Three Generations of Tailors

The First Generation

The story of Kwong Fook Wing Tailors must begin with Kwong Keng Cheok, popularly known as Kwong Leong. In 1894, at the age of eighteen, he left his ancestral home in Chung Woh Village in the Sam Pat district of the Prefecture of Toi San (Xin Ning). His plan was to join his father who had emigrated to Australia during the Gold Rush. Many Chinese migrants had gone there to seek their fortune. However, for reasons best known to himself, Kwong Leong disembarked at Singapore without completing his journey. Bereft of education and skills, as was typical of migrants then, Kwong Leong laboured as a rickshaw puller. Life was extremely hard, made almost unbearable by the hot tropical climate. He toiled ceaselessly for two years. Then, with some hard-earned savings, he moved to Kuala Lumpur.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there was an emerging influence of western culture in Malaya. Kwong Leong was quick to recognise the growing popularity of western suits, particularly in upper class society. He envisioned a future demand for the western attire, and foresaw tailoring as a sustainable means of livelihood. So he acquired the requisite tailoring skills and began a trade that would cement a legacy of 100 years, spanning three generations.

In 1915, after years of hard work and prudent saving, Kwong Leong established his shop, Kwong Fook Wing Tailors, at No. 60 Sultan Street, right in the heart of Chinatown. Initially, he was apprehensive - Europeans might not patronise a Chinese-owned tailoring shop. Fortunately, he had sharp business acumen. He secured contracts for stitching and sewing suits from John Little & Company and from Robinsons & Company. These were the two premier departmental stores owned by British merchants, catering to the needs of the European community in Kuala Lumpur. Kwong Leong's business relationship with these two departmental stores lasted many years. He further honed his tailoring skills and expanded his contacts, thus adding value growth to his business.

The Second Generation

Peng Koon was Kwong Leong's only child. In 1929 Peng Koon completed his Standard 9 or Senior Cambridge at the Victoria Institution. Jobs were scarce during the 1930s years of the Great Depression. However, Peng Koon was fortunate to secure work as a tailor and cutter at Robinsons & Company. In the pre-World War II days, it was rare to have an English-speaking and Senior Cambridge-educated Chinese taking up tailoring as a career. With his father as his mentor, Peng Koon picked up the tailoring skills. He obtained a Diploma for Proficiency in the Art of Cutting from the Thornton Institute School of Garment Cutting in London, which greatly advanced his career. Peng Koon's professional qualification and language fluency made him eminently suitable and qualified to work in a large Western departmental store. Most of his customers were top civil servants, planters, and miners of European descent.

In the meantime, as Kwong Leong remained as the contractor for the two Department stores, he continued to operate the shop, Kwong Fook Wing, serving local clients until the Japanese occupation of Malaya in 1941. After the end of the occupation in 1945, business at the shop resumed and improved with the return of the British.

Peng Koon, with his pre-war work experience and contacts with both customers and suppliers, did not rejoin Robinsons & Company. He began to jointly manage the Kwong Fook Wing shop with his father. Some years later, Peng Koon exhibited shrewd business foresight when he purchased the shop's premises from its rich Chinese landlord, Chan Say Peng. He subsequently rebuilt the property which remains today at No. 60, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur. Upon Kwong Leong's retirement, the shop was entrusted to Peng Koon, the second generation tailor. Kwong Leong died at the age of 91 in 1967.

Under Peng Koon's management, the shop continued to prosper. In 1975, No. 60, Jalan Sultan was demolished for redevelopment into a five-storey building, Kwong Fook Wing moved to rented premises at No. 51 Jalan Sultan.

His clients included successive British High Commissioners, British Advisors to the Malay States, top Civil Servants, senior Police officers, British Army generals, and other senior British executives in commerce and industry.

Before World War Two, Kwong Leong had an Austin 7 open-hood motorcar. The ignition was operated by cranking a rotary handle in front of the engine. He had an Indian driver by the name of Suppaiah (whom everybody called Thamby) to drive him around, especially to collect sewing work from Robinsons. In the evening after dinner, Peng Koon loved to take his family for a ride to the Lake Gardens to makan angin. The car was usually parked on the street during the day, and driven into the shop to be parked for the night.

The Austin 7 was taken away by soldiers during the Japanese Occupation.

