Khaw Loh Hup & Khaw Boo Aun’s townhouse, 26, Main Road, Bukit Tambun
Historical Personality 1: Built by Khaw Loh Hup, the father of Kapitan Khaw Boo Aun (1837-1906), after his retirement. Khaw Loh Hup is one of the founders of Han Jiang Ancestral Hall 韩江家庙 in 1864 at 381 Carnavon Street (社尾街381号) (许栳合、王武昌、红声挂、黄遇冬 )+(陈亚苞、李永隆 ). He and his son Khaw Boon Aun were leaders in Tiechiu section of the Ghee Hin triad society.
Historical Personality 2: Kapitan Khaw Boo Aun, leader of the Ghee Hin, was appointed to the Perak State Council on 7th October 1886. He started a Straits-born Chinese Club known as Hong Wah in Nibong Tebal. Also, an inaugural member of the Chinese Advisory Board in 1890, principle director of the Kwangtung and Tingchow Public Cemetery Committee, co-founder of the Penang Chinese Town Hall and Seh Khaw Kongsi, sole Asian commissioner in the Commission of Enquiry (1890), Justice of the Peace in 1905.
Architectural history: This house is one of the earliest brick houses in Bukit Tambun. It is a Chinese townhouse which served as an ancestral hall. At High Street, Nibong Tebal, Boo Aun left another family residence, which is located near to Boo Aun Lane and Krian River.
Social history: Boo Aun Lane is the spot where Ghee Hin boats were secretly launched loaded with men and suppliers for the Larut War.
Illustrates growth of sugar industry: Under his son Khaw Boo Aun the plantations grew to more than 2000 acres of land in Trans Krian district and planted with sugar cane and tobacco. He founded KauHeng sugar factory高兴糖厂 in Nibong Tebal and Kau Huat sugar mill高发糖厂 in Gula, Kuala Kurau.
Condition: The townhouse buildings are currently in a severely dilapidated state and it is disgraceful that one side of the bungalow has been allowed to collapse. We urge the government to urgently commission a Heritage Management Plan with a view to its stabilisation, preservation, maintenance and use, while initiating works to stabilize, repair, and ultimately restore the building.
Support our efforts – your voice can make a difference! We suggest this short message be sent to the relevant authorities:
“I urge the Penang State Government, local authorities and related agencies to urgently take action to save the Khaw Loh Hup & Khaw Boo Aun’s townhouse (26, Main Road, Bukit Tambun). As one of the earliest brick houses in Bukit Tambun, this heritage building resembles a distinctive historical role. Its founders as well as architectural and social history are precious asset to our heritage value. Regrettably, the townhouse is in a dilapidated condition.
I would like to register my concern for the need to safeguard Penang’s heritage and to keep alive the soul of our city. I believe that appropriate protection for heritage as well as development guided by respect for community, heritage and environment will improve our quality of life and prosper our local economy.”