Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Penang Historic Trivia

- Kadir Mydin Merican was the first Indian headman in Penang and he was the ancestor of the first lady of Malaysian theatre Datuk Faridah Merican and Malaysia's Jodie Foster Fauziah Ahmad Daud.

- Koh Lay Huan was the first Chinese headman of Penang and he was the ancestor of former Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon.

- James Richardson Logan, the man who coined the terms 'Malaysia' and 'Indonesia' ran the Penang Gazette, the oldest paper in Malaysia. This paper was later bought over by the Straits Echo run by Mani Saravanamuttu (relative of Johan Saravanamuttu) in 1930.

- His brother Abraham Logan ran the Singapore Free Press which later became New Straits Times.

- James Richardson Logan lived from April 10, 1819 to October 20, 1869. His memorial is outside the George Town City Hall Auditorium. He is described as a writer, lawyer, ecologist, ethnologist and champion of the common man.

- Dr Wu Lian Teh (Ngoh Lian Tuck) was the first Queen's Scholar from Malaysia. He hailed from Penang, studied in Penang Free School and modernised China's public health care system besides fighting plague in China.

- The Malaysian Indian Association, forerunner of the Central Indian Association of Malaysia and later the Malaysian Indian Congress began in Penang. It was founded by Cambridge lawyer P. Nambiar and Methodist Reverend Raju Naidu. Another prominent leader was H. Abdoolcader, ancestor of the late High Court judge Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader. The older Abdoolcader was the man who made Deepavali a Malaysian public holiday.

- Businessman Chung Keng Kwee was the father of Chung Thye Pin who became famous in Ipoh. Keng Kwee also had a nephew Chung Ah Yong.

- My family has links to Chin Ah Yam who was born in Penang but went to live in Ipoh.