Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, or Khoo Kongsi for short, is one of the most distinctive Chinese clan associations in Malaysia, It is well known worldwide for its extensive lineage that can be traced back 650 years ago, as well as its closely-knit and defensive congregation of buildings and a magnificent clanhoue.
Khoo is the family name. Kongsi means clan (family) house.
This clan house of the Khoo family reminds us of the very first period the Chinese came to Penang. The Khoo family that built this Kongsi came originally from Sin Kang village in the Hokkien province of China. They actually began migrating overseas in the 16th century. They came to Penang sometime in the late 18th century. By 1835 their numbers were large enough that they formed a clan group and purchased the land and building for the first Kongsi.
The Khoo Kongsi is in fact a miniature clan village set into the city of George Town. Many of the town houses surrounding the Khoo Kongsi clan temple bear the sign "Sin Kang", as do the gateways leading into Khoo Kongsi. Unfortunately, since the previous renovation of the temple complex, two of the passageways have been sealed off. These are the ones from Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and Armenian Street (Lebuh Armenia), leaving only one single entranceway into Khoo Kongsi, and that's the main passageway from Cannon Square (Medan Cannon). Since the last renovation, a clan museum has also been installed on the ground floor of the clan temple, and entrance fees charged to visitors for the general upkeep.
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