Foo Tye Sin

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Foo Tye Sin (simplified Chinese: 胡泰兴; traditional Chinese: 胡泰興; pinyin: Hú Tài Xìng) was a Justice of the Peace and an influential community leader of 19th century.[1] Penang born Foo Tye Sin, a British subject,[2] was a Hakka tin miner who could trace his ancestry to the Yong Ting District, Ting Chou Prefecture, Fujian Province. He was educated at St. Xavier's Institution[3] and the Penang Free School.[1][3][4] Tye Sin Street (四条路), or Lebuh Tye Sin as it is now known as, is named after him.

Disturbances at Pinang and Larut[edit]

He was involved in events leading up to the signing of the Pangkor Treaty that would end the ten year Larut Wars.[5] His services were often called for in arbitration proceedings between the Hai San and Ghee Hin societies involved in the Larut Wars.[6] Foo Tye Sin was one of three Chinese considered respectable enough to sit on the commission of inquiry into the 1867 Penang riots. He was the only non-partisan Chinese at a ceasefire conference called by Lt. Governor Anson at the height of the Larut war, even though he was, according to CS Wong, "...overtly and independent, but covertly a Hai San sympathiser."[4][7][8] Foo Tye Sin and Ong Boon Teik were creditors of Ngah Ibrahim the Mantri of Larut. In early 1872, Foo Tye Sin and Ong Boon Teik sued Ngah Ibrahim.[9]

Tye Sin Tat & Co.[edit]

Foo Tye Sin and Koh Seang Tat, a descendant of Koh Lay Huan, the first Kapitan China of Penang,[4] were business partners in the firm of Tye Sin Tat & Co., ships' chandlers, which was located at Beach Street.[9] They were, together, two of the three Chinese Justices of the Peace in 1874."[4]

The Penang Khean Guan Insurance Company (1886)[edit]

He was a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Penang Khean Guan Insurance Company. The board was composed thus:

Name of Partners[edit]

  • Tan Ley Kum (陈俪琴), Chairman
  • Cheah Chean Eok (谢增煜), Secretary
  • Lee Phee Yeow (李丕耀), Chong Moh & Co.
  • Cheah Eu Ghee (谢有义), Chie Hin & Co.
  • Khoo Thean Teik (邱天德), Chin Bee & Co.
  • Khoo Sim Bee (邱心美), Ee Soon & Co.
  • Cheah Tek Soon (谢德顺), Sin Eng Moh & Co.
  • Ong Beng Tek (王明德), Ban Chin Hong & Co.
  • Foo Tye Sin (胡泰兴)
  • Yeoh Cheng Tek (杨清德), Hong Thye & Co.
  • Khaw Sim Bee (许心美), Koe Guan & Co.
  • Cheah Leng Hoon (谢凌云), Eng Ban Hong & Co.
  • Gan Kim Swee (颜金水), Aing Joo & Co.
  • Tan Lim Keng (陈锦庆), Kim Cheang & Co.
  • Ong Boon Tek (王文德), Treasurer
  • Logan & Ross: Solicitors[10]

Pitt Street Kong Hock Temple (1887)[edit]

Together with Khaw Boo Aun (also spelt Koh Boo Aun), Khoo Thean Teik and Cheah Tek Soon, He was made a trustee of the Pitt Street Kong Hock Temple in 1887, with the power to appoint and remove monks.[11]

Penang Po Leung Kuk (1889)[edit]

Along with Koh Seang Tat, Khaw Sim Bee, Ong Boon Teik and Ong Beng Teik, he was a founder of The Penang Po Leung Kuk (1889).[3]

Foo Tye Sin Mansion[edit]

Foo Tye Sin's mansion was one of the first non-European mansions to be erected along Light Street.


  1. ^ a b Historical Personalities of Penang By Historical Personalities of Penang Committee, Published by Historical Personalities of Penang Committee, 1986; Page 55
  2. ^ About Others and Myself, 1745 to 1920 By Archibald Edward Harbord Anson Published by J. Murray, 1920; pp. x, 877, 878
  3. ^ a b c The Penang Po Leung Kuk: Records and Recollections (1889-1934): Chinese Women, Prostitution & a Welfare Organisation By Neil Jin Keong Khor, Keat Siew Khoo, Izrin Muaz Md. Adnan Published by Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2004; ISBN 967-9948-32-3, ISBN 978-967-9948-32-5; pp. 53-57
  4. ^ a b c d Gangsters Into Gentlemen: The Breakup of Multiethnic Conglomerates and The Rise of A Straits Chinese Identity in Penang by Engseng Ho, Department of Anthropology, William James Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 Email Presented at The Penang Story œ International Conference 2002 18–21 April 2002, The City Bayview Hotel, Penang, Malaysia organised by The Penang Heritage Trust & STAR Publications
  5. ^ The Making of Modern South-east Asia By D. J. M. Tate Published by Oxford University Press, 1979; Item notes: v.1; p. 301, 558
  6. ^ The Impact of Chinese Secret Societies in Malaya: A Historical Study By Wilfred Blythe, Royal Institute of International Affairs Published by Issued under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs [by] Oxford U.P., 1969; p. 134
  7. ^ Chung Keng Quee and the Fourth Larut War
  8. ^ CS Wong, A Gallery of Chinese Kapitäns (Singapore: Dewan Bahasa dan Kebudayaan Kebangsaan, Ministry of Culture, 1963)
  9. ^ a b The Western Malay States, 1850-1873: the effects of commercial development on Malay politics By Kay Kim Khoo Published by Oxford University Press, 1972; pp. 173, 209, 210
  10. ^ Pinang Gazette and Straits Chronicle, 9 February 1886, p. 2
  11. ^ Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society By Malaysian Branch, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland Malaysian Branch, Singapore, 1988; p. 71

Further reading[edit]

  • The Journals of J. W. W. Birch, First British Resident to Perak, 1874-1875: First British Resident to Perak, 1874-75 By James Wheeler Woodford Birch, Peter Laurie Burns Contributor Peter Laurie Burns Published by Oxford University Press, 1976; p. 22, 158n
  • Capital and Entrepreneurship in South-East Asia By Rajeswary Ampalavanar Brown, 1943- Brown Published by St. Martin's Press, 1994; ISBN 0-312-12096-6, ISBN 978-0-312-12096-2; p. 82
  • The Internationalization of Chinese Revenue Farming Networks by Carl A. Trocki published in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750-1880 By Nola Cooke, Tana Li Contributor Nola Cooke, Tana Li Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 2004; ISBN 0-7425-3083-3, ISBN 978-0-7425-3083-6; p. 170
  • Chinese Secret Societies in Malaya: A Survey of the Triad Society from 1800 to 1900 By Leon Comber Published for the Association for Asian Studies by J.J. Augustin, 1959; pp. 125, 309
  • The Official Catalogue of the Exhibits Published by Mason, Firth of M'Cutcheon, general printers, 1880; pp. xiii, 166, 167
  • Official record By Melbourne internat. exhib Published by, 1882; pp. xxiv, 500

External links[edit]