Cheah Kongsi was established in 1873 by Cheah Yam, an immigrant who came from the Sek Tong village in South China. Upon Cheah Yam’s death, his widow Ong Sin Neoh took over management of the clan house: before her, women did not wield such direct influence over the local Hokkien clan associations. Her son, Cheah Choo Yew, and subsequently his descendants, have served as the presidents of the Cheah Kongsi ever since.
Design of Cheah Kongsi The entrance to the double-storey Cheah Kongsi is through a narrow alleyway off Lebuh Armenian. The charming, perfectly-manicured front lawn leads you past a front door edged by etched black marble panels; the complex uniquely integrates a European double-storey plan and a distinctive Chinese courtyard layout.
The temple’s porch was renovated in the 1930s and elaborate carvings were added: it also underwent extensive restoration work between 2003 and 2004. The main building surrounds a quad with the altar room (supported by heavy foundation pillars) on the second floor: this is where the Cheah Kongsi is different from regular clan houses. Smaller rooms to the left and right of the courtyard are used for meetings, meals and socialising.
Note: Professional experience at aLM Architects Sdn. Bhd.