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Towkay Foo Nyit Kai (Foo Yet Kai)

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Subject :Towkay Foo Nyit Kai (Foo Yet Kai)
Published By : None 
Location : Ipoh
Estimated Year : 1955
Media Type : Photograph
Source : Perak Hakka Association, Ipoh
Remark :

Born in Batu Gajah in 1907, Foo Yet Kai was taken to Yunting village in the Fujian Province, China by his mother when his father died. He was three years old and here he spent his young life in poverty as his mother worked in the fields and barely earned enough to feed them. Said to have been a natural leader even when he was young he was known as the ‘big brother’ to the young people in his village. One example of his character is recorded when he was only 11 and confronted the leader of a group of soldiers who ransacked his house during a civil war. This took great courage. However, it is said that the leader admired his bravery and granted protection to his house.

In 1924, at the age of 18, Foo returned to Malaya and started to work in a tin mine under the guidance of his uncle.

After years of hard labour, he gained enough savings and knowledge to start his own mines. A smart business man he also diversified his interests into finance, property and agriculture.

Having bought the Chung Thye Phin Villa, from the late Kapitan's family, he assisted in converting it into a private hospital, called Our Lady’s Hospital and leased it without charge. The hospital was managed by the Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood from April 1964 to Jan 1983. It is now known as the Kinta Medical Centre and provides free treatment and hospitalisation for patients recommended by the Foo Yet Kai Foundation.

In the field of education Foo was again a philanthropist, taking a leading role in the Perak Kheh Association's setting up the Shen Jai High School their Jalan Bendahara grounds in 1958. This was dedicated to the memory of his father Foo Kan Yik.

Holding many public and association positions, Foo Yet Kai was a leading member of the Perak community, serving as the first president of the Perak Yunting (his home village) Association formed in 1947,as vice-president of the Perak Kheh Community Association in 1949 (also known as the Perak Hakka Association) and as the 3rd president of the Perak Kheh Association 1955-1956.

Unbelievably, Foo YeT Kai was shot dead during a robbery at his house in 1961. In his memory the family donated a significant amount of his fortune to charity and set up the Foo Yet Kai Foundation to help the needy and the sick. He had six sons and 13 daughters.

To see a better picture of Towkay Foo Yet Kai and learn about the street named after him, click here.

Filename : 20070816-007