Peng Koon was blessed with seven sons and four daughters. Five of his sons - Kim Kong, Kim Tsuan, Kim Nyoon, Kim Lyew and Kim Hoong - went to the Victoria Institution. School holidays were a time for Kim Kong, the eldest son of Peng Koon, to pick up a little sewing work at the shop. That's where he learned his sewing skills, which he remembers to this day!

In 1952, Kim Kong was one of twelve cadets - known as "Templer's Super Twelve" - selected by the British High Commissioner, Sir Gerald Templer for training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He won the Baton of Honour as the best Commonwealth Overseas Cadet in order of merit at his intake's passing out. The Twelve were later appointed as officers of Malaya's first multi-racial Federation Regiment. Kim Kong was given the honour of leading the military parade on Merdeka Day, August 31st, 1957.

Kim Tsuan was a model son. After his graduation, he taught at Maxwell High School from 1966 to 1968. Every month he would contribute RM600 of his RM800 salary towards the shop's repayment of the bank loan, until his untimely demise at the age of 26 in 1969. Kim Nyoon was a brilliant economist and rose through the ranks to be Deputy Governor of Bank Negara. Sadly he passed away at the age of 51 in 1995.

The second youngest son, Kim Hoong, has distinguished himself in academia. He was awarded the Gold Medal at the University of Malaya 1969 Convocation for being the best all-round student. Today, Kim Hoong holds the exalted position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of HELP University.

When the country became independent, Peng Koon's clients also included several Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the second Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and other top politicians in the Government. Testimonials from his clients are not only an honour awarded to Peng Koon's business, but also an affirmation and recognition of his sustained excellence in craftsmanship and service.

In 1977, Kwong Fook Wing was granted a Royal Charter of "By Appointment to HRH Sultan of Terengganu" by D.Y.M.M. Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah.

The Third Generation

Kim Lyew, the current owner of Kwong Fook Wing is the third generation Khong tailor. Being the youngest son, he sensed a strong calling to preserve his family's legacy and decided to forego the opportunity of a tertiary education in order to fulfill his duty. History repeated itself when Kim Lyew was mentored by his father, a master suit-maker. He also acquired his professional qualifications from the reputable Tailors & Cutter Academy in London. With his strong entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills, he expanded his business to include tailoring work for the Malaysian judiciary and an overseas clientele.

Peng Koon passed away on 23 January 1997 and the business passed on to Kim Lyew. In 2013, Kim Lyew was conferred the award Darjah Setia Tuanku Muhriz Yang Amat Gemilang by DYMM Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan. This was in appreciation and recognition of his sustained excellence and dedication in the tailoring business. This was a milestone achievement, both personally for Kim Lyew and for the Khong family.

In 2014 the business moved out temporarily from No. 51 back to the family-owned No. 60 to allow the old building foundations to be strengthened as part of the MRT underground tunnelling project. The shop operated from the mezzanine floor of No. 60 for almost a year before moving back to No. 51 in 2015.

According to Kim Lyew there is now a lot of competition from shops selling ready-made suits, but he noted that many of the younger generation have begun to appreciate what a bespoke suit was and many were coming in for suits of their own.

With three daughters of his own, Kim Lyew has come to terms with the fact that this 105-year-old tailor shop might have to put away its scissors and sewing machines for good.

"I am the third generation and I do not think there will be another who is keen to carry on. All good things must come to an end, and we have come to almost the tail end of our endeavour in tailoring."

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Tools of the Trade:
Cutting and pinking shears made by Wilkinson Sword of England,
originally used a century ago by Kwong Leong and still in use today.

An order from Istana Negara

Peng Koon happily working on endless orders

Like father.....

Like son.....

Khong Kim Lyew receiving the DSTM Award
Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan (2013)

A century of courteous, inimitably excellent service....

.... in a fast changing neighbourhood.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Notable Clientele over the Years

Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard, Malaysian Cultural Historian

Arriving in Malaya as a cadet in the Malayan Civil Service before the war, Mubin Sheppard, then Mervyn Cff Sheppard, was introduced to Peng Koon at Robinsons and Company. His first tropical weight suit was a perfect fit and attracted favourable comment from the wife of the Chief Secretary to Government at King's House (now Carcosa) where he was posted as Private Secretary.

In the years that followed, Sheppard continued to ask Peng Koon to make dinner jackets, suits and bush jackets, although he no longer lived in Kuala Lumpur.

