Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.





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   About Us

   Mr. Lau King Howe

   Hospital History



      On 1st September 1994, the Public Health Service in Sibu experienced a great change with the completion and commencement of the operation of the brand new General Hospital located at 5 1/2 mile Jalan Oya. The occasion was definitely a very significant event for the people of central region Sarawak in general and Sibu in particular. Prior to that date, the Lau King Howe Hospital, established in 1936, was the only hospital in this region serving the need of the sick and those who needed medical and health care for nearly 60 years. Throughout this period, even with the continuous expansion of population, Lau King Howe Hospital had never been very well equipped. Nevertheless it was the only hospital the people of Sibu relied upon to provide the necessary medical service. To most people in Sibu, this was not just another hospital, it meant much more - as the development history of Lau King Howe Hospital tells us stories that exhibited the admirable goodness of human nature. Therefore while the availability of a bigger, better and more modern equipped General Hospital was definitely good news for Sibu, the subsequent closing down of the Lau King Howe Hospital sadden us all.

      We applaud the progress for the enhancement of living standards. However, we should also be appreciative and grateful to the goodness that we received from whatever source it may come from. Sibu people have been particularly well known for our generosity, compassion and hospitality.

      Though the closure of Lau King Howe Hospital signified the end of a chapter in the history of Sibu, and the Sibu communities wish to see that the contribution of this hospital will be always remembered and that the spirit of the Lau King Howe lives on in the minds and hearts of our people forever.

      Thus, the preservation of the revered Lau King Howe Hospital became a popular issue among the community. To commemorate the profound love and noble deed of a Lau King Howe and to tell the story of medical history of Sibu, it was decided that there was a definite need to preserve a part of Lau King Howe Hospital for conversion into Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum.

A committee towards this end was formed in 1994
, with members drawing from:
   a. United Chinese Association Sibu Division
   b. Sarawak Chinese Cultural Association
   c. Sibu Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry
   d. Malaysian Medical Association Sibu Sub-branch
   e. Sibu Hotel & Tourism Association

                    The committee was headed by then United Chinese Association Sibu Division
President Pemanca Datuk Lau Hieng Ing
The other members of the
Committee include: -
Datuk Lau Hui Kang
YB Datuk Tiong Thai king
Datuk Teng Chin Hua
Dr Liding Jonyian
Dr Hu Chang Hock
Teo Tiao Jin
Goh Chung Siong
Kapitan Chew Kim Boo
Chung Ching Lien
Tseng Choon Chih
Hong Wing Huong
Vice Chairmen Lau Nai Hoh
Secretary Dr Hu Chang Lek
Assistant Secretaries Lau Lee Ming,
Bernand Sim Boon Khuay,
Hii Sieh Toh
Treasurer Ting Sik Kang
Assistant Treasurer Wong Sie Lee



Building Committee of Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum


      The most important task of the committee was to seek approval and support from the government authorities for the setting up of this Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum, particularly from the Health Department. Eventually the Sarawak Health Department approved the proposal of setting of the museum and consented that the Outpatient Department/ Specialist Clinic block of the Lau King Howe Hospital would suitably be renovated to house it. The site building decided, the committee commissioned Architect Teng Mee Huong to carry out the design and layout of the Museum. The total cost of the refurnishment and renovation amounted to RM 450,000 (USD 132,000) which was raised through public donations. The committee was grateful to Dr. Meganathan R and Sibu Health Department for taking up the duties of preserving the artifacts and responsibilities of the administrative duties. In May 1996, the construction and renovation work of the Museum was completed. The Museum was officially declared opened on 3rd August 1996 by YB Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr Wong Soon Kai Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak. Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng paid a visit to Lau King Howe Memorial Museum on 13th June 1997. Over the years, the Museum was well patronized by visitors from both local and outside Sarawak. Through the combined efforts of the local communities and the government authority, Sibu made history by establishing a Medical Museum the first in Malaysia.

      With the launching of the development of Second Phrase of Sibu Town Square in and around the site of the Memorial Museum, the accessibility to the Museum was affected. Thus the committee was forced to temporary close down the Museum in June 2006. In the process of Town Square development, the government authority suggested all the remaining old Lau King Howe Hospital buildings should be demolished and the artifacts and exhibits of the Museum should be relocated to another suitable place. Such unexpected news was a blow to the communities and the people of Sibu who had put in so much efforts to make this project a reality. The committee earnestly strives to do everything possible to ensure that we keep and maintain the present Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum. The Sibu communities were deeply appreciative of YB Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and the Sibu Barisan Nasional Visionary Team for their efforts to persuade the government authority to keep the Museum Site. However one part of the building could not be spared from being demolished. Despite that fact, it did not really affect the basic requirements of the museum. The development of the second phrase of the Town Square took approximately over a year to complete. During this period, the artifacts and exhibits had to be moved out of the premise to avoid being damaged or risked of being stolen. With the demolition of part of the building, the remaining building structure, both exterior and interior required a total facelift. With the resignation of Pemanca Datuk Lau Hieng Ing as Chairman of the committee, a new management committee was appointed by YB Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh to take charge of the project. The new committee headed by Vincent Lau Lee Ming includes: -
Advisors: YB Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh,
YB Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew,
YB Datuk Tiong Thai King,
YB Vincent Goh Chung Siong,
Ybhg Cr. Daniel Ngieng Kiong Ann,
Pengarah Kesihatan Negeri Sarawak Dr. Mohd Kamil Hassan
Secretary: Dr Hu Chang Hock
Treasurer: Mr. John Ting Sik Kang
Committee Members: Mr. Hii Chang Kee,
Mr. Jong Thian Puk,
Mr. Johnny Wong Sie Lee,
Mr. Frankie Ting Ming Hui,
Mr. Lau Kiu Seng,
Mdm Hiing Mee Giong.


