The Bukit Brown Cemetery Documentation Project

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Khoo Kay Hian (邱繼顯, 1887?-1966, LTA Peg No. 1906)



Khoo Kay Hian made his fortune during the rubber boom of 1910 as a rubber broker based in The Arcade. He went on to found Kay Hian and Co, one of the best known stock broking firms in Singapore, in 1921. He was also a committee member of the Singapore Sharebrokers' Association (before it became the Singapore Stock Exchange).

Khoo was Assistant Secretary of the Ee Hoe Hean Club (1918) and was also on the Board of the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.

Khoo was a member of Tongmenghui, the Revolutionary Alliance set up by Dr Sun Yat-sen. When Dr Sun visited Singapore in December 1911, Khoo was among other Singapore revolutionary leaders, such as Dr S.C. Yin, Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam (Tan Lian Chye) and Lim Nee Soon, who met him.

In 1912, Khoo Kay Hian accompanied Mr Lu Chi Ye, former Assistant Commissioner of Justice to the Provisional Government of China and chief assistant to Dr Wu Ting Fong, to Singapore to seek investments from the Straits Chinese and Netherlands Indies Chinese. They then went on to Penang and the Federated Malay States to seek investments for the opening of mines in China.

As such, Khoo was an example of Chinese in Singapore who played important roles in the political and economic reform of China.  

He passed away on 18 January 1966, reportedly at the age of 81 at his residence at 23 St. Martin's Drive at 9:35pm. (However, the inscription on his grave suggested that he was 78, while a small plaque below it suggested that he was 79.) His two other wives and his mother were buried directly behind in a family cluster of graves.

Author: Peter Pak