Leong Fee Mansion is a double-storey colonial bungalow at Leith Street within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1900, it now houses the Equator College, one of the leading arts colleges in northern Malaysia.
Leong Fee, who moved from China to Penang Island in 1876, was one of the rich Hakkas who built their residences along Leith Street, giving the street its nickname - the 'Hakka Millionaire's Row'. He found wealth primarily through tin mining within the neighbouring Sultanate of Perak.
Having arrived in George Town from China in 1876, Leong Fee (1857 - 1912), also known as Leong P'i Joo, initially worked as a cook for six months. He then moved to the neighbouring Sultanate of Perak, where the tin mining boom had only just started.
In Ipoh, he found employment as a clerk in the tin mines, but he soon became a miner himself in nearby Taiping. Wealth followed, and he was concurrently appointed as a member of the Ipoh Sanitary Board in 1894. He later rose to become a member of the Perak Council in 1895; by then, he was considered a person of 'means'.
The following year, he ventured into coffee planting with F.J.B. Dykes at Tambun. The venture eventually turned south and Dykes sold his portion of the business. Undeterred, Leong Fee opened a new tin mine within the former coffee plantation; his tin mine set a world record for a year's output of tin.
With his wealth, Leong Fee built two mansions - this one at Leith Street and another in Ipoh. This particular double-storey bungalow came with a spacious garden where fruit trees of various types were planted.
Meanwhile, he also served as the Vice-Consul of Qing China in Penang between 1901 and 1907. In 1909, he also became the first Chinese member of the Federal Legislative Council of Malaya, representing the tin mining and rubber planting fraternities.
Two years after Leong Fee's death in 1912, his son, Leong Yin Kean, sold the Leith Street mansion cheaply to The Ipoh Tin Miners' Lodge, which had been founded by Leong Fee himself.
Since then, the mansion has changed hands and is now owned by the Christian Brothers, who had also established the adjacent St. Xavier's Institution. The Brothers have been leasing the mansion to Equator College since 1987.
Monday - Friday : 0900 hours - 1800 hours
Saturday : 0900 hours - 1300 hours
Penang State Government
N.26 Padang Kota State Assemblyman : Chow Kon Yeow (Democratic Action Party)
Malaysian Federal Parliament
P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)
- Hockton, K., Howard Tan, 2012. Penang : An Inside Guide to Its Historic Homes, Buildings, Monuments and Parks. MPH Group, Kuala Lumpur.