AN artist colony called the Khoo Kongsi Arts Village will be set up within the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi complex in Penang.
Khoo Kongsi president Tan Sri Khoo Kay Por said restoration of eight pre-war houses nearest to the clan temple had been completed for the purpose.
“We are currently in talks with Pempena Sdn Bhd to lease these eight units for a special Khoo Kongsi Arts Village artist colony to house artists and craftsmen for tourists to visit,” he said recently at the launching of the centenary celebration of the rebuilding of the clan temple. .
Khoo said Pempena would also be looking into the conversion of 16 additional pre-war units at the entrance to the association into high-end heritage homes for rental.
The target was international guests who are interested in the Malaysia, My Second Home programme, he added.
Khoo said since the temple reopened in 2002 after a RM4.2mil restoration, over 200,000 tourists had visited the clan house.
“This is a success story in terms of ticketed tourism attraction in the state,” he said.
Deputy Speaker Lye Siew Weng launched the logo and centenary celebration of the association's temple on behalf of Deputy Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Wong Kam Hoong.
In his speech read out by Lye, Wong said the Khoo Kongsi had made tremendous contributions to the development of Penang.
He said the association's historic relevance was undeniable but more important was its role in keeping fellow clansmen together, be it in education, religion or culture.
Also present were Khoo Kongsi vice-president Datuk Khoo Keat Siew, State Tourism Committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow, and state assemblymen Ooi Chuan Aik, Lim Gim Soon and Lee Hack Teik.
Activities to be held in conjunction with the centenary celebration include a celebration of the association's Patron Saint's birthday, mass wedding at the courtyard, an art and photography contest, a commemorative video documentary and first day cover issue by Pos Malaysia Bhd followed by a grand dinner on Dec 18.