Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent, vol. 1
A Biographical Dictionary
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
Title Page, Copyright
List of Advisers
List of Contributors
This is a bold project recording the lives of a particular group of Southeast Asians in a distinctive framework. For more than a hundred years, various writers ranging from trade and government officials to journalists and scholars have studied the traders and workers from South China now spread around the world. Most of those adventurous people left China and headed towards neighbouring ports, kingdoms and colonies that are now recognized as a single geographical entity, hence the grouping in this...
This book is a collective effort rather than an individual venture. It would not have been written and published without the cooperation of many scholars, writers and friends. First of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the 176 writers of this book for their valuable contributions. I would also like to thank the country editors for their efforts and the panel of international advisers for their comments and advice. I am particularly grateful to Professor Wang Gungwu, chairman of the panel of advisers...
Introduction to Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary
It is estimated that about 75 per cent of the ethnic Chinese outside China live in Southeast Asia. The Chinese Heritage Centre, established in 1995, is located in Singapore, one of the Southeast Asian states. It is thus understandable that the ethnic Chinese biographical project of the Chinese Heritage Centre started with this region. The biographical dictionary was conceptualized when I was invited to head the Chinese...
Dictionary User's Guide
List of Entries
Biographical Dictionary (A - Z)
Aik Htun is currently chairman of Shwe Taung Development Co. Ltd., one of the most successful construction companies in Myanmar, incorporated in Yangon in 1994. He is also chairman of the Myanmar International Trade Promotion Association which promotes...
Bai Yao’s original birth name is Lau Pak Yiu ( , Liu Boyao) and he is also known as Lau Kwok Kin ( , Liu Guojian). He was born in 1934 in Guangdong, but lived in Malaysia from 1957–81. Bai Yao is Lau’s well-known pseudonym, but he als...
Antonio Cabangon Chua ( ) is a magnate whose business empire includes insurance, health care, banking, property management, car dealership, newspapers and magazines, radio stations, a hotel chain, pre-need plans and memorial services, memorial parks, and other business ventures. Today his passion for organizing new ventures, beyond the profit motive...
Dai Xiao Hua, who was born in Taiwan in 1949, is a famous Chinese writer in Malaysia. She was the president of The Writers’ Association of Chinese Medium of Malaysia for two terms and is also the president of the Malaysian Chinese Cultural Society since 2003. As a writer, she is...
Ear Cheam Heng was born in 1938 in Phnom Penh. He is known by many for being the first person to create a wine with a Cambodian brand that made a name outside the country as early as the 1960s. He is also highly respected for his contributions to the economic development of Cambodia and the welfare of the Chinese community...
Fang Beifang (meaning: Fang of the North) is arguably the most prolific Malaysian Chinese writer who produced at least 31 books, the largest number of which are the novels. Fang Beifang’s real name was Fang Zuobin . He was born in Huilai ( ), Guangdong, China, in 1918 and went to Penang, Malaya in 1928...
Gaisano is a name quite well known in the southern parts of the Philippines. In Visayas and Mindanao, the Gaisano brothers and the Gaisano brand are acknowledged pioneers of the shopping mall business. Today, the businesses are operated entirely by second-generation Gaisanos who understand their fortune in having...
Hà Lãn Hùng was originally from Tân Hoäi ( ) district of Guangdong province, China. On the year of birth of Hùng, the Tây Ðeà Niên Giám ( ), records his year of birth as 1919, but according to his wife, Ðinh Lan Phöông ( ), it should be 1913. Hùng’s...
Xay Inthilath was born on 15 April 1947 in Kaket Prefecture and is a secondgeneration overseas Chinese in Laos. His father was an immigrant from Shantou, Guangdong, in the 1920s. In 2004, he was elected chairman of Association Chinoise Vientiane (Vientiane Chinese Association, ), a position which he...
Junus Jahja is one of the thirty Indonesian intellectuals of Chinese descent and indigenous origin who signed the “Assimilation Piagam” in Ambarawa, Bandungan, on 15 January 1961, advocating Chinese assimilation in Indonesia in general, and conversion to Islam in particular. Not much is known about...
Kan Hok Hoei or H. H. Kan, as he was usually known, was an appointed or elected member of the Volksraad from its founding until its end in 1942. He tried to represent the interests of the Chinese to the colonial power, but his conservative....
With one of the most evergreen hits of Vietnam, Xuân và Tuoåi Treû (Spring and Youth ), to his credit, La Doãn Chánh, better known by his pseudonym, La Hoái, is the pride of Hoi’an town and Quaûng Nam province. For the greater part of his ephemeral life, he was a serious passionate music lover and teacher, and founder...
