October 12, 2020
The late Dato Choo Ching Hwa (1931-1996) and his wife, Datin Choo Lein Sei Keng, travelled around the world to conduct research on the design and development of cemeteries in the early 1980s shortly after Dato Choo retired from political activities. They set up Xiao En Memorial Park, Malaysia’s first private landscape cementery in 1987. The modern architecturally designed Xiao En Centre was officially opened on 1 June 2007 in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Covering a space of 13,900 sq metres it has an exhibition center, seminar hall, life care resource center, theater, auditorium, and funeral facilities.
The Choo members continues Dato Choo’s legacy to manage Xiao En Group as a close knit family. The Chairman of the board is Datin Choo, Managing Director is her eldest son, Dato Frank Choo Chuo Siong, Planning & Design Director is another son Keng Choo Cheng Siong, and daughter Nancy Choo Yuen Sze is Sales & Marketing Director.
An alumnus of Chung Ling High School Penang, the late Dato Choo Ching Hwa founded the “Xiao En Memorial Park” which is the first Malaysian private cemetery granted by the government. As to the name, Datuk Choo said, “The thought of naming the first Malaysia modernized Chinese cemetery as “Xiao En Memorial Park” is to deliver the importance of Chinese virtues of filial piety (Xiao) and gratitude (En) towards parents and elderly.”(Ming Sheng Daily 1994). Dato Choo retired from politics in the 1980s to begin his entrepreneurial journey with his wife, Datin Choo Lein Sei Keng, who is currently the Chairman of Xiao-en Group. He was involved in property development but saw the great need for proper funeral care that would enable the younger generations to venerate their parents and grandparents who have departed. The Choos travelled the world to find the most suitable kind of memorial parks for Malaysian Chinese. Xiao-en was the crystallisation of their dreams. You can read more of the story of the Founder of Xiao-en from https://xiao-en.com/aboutus-2/
- XIAO EN. Our Company. About us. https://xiao-en.com/our-company/
- Dato Choo Ching Hwa. The Founder of Xiao En Group. https://xiao-en.com/aboutus-2/
- Archipel. Open Edition Journals. Claudine Salmon. From Cemeteries to Luxurious Memorial Parks. With Special Reference to Malaysia and Indonesia. https://journals.openedition.org/archipel/320?lang=en
- The Star Online. Star Cherish. 27 November 2018. First “Death Festival” in Malaysia. https://www.starcherish.com/resources/first-death-festival-malaysia