Cheah Kongsi is a Chinese Clan House dating back to the 19th Century which is located in George Town’s heritage zone on the island of Penang in Malaysia.
Cheah Kongsi is open from 09:00 to 17:00 every day and the entrance fee is 10.00 MYR for adults and 5.00 MYR for children (updated July 2018). Other websites which tell you admission is free are out of date.
About Cheah Kongsi
Cheah Kongsi is the headquarters of the Cheah Clan in Penang. The founder members of the Cheah Clan Association came to Penang from in and around Sek Tong Seah village in the Fujian Province of China in the late 17th Century. People from this part of China are sometimes referred to as Hokkien, and the Cheah Clan is one of five Hokkien groups who formed clan associations in Penang.
The Cheah Clan association is believed to have been set up in 1810 to provide mutual assistance to other people from same village who were already in the straits, and to provide help to newcomers from Sek Tong Seah village.
The Cheah Kongsi Clan House was built later on in 1873. This large house was intended to serve as a community hub for the Cheah Clan as a place of worship, a place of business and also somewhere to provide assistance to clan members new to the island.
The original entrance to the Cheah Kongsi is on Armenia Street. The very open entrance on Beach Street which allows views across the garden and of the clan house was the result of renovations carried out in 2005. At the time the clan house was constructed the emphasis would have been on security and secrecy, as there had been a recent history of violent confrontations between different immigrant groups having taken place on the streets around the Cheah Kongsi.
The ground floor of the Cheah Kongsi has a number of rooms whose function appears to be feeding and entertaining large groups of people. There are dining rooms and kitchens as well as rooms in which meeting could have bene held. In the centre of this first ground level floor is a courtyard with a staircase leading up to the second level.
The second floor houses the clan temple, which is a Taoist temple dedicated to the worship of Hock Haw Kong and other famous members of the Cheah Clan, particularly military officers serving the during the Jin and Tang Dynasties.
To either side of the clan temple are further rooms which from their size and placement appear to have served as living quarters and offices. The furniture and artefacts which have been placed in this rooms suggests that they were principally intended to house single men newly arrived to Penang seeking employment or to start their own businesses on the island.
Location of Cheah Kongsi
- Cheah Kongsi is located at 8, Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.