When Sheppard returned to Kuala Lumpur after the horrors of the Japanese Occupation, he was relieved to find that his tailor had survived and had set up Kwong Fook Wing in Sultan Street.

For almost half a century, he had only one tailor in Peng Koon and, later, Kim Lyew. Father and son adapted their skills to whatever was the current fashion, and whatever Sheppard asked them to design and cut was always a model of perfection.

Sir Harold Briggs, Director of Operations (1950-1951)

Lt-General Sir Harold Briggs was the Director of Operations during the Malayan Emergency. Under the Briggs' Plan, the rural population living in squatter commmunities on the fringes of the jungle was relocated to guarded camps called "New Villages." This was a successful military strategy to defeat the Malayan Communists by cutting them off from their sources of food and other supplies.

Sir Harold was introduced to Kwong Fook Wing by the another client, Sir Henry Gurney, High Commissioner of Malaya from 1948 to 1951.

Sir Gerald Templer, Malayan High Commissioner (1952-1954)

Sir Gerald was known as the Tiger of Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. He succeeded Sir Henry Gurney as High Commissioner after the latter was assassinated during the darkest period of the Emergency. Templer's tactics against the communists eventually helped stabilise the situation by 1954.

Lady Templer and her daughter, Frances Jane, were first introduced to Kwong Fook Wing in 1952 by Mubin Sheppard. When their order was delivered to King's House, General Templer - a man "who was not easy to please" - was impressed with the workmanship. The general was not satisfied with the quality of work of a European tailor in Weld Road. Therafter, the Templers became clients until they returned to Britain.

Sir Robert Thompson, Counter-Insurgency Expert

Sir Robert was a British military officer based in Malaya during the Emergency who was later regarded as the world's leading expert on countering rural guerrilla insurgency. He was the son-in-law of Sir Alec Newboult, Chief Secretary of the Federation of Malaya (1946-1950), who was a Kwong Fook Wing client as well.

After Merdeka, Sir Robert became Permanent Secretary for Defence for Tun Abdul Razak. In response to a request from President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam, Tunku Abdul Rahman sent a team, headed by Sir Robert, to that country to advise Diem on how to counter his insurgency problems. Diem was so impressed that he asked the British to second Sir Robert to Saigon as an advisor to the British Military Mission.

In 1962, when Peng Koon's sons, Kim Tsuan and Kim Nyoon, went on a South Vietnam study tour organised by the University of Malaya, their ship docked at Saigon. Sir Robert, who was still ordering his suits from Peng Koon in Kuala Lumpur, personally sent a car to drive Khong brothers to the city.

Sir Geoffrey Bourne, GOC Malaya (1954-1956)

Sir Geoffrey, General Officer Commanding, succeeded Sir Harold Briggs in the prosecution of the military operations during the Malayan Emergency. He patronised Kwong Fook Wing well into the 1960s, even after he was created a life peer with the title of Baron Bourne. He founded a school, Bourne School, in Kuala Lumpur for children of British Army personnel. His son, Michael, who was briefly in Malaya with him was also a client and later introduced many of his friends to the shop.

Sir Geoffrey was later Commander-in-Chief, Middle East Land Forces in 1957 and Commandant of the Imperial Defence College between 1958 and 1959. He was also Aide-de-Camp General to Queen Elizabeth in 1959 and 1960.

Graham Greene, Writer

Graham Greene was an English novelist and author who is regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. His books include The Power and the Glory (1940), The Heart of the Matter (1948), The Quiet American (1955), and Our Man in Havana (1958).

Graham Greene spent some time in Malaya in the early 1950s on assigment as a travel writer and on "a sort of holiday." He wrote an article on the Malayan Emergency for the July 1951 issue of LIFE magazine. When he was in Kuala Lumpur, he stayed with his brother, Carleton Greene, a psychological warfare expert with General Briggs.

Sir Donald MacGillivray, Malayan High Commissioner (1954-1957)

Sir Donald was Templer's Deputy before succeeding him as the last British High Commisioner. Under his watch, the insurgency movement, though not yet defeated, was brought under control, enough for him to preside over the first countrywide elections. These were won by the Alliance Party which subsequently negotiated Malayan independence from Britain. Sir Donald's final official duty was at the Merdeka Stadium on August 31st 1957.

