Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

The picture shows Ipoh New Town extending from the Kinta River in 1908. It was built on the padi fields of Datoh Panglima Kinta and as the new buildings were erected from the river towards Gopeng Road, block by block, replacing a number of extremely smelly pigsties.

The builder was Yau Tet Shin, miner, property owner and friend of E W Birch (The Resident of Perak). Wong Kap Soot, Yau Tet Shin’s long time business manager and member of the Ipoh Sanitary Board supported him in the endeavour.

The Ipoh New Town consisted of some 350 houses, with a new market, a mandarin school and theatre all included as anchor attractions. New Town mirrored the Old Town across the Kinta River, but on a well laid-out plan with fine, broad streets coupling with the main thoroughfares of Brewster Road and Hugh Low Street all the way to Gopeng Road and Tambun Road.

  1. Yau Sook Fun says:

    I’m a great grand daughter of Yau Tet Shin. There are probably are many descendents around but I have not had the privilege of meeting any of them. My uncle came from China to establish his roots and gather information about 10-12 years ago and I was introduced to a distant cousin. I believe my uncle is in Taiwan now. I would love to hear from you if you’re a member of the clan. My father Yau Pak Yoon was not too popular with his relatives. I’m fascinated that the Yau Tet Shin market will be rebuilt and would be happy to assist in any way I can.

    • Rachael Yau says:

      Hi Sook Fun,
      Nice to meet you, my father is Yau Tet Shin great grandson! I think your father is my grandfather’s sibling , their name sounds alike, Yau Mook Yoon. 🙂

      • Y C says:

        Hello, Rachel Yau. Perhaps, you are the daughter of either Chai Hin or Chai Fatt. Your late grandfather, Yau Mook Yoon lived in Pinji Park, Ipoh. Your aunts, Hean Yoke (came to UK to do a Nursing Course at St Albans, Herts.), Pek Yoke, Chai Yoke, please correct if I left anyone out. It is good to reconnect with roots.

        Warmest regards,

        Y C Tan

    • YAU HEAN YOKE says:

      Hi, my name is Yau Hean Yoke. My father’s name was Yau Mook Yoon. His father’s name was Yau Yok Wah. Yok Wah’s father was Yau Tet Shin.

      • Y C says:

        Hello, Yau Hean Yoke, I am Yan Cheun. Where are you these days? I now reside in UK. The last time I saw you was in St Albans, Herts.


        Y C

      • Y C says:

        Good Morning, Hean Yoke. I requested ipohworld admin to forward my contact details to you and hope we may meet up one day. I can still recall your sisters and brothers names. The last time I said cheerio to you and your parents before I left Ipoh. Then, meeting you in St Albans and London. Time passed, ipohworld had been instrumental in reconnecting me with my school chums of ACS, Ipoh from primary to secondary years. I look forward to another successful reunion of childhood friends.
        Warmest regards,
        Yan Cheun

          • Y C says:

            ika (Commander Anderson)

            Many thank for your efforts. I got home and found in my Inbox an email from Yau Hean Yoke. Truly, ipohworld is commendable as an instrument in reuniting ‘long lost friends’.

            Warmest regards,
            Y C

      • Hsu King Bee says:

        Yau Hean Yoke, were you a pupil of MGS, Ipoh, leaving this school in 1966?

        If so, we were classmate and would like to get in touch with you again.

        King Bee

  2. ika says:

    Hi Sook Fun, welcome to our world. I do not know where you grew up or stay now, but presumably not Ipoh, correct me if I am wrong.

    We did go through a phase of the State Government proposing that the market should be rebuilt but then they were pushed out by the opposition party and the idea was shelved. At the moment the area once occupied by the market is an ugly car park in the middle of town and not too long ago the Chinese Chamber of Commerce raised the subject with the new government. Since then we have heard nothing! Personally I would be pleased to see the market rebuilt but I am not holding my breath.

  3. Rudolf Yau Thin Yoon says:

    Hello Sook Fun, my grandfather’s name was Yau Tet Shin. My father’s name was Yau Sam Yau a.k.a Yau Yoke Wah the 6th son of Yau Tet Shin. Where are you at now?? Please contact me at my son’s email as above. Anyway your father was my cousin brother (tong kor). I’m trying to connect back the Yau’s families, and I need to locate my dad’s cemetery in HK somewhere at ‘Sum Shui Po’, which i heard from my mother. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 017-287-1800.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  4. Rudolf Yau Thin Yoon says:

    To Ika

    I’m one of the descendants of Yau Tet Shin. I don’t agree of what the gov has done to my grandfather’s market by using it as an ugly car park. May I know how to contact you (Ika).

  5. ika says:

    Welcome to our world Rudolf. We do not put our readers emails on the site as it leads to spam mails, but if Sook Fun wants to contact you she can send the first message to me at info@ipohworld.org and I can forward it.

    How good it is to have two descendants of Yau Tet Shin on our site.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  6. Y C says:

    Ian, many thanks for your assistance. I shall keep you informed. A few years ago I was in Ipoh and my sister contacted maternal members of my family and it was a good gathering. I hope through this Ipohworld network families can be brought closer.

    Warmest regards,

    Y C

  7. Ian says:

    wow…i was browsing through my families roots and this is what i found…bah…mom!!i never knew you were this active on the internet..hmmm..gotta be careful now!!
    my name is Yeap Poh Ian, and I am Yau Sook Fun’s younger son currently working in Melbourne..=)
    and who is coincidentally the other Ian?
    Sigh..how i miss Ipoh and home…and my family..

    thanks for making this post by the way!

