Aw Boon Haw

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Aw.
Aw Boon Haw
Hu Wenhu2.jpg
Aw Boon-Haw (Who's Who in China 4th ed.,1931)
Native name 胡文虎
Born 1882
Rangoon, British Burma
Died 1954 (1955) (aged 72)
Hong Kong
Children Sally Aw
Parent(s) Aw Chu Kin (Father)
Relatives Aw Boon Leng (Eldest Brother)
Aw Boon Par (Youngest Brother)
Aw Boon-Haw & Aw Boon-Par Memorial Hall at the School for the Blind, a Tiger Balm charity in Rangoon, Burma

Aw Boon-Haw (Chinese: 胡文虎; pinyin: Hú Wénhǔ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hô͘ Bûn-hó͘; 1882 in Rangoon, British Burma – 1954 in Hong Kong), OBE, was a Burmese Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for introducing Tiger Balm. He was the son of Hakka herbalist Aw Chu-Kin, with his ancestral home in Yongding County, Fujian Province, China.

Lei Yue Mun Waterfront School


In 1926, Aw migrated to Malaysia, where he began the business of Tiger Red Balm with his brother, Aw Boon-Par. Aw also founded several newspapers, including Sin Chew Jit Poh and Guang Ming Daily, which are both based in Malaysia today; and Sing Tao Daily, which dates back to 1938 and is currently based in Hong Kong. Aw moved to Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation of Singapore and managed the business from there, while his brother stayed in Singapore until he closed down the factory and went to Rangoon. Aw returned to Singapore after the end of World War II and re-established his business.


In 1954, at the age of 72, while on a trip to Hong Kong from Boston, US, Aw died from a heart attack following a major operation. His legacy is found in the Haw Par Villas throughout Asia, with locations in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Fujian province of China.


His sons took over his businesses after Aw's death.

Personal life[edit]

Aw's adopted daughter is the Hong Kong businesswoman and former Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member Sally Aw. Sally Aw squandered the vast fortune and was on the brink of bankruptcy. Tiger Balm Gardens and the Aw Boon-Haw Gardens in Hong Kong were sold to the territory's billionaire, Li Ka-Shing, for US$13 million in 1998.

The daughter of Aw Boon-Haw and his fourth wife, Aw Seng (胡星), resided in Singapore and has set up a company under her father's name, Aw Boon Haw Pte Ltd, to continue the heritage and legacy of her father. Aw Seng died on 10 April 2012 in Vancouver aged 100.


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