CANNON SQUARE

Cannon Square is an area clan of Khoo, it surrounded by houses, administrative building, and an opera stage and clan temple of the family. The clan that is stay in this square is Khoo Kongsi. The Khoo family began to emigrate from Hokkien province (China) in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th century they became one of the wealthiest families in both Malacca and Penang.

Figure 13: Area of Cannon Square in red circle above.
Source: http://www2.malaysia-trulyasia.com (2008)

The clan complex was built in the 19th century and burned down after it was struck by lightning at the end of the century. The temple was replaced by a smaller construction because it was thought that the fire was provoked by the gods due to the resemblance of the complex to

the emperor's palace. In this period the family was at the height its wealth and power. The most magnificent structure and the significant in this complex is definitely the beautiful Khoo clan family temple, Leong San Tong, located right on Cannon Square. It is a Chinese style temple with wonderful wood carvings painted in bright colours, an ornamental roof, statues of deities and heroes and even plaques commemorating honourable members of the clan. Across the square is an ornate Chinese opera stage, still used today at Chinese New Year and other festivities.

F i r gu e 14:

The houses and clan temple of the family in Cannon Square
Source : Field Study (2008)

F i r gu e 15:

The architecture value can seen especially on roof and ceiling in the clan temple.
Source : Field Study (2008)

The Khoo Kongsi clan temple is one of the best examples of Chinese temple architecture and craftsmanship in Southeast Asia. Built in 1906, the temple displays fine stone carving, painting on wood and fresco painting. The Khoo Kongsi is a clan association of Khoos belonging to the Leong San Tong (Dragon Mountain Hall), Sin Kang village, in Hokkien (Fujian) province.

A museum in the temple basement illustrates the history of the Khoo Kongsi. The Khoos were among the wealthy Straits Chinese traders of 17th century Malacca and early Penang. Established in 1851, the clan elders organized their own tribunal, school, and money lending and welfare system. The temple overlooks granite paved square with the kongsi office, the theatre building, and other clan dwellings on the other three sides.

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