Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow


Foo Pak Khean (Standard 1 C) and Foo Leong Khean (Primary 2 A) built this model of the Shum Cheong Fook Circus. These students of ACS Ipoh built this as part of a school project back in 1949.

Does anyone remember this circus? Did this circus frequent our shores yearly?

  1. AHLAI says:

    The baby boomers will surely remember the Shum Cheong Fook and the Tai Tin Kow Circus. The kids were most excited whenever the circus came to town. They always pitched their mammoth tents at the ground where Kedai Telecom in Brewster Rd is today. I remembered cycling there to view the animals in their cages.

  2. S.Y. says:

    I remember the circuses of Shum Cheong Fook and Tai Thean Kow. In the end they had to die out as they were heavily in debt. I also remember in the 1970s the Great Eastern Circus from India. They were around in Malaysia for about 2-3 years and in the end, they also ran into debts. I don’t think the present generation will ever have the chance to visit a circus.

  3. sk says:

    Tai Thean Kew Circus brings back memory.
    My mom took me to see the Circus Manager ( could be an Ooi ),
    and he was practically playing with the Lion like a cat !
    Strange that I didnt come across Shum Cheong Fook circus but yes, the Indian Circus did. Reminds me of Haathi Mere Sathi,
    Elephant my Friend, which was shown for many months in Grand Cinema.

  4. Charlie says:

    I remember the first time we went to a Circus was when my Aunt took my brother and I to one in the 60s. This was located on the banks of the Kinta River, possibly where the Bangunan Seri Kinta is now. That show turned out to be quite eventful as one of the Chimpanzees went amok and jumped into the audience and started to strangle a man who was sitting about ten seats away from us. During the 80s, there was the Royal London Circus in town. The troupe also got into financial problems and was taken over by a Malaysian. They toured up and down Malaysia for several years, then went off to Indonesia. That was the last we heard of them. Then in the 90s, there was a Russian Circus in town. I remember seeing elephants and horses strolling along Jalan Canning Estate. Sad to say this Circus also went bust and could not feed the animals or pay the salaries any more. They eventually liquidated, and their Siberian Tigers which numbered 5 or 6 ended up at The Lost World of Tambun. They have an active breeding programme there, and their numbers are now around 12. Unfortunately, you have to pay the full price for the entrance to the park, even if you just want to see the tigers.

  5. Bao Bei says:

    Wow, never thought anyone would remember these two circuses.
    My parents were circus artists of Shum’s circus. Sadly, they past away in 2010 and 2011 in their mid 80’s.

    They left the circus in their late twenties and settled down to practice dentistry. The dentist shop at AB4, 4.25 miles, Off Old Klang Rd, Kuala Lumpur was a one-stop shop for all their ex-colleagues when they were in town visiting. Shum Cheong Fook was a regular visitor with his wives and I called him 嗲嗲 (diǎ diǎ). He past away in early 1980’s. He was such a talented and respected man.

    As a child I watched many circus performances at Tai Tin Kow Circus, free. I felt so special.

    It brought back a lot of fond memories and so blessed to have known so many uncles and aunties from different walk of lives.

  6. sk says:

    Hi Bao Bei,
    Reading that your parents were from Klang & with Shum’s circus, any connection with Paul Lee from the Royal London Circus as that was where my wife’s clan came from.

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