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View Full Version : Tan Boon Chia Mansion - Anybody with information?



izni.idris
27-01-2009, 04:24 PM
I was in the town of Rasa recently (about 10mins drive from Kuala Kubu Baru) and came across this beautifully restored mansion belonging to a Tan Boon Chia

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/geoexplorer/Tan_Boon_Chia_Mansion.jpg

But researching on the internet, I have not found anything on this man.
1. Who is Tan Boon Chia?
2. When was the mansion constructed?
3. Why was it abandoned?
4. What was the town of Rasa like in its heyday?
etc, etc.

There are only some photos and a person's experience here:
http://www.freewebs.com/kkbpeace/rasa.htm

Anybody with information about this mansion, I would be grateful if you could post some information here.

Tks.

nyem
27-01-2009, 08:44 PM
But researching on the internet, I have not found anything on this man.
1. Who is Tan Boon Chia?one of the pioneers of tin mining in the country (http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_d3d01b2 e-cb73c03a-10df4e20-fb231209)


2. When was the mansion constructed?1918 (http://www.lms.gov.my/tanboonchia.swf)


3. Why was it abandoned?Could be during the Japanese occupation as the mansion was used by the Japs in 1942-1945 (http://www.lms.gov.my/tanboonchia.swf)


4. What was the town of Rasa like in its heyday?
etc, etc.

There are only some photos and a person's experience here:
http://www.freewebs.com/kkbpeace/rasa.htm

Anybody with information about this mansion, I would be grateful if you could post some information here.

Tks.
Another info is that the restoration works is financed by Genting (http://wikimapia.org/2914848/Loke-Mansion). I wonder if they kept the cars in the garage after the restoration works, It'll be sad, nostalgic and mysterious to see the cars were just left like that.

http://www.freewebs.com/kkbpeace/DSCF1669.jpg
http://www.freewebs.com/kkbpeace/DSCF1670.jpg
Photos from http://www.freewebs.com/kkbpeace/rasa.htm

You should call up Lembaga Muzium Selangor http://www.lms.gov.my/ for more info.

kuma
28-01-2009, 03:10 AM
Read somewhere that it was abandoned in a hurry, but I doubt it was because of the occupying Japanese troops.

Look at the cars abandoned, they don't look like pre-war models....more like late '50's or early '60's. One looks like a Wolsley and the other maybe a Opel. Could be wrong there.....anyone here can enlighten?

So if it was not abandoned during the war, but later, then why did it happen? Apparently all the furniture was still there.

nyem
28-01-2009, 10:32 AM
Here's what I found at accessmylibrary.com (http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-25940870_ITM)


Waiting for a new lease of life.

(From Sunday Mail (Malay))
14-JUL-02
Byline: Azlan Ramli

IN the small town of Rasa - located off the old trunk road connecting Rawang and Tanjung Malim - are hidden the remains of a bygone era. It is an abandoned mansion, and perhaps even forgotten, by its former occupants in their hasty departure to save their lives some six decades ago. The derelict building, once the stately home of a rich tin miner, is by far the most interesting part of the town, which is populated by about 6,000 to 7,000 people. Believed to have been built in 1918, it belonged to the family of the late Tan Boon Chia, a rich businessman whose core business was tin mining around the Hulu Selangor district. Kampung Baru Rasa village committee chairman Wong Loon claimed that Tan built his fortune in the typical rags-to-riches style.

Arriving from China as a penniless youth, Tan began to earn his living by transporting goods and supplies on a cart for the tin mines around the area.

Pulling the cart himself, he carried out this back-breaking job until he saved enough to buy his first tin mine.

In time, Tan invested in a tin dredger, and as his business prospered he bought a few more mines and went into other business ventures, such as the purchase of rubber plantations. Tan died in 1931 and was buried at a Chinese cemetery a short distance away.

Not surprisingly, his grave is the most ornate in the cemetery, befitting his status. Locals believed that Tan had two wives and four sons: Tan Chin Siong, Tan Thay Leong, Tan Ean Guan and Tan Seng Kee. Together with their servants, they lived in the mansion which is sprawled over more than one hectare of land.

The family continued to prosper until the Japanese invaded Malaya in 1941. Fearing for their safety, the family fled the mansion.

Sadly, they never returned. Rasa townsfolk say that Boon Chia's descendants are still blessed with good fortune and are now living "the good life" around Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong. Despite being ravaged by time, the mansion stubbornly clings on to many clues of its former splendour. The main archway at the entrance is decorated with Chinese inscriptions. Next to the entrance is a tall guard-post almost smothered by plants and creepers. Several metres away is the main building, where the name "TAN BOON CHIA" is moulded above the porch.

Two tall mangosteen trees stand in-line with it. Only one half of the main door remains, while the wooden facade of the door frame, believed to be the most attractive part of the house, is missing. Inside, there is a big living room with huge marble floor tiles.

The pillars and frames of the ceilings are either decorated with colourful plasterwork of floral motifs or painted with images of birds and plants. The mansion has become the haunt of vagrants and drug addicts. There is an altar.

On it are three pictures - of a man and two women - believed to be members of the Tan's family. The altar is flanked by two pillars each with colourful tiles depicting a dragon on the clouds. In front of the altar is a table with a big bowl and a chopping board on it.

There are burnt joss sticks and skeletons of small animals in the bowl - believed to be the work of fortune seekers. The altar is the central part of the house, connected to the living room by a short corridor adorned with colourful floor tiles.

Next to it is a bathroom and an open-air yard with a well in the centre. Adjoining the altar is a big kitchen with several brick stoves and a chimney.

Several rooms are located at the back of the house. There are two staircases leading upstairs to more rooms.

Some of the rooms had wooden partitions which have collapsed. The walls upstairs are smeared with droppings of birds and flying foxes, while owl droppings and the skeletal remains of small animals cover the floor. Besides the main building, there are servants' quarters and a garage with a room.

The garage also houses three old luxury cars - an Austin, a Hellman and a right-hand-drive Chevrolet - which have been vandalised.

Preserved for prosperity Kuala Kubu Baru State Assemblyman Datuk Ch'ng Toh Eng, who visited the mansion recently, said that the property still belongs to the Tan family. He hoped that the family will contact the Rasa committee or the State Government so that the mansion can be preserved. "I would like to see this mansion preserved as a historical site and a tourist attraction." Ch'ng said the Hulu Selangor district, which includes Rasa, its neighbours Kuala Kubu Baru, Serendah and Batang Kali used to be a business hub before Kuala Lumpur replaced it. "On behalf of the State Government, I urge the descendants of the Tan family to get in touch with us so that we can work together to preserve this mansion." Ch'ng said the mansion will make a good tourist attraction as it is located between the Kuala Lumpur-Genting Highlands and Kuala Lumpur- Fraser's Hill route. mmnews@nstp.com.my

izni.idris
28-01-2009, 10:35 AM
So Genting is restoring the mansion. This mansion has 51 rooms as mentioned on muzium selangor's website! Don't know if the car can be restored though, their engines are gone. Hope that it will be open to the public for viewing soon.

izni.idris
28-01-2009, 10:38 AM
Hey great find Nyem!
Thanks for the information you found. So now we know..

kuma
28-01-2009, 10:25 PM
Hey great find Nyem!
Thanks for the information you found. So now we know..

Yep. Second That.