The establishment of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor (KLSCCCI) was as much associated with the development of the political situation in China as with the rise of local consciousness. Divided by different dialects and clans, the local Chinese community realized the importance of solidarity in negotiations with the colonial government. It was a group of Chinese businessmen who suggested setting up the Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce as a platform for gathering, sharing information and meeting.

Under the leadership of Loke Yew, Chan Sow Lin, San Ah Wing and others, a meeting notice was put up in the Malay Mail inviting merchants to a meeting on 20 February 1904 to discuss the organisation of the Chamber. The meeting held at the office of Loke Yew’s General Farm was chaired by Chan Sow Lin. San Ah Wing explained the necessity for the formation of the Chamber. Toh Nam read the proposed rules. The proposed association was to be called the Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and that the inaugural meeting be held after necessary papers were ready. Loke Yew and Hop Toh Sang donated $500 and $100 respectively as the start-up funds of the Chamber.

A set of rules was published in the Malay Mail on 22 March 1904 and the inaugural meeting held on 27 March at the Selangor Miners' Association. About 80 Chinese businessmen attended. San Ah Wing proposed Chan Sow Lin to be chairman and was seconded by Loke Chow Kit. After Chan spoke on the purpose for establishing the Chamber, Wong Wan Fan, Kan Choon, Chan Chee Kwai, Loke Chow Kit, Toh Nam, Cheong Ah Poon, Chooi Hin and Mak Chak Sang also gave speeches in favour of the formation.

Wong Wan Fan then proposed, seconded by Chia Boon Tiat, that the Chamber be formed. This was put to vote and carried unanimously with acclamation. The chairman then invited comments on the rules that were distributed to them before the meeting. After some questions and Wong Wan Fan moved an amendment to change the number of its committee members from 16 to 25 were carried unanimously, the rules of the Chamber were passed. It was the third such Chamber established in Malaya, after those in Penang and Kuantan in 1903. The Chamber’s establishment was approved by the colonial government and exempted from registration under the “Societies Enactment 1900”, which required a society to obtain official approval and be registered with the government.

  • 1904-1907 - LOKE YEW


    Loke Yew (1846-1917), a tin magnate, revenue farmer, planter, industrialist and philanthropist, was elected as the first president of Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce.


    During his tenure, he protested against The Federated Malay States Railways which practised discrimination against the Chinese in the seating arrangement in the railway carriages, educated the Chinese community on train etiquette, proposed the building of a Chinese town hall and contributed land and the starting fund. The Chamber also approached the government to abolish public gambling, published weekly bulletin containing the latest commercial news and summaries of Government Gazette notifications, by-laws and regulations affecting the Chinese businesses, and translated the Mining Enactment of 1904 into Chinese.


    Dr Loke Yew, C.M.G., D. Litt. (Hong Kong) – a picture taken outside his house in Batu Road, Kuala Lumpur, in 1917, shortly before he died.

  • 1907-1909 - CHAN SOW LIN


    Chan Sow Lin (1845-1927), a tin miner and founder of the first Chinese engineering firm known as Chop Mee Lee, was known as the Father of Kuala Lumpur Chinese Ironworks.


    In 1904, Chan chaired the preliminary and inaugural meeting of the chamber and was elected as its first vice-president before taking over the presidency in 1907. During his tenure, he applied to the Ministry of Commerce for the Qing Dynasty seal for official documentation, and  changed the Chinese name of the chamber. The Chamber also donated $10,000 to flood victims in China during his presidency in 1908.

  • 1909-1911 - CHOO CHENG KAY


    Choo Cheng Kay (1867-1959), a well-known miner, was elected the Honorary Secretary-General of the Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce in 1906. A year later he resigned from the post to tour China, Japan, and Manchuria. After he returned from his trip, he resumed his office and was elected president in 1909.


    During his tenure, he championed the anti-opium movement in Selangor and helped to pacify the rikisha and gharry strikes in 1909 by persuading the strikers to return to work. The strike broke out as a result of the introduction of bus services by the Cycle and Carriage Company in Kuala Lumpur.

  • 1911-1912 - LOKE CHOW KIT


    Loke Chow Kit (1859-1918) was associated with owning many revenue farms in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Malacca and Hong Kong. He was also proprietor of Chow Kit & Co, one of the biggest general dealers in Kuala Lumpur and director of many tin and industrial companies.


    As one of the founders of the chamber, he was elected the first vice president and led the Chamber during the period of 1911 China Revolution. At the end of his presidency, a riot broke out in Kuala Lumpur due to the cutting off of the tauchang (pigtail) worn by men. Loke Chow Kit at that time was undergoing an operation. It was his brother, Loke Chow Thye who helped settle the dispute and who was later elected the next president.

  • 1912-1914; 1922-1930 - LOKE CHOW THYE

    1912-1914; 1922-1930

    Loke Chow Thye (1871-1931), younger brother of Loke Chow Kit, was a well-known tin-miner in Kuala Lumpur. During his tenure, he helped to end the tauchang disturbance in early 1912 and worked together with other associations to withdraw the worn currency notes from circulation in 1913.


    In 1922 he was elected president again. The first challenge he faced was the passing of the Export of Rubber (Restriction) Enactment in 1922, also known as the Stevenson Plan, which the Chamber protested strongly against, but was unsuccessful. The Chamber also raised funds to aid victims of the Japanese earthquake (1923), floods in Kwangtung (1924) and earthquake in Sumatra (1926). He organised protest against the Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board on the requirement for cash deposits for its water, electricity and conservancy service in 1923. He also sent in petitions to abolish opium trafficking; and proposed the establishment of a broadcastingstation in Kuala Lumpur.

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