Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

We know you lot are good at puzzles 🙂 So here’s one for you –


from Keith Nelson, UK

We believe this building is somewhere in Ipoh, since our donor was a former British serviceman who served here from 1958-59. Well, put those thinking caps on, folks!

  1. Ngai C O says:


    It looks familier and I have a feeling the bungalow was on the left of Jalan Dato Ahmad Said (formerly Green Hill Drive) off the junction of Anderson Road.

    Only one old bungalow remains amongst the many along the road.

    • Cheng says:

      Grew up a stone throw from the mansion. If memory serves right Fong Yin Fun, famous Hong Kong singer stayed there when she was in Ipoh.

  2. felicia says:

    Ngai, you’re on the right track 🙂

    Here are some of the comments from Facebook:

    Patrick Lee “This bungalow is next to the old Ipoh General Hospital. It was turned into a bank with some renovations done to it. The original facade is lost now. Pity.”

    Ang Heng Swan “Anderson road”

    Kc Chan “currently Ipoh’s UOB Bank”

  3. S.Sundralingam says:

    Oh my God……. the charms of Ipoh lie in it’s rich historic and cultural heritage. If the old buildings that witnessed these historic events are nit valued and kept, there will not be anything left as physical evidence to relate our past.

  4. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Yes, this house was (is) at the corner of (what I knew as) Anderson Road and Green Lane. UOB seems to have broken off inconvenient pieces and sheathed the rest in concrete.

    Green Lane was not a long road. It used to run from this corner to an old madrasah on Jalan Idris. The latter is still there but the madrasah is, I assume, gone.

    While Jalan Dato Ahmad Said does now include Green Lane, most of it is a relatively new road that extends much further west than Green Lane ever did.

    Readers may be interested to know that (1) Charles Green was briefly head of the Kinta Sanitary Board in the early 1920s; and (2) Ahmad Said was Menteri Besar of Perak in the 1960s.

    Thanks for sharing those Facebook comments here, felicia.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      While Jalan Dato Ahmad Said does now include Green Lane, most of it is a relatively new road that extends much further west than Green Lane ever did.

      East, sorry.

  5. Steven Lee says:

    I’ve seen the building as in the photo, which was why it looked familiar. This was before it was turned into a restaurant and now, occupied by UOB. The exterior changes could have been done by the restaurant and not UOB that came later.

  6. ika says:

    On FB Patrick Lee also told us:

    This bungalow house still retained it’s original look in the early 80’s until UOB Bank changed the facade. Next door is another Baba Nyonya house belonging to my brother’s friend (deceased). I used to tell him he should get heritage status for it. The kitchen is still the old fashioned type that used wood fire. And the rooms upstairs have swing doors I heard.

    Opposite this bungalow house was another handsome house which I remembered it has a beautiful eagle bust on top the roof gable which I admired. Sadly the house was demolished & now stands a new modern business house which I think is a pub if I’m not wrong.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Yes, Patrick Lee is describing the one beautiful old house left on Green Lane. I think it belongs to a church. Even so, I assume it will not be there forever.

    • Ken Chan says:

      The “handsome house” opposite this bungalow belongs to the late Toh Thean Soo, who was the comprador of Mercantile Bank in the 50’s. In the later years, Mercantile merged with Standard Charter. The original splendor of the mansion, including the imposing eagle bust was gutted and as you have mentioned, the tacky modern structure in its place is a pub.

  7. ika says:

    On FB M Nor Khalid remembers:

    I rode my bicycle and later on my AJS past by this house to and back from school in the late 1960’s …there used to be a big old kampung house in the same row…

    • ika says:

      Also on my FB:
      Nithya Moorthi Veeriah Ian

      This bungalow was owned by Dr Teh Lean Swee. A well known doctor in Ipoh. Used to go there to visit a friend whose father was the caretaker.
      Nithya Moorthi Veeriah

      Nithya Moorthi Veeriah Still have 2 teakwood showcases a bunch of other items which Dr Teh’s daughter gave me when they were shifting out.

      • Karen Teh says:

        Dear Nityha,
        You are absolutely correct!
        I am one of his grand daughters and it was truly an amazing old home. We used to spend every Chinese New Year at this grand old house. Thank you for recognising my late grand father, who was an illustrious and well respected doctor in Ipoh. He is mentioned in the book , When Ipoh was King.

        Kind regards,
        Karen Teh

        • BeeIpoh says:

          Dear Karen,

          I used to stay in Green Hill area and the mansion was a very familiar sight. Would you know when the house was built?

  8. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika

    Nithya Moorthi Veeriah: This bungalow was owned by Dr Teh Lean Swee. A well known doctor in Ipoh.

    More than well known, he was in that group of impressive Chinese physicians who did so much for Ipoh’s health between the wars and after: including Khong Kam Tak, Chong Tak Nam, Goh Teik Wah, Kok Ho Teik, Wu Lien Teh, Lip Seng Chew, and Tham Ying Khew. I’m not sure if they’re all remembered in the ipohWorld database but I do know that the last one is (see item 1094).

