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Yap Kwan Seng Memorial / 葉觀盛墓園

Yap Kwan Seng Memorial / 葉觀盛墓園

His name in Traditional Chinese – 葉觀盛 and in Simplified Chinese – 叶观盛.

Born 1846, Yap Kwan Seng is the last Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur. After his passing, the position of kapitan was abolished.

He moved from china to malaya at the age of 18 and work as a tin miner in Seremban before moving to Selangor to setup his own tin mining business.

Known for his philanthropic deeds and his many great contributions, He founded the Pooi Shin Thong / Pei Shan Tang / 培善堂 which provided the poor with free medical services. Pooi Shin Thong was later renamed to Tung Sing hospital (同善醫院) located along Jalan Pudu. There is much more that he has done.

Yap Kwan Seng passed away in 1902. Based on read up, It is said that he was originally buried at Maxwell Hill but when the government wanted the land for development, his remains were exhumed and are now placed at a pagoda at the Lian Lin temple (蓮林廟) in the Kwang Tung cemetery (廣東義山), Sg Besi.
It would be great to know the date his bones were exhumed and moved. This would be great historic value to future readers. There is an old man we met at the Kwangtung cemetery that has told us his exhumed bones were actually reburied at the opposite site of the Hockien cemetery but he could not tell me where exactly. If any of you knows where his original grave / tomb was before or when was his bones exhumed or where he is reburied, do email me or leave a comment.

His memorial plate was easy to find. As soon as you turn into the Lian Lin Temple area, and it’s just there.

Yap Kwan Seng is the last person to hold the Kapitan title in Kuala Lumpur and he’s also known as the person who developed a brick factory in the now known Brickfield area which was fill with clay on it’s surrounding area back then.

Yap Kwan Seng Memorial / 葉觀盛墓園1

Below:- Up close.

Yap Kwan Seng Memorial / 葉觀盛墓園2

My Time – – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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37 comments to Yap Kwan Seng Memorial / 葉觀盛墓園

  • avatar Joseph Yap

    Thank you. I live in HK now. Yap Kwan Seng is my great-great-grandfather. I will try to visit his grave in KL hopefully in the next few years. If anyone has more information about Yap Kwan Seng, please post it here. Thanks.

    Joseph Yap, Hong Kong

    • avatar Myadmin

      Hi Joseph,
      Great to have you here. Could you provide more infomation on how you are related to the Kapitan?

      i have remove your email to avoid spams.

  • avatar Isabella Loh

    Yap Kwan Seng is my great great grandfather. I come from the lineage when my great grandmother was the daughter of philanthropist Chan Sow Lin who was married to one of Yap Kwan Seng’s son as a union of their friendship and business partners.

    Rgds Isa, Singapore

    • avatar admin

      Hi Isa, Great to have you commenting here. I would be re-doing my post on Chan Sow Lin soon. Do return in a few months time. Thanks.

    • avatar Yap Ping Kon

      Isabella, your grandfather is Yap Tai Kim. My mother is Tai Kim’s adopted daughter and my father is from Tai Wah. We used to visit your grandmother (Tim)at her house at Jln Pahang. Betty (your mother), Donald (Ah Fook) and Richard (Ah Ying) are thus my cousins. Please contact me. Thanks.

  • avatar Audrey Yap Tan

    I am the 4 generation of the Yap’s My father name is Yap Poh Kok and his Yap Tai wah’s one of the sons…if we are related plz email me…..I now reside’s in US…

    • avatar admin

      Hi Audrey, Great to have you here. Email addresses are not publish to avoid spams so let me know if you need any email add of YKS relative that has left a comment here. And i’ll be glad to email it to you directly.

  • avatar Audrey Yap Tan

    That would be great to get hold of Joseph Yap and Isa also….plz email me their email..


  • Hi, I am also the 4th generation of Yap Kwan Seng. My dad is Yap Poh How, unfortunately I so not remember my grand father’s name. I should ask my aunt, Yap Swee Lin, the next time I talk to her. I’m now living in California, USA. You can find out more about me on my website “About Us” tab. Thank-you for writing this article and keeping his memory alive. We all need to remember how much good one person can do for the population. By the way, if you want to know more, my aunt is the founder of Autorr Foundation in Ampang.

  • My aunt can tell you more about him.

  • avatar Ping Kon

    Hi all you Yaps and other down the YKS line: I have been mapping the YKS tree for a while with some of other YKS descendants. We generally communicate by emails. I would like to reach you all to fill the gaps in the family tree. Audrey and Athena, we are from the same line, Tai Wah. I keep in touch with Swee Lin often until I retired to Sydney.
    Isabella Loh, is your great grandmother is sister of Chan Yit San? Her son married a daughter of Tai Kim. Joseph, I’m very much interested in the HK “missing” link too.