A day before Merdeka, Sir Donald penned a letter of appreciation to Kwong Fook Wing, declaring that he had been a client for more than five years and had had his suits, shorts and bush jackets made by them.

Members of the Reid Commission 1956

In March 1956, an independent commission to draw up a constitution for a fully self-governing and independent Malaya was set up. Accordingly, a commission headed by Lord William Reid, and consisting of constitutional experts from fellow Commonwealth countries was appointed by the Queen Elizabeth II and the Malay Rulers. The Reid Commission consisted of:

Lord Reid - United Kingdom (Chairman); Sir Ivor Jennings - United Kingdom; Sir William McKell - Australia; Chief Justice B. S. Malik - India; and Chief Justice Halim bin Abdul Hamid - Pakistan

They met 118 times between June and October 1956. Three members of the Commission - Lord Reid, Justice Malik and Sir Ivor - took the opportunity between meetings to have suits made at Kwong Fook Wing.

Sir David Watherston, Cobbold Commission 1962

Sir David was the last British Chief Secretary of Malaya, from 1952 to 1957. He was a client of Kwong Fook Wing dating back to the early 1950s.

His last Far East assignment was as a member of the Cobbold Commission, a Commission of Enquiry set up to determine whether the people of North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak supported the proposal to create the Federation of Malaysia consisting of Malaya, Brunei, Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak. The members were:

Sir Cameron Fromanteel Cobbold, former Governor of the Bank of England, also Chairman of the Commission of Enquiry; Sir Anthony Foster Abell, former British Governor of Sarawak and the High Commissioner to Brunei; Sir David Watherston; Wong Pow Nee, the Chief Minister of Penang; and Ghazali Shafie, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaya.

Tun Tan Siew Sin, Minister of Finance (1959-1974)

Tun Tan Siew Sin patronized Kwong Wing Fook before 1957. He favoured a simple, yet classic style. His shirts were always white, tailored from the baby sharkskin fabric that he bought from the U.S. through Ambassador Ong Yoke Lin. Tun Tan was a man who valued frugality and simplicity.

His suit orders were standard: A jacket with three pairs of trousers - so he could wear his suits for a longer period of time. Fittings were always done at the shop after 6:30 pm as he was used to work late hours every day. Why always at the shop? Being a Finance Minister, he had an eye for detail; their fitting room had (and still has) front and back mirrors where he could see the fit from all angles!

The soft-spoken Tun Tan was also a caring person; he often enquired whether Tun Razak had visited the shop yet as he had highly recommended them to him.

Tun Abdul Razak, the Second Prime Minister (1970-1976)

Kim Lyew fondly recalls how the late finance minister, Tan Siew Sin, was the first to recommend Kwong Fook Wing to Tun Razak to get his suits fitted.

"Tun Razak finally came to know us through a person named Wan Baharuddin, the Malaysian education attaché in London. He would stay with Razak whenever he returned to Malaysia. In the early 1970s, Razak had passed Baharuddin a piece of material which the attaché brought to our shop to have a suit made.

"Tun Razak liked the suit, enquired where he had it made and recalled that Tan Siew Sin had recommended Kwong Fook Wing to him earlier."

The very next day, Kim Lyew and his father, Peng Koon, were invited to the Prime Minister's house, Sri Taman, to make the first of many suits. They were welcomed with tea and kuih-muih before proceeding with business. The Prime Minister was a man of very simple tastes, Kim Lyew recalled. His house had no exquisite furniture.

Tun Razak made it a point to pay a visit to the shop because he wanted to find out where the Kwong Fook Wing was located.

Kwong Fook Wing tailored the Tun's uniform as Chief of the Malaysian Red Cross. He wore his uniform for the first time at the World Red Cross Day Parade at the Selangor Padang on May 7, 1972.

Kwong Fook Wing also made the suits that Tun Razak wore during his historic trip to China in May 1974. When Tun returned from the trip, he presented Peng Koon with a photograph of himself shaking hands with Chairman Mao Zedong, as an appreciation of his service. "Kwong," he wrote, "We are lucky to be in Malaysia as we are able to have many clothes. In China, even Chairman Mao has only two suits a year!"

"Kwong, don't make them too fitting. I am going to put on some weight." Those words of the late Tun Razak are still fresh in Kim Lyew's mind despite a passage of over forty years. During the final five years of serving him, Tun had an average of three suits made every month as he continued to lose weight.

