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Sak Na To Temple
Sak Na To Temple

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園

For a short, day trip, the visit to this tomb was a pleasant one. Things were running smooth that we found the tomb in less than 5 minutes upon our arrival. The weather was good with the cloudy skies shading the hot sun. Cool breeze were also blowing as it were raining on other parts of the states. As a person who believes in signs of the surrounding nature, I would consider this to be superbly smooth trip with no obstacles. And indeed it was.

It did took me awhile to visit this tomb even though its location was revealed to me many months back by a member of his descendants. The Kapitan’s descendants wishes to keep the location private due to act of desecration previously to the tomb so kindly don’t email me for its location.


This tomb, measuring approximately 94.6 ft in width and 87.6 ft in length is located in a family plot. It sits slightly below off the top of a hill with the headstone facing 82º East looking toward the grave of other Chung family members.

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 02

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 03

There is only two individual laid to rest in this large tomb even though there is three headstone. His 1st wife, Madam Khoo Joo Bee / 邱如美 (Passed away in 1924)(*1) is interred on the grave to the Left while the centre of the tomb belongs to the Kapitan himself and grave on the right was actually reserved for his 2nd wife named Madam Lee Sau Yeng(*1) but was left empty as in later years, she converted to Christian and her remain’s was cremated. The Kapitan had 7 wives but was survived by 6 of them whom has borne him 10 sons and 7 daughters. (*2)

Uniquely, water from the top part of the tomb is drained through various hole located on top, beside the headstone. The water would travel through some internal pipes and exit at a dragon mouth at the bottom, located next to the offering table.

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 04


Kapitan Chung Thye Phin / 鄭大平 / Zheng Da Píng is the last Kapitan of Perak and British Malaya. He was born on 28 Sep 1879 in Taiping, Perak and is the fourth son of the 2nd Kapitan Cina of Perak, Kapitan Chung Keng Quee / 甲必丹鄭景貴. He passed away on 29 March 1935 in his residence at 58, Northam Road following a brief illness. At the time of his passing, he was known to be the wealthiest man in Penang.(*3)

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 05

A tin miner and revenue farmer of Hakka ancestry, he was conferred with the Kapitan Cina title on 24 March 1921. He was bestowed a Justices of the Peace, Perak in 1917(*4) and also holds many other prominent position in the society around that time.

He was a perfect example of a new breed of ethnic-Chinese Malayan capitalists. Western-educated and oriented, urbane, erudite, eloquent and elegant. He was a man of the world, literally, and is said to have travelled round the world several times.(*5)

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 06Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 07

An excerpt from the book “Biographical Dictionary of Mercantile Personalities in Penang” where a section about the kapitan is researched and written by his grandson, Jeffrey Seow, states that …

“His first recorded acts of charity began at the age of 23 when he made two donations, between 1901 and 1902, totalling $750, to Sir Francis Lovell for the London School of Tropical Medicine, $250 to the Ying Jing Medical School and $587.52 towards the costs of the Wufu Shuyuan. And while he made numerous other contributions over the years, the more prominent ones included Seven States Medical School ($1,000, 1904), Singapore Chinese Girls School ($100, 1906), the Kek Lok Si Temple ($500, 1906), Wufu Shuyuan common tomb ($40, 1906), Papan Gaol (land, 1908), Canton Flood Relief ($100, 1908), Raffles College Fund ($10,000, 1919), Perak Chinese Recreation Club ($500, 1913), British Red Cross Society ($300, 1916), Yuk Choy Public School ($1,000, 1923), Victoria Green ($2,000, 1903).”(*5)

For his many philanthropic deed, he was honoured with two roads named after him. One is called Lorong Chung Thye Phin (Chung Thye Phin LANE) located in Ipoh, Perak while the other road honoured to him is named Jalan Chung Thye Phin (Chung Thye Phin ROAD) located in Taiping, also in Perak.

Chung Thye Phin had many residences in Penang, Ipoh and Taiping. Notably, i guess, which is the most famous, is the Relau Villa designed by the kapitan for a holiday home. It has a swimming pool built in the centre of this villa encircle by its rooms and corkscrew designed pillars. According to its family history, the architecture design of this villa was inspired by the artistic canals of Venice and the enchanting ponds and lakes of China. Unfortunately, the Villa now, is in dilapidated condition. Hopefully one fine day, this villa will be rebuild back into its glory days.

I have personally visited this villa many years back as it was known to be a famous paranormal haunt in the island. It was in the middle of the night and i really couldn’t find anything scary about the place beside worrying about been robbed.

Much more infomation about Kapitan Chung Thye Phin can be found on the news caption i found and attach below. There is also much info found online complied by his descendants.


His funeral was a grand event. It was reported in the news those days and i found some caption to it….


Penang, 5 Apr.. — THE funeral of Capitan Chung Thye Phin, which took place from his residence, 58, Northam yesterday morning, was attended by nearly 500 friends and relatives, some of whom had come from Ipoh, Taiping and Kuala Lumpur.

