Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Penang General Hospital / Penang GH

Driving directions to Hospital Pulau Pinang (suggested routes)

From Kg Doddol, Jalan Perak, Jelutong, Penang to Hospital P Pinang (3.5 km, 6 mins)
In Kg Dodol, head south on Solok Free School toward Jalan Free School (29 m)
Turn left at Jalan Free School (400 m)
Turn left at Jalan Perak (1.8 km)
Follow slight left to stay on Jalan Perak (1.8 km)
Continue (left) onto Jalan Macalister (650 m)
Continue onto Jalan Residensi (450 m)
Turn left at Jalan Hospital (100 m)

Overhead bridge of Penang General Hospital
Main block of Penang General Hospital

A cenotaph has been constructed to commemorated the donors for various portions of Penang General Hospital, which initially was the Pauper's Hospital (a hospital for poor patients) and prior to that the Industrial Shed.

Messrs Oh Yean Heng and Gan Kim Swee are the donors
in constructing the surrounding walls and a ward of this hospital.
The site of this hospital was the gift of the Gee Hin Society.
The Industrial Shed was presented by HM the King of Siam on 24 May 1890.
[Note: More on biography of Messrs Oh Yean Heng and history of Penang General Hospital
is provided by Raymond Boon at his blog]

Cenotaph and main block of Penang General Hospital 

Cenotaph in the parking lot
Industrial Shed presented by His Majesty The King of Siam, May 24th 1890
The Toa Peh Kong Kongsee
The Chee Hing Kongsee
Tan Beng Swee
Mess Noordin & Shaik Yousoof
Chulam Meydin Merican
Dalbadal & Yahayah Merican
Pah Etam Kadir Hossain
Mahamed Joonos & Mahamed Ariff
[Note: Mahamed Joonos and Mahamed Ariff were the parents of 2 early Malay doctors]
Meerah Pullay Kakah & Che Ismail
Shaik Ibram & Mahamed Fahar
Cauder Meydin & B Kader Saw
[Note: Cauder Meydin was the founder of Masjid Kapitan Kling]
Shaik Ismail & Mahamed Hassan
Aboosti Merican & Coopah Peechay
Shaik Emam
Chalong Hajee Mahamed Noor
Abdul Cauder Merican
Mahamed Allee & Mahamed Noordin
Sultan Merican
Keechee Mahamed Shariff
Mahamed Chous Malim
Muna Mastan & Hajee Aboo Bakar
Mahamed Amin & Mahamed Meydin
Peer Mahamed & Sancardoss
Chandapa & Ong Hong Guan
Shaik Jan & Madar Daw
[Query: Could this name refer to Pakir Mydin, the Sumatran betel leaves & areca nut tycoon?]

See more, read more at:
Timothy Tye's Penang General Hospital
Raymond Boon's Penang General Hospital


Sellene said...

Allow me to offer some thoughts on the identity of the list of donors of the Penang GH.

1) The Mahamed Ariff which you identified is more likely to be Mohammed Ariff, a wealthy Jawi Pekan man who used to live at Hutton Lane. This personage died in 1912. I do not think that any of his children became doctors. As Dr Wahab Ariff was born in 1919, it is unlikely that this man was Dr Wahab's father.

2) Cauder Mydin which you identified as the founder of the Kapitan Kling Mosque is most probably another Jawi Pekan or Indian Muslim by the same name. The Cauder Mydin you want died in 1834. He is also unconnected with B Kadir Saw and it is unlikely that he should want to be a co-donor with the latter as he would have deserved a line of his own on the cenotaph. Besides Cauder Mydin is a very common Indian Muslim name and there would have been tens of such persons so named in Penang at any time

3) Pakir Mydin should not have been identified as a tycoon as a mere trader would have sufficed. If he had been a tycoon, he would not likely be living in a modest bungalow in Hutton Lane. Also, if he was a tycoon in the same league as M.M. Noordin and Mohamed Ariff, he would have been mentioned in the Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya.


Faridah said...

Dear Sellene,

Thank you for your thoughts and for correcting the identities of the individuals named on the cenotaph at Penang GH. (I live and work in Kelantan).

I don't know if Penang GH has a brochure to go with the cenotaph. That way I can correctly identify the names and dates those people lived.

