MALACCA: Descendants of Chong Piang, who served under Kapitan Yap Ah Loy converged at the historic city for their eight annual Lunar New Year reunion event.
Eight generations of Chong Piang’s family, also known as Chong Si, gathered at a relative’s house in Kota Laksamana.
Chong was believed to have come to Malacca in the middle of the 19th century under orders from Yap.
During the Selangor Civil War from 1867 to 1873, Chong helped to defeat Yap’s enemies and protected the Kapitan’s interest here and in Kuala Lumnpur.
One of Chong’s descendants is Dr Teo Ban Kiat, 78, a Peranakan from Pulau Gadong here.
“We have not forgotten our origins and gathered here today in the spirit of remembering our forefathers,” he said.
Other than Malaysia, Chiang’s descendants now live in Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia and Singapore.
Ban Kiat said the Chinese New Year gathering has been held eight times since 2004. The gathering was first held at their ancestral home in Pulau Gadong and also other locations in Malacca.
This year, it was his son-in-law Teo Chan Fatt's turn to organise the event at his new home in Kota Laksamana with 250 family members attending.
Ban Kiat said the diversity of Chong’s descendants prompted him to research their origins using a DNA device he obtained from a research centre in Texas, United States.
He said the saliva samples from Teo Gu Niang (88-year-old from the fifth generation) was sent for DNA identification.
“It revealed we also have relatives among the Batak community of Indonesia and Arabs.”
Ban Kit said the family originated from the District of Huiyang, Guangdong Province – the same hometown as Yap.
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