It was an afternoon of joy as the families of Yeoh’s, Lim’s, Chew’s and Oh’s came together to witness the start of the YLCO Museum housed in a new Green Building (GBI) in a new address 1 Jalan Lasam.
It was exactly 10 years before that the Chew museum was started in November of 2012 by Ignatius Chew Eng Lin.
Ignatius was the CEO of Ban Hoe Seng, the Honda dealer in Perak for many decades. Ignatius’ grandfather was Chew Boon Juan a rich tin miner from the early 1900’s who later founded ‘Ban Hoe Seng in 1908, then trading in rice and rubber and forty years later ventured into motorcycles and cars.
Over time the Chew’s married and now includes the Yeoh, Lim and Oh families. The family is large but they are a happy and prosperous family.
Just over two years ago the Chew Museum was downsized to a viewing gallery at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic. Ignatius said then that ‘with all the stringent SOP requirements plus he being in the high risk group’ he saw no point in maintaining the museum as previously.
Two weeks ago, Dato Lim Si Boon offered Ignatius his 4th floor of his environmentally friendly green building at 1 Jalan Lasam to house the extended Chew museum. Dato Lim is the Lim extension of the Chew family.
1 Jalan Lasam is the headquarters of Dato Lim’s Bonanza Venture Holdings, a company established in 1975 by the late Dato Lim Keng Kay, Si Boon’s father .
Ignatius graciously acknowledged the offer and promptly began the shift from 77 Jalan Chung Thye Phin ten days ago.
The museum was ready to receive its first guests on 9th October 2022. Other than the Ipoh relatives there were some who came from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore for the opening.
The exhibits feature their ancestors, Chew Boon Juan , Yeoh Khuan Joo and his wife Lim Siew Tong and Lim Seok Tan the brother of Lim Siew Tong as well as descendants which include several very prominent personalities, the most famous being Malaysian actress and international Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, acting President of Singapore Professor Yeoh Ghim Seng and Malaysian politician Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik.
A very interesting museum where one can trace the history of the families and their progress over the last 100 years and how their endeavours contributed to the progress of Ipoh town.
Ten years ago Ignatius had predicted that, ‘as family members build their family stories with pictures and words the exhibit will grow’. True to the letter the museum has grown and now has brought the families who now live from all parts of the world together.
All this was possible due to the good team effort of Uncle Ignatius Chew Eng Lin and nephew Dato Lim Si Boon who share the same passion and vision of keeping the family history for the future generations.