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Descendants Of Leong Fee - Leong Eng Khean And His Second Wife, Chow Yoon Soo

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Subject :Descendants of Leong Fee - Leong Eng Khean and his Second Wife, Chow Yoon Soo
Published By : None 
Location : Ipoh
Estimated Year : 1938
Media Type : Photograph
Source : See Below
Remark : The photograph on the left is of Leong Eng Khean, first born son of Towkay Leong Fee and his first wife Miss Cheah, daughter of Cheah Choon Seng. He was educated in St Xavier's Institution in Penang.

On the right is Chow Yoon Soo, his second wife (aka subsidiary wife No 1).

Chow Yoon Soo was born in Pontianak, Indonesia and was sold to Leong Eng Khean when she was 14+ in 1916. She bore him a daughter when she was 16 in 1918. Her "foster" mother who was not her natural mother came over to Penang with 2 other girls whom she sold to be second wives. It is not known if Leong Eng Khean married her on his own accord or whether his mother, Miss Cheah, had decided that her son should take more wives, as she herself decided that Leong Fee, her husband, should marry the ladies that she had chosen for him to be his “subsidiary” wives.

Chow Yoon Soo was very subservient but with the courage of steel. She never met her father-in-law, Leong Fee as he had died in 1912 and she married Leong Eng Khean in 1916.

She stayed in Penang until the death of her mother-in-law, Miss Cheah. Then Leong Eng Khean moved her and her bond maid, Susie to Clayton Road in Ipoh together with her "foster" mother whose other “daughter” was married to a prominent family from Ipoh. Leong Eng Khean, however, brought her back to Penang from time to time when she used to stay in a flat in Penang Road and then later in Green Lane.

During the Second World War, she took the risk of taking the last train from Penang to Ipoh sitting on top of a carriage to bring her “foster” mother and bond maid, Susie, to safety. Her "foster" mother and the maid had stayed behind to guard the house in Clayton Road while her daughters and her youngest son were taken by friends to a rubber estate in Puchong.

During the Japanese Occupation, Leong Eng Khean sent her the monthly allowance through a Hakka Association called Kong Ka Yin which was in Hugh Low Street, Ipoh. The allowance of $250 was often late and she had to borrow money from friends to survive. Kong Ka Ying is an association that Leong Fee had founded to help out the newly-arrived from his home province of Ka Ying in China. Leong Sin Nam was also helped by Kong Ka Yin when he came back from China. Leong Eng Khean left 3 town houses to her in Ipoh when he died.

She was very good friends of Leong Fee’s youngest wife, "Sam Poh Tai" or or "Third great grand aunt", who was a little older than her and lived in Perak Road in Penang. Chow Yoon Soo was in frequent contact with her as "Sam Poh Tai" would plead with Leong Eng Khean on her behalf.

Leong Eng Khean and Chow Yoon Soo had eight children:

  • Leong Aun Leng, the eldest daughter, born 1918.

  • Leong Ming Sen (MS), the eldest son, born 1920.

  • Leong Swee Seng, the second son, born 1922. No photograph of him is presently held in our database.

    Dr Leong Swee Sen was born in 1922 and was the second son of Chow Yoon Soo and Leong Eng Khean but was always addressed as “Ng Kor” (fifth son) by his siblings as he was the fifth son of Leong Eng Khean.

    He went to Hong Kong with his brother Leong Ming Sen (MS) to study. Initially, he went to La Salle College (high school) and then to the University of Hong Kong. When the Japanese bombed Hong Kong, he and his brother together with some friends fled to Chengdu. He had not intended to study medicine; however; since only medicine was taught in English and he could not speak/write Mandarin, he had no choice.

    After the war he returned to Hong Kong to continue studying medicine at the University of Hong Kong where he became a specialist for chest infection - notably tuberculosis - at the Wan Chai Chest Clinic and later at Yau Ma Tei Chest Clinic. On his retirement he worked for while at a Metadone clinic.

    He was a life member of the Hong Kong Medical Association. He married a nurse, Chu Pui Hing who mothered their son Leong Yee Ho but she died when the child was three. Dr Leong Swee Sen never remarried. When Hong Kong reverted to China , Leong Swee Sen sold all his flats in Hong Kong and emigrated to Australia with his son. He died in December 2001.

  • Margaret Vivian Leong Foong Leng, the second daughter, born 1924.

  • Joyce Leong Yin Leng, the third daughter, born 1925.

  • Paul Leong Hoong Sen, the third and youngest son.

  • Linda Leong Kam Leng, the fourth daughter.

  • Leong Mei Leng, the fifth and youngest daughter.

  • The above information has been contributed by Dr Peggy Leong, Leong Yee Ho, Sybil de Roquigny whose maiden name is Wong Sui Mei, Yeoh Kean Ooi and Janice Eluthesen whose maiden name is Yeoh Saw Paik

    To read more about Towkay Leong Fee, click here.

    To read a brief history of Leong Eng Khean, click here.

    To read more about Joyce Leong Yin Leng and Linda Leong Kam Leng, click here.

    To read more about Captain Leong Ming Sen, click here.

    To read more about Margaret Vivian Leong Foong Leng, click here.

    To read more about Paul Leong Hoong Sen, click here.

    To read more about Linda Leong Kam Leng, click here.

    Filename : 20100418-003