  8. Sook Fun says:

    Hi Rudolf, sorry I’ve been too busy to reply until Ian my son alerted me. I remember receiving an email from ipohworld last year but again I was busy with work then. Many years ago Sin Chew Jit Poh ran an article on the history of the Yau family. Unfortunately I don’t read Mandarin. I also missed a gathering of the clan in the 1990’s. It would be wonderful if someone would organise another gathering. I understand the state has given the land on which the round market used to stand , to the Perak Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry to rebuild the market. I read in the papers Perak Chinese is asking for investors for this project. I live in Ipoh and can be contacted by phone 012 5125693.

  9. UV@Valiant Knight says:

    Yau Sook Fun, my ex-pupil of MGS Ipoh and now Headmistress of MGS Primary Ipoh!

    Glad you come out to establish relationship with you historically important family.

    I am looking forward to the rebuilding of a more important structure to commemorate Yau Tat Shin.

  10. UV@Valiant Knight says:

    Yes, Lee is correct. SY Lee exposed me some time ago! I still like this nick for various reasons. In other blog circles I use UV (U for Uncle being an old man now).

  11. YC says:

    ika, credit is due! Many thanks, in her spare time Sook Fun made contact and I hope to meet up next year when I’m in Ipoh

  12. Francis Chen says:

    Hello Yau Sook Fun.
    So nice to have found information on Yau Tet Shin and was surprise to read that you are the great grand daughter of Yau Tet Shin!!

    My grandad is Chen Chow Voon who moved to KL with my grandma Cheah Sow Ying and my dad before WWII. Dad is now 82years old, many years back he told me that the place where he stay in Ipoh is in one of the shop at Jln Yau Tet Shin.

    He also mention that this Rd is name after Yau Tet Shin who is his grand aunt’s husband. Have you heard anything about the Chen family, got some interest to know my family roots. Got to search for my great grandad’s name, first.

    We were told that great grandad’s father was a minister in the Qing Dynasty. Just interested to find out more on my family roots back to Shangdong. Grandma gave everyone a pair of the beads that is wore as a Qing minister.

    Hope to get some family root infor, if there is ^_^ grandad also draw up the location of our ancester’s grave but got to ask someone to translate because it is in mandarin.

    Hope to hear from you, Thanks you and nice to meet you.

  13. Tony Lee M.T says:

    Great Pictures! I missed my hometown “Ipoh” since 2001 I moved back to Kuala Lumpur . Thanks for All the good pictures.

  14. Stephen says:

    I have always wanted to know more about Yau tet Shin. I went to china Moyan to learn more about my roots. I manage to get Yau tet shin’s picture and bibliography.
    My grandma is Yau Kim Xiu, Yau tet shin’s grand-daughter.
    I do not know much but I am keen to learn more and connect with my relatives. And it’s amazing to see some distant relatives here.

    • Y C says:

      Hello Stephen. After 42 years, via ipohworld, I have made contact with one of your relatives, Yau Hean Yoke. Keep searching and never give up.


      Y C

  15. sk says:

    The only thing I can remember from Yau Tet Shin market
    was Chee Seng Restoran on the 1st floor.
    Later on they moved to the corner shop where a tailor shop was. Now I dont know if the Restoran is still around.
    I liked their unique ” Wan Dan Har ” . In cantonese is smooth egg & not to be mistaken by ” WanTan”.
    I have yet to find a restaurant that churns this fine dish
    after many decades. One of them did tried in Kamunting but it was a disaster. Even some well known Restaurant could not perfect the dish. Anyone any idea ?

  16. Mano says:

    When we were still in M’sia, my brother-in-law, on his ‘pilgrimage’ from Switzerland, has Wan Tan Mee for breakfast every day. One morning, as the stall was closed, some other ‘Mee’ was ‘tah pau’ home for him instead. Taking his first mouthful, when he said,”This is not Wan Tan?” My 12 year old daughter, remarked,”No, it’s half a ton!”
    So there you have it, Wan Tan Mee – The heaviest meal in the world!

  17. Yau Mun wai says:

    Hello……. my name is Yau mun wai and I think I am the 4th or 5th generation of Yau Tet Shin. Would love to learn more about him…….

  18. Emily Yau says:

    Hi I’m Yau Weng See, daughter of Billie Yau. Billie Yau is the son of Yau Yoke Chee, 8th son of Yau Thet Shin. According to my dad, people call his father Yau Yoke Chee as (8th siew). He married a British lady whom my father claimed cheated all his wealth and was totally broke.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear Emily

      I hope you don’t mind my presuming to say that your great-grandfather was a man of unusual foresight and acumen. Everyone knows he built the original New Town but he also did a great deal more, and so it’s no exaggeration to call him one of Ipoh’s founders. It’s very good to hear from you, a direct descendant. I hope you keep writing and sharing your memories.

      What you say about your family history reminds me of a related story. Some years after Yau Tet Shin passed away, there was a legal dispute between family members about their various inheritances. Each claimant hired their own attorney, of course, and when there was a formal hearing it was discovered that every law firm in Ipoh had a representative in court!

      This happened a long time ago, of course, but it’s a story that was told frequently and for years afterwards.

      All my best.

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