Lim Leng Cheak's Bungalow on Mount Erskine





          
656 Jalan Evergreen 5, Mount Erskine, Penang656 Jalan Evergreen 5, Mount Erskine, Penang (9 February, 2014)





Lim Leng Cheak's Bungalow (GPS: 5.4492, 100.29923) at 656 Jalan Evergreen 5 is a double-storey detached house in Mount Erskine, Penang. It belonged to the 19th century historical personality Lim Leng Cheak (1850-1901; 林寧綽, Pinyin: Lín Níngchuò; Penang Hokkien: Lim3 Leng3 Cheak1).

360° View of 656 Jalan Evergreen 5 on Google Maps Street View



This mansion on Mount Erskine is just one of many properties belonging to Lim Leng Cheak. It was built in the late 19th century. The front façade, above the porch, features three moulded openings. These are fixed with full-length windows with jalousies and panels. On either side are a single full-length window.

Lim Leng Cheak was born in Penang in 1850 to Hokkien immigrant father Lim It Kim (林乙金; Pinyin: Lín Yǐjīn, Penang Hokkien: Lim3 It3 Kim1)1 who hailed from Zhangzhou in present-day Fujian Province. He established himself as a revenue farmer with holdings in both Penang and Kedah, and had close relationship with the then Sultan of Kedah, as well as in Perak, Singapore and other places. In return for being on the ruler's beck and call, Lim Leng Cheak was in 1888 awarded a monopoly on the rice milling in Kedah for a 20-year period.

Khie Heng Bee, the first rice mill in Penang is said to have been established by a joint venture between Phuah Hin Leong, Lim Leng cheak and Chuah Yu Kay.3

Lim Leng Cheak had seven wives stationed in various cities in the region. His eldest daughter, Lim Kwee Sean, married another imminent 19th century industrialist, Goh Boon Keng4. His third daughter Lim Kwee Guan was married to Cheah Tat Jin2, a director of the Eastern Smelting and Tongkah Harbour Tin Dredging, and second son of Cheah Chen Eok, who built the Queen Victoria Memorial Clocktower.

Updates

27 June, 2014: 656 Jalan Evergreen 5 has come into the news because it may be demolished, and many are attempting to save it.

Getting there

From Mount Erskine Road, turn in to Jalan Evergreen 4. Go all the way on Jalan Evergreen 4 until it meets Jalan Evergreen 5. Turn right and go along Jalan Evergreen 5 until you see 656 Jalan Evergreen 5 on your right.

656 Jalan Evergreen 5 is on the map of Mount Erskine

Reference

  1. Biographical Dictionary of Merchantile Personalities of Penang (2013, Think City & MBRAS)
  2. Cheah Tat Jin (谢达仁, Xiè Dárén), Overseas Chinese in the British Empire
  3. The Rice Connection, Malaysia History
  4. Chinese Business in the Making of a Malay State, 1882-1941: Kedah and Penang, by Wu Xiao An (2003, RoutledgeCurzon)

Bibliography

  1. Hokkien Chinese on the Phuket Mining Front: The Penang connection, by Khoo Salma Nasution
  2. The Big Five Families in Penang, by Yeetuan Wong


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