While he was in London in late 1975 for his medical treatment, he ordered three suits, through Tun Omar Ong who visited him. Tun needed the suits for the Asean Heads of Government meeting in Bali in January 1976. Tun Omar said, "Tun says you know his taste, color and pattern. He leaves everything to you." His fitting appointment was scheduled for Wednesday, January 14, 1976 in Kuala Lumpur.

But, alas, on that very day itself, to the shock of the nation, Tun died of leukemia in England at the age of 54. It was an emotional parting of the suits when they were collected later.

Tun Dr Ismail, Minister of Home Affairs/Deputy Prime Minister

Dr Ismail was Malaya's first ambassador to Washington and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. After serving in a variety of cabinet positions from Minister of Commerce to Minister of Foreign Affairs to Minister of Justice, he resigned in 1967 for health reasons.

The events of May 13, 1969 resulted in Dr Ismail being drafted back to the government as Minister of Home Affairs. In September 1970, he was made Deputy Prime Minister by Tun Abdul Razak.

As a Kwong Fook Wing customer, Tun Dr Ismail was a no-nonsense man, but once one got to know him, he was a practical man who accepted suggestions, even from his humble tailor. If not for the cruel blow of fate that befell him and the country on 2 August, 1973, Kim Lyew feels that Malaysia's history and destiny would surely have been entirely different from what it is today.

Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin, President, Dewan Negara (1973-1980)

Tun Omar Ong, a prewar Victorian, was in the Alliance delegation led by Tunku Abdul Rahman that flew to London in 1956 and 1957 to negotiate for Malaya's independence from Britain.

Ever the great diplomat, Tun Omar was unfailingly polite and never failed to charm everybody, including a layman like Kim Lyew. His fitting appointments were looked forward to as he would share his diplomatic experiences during his long term as Malaysia's Ambassador to the United States from 1962-1972.

Tun Omar possessed a natural gift for diplomacy. Kim Lyew remembers his account: "Even John and Jacqueline Kennedy and LBJ and Lady Bird were so charmed by me!" He said this not out of pride, but to illustrate the effectiveness of good diplomacy. Tun Omar was an amazing and inspiring personality.

Kim Lyew benefited much from Tun Omar's informal lessons on the value of life and the importance of diplomacy, which he treasures to this day. "Behind every successful man is a great woman." And surely through the years of contact with her husband, Toh Puan Aisyah Ong comes across as the great woman behind the Tun's success. She is admired by many for her unconditional kindness, her devotion to her family and her unwavering commitment to serve society and the community.

British High Commissioners, Post-Merdeka

Kwong Fook Wing served three post-Merdeka British High Commissioners, all of whom gave glowing recomendations to others:

Sir Geofroy Tory (1957 - 1963) was a gifted linguist who first joined the prewar dominions/colonial service. As British High Commissioner of Malaya, he was involved in negotiations leading to full independence and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

Lord Antony Head (1963 - 1965) served during the tense period of confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia, overseeing Britain's defence commitments to Malaysia.

Sir John Johnston (1971 - 1974) was, from 1956 to 1957, head of the Far Eastern Department of the Colonial Office concerned with negotiating the independence constitution of Malaya. He represented the British government at the Merdeka celebrations.

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent

When Lord Head was the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, he brought Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent and sister-in-law of the late King George VI, to Kwong Fook Wing. She enquired if Peng Koon could tailor some suits for her son, Prince Edward. However, he could not oblige as he did not have the Duke's measurements.

Nevertheless, the Princess purchased some Moygashel linen, the world's highest quality Irish linen, as she was very impressed with the pair of linen trousers that had been tailored earlier for Lord Head.

Ambassadors and PMs

Foreign Ambassadors and even a visiting Prime Minister were also full of praise for Kwong Fook Wing's fine workmanship and courteous service:

Sir Robert Menzies was Prime Minister of Australia from 1939 - 1941 and 1949 - 1966. During his second term, Australia contributed troops to the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, and the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. He had a suit made while on a visit to Malaya in 1959.

