December 22, 2011

One of the TWO FIRST Chinese to Plant Rubber in the Rajang 1901-1907

Who was the Hokkien man who planted the first rubber trees in Sibu in the 1900's? The Foochows have always known that Wong King Huo as the first Chinese who planted rubber in Sibu...but do you know anything about the Hokkien history?

The Hokkiens are actually from Xia Men or Amoy (old English word). And perhaps there were more than two amongst those who came with Wong Nai Siong.




Rubber was first planted in the Ensurai area by the Foochows brought to Sibu by Wong Nai Siong.But surprising there was one Amoy or Mingnan man amongst them and he settled together with the Kutiens in Ensurai as one of the earliest courageous rubber planters. Indeed out of 1118 Foochow pioneers brought by Wong Nai Siong there could be more than 1 Hokkien (Amoy) man amongst them To date no one has made a complete name list of the 1118 Foochow pioneers who came to Sibu!!
(Photo is courtesy of Wong Meng Lei )

His name is Kuo Yew Tzu...the grandfather of Han Sen (aka Mr. Bean)- you can also visit his famous outlet at Beautiful View Garden near Bukit Aup in Sibu..and enjoy his special hand man noodle dishes...

28 comments:

天鵝江畔 said...

Kuok Yew Dew(郭友竹)
--According to the thesis of Kiu Mee Kuok, The diffusion of Foochow Settlement in Sibu-Binatang Area Central Sarawak 1901-1970, for the degree of Master of Arts in Geography December 1972. Sarawak Chinese Cultural Association used to published as a book title at 1997.
Actually in an article written by Wong Nai Siong(Huang NaiShang),during the 3rd batch recruitment he went to Foochow(Fuzhou) districts like Changle(長樂), Fuqing(福清), and he also went to Hin Hua, Yien Ping(延平,now called Nang Ping南平)and Quan Zhou(泉州)and recorded that the migrants majority is Foochows but others around 100 only.Quan Zhou(泉州)near by Xiamen belong to Ming Nang Area(ie Amoy language).
I m interesting to find out more details about the foochow settlement 1901-1903 there were how many non-Foochow people. We can do more research next April isn't?

Anonymous said...

how to find out? go and investigate the names of all the grave yards in sibu

Anonymous said...

hi Sarawakiana,the picture is photograph or painting? my grandfather picture looks like photo and also looks like painting

- Ah Ngao

Anonymous said...

how many trees were planted? i think it was a huge number. i wonder how this was done. they have to chop down the big trees and clear the land. how was this done?? it must be like cutting down timber and a lot of burnings.

a lot of environmental destruction. this is something we cannot think about. opening up the land to wong nai siong meant the starting of tropical rainforest destruction.

sarawakianaii said...

Hi ML..thanks for the extra notes on the history of Sibu. Yes we must do more research..next April...Make me a happy person to know that we can collaborate on this topic. And May God bless us with help and resources....Thank you.

sarawakianaii said...

Dear Anonymous
It is difficult to find out all thenames of the 1118 people who came to Sibu with Wong Nai Siong because not all graves were marked and secondly quite a number of the 1118 also went back to China to live out their last few years of their lives..
Besides many died in Sibu and many of their graves did not tell the stories of their arrival in Sibu in1901 or 1902...etc

sarawakianaii said...

Hi Ah Ngao..this is probably a photo of a photo of an old ceramic painting done in China (i.e. burning of photographic images on ceramic or porcelain)...like those photos on cemeteries...

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous
Any cultivation would be an incision into the natural environment. But if the cultivation respects the environment and keeps it in balance then thecultivation would not be invasive and destructive. Rice cultivation for example would lead to clearing of land but look at the rice terraces in the Philippines and Yunnan...they not only provide enough food for the human beings but beautiful the land!! Rubber trees grown by theFoochow pioneers were very small scale. The Rajahs saw to it that they could only cultivate small areas and rubber estates were never encouraged.
Forest removal came into being when bulldozers were introduced...read modern history please.

Ann said...

Hi CY,

Clap clap to your reply to Anonymous,

Let us have a balance and realistic discussion.

Without our forefathers and mothers coming to Sarawak, what would Sarawak be? Like some small settlement in PNG?

Without our fore fathers and mothers leaving China, they would be dead from persecution as Christians, from hunger from famine and floods.

Let us move forward, I am with Green peace and an environmentalist.

My Great Grand dad was the second batch of Cantonese who came to Sibu in 1907.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ann...I do believe that small farmers every where love their soils and their farms. They make compost..they burn some wood to increase Nitrates and Phosphurous and Potassiums useful for the rejuvenation of soils without introducing too amny chemicals. Simple burning in small farms do not bring about pollution...it is the huge infernos created by multinational companies which go haywire which can turn ugly if not controlled...Destruction of the forest can only come about because of extreme greed and aggressive profit making.