Yes, Cauder Mydin died earlier on but I would guess it was probably a donation from his estate.

I have prepared Sir Dr KM Ariff's chapter, and that of Dr Abdul Wahab. There's no mention of donation to Penang GH.

I visited Hutton Lane (Jalan Hutton now) in Penang recently. I didn't walk down the lane to see all the shops there. I don't know what it was like during Pakir Mydin's & Sir Dr KM Ariff's time. I guess the buildings are the same, maybe the road had a different surface. Whether Hutton Lane befits Pakir Mydin or Sir KM Ariff, I guess access and proximity were what mattered most.

Sellene said...

Dear Doctor,

I cannot say if Penang GH has a brochure to go explain the significance of the cenotaph. My guess is perhaps as good as yours - they don't. Couldn't be bothered.

You are not likely to obtain such information from that brochure, even if it had existed. The names here are those of prominent businessmen and community leaders mostly of Jawi Pekan and Indian Muslim extraction. Their names are known only to a few living Penangites these days - no one else would bother,except perhaps their scattered descendants and die-hard Penang history buffs.

Why then did u say that Mahamed Joonoos and Mahamed Ariff were the parents of two early Malay doctors?

I am not sure if this Dr Che Lah is related to Shamsuddin Joonoos. The latter was formerly president of the Malay Association in the 30s and used to work in the postal department, he was more commonly known as Hj S.M. Joonoos. Mohamad Joonoos may as well be his father.

Another point regarding Joonoos is that the spelling brings to mind the Ceylonese Malay link. It seems to be a favourite way to spell Yunus among the Ceylonese Malays. Looking at Dr Che Lah's features, I might say that there is a possibility of some Ceylon link but as he is your grandfather, you are in a better position to clarify.

What is clear is that we are both speculating with regards Cauder Mydin, Pakir, Mahamed Ariff and Joonoos.

While there is a possibility that the donation came from the Cauder Mydin estate, there is nothing to prove the case. And as I have mentioned, it is curious that his name should be coupled with B Kader Saw (it should be pronounced Kader Sah, btw)who does not appear to be a relation. And Cauder Mydin is also a very common name.

I propose that names tied together are joint donations, as in the case of Dalbadalsah and Yahya Merican who are brothers.

As regards Pakir Mydin, the point I tried to make was not the location, but rather the type of dwelling. Location-wise, Hutton Lane, Larut Road (just off Hutton Lane,incidentally) was where lots of Jawi Pekans lived. There used to be a Malay kampong in Larut Road but that's another story.

The house where Pakir Mydin used to live no longer stands, I believe. There are one or two Jawi Pekan houses which may have been the sort of dwelling the family lived in. But they were obviously not in the same league as the houses of Mohamad Ariff Millionaire and Wanchik Ariffin whose houses were much grander, or that of Ahmad Osman Merican, aka Che Teh Babi, who lived in Western Road.

Anonymous said...


Oh Yean Heng was my friend's great great great grandfather.She is very interested to know about about him.Raymond,would you mind to share some information about him?.She has a oil painting of him at her house.

Best regards,
Winson Saw

haniff said...


Shamsuddin Md Joonoos is my great grand father, he has a brother, che kasim m. joonoos, who was with the kedah civil service in 1930s (Director of Land). M. Joonoos bin Mas Raboo bought a land in penang around 1880s. Mas Raboo was said to come from Java and fled to India (Karachi) because of the war with the dutch. He later came to malaya maybe around 1850s I am not sure. Shamsuddin was ill during his death and likes to write malay dictionaries in Jawi.


Nazz said...

Hi Haniff, if Hj Shamsuddin M.Joonoos is your great grandad, we are related then. He's my grandfather. I m son of Elias Shamsuddin. M.Joonoos married Hajjah Wan Chik and had 4 sons: Che Mat , Shamsuddin, Che Kasim and Mat Sutan. M.Joonoos was also married to another lady and Che Lah might be his son. Hj Shamsuddin was the secretary of post(highest position a malay can hold during British reign) amd also a religious leader and friend to Ahmad Badawi ( Tun Abdullah 's father). Mas Raboo was a sultan in Java and fled to Ceylon during the Dutch Occupation. Then migrated to Penang. Look me up on facebook. Nazri Elias. My father just passed away and i was just googling the family name and found this.