As the Cheng Beng Festival of grave cleaning arrives each year, my brothers and I make preparations to visit our grandfathers grave.
Before my father’s demise in 1987, we promised him we would do our filial duty of praying and cleaning at his father’s grave located in the Simpang Lima cemetery.
To be exact, grave should now be a little more than a century old.
Located near the top of the hill lies my grandfather’s grave. Overlooking the entire Klang town and towards Pelabuhan Klang, is his strategic 100 year old grave.
Unlike other graves around it, it is I would say majestic looking and you could say “posh”. It is made of Italian marbles and mosaic.
It’s rather big and impressive, easily measuring 45′ x 45′. Other graves around it appears small when compared to my grandfather’s. After all, he must have deserved it.
According to my dad, he never saw his father. He only knew, from the tombstone he saw, that grandfather was YEO GUAN HUP.
My father was adopted by the Yap family, when he was only 5 years old when both his parents passed away.
Therefore, the grand patriarch of the family was never seen by my father nor us, his descendants.
According to a copy of a historical personalities’ book published in and around the year of 1900, my grandfather, Yeo Guan Hup must have been a well to do businessman then.
It was then the era of Sir Frank Swettenham, the British Resident of Selangor. Be it be known that these details put forward are extracted from the earlier book mentioned.
This rare book is yet in the possession of the family today.
To cut the long story short, not only was my grandfather a well known philanthropist, a figure well known in the community and well favoured by the British community, that eventually Yeo Guan Hup that is my grandfather was awarded the J.P (Justice of Peace).
If one is familiar with the history of Klang, Pelabuhan Klang and Pandamaran areas, one would certain have encountered the likes of other Chinese personalities such as Kim Chuan and Goh Hock Huat.
I do not really know when my grandfather passed away. But one thing I do know for sure.
Upon his death, the British named a short stretch road about 300 meters near Little India in Klang after him.
Nothing much you might say. But to my dad, it made him mighty proud of his dad’s achievements.
As we, the grandchildren toiled around the grave of our grandfather Yeo Guan Hup each Cheng Beng, we may be tired and complaining, but the thought of having a short stretch of road named after my grandfather in Klang, makes it all worthwhile.
This short article is written in the memory of both my grandfather whom I never saw nor knew and also to my late father.
Mr. Yap, I am researching for early history of Klang, and I found Mr. Yeo Guan Hup was significant chinese leader that time, some society had connection with him, such as Kuan Yin Temple, Chinese Merchants Club and Selangor Coast Club. Can I have more information about Mr. Yeo Guan Hup? like what kind business he do? ancestral home town (hokkien, hailam etc)? what title of rare book in paragraph? the picture of him or can you share which part his grave in simpang lima cemetery if possible.