Tin Malaysia cash coin
State of Trengganu

Vladimir Belyaev, charm@postman.ru
November 27, 1999
Last update October 11, 2003

Description from The Encylopaedia of The Coins of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, 1400-1967, Saran Singh, Kuala Lumpur, 1996, #43:

Within a circle of dots in Chinese Teck Soon Kongsi (pinyin Chinese De Shun Gong Si, Teck Soon Company) and Peng Ngo (cyclical year 1907).
Two dotted circles with a central dot at left and right below. Around a border WEE SIN HEE 1907 <Wee Sin Hee was founder of the Teck Soon Company - VB>

Reverse: Within a circle of dots in Jawi Sin and Hee (issuer's name Sin Hee) above and below the hole. To the left and right of the central hole are the lions rampant holding a trident

Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Diameter: 32.3 mm
Weight: 7.3 g

State of Trengganu (1725-1967) - one of the Malaysia peninsula sultanats.
Coin is a private monetary token (jokoh), issued during reign of Sultan Zainal al Abidin III (1881-1918).

At the top of the obverse - Chinese countermark Wee (Huang in Mandarin Chinese) - the surname of family name. Thanks for countermark identification to Mr.Luis J.A.Wee (Wee Jin Ann), the representative of the fifth generation of the Wee Sin Hee's lineage.
The earlier opinion of Dr.T.D.Yih was that it is Chinese character Gong - tribute, gift.

Message from Dr.T.D.Yih (8-Dec-99):
          I enclose a picture of another Teck Soon specimen (weight 7.97 g, diameter 31.9 mm; thickness 1.5 mm). On my piece the inscription on the border mentioning the name of the issuer Wee Sin Hee, a local trader in Kuala Trengganu, is badly visible. Peculiarly, some characters have been covered by red lacquer - on the obverse the character "Teck/Te" and on the reverse the arabic character "Hi".

Dr.T.D.Yih (8-Dec-99):
      In the Encylopaedia ... by Saran Singh there is misspelling in the name of state (Terengganu). The stamp on the left clearly shows correct name Trengganu.
Kenny Ong (12-Jan-00):
      I wish to highlight to you about the state name.
The name Terengganu is correct at the time of Saran Singh's publication. (see enclosed a stamp in another picture attached). In the past it was called Trengganu during the British, and in ancient times in Chinese record as Ting-kah-nu etc etc.
      So Terengganu is a correct spelling. This was changed perhaps in the mid 80's. Same goes to Malacca and Melaka today. It was Malaca, Malaque, Malaka during 15th century.

Message from Luis J.A.Wee (09-Oct-2003):
    Dear Sir,

          On behalf of the Wee family in Kuala Terengganu, I wish to express our appreciation to you for your kind interest in the above matter. The page was just recently shown to me. In the interest of accuracy, please kindly allow me to correct an error in the intepretation by Dr T.D.Yih regarding the chop mark on top of the coin. The word should be Wee (Hwang - the surname of my family name in Mandarin character) not Gong. I fully understand that it is rather hard to read the blurred character.

          Please also allow me to show some light into Wee Sin Hee, who was my grandgrandfather, the issuer of the coin.

          1. Wee Sin Hee was the son of Wee Kiat Kheng who came from Fuxian <Fujian? - VB> province in China. He was linked to the Ching government of the day as he had in his possession a full uniform of a Mandarin official. He set sail for present day Kuala Terengganu from Tongan, in Fuxian province via Thailand in the 18th century.

          2. Wee Sin Hee was born in Kuala Terengganu, it was he who brought fame to our family name. His business was trading in indigenous products (pinang paste), tobacco and salt in Thailand, China and Terengganu. He started to build his legacy with the construction of more than 10 shophouses in the town and also became a friend of Sultan. The coins the he issued, together with all other Jokoh coins of that time were banned by the British in 1869.

          3. Among the many shopshouses, two are prominent to this day with the name Teck Soon (given to my grand uncle Wee Siau Suan) and the other is Teck Soon Kee, which was given to my late grandfather (Dato' Dewa Bakti Wee Siau Chaun). My grandfather was the only son, among the four that Sin Hee had, who carried on the business which later expanded downstream and upstream fishing industry.

          4. The two shophouses Teck Soon and Teck Soon Kee still stand proudly today reflecting its rich heritage in Kuala Terengganu chinatown. Please find herewith attached the photos of the two shophouses (photo 1, 2, 3 and 4) and Wee Sin Hee himself.

          5. Wee Sin Hee tomb also still stands today on top of a hill overlooking the mouth of the Terenganu river. The land was given by the late Sultan of Terengganu in honour of his contributions to the state. According to chinese traditions, such a site brings good "feng shui" - good flow of energy/vibrations, which will flow through to his decendants.

          6. The coin museum of Malayan Banking head-office in Kuala Lumpur has some pieces of my family coins well preserved, it is open to the public.

          I am the fifth generation from the Wee Sin Hee lineage.
          Thanks for your interest in our heritage.

          Luis J.A.Wee (Wee Jin Ann)

Another Trengganu jokoh Hiap Hin Kongsi.

Any additional information highly appreciated.

Chinese Coinage Web Site