Timothy Tye
Teoh Kongsi

Teoh KongsiTeoh Kongsi (1 January, 2014)

Teoh Kongsi (GPS: ) is a clan association founded by local Penang tycoon of the turn of the 20th century, Cheong Fatt Tze, whose Hokkien name happens to be Teoh Thiaw Siat. The ancestral hall is called Teoh Si Cheng Hoe Tong. The association has its premises fronting Lebuh Carnavon. It is located in a recessed compound with the archway at Lebuh Carnavon.

Teoh Kongsi was founded in 1895 and is presently housed in a two-storey Straits Eclectic style building built in 1931. The upper floor is given to the Teoh clan temple.

Teoh Kongsi on Google Maps Street View

The road near it was called Hong Kong Street, but after Cheong Fatt Tze Road was erased by the Komtar development, Hong Kong Street was renamed Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze, at the urging of the Teoh Kongsi.

Teoh KongsiTeoh Kongsi (18 May, 2013)

Background of the Teoh Clan

According to Chinese Clans of Penang: A Concise History (Volume 1), Teoh clansmen trace their history to the fifth son of Emperor Huang, who had a son named Hui. Hui invented a weapon - a bow and pellet - which helped the emperor defend the nation during a time of calamity. As a reward, the emperor bestowed on Hui the surname Teoh, or Zhang in pinyin. The word for Zhang comprises the pictogram representing bow and long.

History of Teoh Kongsi

The famous tycoon Cheong Fatt Tze, whose surname is also Teoh, was instrumental in the founding of Teoh Kongsi. It was he who bought the land - before that it belonged to a European in 1895, donating it to the clan association the following year. Cheong Fatt Tze further made another purchase of land to expand on the plot in 1898. This enabled the clan association to found the Cheng Hoe School.

According to available records, it is believed that Teoh Kongsi was founded in 1891, though the earliest mention of a Teoh clan in Penang dates back to as early as 1880, based on inscription found on a stone tablet at the Batu Lanchang Hokkien Cemetery.

As with most of the clan associations in Penang, Teoh Kongsi was established for the purpose of conducting ancestral worship as well as to venerate the patron deities of the Teohs. Among the ceremonies undertaken include the Spring and Winter worship ceremonies. The association began giving out educational aid to deserving children of clansmen from 1975.


Teoh Kongsi
260-B Carnavon Street
10100 George Town, Penang
Phone: +60 4 2611178


Teoh Kongsi was given a makeover since 2010. Before that it was white with red trimmings. After the restoration, the exterior was painted vermillion while the trimmings are in red and white. When I visited it on 18 May, 2013, the restoration work was still in progress. Below are the photos I shot of it in 2005, before the restoration2.

Teoh Kongsi (19 February, 2005)

Teoh Kongsi front façade (19 February, 2005)

Getting there

Teoh Kongsi is located at Lebuh Carnavon. It can be reached by taking the Rapid Penang Bus 10, 301, 302, 307, 401 and 502, disembarking at Lebuh Carnavon.

Entrance archway to Teoh Kongsi (19 February, 2005)

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