After the war, the Chamber actively participated in post-war reconstruction. Many leaders of the Chamber served in the government as unofficial members. Under the leadership of the Chamber, the first Chinese-based political party, Malayan Chinese Association (MCA), was formed. The president of the Chamber, Lee Hau Shik, was at the same time also the chairman of the MCA Selangor branch, had formed an alliance with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and won the 1952 Kuala Lumpur municipal elections. This alliance was the predecessor of Barisan Nasional’s multi-party formula that ruled Malaysia for the next 61 years. Lee Hau Shik was also appointed the first finance minister after Malaya gained its independence. All the presidents during this period were either Members of Parliament or House of Representatives.

  • 1955-1959 - CHONG KHOON LIN


    Second son of Chong Yoon Hee, a famous tin miner, Chong Khoon Lin (1893-1962) was one of the founders of Kuala Lumpur Chung Kwo School, the president of the All-Malayan Chinese Mining Association, the Selangor Ka Yin Association and the Kwangtung Association. He was a nominated member to represent the interest of the tin industry in the Federal Legislative Council (1955-1959) and represented Malaya at International Tin Council meetings for many years.


    During his presidency, Malaya was at a critical moment of obtaining independence from the British. The Chamber had sent a memorandum to the government to ask for equal rights between different ethnic groups and to make Chinese one of the official languages. In 1955, The Chamber organised an art exhibition to raise funds for a new building, but the project was abandoned later due to lack of funds. The Chamber amended its rules in 1956 by expanding membership to associations which was previously only open to individuals and companies.

  • 1959-1965 - DATO’ CHAN KWONG HON


    Kuala Lumpur born Chan Kwong Hon (1909-1978) was the eldest son of tin miner Chan Chin Moi. He was a member of the Selangor State Council and Municipal Commissioner of Kuala Lumpur, and was later made a member of the Dewan Negara (Senate). He was the chairman of Selangor Dredging Bhd and Goodmeal Biochemical Manufactory Bhd, and director of United Asian Bank Bhd and Malayan flour Mills Bhd.


    His tenure coincided with the formation of Malaysia in 1963 and the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia in the same period. The Chamber supported the government’s policies and participated in the Malay Language Month Movement to popularize the learning and use of Malay to promote national unity. The Chamber also assisted villagers of Sekinchan and Slim River to apply for agriculture land. During his presidency, a preparatory committee was formed to discuss matters related to the construction of the Chamber’s new building, and the Chinese name of the Chamber was changed. Chan was elected as the president of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM).

  • 1965-1973 - TAN SRI TAN TONG HYE


    Tang Tong Hye or better known as T.H. Tan (1914-1985) was a journalist before he became the secretary of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and then the first honorary secretary-general of the Alliance Party until 1971. He was the secretary of the Alliance delegation for the independence talks convened in London. He was appointed a federal senator in 1959. Tan also held office as chairman of the Social Welfare Lotteries Board and Federal Film Censorship appeal board, and board member of the Central Electricity Board/National Electricity Board, 1959-1978. In addition, he was a member of the Volunteer Police Reserve and managing director of several companies including Malayawata Steel.


    During his tenure, the Chamber proposed the application of Rent Control Act in Kuala Lumpur to overcome problems of renting old houses. The Chamber also launched a motion to claim compensation from Japan, besides assisting four leaders of The Chamber to become members of the Senate (Dewan Negara) to represent the voice of Chinese businessmen. The Chamber’s office was relocated from the ground floor of the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to the first floor and an international trade library and trade promotion centre were set up. After the May 13th riots, the Chamber assisted the government in dealing with food rations, including the purchase of rice for the police force to distribute to various retailers, and the delivering of food to various relief centres.

  • 1973-1975 - DATO’ Y.T. LEE @ LEE YOON THIM


    Lee Yoon Thim (1905-1977) or better known as Y.T. Lee practised as an architect in Kuala Lumpur from 1929 and founded Lee Y.T. Architect Company. He was president of the Incorporated Society of Architects and Surveyors, Malayan Branch. Several iconic buildings in Kuala Lumpur were designed by him, such as the Chin Woo Stadium, the UMNO building, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the Federal Hotel. Lee was also a member of the Selangor State Council and Selangor Executive Council for 10 years and was later elected to the Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council.


    During the May 13th incident, Lee was the vice president of the Chamber and was invited to radio broadcast and television shows to appeal to businessmen to not take the opportunity to raise prices. Lee led the members of the Chamber to welcome the second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak when the latter returned home from his historic visit to China and both Malaysia and China established diplomatic ties on May 31, 1974.

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