Ma Mon Luk was a Chinese chef who was able to perfect his recipe of mami ( ), siopao ( ), and siomai ( ) to suit the Filipino palate. From the 1800s to the early 1900s, noodle dishes were considered a poor man’s fare, sold in panciterias for the factory worker, ambulant vendor, stevedore, and every other lowly Juan...
James Na Teng Choon was the leader of the literary movement that caught the attention of mainstream Filipino literary organizations which started appreciating works in Chinese, albeit through translations. These translated works produced by ethnic Chinese in the Philippines is now accepted by Filipinos as part of Philippine literature, regardless...
Oei Tiong Ham was the wealthiest man of his era in the Netherlands Indies, and was honorary major of the Chinese in Semarang. He made a fortune as an opium revenue farmer before the colonial government nationalized the sale of opium. A modernizer, he expanded his father’s sugar trading...
Paik Wan was an eminent Malaysian Buddhist monk and an artist in Chinese painting and calligraphy. He was born in Fu’an County ( ), Fujian Province, in 1914. In 1947, he was dispatched from Gushan ( ) to take up the post of supervisor of Kek Lok Si, Penang; he resided in Malaya till he died. Other than preaching the dharma and performing religious duties in Singapore and Malaysia...
Quách Ðàm (also known as or Guo Tan in Chinese) had the nickname, Thông Hieäp ( ). He was probably born around the year 1863, and was from Chao’an ( ) in Guangdong, China. When he was about seventeen (one source says that he was fourteen), Ðàm followed his uncle (father’s younger brother) to Vietnam to seek work. This uncle died young and Ðàm, poor and...
Hendra Rahardja, founder and owner of Bank Harapan Sentosa of the Harapan Group, and various smaller banks, was one of the most entrepreneurial and venturesome of Sino-Indonesian big towkay in the 1970–80s, although not usually ranked amongst the largest of them. His reputation — and that of his brother, Eddy Tansil — was controversial. He developed extensive overseas branches of his banks in Singapore...
Sahat Mahakhun was a prominent leader of the Chinese community in Thailand. He was elected chairperson of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Thailand for more than ten years, making him one of the most favoured and supported leader in the Chinese community. He arranged a delegation to Taiwan, Japan and Hong....
Taï Maõ Vieãn, also known as Tjia Ma Yeng, was a rich capitalist of Hokkien origin who lived in the later part of the nineteenth century and the first forty years of the twentieth century. According to the latest information, his ancestor was an overseas Chinese from Batavia (now Jakarta), Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia...
Professor U E’s meritorious career as a physician spanned a good thirty-five years from 1939 to 1973 and he was credited with specializing in the research of tropical diseases. While his early interest was on heart and kidney diseases, in his later life he did much work on liver disorders and he was awarded the title of “Thiri Pyan Chi”, a civilian honour bestowed by the...
Vithoune Visonnavong and his wife, Vouavansy Visonnavong ( ), are both leading medical doctors in Laos. Vithoune is the founding director of the Ophthalmology Centre of Laos while his wife is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology. Vithoune was born on 1 October 1945 into a middle-class family in Phalane...
Sofjan Wanandi, better known as Liem Bian Khoen to those of his generation, was an influential figure before and after the fall of Soekarno. He was a student leader in Jakarta who became a successful tycoon, known in Indonesian as konglomerat. Together with his elder brother, Jusuf Wanandi (Liem...
Xiao Yao Tian is best known for saying that the Teochew people in Southeast Asia are like the blossoms on a branch ( ), constantly renewing themselves as they bloomed. He is best remembered as an author, a sometime poet, a teacher and an educationist. He was...
Yan Weizhen, whose real name was Lin Zhiqiang ( ), was active for half of a century in the Indonesian Chinese literary scene and famous in the Chinese-speaking community for his beautiful poems. He was born in Indonesia, probably in Bandung, in 1933 and received...
Zhang Jing Yun is well known as an outspoken current affairs and cultural commentator in Malaysian Chinese newspapers. He has also achieved considerable success as a poet, writer, and translator, and has a reputation for being a paradox. Even though he is a well respected journalist...
Getting the location right is commonly believed to be the key to success for property investment. To property developer Chua Thian Poh, however, nothing beats the importance of timing. Chua Thian Poh has come to that conclusion having experienced the ups and downs in business over...
Publication Year: 2012
OCLC Number: 850226843
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