K. Thamboosamy Pillay
: --) was a prominent Malaysian of
origin during the
pre-independence years. He was considered the leader of the
community. He was a wealthy
businessman, tin miner, moneylender and government
Thamboosamy was one of the founders and one
of the original Trustees of Victoria Institution as well as the
founder of the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala
Singapore in 1850, K.
Thamboosamy Pillay received his
early education at Raffles
. He sailed to Klang in 1875 with
James Guthrie Davidson, when
the latter was appointed Malaya's first British Resident.
Prior to that, he had been a clerk in the legal firm in which
Davidson was a partner.
He was later transferred to the Treasury where he eventually became
chief clerk and acted as State Treasurer on a few occasions.
sent to India by the
Malayan Government to bring over the first batch of Indian
immigrants for the Railway and Public Works.
resigned from Government service in the 1880s and, going into
partnership with Towkay Loke Yew
the New Tin Mining Company in Rawang. They were the first to use
electric pumps for mining in Malaya.
A Justice of Peace and member of the prestigious KL Sanitary Board,
Thamboosamy was the acknowledged leader of the Tamil
community. His other business interests
included coffee planting, real estate and construction.
He was a
member of both the Selangor Club and the Turf Club and owned several horses.
Thamboosamy died in 1902 in Singapore, where he had gone to attend a meeting at the
Singapore Turf Club.
of Peace and member of the prestigious KL Sanitary Board,
Thamboosamy was the acknowledged leader of the Tamil community in Malaya, especially in Kuala Lumpur.
Thamboosamy was one of the founders and one of the original
Trustees of Victoria
. One of the sports houses in VI is named after him.
His son, K. T. Ganapathy Pillay, was a Victorian and served as the
second President of the VIOBA.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala
Lumpur was founded by Thamboosamy in 1873 and was
initially used as a private shrine by the Pillai family.
family threw open the temple doors to the public in the late 1920s
and eventually handed the management of the temple over to a board
the oldest functioning Hindu temple in
is also reputed to be the richest in the country. The Temple was
originally sited somewhere near the Kuala Lumpur
It shifted to its present location along
Jalan Tun H.S. Lee (next to KL's
) in 1885.
also said to have discovered Batu Caves, with its vel-shaped
entrance, and was inspired to start a Hindu
temple in devotion to Lord
So great was Thamboosamy's philanthropic spirit, that he donated
money to whoever needed it, regardless of race or religion. He
contributed a sizeable amount of money to the building fund of
St. Mary's Cathedral,
in 1893, despite being a Hindu
Awards and Recognition
A street in the Chow Kit
district and a
Tamil primary school in Sentul
also named in his memory.