Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi Restoration Celebration
17th October, 2017
Most of us have heard of Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi in Cannon Square, which is also known as the Heritage Jewel of Penang. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to officiate the Restoration Celebration of this little-known Khoo Kongsi known as Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi in Hai Ki Sin Lor.
I asked for Background Information about this Heritage Gem tucked away in this corner of Penang and received an interesting paper from Dato’ Khoo Kay Hock. Leong San Tong is the home of the Progenitor of the Khoo’s in Penang. He was Khoo Chan Chian Eng, the first generation at the apex of the Genealogy Chart.
The Progenitor of Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Khoo Kong Oon, was from the 5th Generation. I was told he had 6 sons but the descendants of Boon San Tong are from the first 5 sons as the 6th son had no offspring. When I was taken on a tour of the Clan house earlier, I saw your historical Foundation Stone which was dated as far back as 1878.
Today your main objectives are to look after the welfare of your own clansmen and to carry on with the age-old tradition of ancestor worship during certain festivals. Since the building of your ancestral Clan house in 1878, this is your third renovation, with the first two in 1931 and 1960. It is very encouraging to see great care had been taken over the last 139 years to maintain and preserve your historical monument for your future generation. This renovation cost for this project takes up a total development cost of RM 2 million.
We welcome 55 Khoo clansmen this evening from China, Burma, Macau and Singapore; who are here to celebrate this very auspicious occasion with Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi and meeting each other for the first time.
There is no doubt that the Chinese community played a very important role in developing Penang's economy including Khoo Kongsi. The State Government will continue to develop Penang and continue the leading role played by Penang in the Malaysian economy. Penang presently contributes towards 24% of Malaysia's exports with a single exporter from Penang exporting RM20 billion of products amounting to 2.3% of Malaysia's total exports. Next year another company also from Penang will export RM70 billion of products making up 8% of Penang's total exports. Our exports will make up more than 30% of Malaysia's total exports.
The State Government would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi on your Third Restoration Celebration. We are happy to see that you are sharing your Heritage Gem with the public, adding to the long list of heritage attractions in Penang.