Would I have been born if my Great Grandfather and Grandfather did not arrive in Sibu on 16th March 1901?
Some of us said that if we Foochows did not know Wong Nai Siong in 1901 at least we should come and meet his great granddaughter Dr. Anne Pang (nee Wong Pi Yau) and buy the Huang Naishang book written by her.
3162011 - 110th Anniversary of the founding of Foochow Settlements in Sibu brought many Foochows from all over the world and all over Malaysia to Sibu to join in the various events put up by the various Foochow Associations.
The Foochow Association's Publication Committee set up a counter to sell books written by Sibu Foochow writers and published in Sibu. The latest book by the great grand daughter of Wong Nai Siong (the man responsible for bringing 1118 pioneer settlers to Sibu) - Dr. Anne Pang (Wong Pi Yau) was the key reason for this special photograph. Pi Yau - the ever humble writer came to sit with us and signed books for the enthusiastic purchasers and book loveres. Standing behind is Wong Meng Lei the man who was responsible for encouraging Pi Yau to publish her book in Sibu. Hailing from Melbourne she would never have thought that her book would be Sibu born!! Via email exchanges the book finally came into fruition from conception (it has her PhD thesis) to book form. There is her original English version selling at RM40. The Chinese version was the result of two months concentrated effort by Kiki Choo Siaw Chi and the price tag is only RM25.
The covers of the book - Huang Naishang
However unknown to many Pi Yau related to some of us that she was the painter of the Wong Nai Siong image. In her mind her great grandfather was always very upright in stature and in principle. The image of a windy background also indicated the life spirit of Wong Nai Siong who believed in change for the better and moving forward. The painting thus exudes the idea of reformation and active service to the community in particular and the world at large.
The back cover is made up of a collage of small pictures depicting new leaves and changing of the season. It portrays how Wong Nai Siong "dropped his leaves" and planted a growing Christian community in Sarawak.
One chapter (Chapter 3 page 138) in the book has "surprised" many Sibu readers and leaders included. Wong Nai Siong believed in the virtue of altruism - the principle which can be found in Sermon on the Mount and the Christian tenet of "Love your neighbour as yourself". This topic may be in the conversation of many Sibu people for a while.Altruism is practised by missionaries like James Hoover and his wife Mary Hoover who gave without seeking reward. Rev and Mrs. John Pilley lived in Sibu for many years and provided examples of what real giving is about.
Doing good without seeking reward! May this century be full of stories of people who practise altruism.
(Altruism (pronounced /ˈæltruːɪzəm/) is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among religions. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.
Altruism can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty and duty. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, a god, a king), a specific organization (for example, agovernment), or an abstract concept (for example, patriotism etc.). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits that recognition of the giving may bring. - Wikipedia)