    • avatar Athena Yap Chui Peng

      Great! Aunty Swee Lin is a great inspiration. To help fill your chart, my older brother is Henry Yap Peng Leik and my younger sister is Alouis Yap Chui Mei. And exciting news, my brother just have a baby few days ago. So the latest Yap (that I know of) is 5-6 days old and his name is Yap Brae Den.

  • avatar Woan Jinn

    Hello, my soon-to-be husband is the 5th generation of Yap Kwan Seng from Yap Tai Wah line. Nice to know our lineage and ancestry :)

  • avatar Yap Ping Kon

    Joseph, please contact me at my email address stated here. I’m 4th generation YKS lineage and currently in touch with various cousins of the same generation to map the YKS lineage. Thank you.

  • avatar Yap Ping Kon

    Athena, please contact me. Your grandfather is my grandfather, Yap Tai Wah. Poh How is my uncle (from my 3rd grandmother’s line)and if your mother is alive still, she would remember me. I’m from the 1st grandmother’s line.

    • avatar Athena Yap

      Hi Ping Kon, Yes, I figured you are from my generation since your middle name is Ping (Peng) like my brother, just like our dads are Poh. By the way, do you know what’s the middle name supposed to be for the generation after us?
      I will ask my mom when I talk to her if she remembers you. Sounds like you and our family were close. How long ago was that? I look forward to see you completed chart of our big family tree.

      • avatar Yap Ping Kon

        Athena, the last generational middle name in the YKS Family Book is (in English) Wai or Wei. I use Wei (more towards Mandarin pronunciation) for my sons. For the Chinese character of this I have to get my wife to supply this as she knows Mandarin.
        Please ask “Myadmin” to give you my email address, then email me. There is much that I have circulated to cousins I can reach that you may want too. And it is much easier for me to answer any Qs you may have on those part of our family history that I have some knowledge.
        Btw, your family and uncle Poh Hoy’s (Hoi)and mine used to meet at grandfather’s house in Pudu.

  • avatar Yap Ping Kon

    Hi Woan Jinn, welcome into the YKS lineage. I would appreciate if you could get your soon-to-be-husband to contact me. As he’s 5th YKS generation and from Yap Tai Wah that makes him my direct nephew. As I’m mapping the YKS lineage with some of our cousins, I would like to know from which of our 3 grandmothers he is from. I would need his help to map his family line.

  • avatar Ai Chearn, Loh

    Hi ping kon,
    My mother informed me that I am grandchild of yap tai nyen, son of yks. All my maternal uncles have ‘pows’ in their names.
    Could you let me know where I can view the lineage tree for yks 4th gen?

  • avatar Ai Chearn

    I would like to add that thus far I can’t seem to find any info on Yap Tai Nyen, my grandfather, on the net. Was hoping you could help shed some light.

  • avatar Yap Ping Kon

    Hi Ai Chearn,

    I have your grandfather’s name in my YKS lineage chart but at this moment I have not been able to reach any descendants of Tai Nyen nor any has contacted me or the cousins that are helping in building the lineage. It would be great if you could email me direct as there is finally someone from your family line can help me fill the missing links. Whatever knowledge of the family line your mother can share would also be of great help too. Once we’re in touch, I’ll email you the YKS lineage chart todate.

  • avatar Ai Chearn

    Hi Ping Kon,
    May I have your email add to give you the details. My email is as attached.

  • avatar Ping Kon Yap

    Hi, Admin,

    Thanks. Much appreciated for your assistance in our family quest.


  • avatar Andrew Liew

    Hi there

    My maternal grandmother was Yap Swee Hoe, whom I know was the daugther of Yap Tai Wah and my great grandmother surnamed Wong (I think she was the 3rd wife of Yap Tai Wah). Does anybody has any more information on Yap Tai Wah?



    PS – I grew up in Singapore but now is working in Beijing

    • avatar Yap Ping Kon

      You must be the son of one of the daughters of Siew Ho who migrated to live in S’pore. Their surname is Boey. You can ask Myadmin to provide you my email address to contact me. I’ll then tell you with the family ties to Tai Wah, my grandfather.

  • avatar Rich Yap

    Hello – I’m trying to trace my family line. My grandfather is Yap Chow Chong, birthdate unknown, died 1945. He had 6 children in the 1920’s and 1930’s in Malaysia, some of whom were born in Kuala Lipis, Kampar, and Port Dickson. Most of them grew up in Kuala Lumpur. My grandmother’s name is Wong Yim Moy; she was born in 1902 and passed away in 1990. I live in the US now. Would be great to find any connections here, and thanks in advance!

  • avatar Isabella Loh

    Ping Kon,

    My apologies for the long silence as I had been busy preparing my wedding and gotten married in South Africa. Now I am following the trends of my ancestors .

