Friday, January 30, 2015

Reason for Blogging

                                                                   Chew Joo Chiat

I believe I am the oldest blogger in Singapore. Many people including the Straits Times reporter had asked me why I blog about my great grandfather Chew Joo Chiat. I have two reasons to do so. First I want my children, grandchildren and those after them to know their roots who had a humble beginning and through hard work and successful business he became wealthy man. The Straits Times on 11 Feb 1926 reported “A striking example of the ressourfulness of the Chinese of making a fortune in Malaya writes a correspondent, is recorded in the life of Chew Joo Chiat ……………….  He was a Hokien and landed at Singapore from Amoy (Amoy is in China) some 50 years or more, a penniless boy but by hardwork and endowed with keen business foresight he left an estate estimated to be worth millions of dollars……..” The moral of the story “Chew Joo Chiat our roots had a humble beginning”. Inspite of his wealth he kept a low profile and frugal in his spending.

ST 2 April 1999 published an article from an interview stated that Chew Joo Chiat died in 1950s and he had only a daughter. The informations given to the reporter was incorrect as Chew Joo Chiat's tombstone in Englsh showed he died on 5th February 1926. His main tombstone in Chinee characters showed he had 2 sons, 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren. There were also factual errors in the internet websites and books etc. 
My second reason was to correct all the errors and tell my own story.

During my research  I found Chew Joo Chiat had many other businesses besides being a housing developer and owner of plantations such as spice, rubber and coconut trees. In his early days at the turn of the 20th century he was a ship chandler and a timber trader owning a sawmill at Beach Road. His office was at No 5 Philip Street. In the early 1920s he owned 2 tin mines, The Trengganu Corporation and The Ulu Pacca Corporation as well as 2 banks. He founded the Pacific Bank in 1919 and was its first chairman. He was also a major shareholder of Batu Pahat Bank. Again many questions were asked. What had happened to all his wealth? Well the juicy part will be in the book “The Story  of Chew Joo Chiat” which will be published in December 2015 or January 2016..


Trengganu Corpoation                                                                          Ulu Pacca Corporation

                                                               Batu Pahat Bank

                                                                 Pacific Bank