Yap Ah Shak

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Kapitan China Yap Ah Shak
Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur
In office
Preceded by Kapitan China Yap Ah Loy
Succeeded by Kapitan China Yap Kwan Seng
Personal details
Born China
Died 1889
Kuala Lumpur, FMS
Residence Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Occupation Kapitan

Kapitan China Yap Ah Shak (Chinese: 葉亞石甲, Pinyin: Yè Yǎshí Jia) of Petaling served as the fourth and penultimate Kapitan China of nineteenth-century Kuala Lumpur. He was a wealthy Huizhou Hakka merchant and a Hai San leader.[1][2][3]

Yap Ah Shak was selected by Wong Ying, a prosperous Cantonese miner and several others to take over from Kapitan China Shin (Sheng Ming Li) of Sungai Ujong six months after the disturbances there had died down.[4] The late Kapitan Shin was slain in the 1860 uprising of the Chinese miners at Sungai Ujong attributed to excessive taxation by the local Malay chiefs.[5]

Yap Ah Shak then passed the title to Yap Ah Loy in 1859.[6][7]

Yap Ah Shak moved from Sungai Ujong to Kuala Lumpur in 1870 and, even after passing on his title to Yap Ah Loy, continued to serve as magistrate for the settlement of Chinese disputes and as High Court Assessor.[8][9][10]

By 1880 Yap Ah Shak had 10 tin mines around Kuala Lumpur.[10]

Yap Ah Loy died in the middle of April 1885 and (in 1885/1886), after consulting representatives of different dialect groups in Kuala Lumpur, the British chose Yap Ah Shak, who had passed the title to Yap Ah Loy twenty-six years earlier, to serve as Selangor's new Kapitan China and state councillor.[11][12][13]

Yap Ah Shak died in 1889 and his title passed to Yap Kwan Seng.[14][15]

Yap Ah Loy was the protégé of Yap Ah Shak. His life, which began with him running from problem to problem, was transformed when he met Yap Ah Shak, who put him in charge of his gaming farm in Sungai Ujong.[14][16]


A street just outside the LRT Dang Wangi in the Medan Tuanku ward in downtown Kuala Lumpur is named after him.[17]


  1. ^ Kuala Lumpur 1880-1895 by JM Gullick 1955, 134, JMBRAS 28 (4), no 172
  2. ^ The impact of Chinese secret societies in Malaya: a historical study By Wilfred Blythe, Royal Institute of International Affairs
  3. ^ Old Kuala Lumpur By J. M. Gullick
  4. ^ Journal of Southeast Asian studies, Volume 19 By Cambridge University Press. Online Journals
  5. ^ Khoo 1972, 122
  6. ^ Middlebrook 1951, 16
  7. ^ A history of Kuala Lumpur, 1857-1939 By J. M. Gullick
  8. ^ "Secret societies" reconsidered: perspectives on the social history of ... By David Ownby, Mary F. Somers Heidhues
  9. ^ Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 24 By Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Malaysian Branch, Singapore
  10. ^ a b Kuala Lumpur: 100 years By Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Dewan Bandaraya
  11. ^ Yap Ah Loy, 1837-1885 By Stanley Musgrave Middlebrook, J. M. Gullick
  12. ^ The Western Malay States, 1850-1873: the effects of commercial development ... by Kay Kim Khoo, 1972
  13. ^ The British in Malaya, 1880-1941: the social history of a European community ... By John G. Butcher
  14. ^ a b Histories, cultures, identities: studies in Malaysian Chinese worlds By Sharon A. Carstens
  15. ^ The protected Malay States, 1874-1895 By Emily Sadka
  16. ^ The Selangor journal: jottings past and present, Volume 1, 1892
  17. ^ "Jalan Yap Ah Shak - Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 3 February 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

  1. Chinese secret societies in Malaya: a survey of the Triad Society from 1800 ... By Leon Comber
  2. Fieldstaff reports (Volumes 7-8 of Reports Service) By American Universities Field Staff
Government offices
Preceded by
Kapitan Yap Ah Loy
Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur
Succeeded by
Kapitan Yap Kwan Seng