With the outbreak of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on 7 July 1937, which marked the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), the Chamber of Commerce became actively involved in the setting up of the China Relief Fund to assist China in its war efforts. The war soon spread to Malaya and many members of the Chamber joined the civil defence of Malaya, including establishing a corps of Air Raid Wardens.

  • 11TH President
  • 1936-1938 - YONG SHOOK LIN


    Yong Shook Lin(1896-1955)founded Shook Lin & Bok, one of the largest and oldest law firms in Malaysia in 1918.


    During Yong’s leadership, the chamber stood with the FMS Chamber of Commerce to jointly oppose the business registration bill, issued certificates to members to facilitate their business engagement in China and raised funds for the construction of a theatre in the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Settlement.


    Since the Chinese began boycotting Japanese goods in reaction to Japanese aggression in China, the Chamber established a Department of Commodity Research to identify the country of origin of the goods. The Chamber also assisted the China National Industry and Trade Association in holding a trade fair in Kuala Lumpur. It mobilized the Chinese community in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI; accompanied representatives from Kwong Tong and Hokkien Cemetery Kuala Lumpur to meet the British Resident to discuss acquisition of burial grounds; and recommended students for further studies to China.

  • 1938-1940 - Ng Teong Kiat


    Born in Yongchun, Fujian Province, Ng Teong Kiat (1892-1966) later moved to Selangor and specialized in the production of rubber shoes, crushing oil, winemaking, sawmilling and biscuits making. He also owned farms, rubber and tea plantations.


    During his tenure as President, he called for the establishment of the Selangor Overseas Chinese First Aid Training Association and gave assistance to the Donation Committee of Buddhist Rescue Mission of China. In 1939, the Chamber proposed amendments to the Business Registration Bill. The laws were later translated into Chinese, which were published in the “Malayan Chinese Daily” and distributed to the members of the society. In order to prevent hawkers from being arrested by the police, the Chamber negotiated with the Sanitary Board to make rules. In the same year, the chamber submitted its feedback to China’s Consulate regarding the new regulations for passport application. The Chamber also formed a committee to coordinate the celebration of the coronation of the Sultan Selangor.

  • 1940-1941; 1946-1955 - TUN SIR HENRY LEE HAU SHIK

    1940-1941; 1946-1955

    Born in Hong Kong and graduated from Cambridge University, Lee Hau Shik (1901-1988)came to Malaya in 1924 and opened a tin mining company.


    During his tenure as president, he not only actively participated in anti-Japanese activities, served as president of the Selangor China Relief Fund, but also encouraged Chamber members to promote Chinese goods. On the other hand, the Chamber also assisted the British government in raising funds to finance the military efforts and for Remembrance Day. When the war approached Malaya, the Chamber encouraged the Chinese in Selangor to join the civil defence force, which included Lee. Later, Lee was promoted as the chief of Kuala Lumpur Southern District Air Raid Precaution Squad.


    Lee who evacuated to India during the Japanese Occupation, returned to Malaya after the war. He revived the operations of the Chamber in early December 1945. The old committee members resumed their post until the election of a new committee a year after that. A special donation was launched to revitalize the Chamber. Apart from reviving the economy, the Chamber also assisted the government to overcome the problems of the black-market, rice rations, war compensation, and the problem land selling during the Occupation period.


    In addition to revitalizing associations established in the pre-war period, Lee was also involved in setting up new ones and integrating many Chinese associations, for instance the Federation of Malaysian Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Kwang Tung Associations. He also championed the formation of a Chinese political party, the Malayan Chinese Association, and the establishment of a Chinese newspaper, the China Press. Lee served as a member of Legislative and Executive Council, as well as Minister of Transport and later represented Malaya in the signing of the agreement for independence of Malaya with British and became the first finance minister after independence.

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