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Tye Kee Yoon Road, George Town, Penang

Tye Kee Yoon Road, George Town. Visible at the background is the Penang Times Square and M Mall 020.

Tye Kee Yoon Road is a very short, narrow two-way road within the George Town city centre. It branches out of Brick Kiln Road, running southwest before coming to a dead end in front of a warehouse.

This narrow road, lined with double-storey Chinese shophouses and parking lots along its northern side, was named after Tye Kee Yoon, the Vice-Consul of Qing China in Penang in the early 20th. century. Also one of the biggest property owners on Penang Island at the time, he contributed significantly to Penang's development by donating to various institutions, from Penang Free School to Kek Lok Si Temple.

Tye Kee Yoon Road sign, George Town, Penang

Tye Kee Yoon Road sign

Etymology

Tye Kee Yoon (1849 - 1919), after whom the road was named, served as Qing China's Vice-Consul in Penang between 1907 and 1912. He was concurrently Qing China's Acting Consul-General in Singapore between 1911 and 1912.

Mr. Tye had come to Penang as a penniless coolie, but by the end of the 19th. century, he became among the biggest property owners on Penang Island, as well as a diplomat. He was also involved in the distribution of spirits, opium and medicine.

With his wealth, Mr. Tye was able to contribute massively to Penang's development. He donated generously to several institutions within Penang Island, including the famous Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang Free School, Penang Adventist Hospital, King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Chung Hwa Confucian School. In addition, he founded the Shih Chung School, which was housed inside the now-abandoned Goh Chan Lau building at Northam Road.

Mr. Tye passed away on Penang Island in 1919. At the time, he was 'reputed to be the richest man in Penang', with $5,000,000 (Straits dollar) worth of properties in Penang and other parts of British Malaya.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.27 Pengkalan Kota State Assemblyman : Lau Keng Ee (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books, Penang.
  2. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/tye-kee-yoon-road.htm
  3. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/singfreepressb19300507-1.2.55.aspx

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