Save massive one-of-a-kind 138-year-old grave of Foo Teng Nyong, wife of Chung Keng Quee

Save massive one-of-a-kind 138-year-old grave of Foo Teng Nyong, wife of Chung Keng Quee

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Petition to
Zairil Khir Johari (Penang State Assemblyman for Tanjong Bunga) and

Why this petition matters

Started by Jeffery Seow

On the 16th of February 2022, a notice appeared in a Chinese newspaper asking descendants of a grave in Jalan Bunga Telang (off Greenhill Drive and Jalan Gajah) in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, to come forward for its excavation or exhumation.

This is a massive, one-of-a-kind (probably unique in all of Southeast Asia) 138-year-old grave of Foo Teng Nyong (Hú Dīng Niáng 胡丁娘) whose posthumous name (shì hào 谥号), was Zhou Zhi Zhen Cao (Zuǒ Zhì Zhēn Cāo 佐治贞操), suggesting that she was a faithful wife who helped manage things for her husband. Hers was the 3rd marriage of the Kapitan China of Perak,  Chung Keng Quee (Zhèng Jǐngguì 郑景贵) -- they were married in 1873. According to the inscription on the headstone, Foo Teng Nyong was born in 1849 and died in 1883. The tomb was completed a year later in 1884. This was around the time of the Franco-Annam War ot Sino-French War when Chung Keng Quee gave generously to China to provide relief and support their efforts.

She was the mother of Chung Siew Yin (Zhèng Xiùyīng 郑秀英; born 1874,the philanthropist wife of Lam Kam Thong whose home in Lebuh Light was subsequently occupied by establishments like the Straits Times Press and the legal firm of Justice Chang Min Tat and N.T. Vello i.e. Chang & Vello, Advocates and Solicitors). Her sons were Capitan Chung Thye Phin (Zhèng Dàpíng 郑大平; born 1879), and Chung Thye Chong (Zhèng Dàchāng 郑大昌; born 1883). She was the aunt of Foo Choo Choon (Hú Zichūn 胡子春) who secured his employment with her husband (circa 1878), leading to Foo Choo Choon becoming later on the Tin King of Malaya. 

A descendant, Jeffery Seow, traces her grave back to 1884, although the late Tan Yeow Wooi dates it back to 1883. In either case, it is at least 10 years older than 29 Church Street also known as Hye Kee Chan also known as the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, protected by virtue of it being within the Heritage Enclave of George Town.

Even without its connection to the historical personalities already mentioned, the shape, form and structure of the grave merits its preservation for the benefit of generations to come.

It is unclear how, if at all the grave and the land that it is a part of, ever left the hands of the family, and steps are being taken to ascertain this, as difficult as it may be. 

What is important is to ensure that this structure is protected, in the interim, from the fate suffered by other historical sites in the past. Once broken, it can never be put back together again. Please act fast before the tomb is suddenly destroyed without warning, as has happened in the past with the Metropole Hotel and the mansion of Khaw Sim Bee.

The help of the public is sought to support this petition which is a plea for help from those with the power to do so, to protect this bit of Penang's history, preserved in stone.

Links to photos of the grave:


Link to Malay Mail article with latest photo 2 March 2022


Link to map showing location of the graves of Foo Teng Nyong, Chung Thye Phin and Chung Keng Quee


Please save this grave.

1,235 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!