  • avatar Isabella Loh

    Ping Kon,

    My apologies I seem to have lost some of my comments to you. Thank you for confirming my lineage and my great great grandparents. And yes Tim is my great grandmother. I recently got married Ito the Amoy canning family also 106 years old,. Following my ancestors I guess… George Huang is my husband’s name 3rd generation. I was wondering why S Africa ? Now I understand both YKS and Chan Sow Lin transferred mining technologies to West Africa. Wow…are you in touch with my mother Betty in Sydney ? Admin – can I have Ping Kon’s email. Thks !

  • avatar Philip Tan

    As I was scouting through the internet to learn more about this illustrious historic figure I came across this webpage. As one who is very keen in Chinese genealogy, I could not help but to add on to the comments. It would appear that the descendants of Yap Kwan Seng might not have collated the family tree at least from the point descended from him. Collecting of family history in Jiapu (家譜) is a unique Chinese cultural heritage which has been practiced since ancient times. No other culture has a comparable history of keeping family records and for over such a extended period of time. Researchers are now studying Chinese genealogies as a supplement to other research areas, such as social economic history, geographical history, history of law, population history, religion and culture, history of overseas Chinese, inheritance practices, and biography of historical figures.

    I have done my ancestry not only from the time my ancestor who first came to Malaya, but now come out with pedigree chart showing each level of ancestors going all the way to Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) in 2,697 BC). Initially I thought I would only be able to do that from the first ancestor here. What I try to do now in my spare time could be gauged from the flyer below for a talk I gave at UTAR on Chinese genealogy:

    That came about subsequent to an interview I had with TV2. See YouTube recording below:

    Since then I have, on a voluntary basis, help many others both (overseas and here) to do theirs. I am willing to assist and guide descendants of Yap Kwan Seng to track down and draw up at least draw the family tree from him downwards. As the ancestral place of Yap Kwan Seng is known, it would not be difficult the relevant Yap Zupu (族譜) or Jiapu (家譜) (if still available) to trace the ancestry of this illustrious figure back. Just a couple of months ago, I just guided and assist a fifth generation Hakka friend of mine to do just that. Initial he knew nothing of his family ancestry; he now can trace his ancestry as far back as I do.

    If descendants of Yap Kwan Seng are interested, I am willing to assist and guide them in going about collating the family tree.

    • avatar PK Yap

      Dr. Tan,
      Thank you for your offer. I have been mapping my great grand father’s lineage for a while with some of my generation members and hopefully in the near future we should be able to host our Yap Kwan Seng Lineage on a website. We do have our “zupu”.

  • avatar Philip Tan

    Hi PK Yap,

    That is great. I for one would be looking forward to view the website on Yap Kwan Seng lineage when it is eventually established. Please do keep us inform when it occurs. May I inquire how many generations back do your zupu records? Yap is one surname I have yet the privilege to follow and learn more about.

    Than you very much for your response.

  • avatar Jim McAnna

    I’m very interested in Yap Kwan Seng. I have written a book on the early years of KL (roughly 1856-1910) and included a little of YKS mining interests in Pudu. I’m always in the look out for more info on him – for a possible future revised edition. Any ‘new’ info, suggestions would be appreciated. Does anyone know of a Biography Yap Tai Chi (Chee) was writing about his father YKS – I have been unable to find out if it was ever completed and published , and cannot find a copy.

    Any ideas ? If it wasn’t published – any idea what happened to the manuscript ?

    Also anyone got anything on YKS’s life and (2nd) home in Macao ?

    Rgs Terimah Kasih/Sampai Jumpa Lagi
    Jim McAnna

  • avatar Woan Jinn

    Hi Ping Kon, apologies, I actually missed out your comment. My husband name is Yap Wai Hoong, my father in law is Yap Peng Loong and my grandfather in law is Yap Poh Tong..I have attached my husband email address here perhaps the admin could share it with you?

  • avatar Gary Randall


    My maternal grandmother is Yap Ah Soo, one of the daughters of Yap Kwan Seng. She left her family to marry an Indian man by the name of James Wilson. They settled in Johor in Malaysia and had 5 children. My mother, Joyce Wilson migrated to the US in late 70s, and had four children. I live in New York City, and am trying to find out more about the family line, and locate family members.

    Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance,
    Gary Randall

  • avatar Joyce randall

    My mother 03:15:1919 still living is 96 years old , residing in a nursing home Johor Baru Malaya.her name is Doreen Wilson née Yap ah Soo, Granddaughter to Yap Kwan Seng. She has 5 children , Ivy, Lawrence , Winnie, Jasmine and me Joyce,so therefore we 5 kids are Yap Kwan Seng’s Greatgrand children.

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