There were approximately 200 mourners, including the deceased’s wives, children, and grandchildren.

The procession was a quarter of a mile long. Innumerable Chinese banners, Chinese priests, the Municipal Band, and Boys Scouts from the Second Penang (A.C.S.) Troop, under S.M. Yeoh Seng Chan, former the almost unending train, which was brought up in the rear by the coffin and finally the mourners and followers.

Many prominent local and outstation men were present including Hon. Mr. Palgrave Simpson, Mr. Leong Sin Nam, Mr. Cheah Cheang Lim, Dato Panglima Kinta and Mr. Heah Joo Seang.

The procession started shortly after 11 a.m., proceeding down Northam Road into Transfer Road and Sri Bahari Road, to come out into Penang Road. The train broke up at the junction of Burma and Penang Roads, from where the coffin was borne up to Bagan Jermal for burial in a private piece of land in the estate of the late Cheang Keng Kwee.

After the burial ceremony was over at the grave side, the procession proceeded home.(*6)


CAPITAN Chung Thye Phin, reputed to be one of the wealthiest Chinese in Penang, died on Friday evening at 6.30 p.m. in his residence, 58. Northam Road, after a brief illness of three days.

Deceased was the son of the late Capitan Chung Ah Kwee. Born in Kota, Taiping, in 1879, he was educated at the St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang. He was a miner, planter and landed proprietor. He was appointed Member of the State Council, Perak, was on the Committee of King Edward VII School, Taiping, and a Trustee of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. He was also a J.P. Perak, a Capitan China of Perak and a member of Committee of the Chinese Town Hall.

Well known throughout Malays, the late Mr. Chung Thye Phin counted a wide circle friends in all communities who will, no doubt, be shocked to hear of his dead after such a short illness.

He leaves behind nine sons and six daughters to mourn theirs loss. The date of funeral has not been fixed.(*7)

CAPITAN CHINA OF PERAK. 2 April 1935 (*8)

Many throughout Malaya and particularly in Perak, will learn with regret of the dead of Capitan Chung Thye Phin at his residence in Penang on Friday at the early age of 56.

Deceased was the son of the late Capitan Chung Ah Kwee. He was born at Kota, Taiping in 1879 and educated at St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang.

Miner and planter, he had large interest in the premier state, which he served for many years as Capitan China and as a member of the Perak State Council to which he was appointed at the age of twenty-one.

The Chung family have a long and honourable connection with Perak, dating back to pre british protection times and have always been noted for their generosity.

In this respect, Mr, Chung Thye Phin worthily emulated his ancestors. He was at one time a trustee of the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and served on the committee of the King Edward VII School, Taiping.

It was as a sportsman that he was best known to the public. At one time he kept a large stable and his colours were to the fore at every race meeting in the country. He was also a good billiards player.

The late Mr. Chung Thye Phin was made Capitan China of Perak in 1921, when His Highness the Sultan revived the title. He also held the Malayan Certificate of Honour which distinction was conferred on him in the year of its inauguration. (*8)

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 08

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 09

*While doing the search, i came across another caption on the funeral of the Late Mrs. Chung Thye Phin whom was laid to rest in the grave next to the Kapitan.

THE LATE MRS. CHUNG THYE PHIN. 30 October 1924 (*9)

The funeral of Mrs. Chung Thye Phin, which took place in ideal weather at Penang on Sunday, was one of the grandest, if not the grandest funerals yet seen in Penang. There was fully an attendance of about 1000 people, not only from Penang, but from Perak and other parts of Malaya, who had come to pay their last tribute of respect to the deceased lady and to convey their sincere condolence to Capitan Chung Thye Phin, her husband, in his sad bereavement. His Highness the Sultan of Perak was presented by Kechil Sulong, Raja Abdul Hamid, Orang Kaya Besar, Datoh Shabandar, Dato Mana Kernia, Raja Aamanshah, and Raja Arifasah. The large crowd of people of all stations of life testified to the esteem and respect in which Capitan Chung Thye Phin and his deceased wife are held.-PG. (*9)


Kapitan Chung Keng Quee Memorial / 甲必丹鄭景貴墓園


(1) Penang Chinese Commerce in the 19th Century: The Rise and Fall of the Big Five, Page 202

(2) Wikipedia – Chung Thye Phin

(3) The Straits Times, 31 March 1935, Page 1, National Library of Singapore microfilm reel NL2360

(4) The Straits Times, 4 April 1917, Page 10 — Justices of the Peace

(5) The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 30 October 1924, Page 7

(6) The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 8 April 1935, Page 3

(7) Malaya Tribune, 2 April 1935, Page 12

(8) Malaya Tribune, 2 April 1935, Page 10

(9) The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 30 October 1924, Page 7

Kapitan Chung Thye Phin Memorial / 甲必丹鄭大平墓園 – My Time – – Cataloging Chinese temples in Malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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