Found – a rare Malayan police manual Notes on secret societies (Caxton Press, Kuala Lumpur 1953) by one C. T. Dobree. It is more of an anthropological study than a detective’s manual with much emphasisis on the initiation ceremonies of each society; there are also notes on secret methods of communication known only to society members. This what he writes on the Wah-Kee (aka ‘Chow Fah Chee Tow’ or ‘Sze Kor Long.’) The way of refusing a cigarette is interesting – ‘push back the cigarette with hand-palm facing inwards.’
Jargons and signs.
After initiations the new members to the brotherhood are taught the secret jargons and signs by which strangers to one another may identify themselves as being of the one brotherhood.
These are some of the jargons and signs in common use: –
a) Where do you come from? – from Singapore. (This is because the Malayan Wah Kee started in Singapore).
b) What is your surname? – Either Sui (Water) or Loke (land), or Peng (Peace) or Onn (Tranquility).
c) Are you long or short? – Long.
d) Do you sink or float? – Float.
e) Are you heavy or light? – Light.
or this object heavy? – No. It is light.
f) How do you come? – Walk(even though you actually came by car or by train).
g) Who is your master? Name the one who conducted your initiation ceremony.
a) In a coffee shop when a few members gather together and if they do not wish a member to say anything which will divulge a secret, all they have to do is to cover the tea cup with their palms.
b) When a member pours tea into another member’s cup, he taps his middle finger on the table by the side of the cup to show you.
c) If a member is offered a cigarette, and if he refuse, he has to push back the cigarette with his hand-palm facing inwards.
d) If a member is a stranger to another place, and he wishes himself to be recognised, he can stand with his arms folded showing four right fingers on the left arm and five left fingers on the right arm.
e) Tugging at the chin is also another indication of a Wah Kee member.
f) The figure 4 is yet another indication.