    One thing I can add about Teh Lean Swee: he was a musician and even at times a band-leader!

    • Ngai C O says:


      It brings to mind a road named after him in Ipoh Garden South, Jalan Teh Lean Swee and New Ipoh Blog Forum, which mentioned him and his neighbour and also what happened to the buildings.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Dear Ngai C O

        Thanks. I looked but could not find a “New Ipoh Blog Forum.”

        Meanwhile, database item 4321 displays a newspaper clipping that mentions Jalan Teh Lean Swee, and also a round-about named after the aforementioned Chong Tak Nam. Do you happen to know where this round-about is (or was)?

        I noticed that the same newspaper clipping still uses the name “Jalan Maxwell” in 1985, instead of today’s “Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.” And meanwhile, to this day Jalan Anthony still has not been re-named.

        I suppose it can’t be easy deciding which parts of the past to reject, and, equally, what parts of the present to honour.

        • Ngai C O says:

          Hi Ipoh Remembered,

          New Ipoh Blog Forum – Cowan Street. You would see chatter about Teh Lean Swee.

          As for the other queries, I would have to look it up. Not sure whether I can find it.

  9. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O

    The location of the round-about named for Dr. Chong Tak Nam is confirmed here:


    The link leads to old comments on a page of this very blog!

    Commenter AARON ONG got it right when he estimated that the round-about might have been removed in the 80s.


    On that same page years ago, felicia asked this question:

    “is jalan chamberlain hulu the same as the old chamberlain road?”

    There was one response but it was incorrect. A short answer is yes: one was part of the other. The long answer follows.

    In the old days, “the old Chamberlain Road” was shaped roughly like three sides of a rectangle. If you were at the southern end of Anderson Road and (1) ventured south past Jalan Masjid on to Chamberlain Road (now the upper part of Jalan C. M. Yusuf), you were going down the right-hand vertical of the rectangle. Then to stay on Chamberlain Road you had to (2) turn east where later the Anglo-Chinese Girls School would be built. And then to still stay on Chamberlain Road, you’d have to (3) turn north; and eventually you’d meet the far end of Hugh Low Street near the old Riley, Hargreaves workshops.

    Thus, three sides of a rectangle.

    Today, that first north-south part of Chamberlain Road is the upper section of Jalan C. M. Yusuf. The second part, running east-west (and now extended further east than it used to go), is called Jalan Chamberlain Hulu. And the other north-south part was long ago re-named after Chung Thye Phin.

    In the early days all three parts constituted Chamberlain Road.


    Now, I presume every reader knows or can easily find out who Joseph Chamberlain and Chung Thye Phin were.

    As for Chik Mohamed Yusof (sometimes spelled “Yusuf” or “Yusuff”): he was an Oxford graduate with an honours degree in law; a member of the Perak State Council; then a member of the Federal Council; then Dato (albeit not Raja) Bendahara of Perak; and finally Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (although not himself a Member of Parliament).

    So for those who’ve been wondering if his name should have replaced Joseph Chamberlain’s, perhaps now you can begin to decide.

  10. ika says:

    Our database has details of all the doctors except Chong Tak Nam, Goh Teik Wah (a Freemason), Kok Ho Teik. Should anyone have their history and/or photo, please let us have them. Thank You.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear ika

      Our database has details of all the doctors except Chong Tak Nam, Goh Teik Wah (a Freemason), Kok Ho Teik. Should anyone have their history and/or photo, please let us have them. Thank You.

      I did once mention a tiny detail about Chong Tak Nam: it’s recorded in database item 8148.

      About Kok Ho Teik: Son of a kerani who worked in Arthur Kenion’s law practice, not only was Ho Teik a physician, he was also active in Ipoh’s civic affairs. Before the war, for example, he helped build Ipoh’s (second) Chinese Maternity Hospital; and after the war, he helped renovate it. As the country moved towards merdeka, Ho Teik, choosing sides as carefully as he did everything else, won a seat for the MCA on Ipoh’s Town Council, where he usually opposed the more popular PPP contingent — although notably not in 1960 when he supported the Waller-Seenivasagam initiative to seek municipal status for Ipoh.

      As for Dickie Goh: Yes, he was a Freemason but, before that, he was a Scout. A Penang boy, he came to Ipoh as a physician in the mid-’30s and took an office above Boon Pharmacy on Belfield Street. (The pharmacy, too, had just arrived from Penang.) During the Occupation, Dickie was one of the few Chinese doctors who did not flee; and for his trouble the Japanese forced him to clean up after their many murders and bouts of mayhem. Dickie lived with his wife, Say Kim, in a corner house on Lau Ek Ching Street. In the late ’50s she died in his arms in a hospital in England. He lived another decade or so — in Ipoh, of course.

      There is a lot more one could say about each of these people. Perhaps I will send you something when time and health allow.

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