From the Publisher
The Author seeks to trace his roots from the time the grandfather, Yong Koon (Seong) (born in 1871, China ; came to British Malaya in 1885 to join his two brothers to work as tinsmiths in Kuala Lumpur, Yong Koon went back to China to seek a wife ; married Loh Pat but left when she was with child in 1905. In 1911, he went to China to bring back his wife and first born son, Peng Pow , the father of the author. Another three sons were born, Peng Sin (1914), Peng Kai (1915) and Peng Seong (1923). Initially Yong Koon and his family, stayed with his brothers and families at their shop at Cross Street, Kuala Lumpur. Later, the grandmother , a shrewd and frugal n businesslady; saved enough to buy a 2 storey shop house at 219 Pudu Road which the whole family moved to. Peng Pow was a good student who studied in MBSKL in the early years but tranferred to Kajang High School where he sat for his Junior Cambridge Exams in 1922. Basing on his good scores; he and another classmate, Justice Tan Sri Datok Yong Shi Meow was asked by the school to sit for the Queen's Scholarship exams in 1924. Both were successful and offered scholarships to study in the United Kingdoom but they had to buy their own steamboat tickets to UK. Unfortunately, PP's parents refused to give him the money for the ticket as they expected him , being the first born son and out of filiality ; should stay behind to look after the parents and his 3 younger brothers. Instead the parents gave him money to start an English language bookstore in a small room at the corner pawnshop along Yap Ah Loy street. Phoenix Bookstore catered mainly for English businessmen, planters and returning soldiers serving in British Malaya then. By accident, an English businessman; aware that PP's father and uncles were tinsmiths, suggested that he should experiment with the manufacture of pewter ware such as beer mugs, cigarette cases, candle holders, vases ect. for export to England and Europe where these were in demand and expensive. After successfully producing some prototypes samples,;orders poured in and Malayan Pewter Works which PP started; moved to 219.By then, PP already married to his child bride (bought into the Yong family in 1917) had 4 older children (Woon Yin, Poh Seong, Siew Yin and Poh Fah). With the assitance of the 3 younger brothers; business picked up and PP even paid for the weddings of the two older ones. However; sometime in 1935; PP took a second wife and in 1939 told the father and brothers that he was moving away to a bigger premise at 4th Mile Cheras Road as his family was increasing and business expanding . After a heated argument with his father and brothers (Loh Pat already dead); PP and his two wives and 12 children, were asked to vacate the patriach home of Yong Koon , just after the fullmoon of the author. Not long after; Japan attacked Malaya on 10 Dec. 1941 and occupied Malaya and Singpore on 15 February 1942. Tragically, PP was murdered just 6 months or so before Japan surrendered after the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Horoshima and Nagasaki on 6 th and 8th August 1945. The author's mother , a widow with nine fatherless children; was totally devasted, penniless, disdraught and through sheer endurance, tremendous hardships, sacrifices and deprivations; finally saw her second last child (the author) graduate as an engineer in 1966 supported by scholarships in school and university.