Mr. Thomas K. Critchley was the Australian High Commissioner (1955 - 1965);

Dr. Robert Van Gulik was the Netherland's Ambassador (1959 - 1963);

A former soldier who saw action in World War Two, Col. Charles Moihi Te Arawaka Bennett, the New Zealand High Commissioner (1959 - 1963), was his country's first Maori diplomat;

Dr Mario Filo della Torre was the Italian Ambassador (1959 - 1963), followed later by Mr. Pier Marcello Masotti (1972 - 1976);

Mr. Arne Fältheim, was the Swedish Ambassador (1976 - 1981);

Following his term of service in Malaya (1975 - 1979), Mr. Donald McDonald Gordon, the British Deputy High Commissioner, was posted to Cyprus. There, as he wrote to Kim Lyew, he found his Kwong Fook Wing-made light-weight and London-weight suits perfect for the Cypriot hot summers and mild winters.

Zain Azahari, Lawyer and Art Collector

Zain Azahari, an ex-Victorian and prominent lawyer and founder of Zain & Co., has been a Kwong Fook Wing client for six decades. He is one of Malaysia's most respected art collectors of modern and contemporary Malaysian art. The Zain Azahari Collection stands at over 1,000 pieces and is acknowledged to be one of the most significant private collections in Malaysia.

His late father, Tan Sri Zainal Abidin, and his late brother, Tan Sri Zain Azraai, former VI School Captain and Malaya's permanent representative at the United Nations also had their suits made at Kwong Fook Wing.

The Fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Fitting appointments with Kwong Fook Wing's distinguished client, Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah of Trengganu, were either at Istana Negara (during the period when he was the Agong from 1965 to 1970) or at Istana Trengganu at Jalan Kia Peng or even at Istana Badariah in Kuala Trengganu.

So curious was the Tuanku about the location of his tailor that one day his car stopped in front of the shop at 60, Sultan Street and he got out. Caught by surprise, Peng Koon could only offer him a glass of orange crush before the royal visitor left.

Whenever Kim Lyew's trips took him to the Trengganu capital, he would be well taken care of. Tuanku Ismail would never fail to express his interest in the welfare of the family. Once he even took Kim Lyew out on his motorboat for a late afternoon cruise in the South China Sea.

Tuanku graciously granted Kim Lyew's request for a royal charter in 1977.

(In neighbouring Kelantan, Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad was also a Kwong Fook Wing client in the fifties.)

The Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, the Sultan of Kedah, served as the fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia from 1970 to 1975, and again as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 2011 to 2016. He was the first person to reign twice as Malaysia's monarch, as well as the oldest elected to the office.

In 1974, Kwong Fook Wing tailored the suits for his Majesty's state visit to Britain to meet with Queen Elizabeth II. Later, an autographed photo dated July 9th 1974 was received from the King showing the Duke of Edinburgh, the Raja Permaisuri Agong, the smartly dressed Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Three Future Sultans

The first week of April 1967 was a memorable time for Kwong Fook Wing: three princes - from Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu and Perak - patronised the shop. These three princes later became rulers of their respective states. Tuanku Mahmud was proclaimed as Sultan of Terengganu in 1979, while Raja Azlan Shah became the Sultan of Perak in 1984 and Tunku Muhriz the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan in 2008.

Tuanku Muhriz, Yang di-Pertuan Besar, Negeri Sembilan

Tunku Mustapha ibni Tunku Besar Bahanuddin, of Negeri Sembilan was a customer of Kwong Fook Wing well before Merdeka. In 1966, Tunku Mustapha brought along his 18-year-old nephew, Tunku Muhriz, Tunku Besar Seri Menanti, to make a dinner suit.

When Tuanku Muhriz was proclaimed the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan in December 2008, Kim Lyew was given the privilege and honour to make Tuanku's kain songket royal attire for his installation on 26 October 2009. The ceremony was especially significant for the people of Negeri Sembilan as it heralded a new ruler after 40 years!

The Discovery Channel was granted unprecedented access to the palace to produce a documentary showcasing the uniqueness and the rich culture and heritage of the Negeri Sembilan monarchy. During the filming of the preparations preceding Tuanku's installation at Istana Hinggap in Seremban, Kim Lyew was honoured to be invited to be present for Tuanku's fitting and was featured in the documentary which was shown worldwide.

With acknowledgements to Dato' Khong Kim Lyew for his permission
to use material from the Kwong Fook Wing 2015 Centennial Souvenir.

VI The V.I. Web Page

Created on October 6, 2020.
Last update October 6, 2020.