An Iban with a small chainsaw or a parang can only cut one or two trees a day..two bull dozers with link chainsaws can haul down four acres of trees in half a day...so go figure out..who is anti environment!! We love our mother earth and our soils...we grow what we need to feed our children and neighbours...and very often we coax our soils to give life and create seeds. We give back to our earth more than we take out. It is God's way. Wong Nai Siong practised Altruism...do good and do not expect reward. The next man Rev. James Hoover preached the same..he loved every one in Sibu...Dr. Lau King Howe specifically wanted his hospital to be built for ALL in Sibu..Melanaus..Ibans and all races were given treatement...equally and with the greatest of love.
This Christmas we must spread that love for all mankind around and let love grow and glow...

Sarawakiana

天鵝江畔 said...

reply to level 2 Anonymous
Sarawak Chinese Cultural Association did some research and study about the early pioneer's name 5-6 times of different grave yards at various places like the first chinese cemetery Kereto(opposite Sibu Bazzar),kanowit-the first chinese settlement along Rajang Basin,Matu,Sri Aman,Sarikei etc. I myself went through the first foochow Grave yard at AhPo(Lower Ensurai) the Kutian first settlement area, but becox of the wooden became blur cant see the word clearly.

Anonymous said...

天鵝江畔gave some good information that I never know. Did they publish the study some where? I think we should preserve and protect these historic graves (even they are just the graves).

Anonymous said...

i wonder if anybody got the full list of names of the second batch of Cantonese who came to Sibu in 1907 ? Sarawakiana,you think the Sarikei Cantonese association got a record?

- Ah Ngao

Anonymous said...

Sarawak Chinese Cultural Association should consider having a digital library

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Meng Lei..thanks for your help here..and I think we should all do more for this topic...and the idea about the old cemeteries is very good...Perhaps the local leaders can start the ball rolling!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous...we are looking forward to more published work by our historian Wong Meng Lei in the near future!! Cultural work and research is often not top priority and workers are few too...it is difficult to get good volunteers to do this useful work ...but the legacy is impactful.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao...a lot of work may have been done in Chinese..but for global spread of info the info must be digitalised and in different languages. A lot of the essence of real history is lost through translation....I am sure many documents by Cantonese can be found in Sarawak and in various journals..When I am next in Sibu I will find out more for you...Cheers

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to find out the annual budget of the Chinese Cultural Association?

Anonymous said...

The man you could contact is Teacher Chai Cheng Chung who is the secretary General of CCA in Sibu. You could contact him through Wong Meng Lei (Rajang Basin). Most of the fundings are small and we are actually very indebted to Teacher Chai for his tireless hard work and commitment. Many books have been published as a result of the activities of CCA

Sarawakiana@2

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarawakiana, I am curious to know who is this Kuo Yew Tze? Did he has any relation with one guy working in Beijing Restaurant? (People called him "Mou Lah Yei" surnamed Kuo too? Wanna the late Kuo that you mentioned above is a Foochow or other dialect then?
(Myself is surnamed Kuo, thus, it gave me much curiosity.Tks.)

Anonymous said...

DearMr.Kuo,
Kuo YewTze according to Meng Lei s research and his grandsons statements and family accounts would be the first Hokkien brought by Mr. Wong Nai Siong. He became this batch of pioneers to plant rubber in the Kutien dominant area of Ensurai. I am afraid I do not know Mr Mou Lah Yei. AND it would be interesting to many to chat with Mr. Mou at the Beijing restaurant. I think the next time I come to Sibu I must have dinner there with my friends!!Thanks for the tip.

Sarawakiana

Anonymous said...

Sarawakiana, Mr Kuo is nicknamed "mou lah yei" plse. At the same time, i m ms. Kuo lol..
Txz to know Kuo Yew Tze was in fact a Hokkien. Dono got relationship with those Kueh across Cross Road there or not. Or related to those in the Land & Survey Kch, Mr Kueh. Perhaps! But so far, i know those Kueh are actually Teochews then. If u go to Butterfly park there, one small stationery shop (4gotten already) just near to the old Sing King Hua there. The mid aged lady is Kueh too. May b there are lot of mysteries we can find from here. I likened to know more plse. I wish to read more history books too.
Another Kuo that in Tulai area, they have descendants selling fruits at below Palace Theatre n of course they have children who are pilot etc.. may b there are more stories on plating rubbers from them too. I know they have big families n rubber gardens in Tulai area or Meradong etc.. like that as I was too young then, my late DAD told me there are Foochow who surnamed Kuo are our relatives. Another one is repairing bikes across just right Catholic High Church and another one selling m/bikes in Jln Tansri there. If you are searching those, plse ask the one just across Catholic Church, then most stories can be written from there. Another Kuo is a seller in the Tamu. Ask ppl there. They are the few who had few hundred of acres of rubber gardens but this family is mainly in PUlau Keladi area.

Anonymous said...

& of course not 4getting the one from SRDC - Oliver Kuo ..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Ms Kuo..you are a treasure!! And definitely a gold mine! Meng Lei and I would like to meet up with you..and do more..Mr. Bean (Mr. Kuo's grandson) would also like to know more I am sure...This would really make a good historical document.
By the way Cameron Kuek and Raymond Kuek...any relatives of yours? They used to live in a shop house in Island Road..thanks..and hope to meet you too.

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