the only man able to bring the Malayan Chinese together in perhaps their most trying time.

The post-war years and the Emergency was a difficult and dangerous juncture for the community. The Chinese were deeply divided and their loyalty was under scrutiny. Among the Chinese, only Tun Tan had the stature to engage with senior Malays such as Datuk Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman at a time of imminent constitutional changes in the country. Strongly anti-communist, he was also trusted by the British colonial officials.

He joined the Malay leaders – first through the All Malaya Council of Joint Action, which he chaired, and then the Communities Liaison Committee headed by Dato' Sir E. E. C. Thuraisingham – to fight for constitutional change and work towards inter-ethnic cooperation.

The goal for the foundation of the Malayan Chinese Association was to unite the Chinese population in Malaya, including the protection of the rights and interests of the Chinese, also to work with the colonial government to stop the spread of communism and to work with other races to achieve the independence of Malaya. The MCA branches had been set up after their campaigns had attracted more than 200,000 members.

Soon later, in 26 September 1951, he had supported the idea of Dato' Onn to form the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) in Kuala Lumpur with co-operation of various races as her theme of struggle. However, the formation was choppy, which due to the fact that Dato' Onn Jaafar was not co-operative on the issue of citizenship.

In the end, Tun Tan decided that only a Chinese party could safeguard the interests of his community and that multi-ethnic cooperation was more likely to be achieved through partnership with UMNO. With that, the MCA joined with UMNO to form the Alliance, the precursor to the Barisan Nasional. However some people do not agree that he acted in best interest of Malaysian Chinese as some felt that the marginalisation of Malaysian Chinese would not be so severe had the British rule until now citing Hong Kong as an example.

In 1952, Tan Cheng Lock and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) under Tunku Rahman’s leadership contested the election as partners. He was best remembered for his contributions in the business and political arenas and his work for integrating between the Chinese and the Indian communities to the nascent Malayan society.

Today, Tun Tan is acknowledged as a founding father of independent Malaya, along with Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun V.T. Sambanthan.

(Source :

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Malacca Eye

Construction of the smaller version of the Eye of Malaysia is under way on the banks of the Malacca River.

Called the Malacca Eye, the 25 metres-high ferris wheel from Hong Kong is expected to be a far better attraction than the Eye on Malaysia at Titiwangsa as it will have two added attractions built next to it – a trampoline bungy and a pirate ship.

The new attractions are located opposite the former Cathay Cinema which used to be the location of the Express Bus Terminal at Jalan Kilang near Hang Tuah Mall.

The Melaka State government will manage the operations of the ferris whee and had invested some RM 3.3 million for the three attractions which would be fully operational by end of the month i.e. in October 2007.

Malacca Eye will be a permanent feature in the state and its 16 gondolas can sit five people each.

It is hoped that the new attractions will draw more visitors to Melaka. Visitors in the future can enjoy their boat rides up the Melaka River, sit on the Malacca Eye and bounced on the trampoline and ride on the Pirate ship. These are fun projects which can be enjoyed by all.

More importantly, it is good to see that the Melaka State Government are finally investing in tourism projects outside the main heritage zone of Melaka. By doing so, visitors can start to explore the various locations outside the Melaka Heritage Zone.

(Source :