      The new committee immediately embarked on another round of refurnishment and renovation work. The committee engaged Architect firm JRC to come up with drawing plan. This time around the total project which included the construction of a public lavatory adjacent to the museum cost approximately RM 1,000,000 (USD 295,000). The committee again had to solicit donations from the general public to fund the renovation works. The Management Committee is extremely grateful to many organizations and individuals for their generosity, particularly the following contributors for their donations:-
   1. Sarawak Pan Chen Lau's Clan Association - of RM 300,000
   2. Sibu Kwong Yuen Benevolent Society RM 300,000
   3. Hui Kang Suk Ding Foundation - RM 50,000
   4. KTS Trading Sdn Bhd for sponsoring all the air conditioners (cost RM 80,000)
   5. Bintulu Lumber Development Sdn Bhd - RM 50,000

      The renovation was completed on November 2008 and the museum was reopened to the public after the soft launching officiated by YB Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Second Finance Minister, Minister for Environment and Public Health Sarawak on 4th December 2008. We wish to record our sincere appreciation once again to Sarawak Health Department for being responsible to take charge of the setting up of artifacts and exhibits, Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) Sibu and Sibu Municipal Council for providing assistance in so many ways to ensure that facilities are in place and the Museum restored.

      A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 6th July 2009 between the Management Committee, Sibu Municipal Council and the Health Department that cemented co-operation between the three parties to ensure smooth operation of the Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum.


Unveiling the statue of the late Mr. Lau King Howe.



Quotation from LAU KING HOWE HOSPITAL - 1996 Dr. Hu Chang Hock FRCP

The mission and objectives of having Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum is well summarized by the management committee secretary, Dr. Hu Chang Hock FRCP in his book "Brief Historical Notes on Lau King Howe Hospital-1996" which we quote: -

  1. It is designed to remember, perpetuate and propagate the "Spirit of Lau King Howe"- his sincerity, "inner goodness", benevolence, generosity and his profound love for the sick, poor and disadvantaged. It is at the core of the "Spirit of Sibu"- a combination of good virtues and practices of many in Sibu – Christianity, Confucianism, and other teachings and ways of life (religious or otherwise) at their heights (spiritually, morally or otherwise). Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wong Soon Kai are living examples of the propagation of this "Spirit" of adapted form – some would term it profound "heroic" love at work, Lau King Howe's spirit guiding lights at public display.

  2. It is the first of its kind in Sarawak. It will attempt to illustrate the changing pattern of diseases – from those infectious diseases such as diphtheria, malaria, tuberculosis spectrum in their prominence in the 1930s to the 1950s to the chronic diseases at their prevalence today- diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease, etc.

  3. It will also attempt to illustrate the progress of medicine. The exhibits of the age old reverent equipment of Lau King Howe Hospital and the pictorial illustrations of the modern equipment available at the Sibu Hospital today will attempt to highlight how far we in Sibu have come to acquaint with and adapt to the new advances in tools of medical applications.

  4. It hopefully will also indirectly reflect the general trends of development in Sibu health care as well as improvement in social, economic and other fields. In fact, to a certain extent, the museum will also be a miniature of "health and sickness" spectrum of Sarawak community life, and transformation taken place over the last few decades.

Thus, it is our paramount, collective duty to uphold and slough hard to distill for the "goodness" and " beauty" of this period of Sibu life and ensure that they will continue to guide and enrich the lives of many at the present and in the future. The museum as it designed will not be static: - it will be responsible to the dynamic history and its burdens and legacies of LKHH era; it will definitely continually be shaped and influenced by the ideas and actions of Lau King Howe "successors" embodied with his ideals, zeal and spirit. For this, we humbly, solemnly commit to strive hard to achieve and maintain.


History in memories~~


Original Logo of Lau King Howe Hospital.


Main entrance of Lau King Howe Hospital


T. B./Chest Ward

Maleng Flat-Medical Staff living quarters

Copyright 2011 LAU KING HOWE HOSPITAL MEMORIAL MUSEUM ASSOCIATION, SIBU. All Rights Reserved.