February 26, 2014

Nang Chong Stories :Lau Pang Sing- our Hero

Lau Pang Sing was our third uncle, the third son of Lau Kah Chui, and therefore the third brother of my mother. He was 10 years younger than my mother and who suffered the hunger, fears of the Japanese Occupation years in Sibu. His education was interrupted and that factor alone made him suffer a lot for the rest of his life. What was worst was my maternal grandmother was stranded in China during the war years. It was also during that time that my maternal grandfather passed away. So Uncle Pang Sing and Uncle Pang Teck were raised by my mother then only 17 years who planted rice and reared chickens and pigs throughout the 3 years and 8 months.

Uncle Pang Sing managed only three years of village school education. It was so little and yet just enough for him to get by. But in the olden days, "it was not enough for him to get a government job and hold a pen". He was never a Foochow man who had a pen in his pocket, or man "who wore longsleeved shirt and a necktie".

In the old days, he was considered "a choo chor nern", a Mr. Coarse Work Man.

However he was our hero more than any other men we knew.

And this is one of the stories.

By evening most of the women folks would be doing their day's laundry at the jetty where the water of the Rajang flowed fast and water was free.

Kids would be asked to stay away from the jetty because it would be full of women , not just from our household, but from the homes at the "back" or aw sang. There would be about 10 women washing clothes happily and it was an evening of close communication and happy chatting.

Our cousin Mee Ping was about 3 years old, just a little toddler. And how she got to the jetty no one really knew at that time because it was just so sudden. When a motor launch passed by, she just dropped into the water!!

Immediately the alarm was sounded. "Ah Ping has dropped into the river!!"

And Uncle Pang Sing dropped everything that he was doing and he ran from the house, all the 100 meters to the jetty. Every one was shouting. My sister was at that moment in the kitchen and she saw all the fear and commotion. Ah Ping was a precious little bundle of life.

He must have ran the 100 meters with Olympic speed. He was by then known as the Tarzan of Nang Chong. It was so involuntary for him to act like that. He immediately jumped into the fast flowing river and then he got up for more fresh air.

Every one gasped for air the first time he surfaced from the fast flowing water. Nothing!!


Within the next minute, he pulled up the gurgling little girl and thus Mee Ping was saved from a watery death.

How Uncle Pang Sing saved the little Mee Ping was miracle.

According to him he could not see anything, but by instinct he used his leg to touch the logs of the jetty as he thought he the baby might have been stuck in between the logs or under the logs. And sure enough he touched something soft. It was God's miracle.

It must have been the wonderful God who kept little Mee Ping safe under the log for Uncle Pang Sing's leg to reach her.

Today she is serving God as a volunteer English teacher in Kuala Lumpur.

How would anyone be so blessed? Who could have thought that Uncle Pang Sing's powerful leg would touch the little life under the log?

And it was just an extra effort of twice going under fast flowing river to save a life.

When my sister Chang Sing, who was an eye witness of this miracle told us the story after more than 55 years, she felt that she was still looking at all the scenario as if it was yesterday.

For years the family could not forget how we almost lost our little cousin to a watery death.

Our real life's hero, Uncle Pang Sing, was always a special man in our lives.

Today his God fearing and church going family continue to live simple lives and prosper like what the Bible says.

Story with Eye witness : Chang Sing.


Anonymous said...

Are we talking about the same Lau Pang Sing who happened to be a school teacher who taught at the Sacred Heart School when it was situated
along the Mission road?He was a teacher in the Chinese Dept.

Ensurai said...

No , that's the other Mr. Lau Pang Sing, the teacher. My uncle was a wharf labourer because he had only three years of school before the Japanese came.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

my 4th uncle was not so lucky. He drowned at 4. Which Ah Ping was it? The one I know?

Anonymous said...

It happened to my brother also. It must be around 1978 or 79. My younger (a year younger) and I must have been 9 0r 10 yo. I was playing on a small wooden motor launch parked by the bank of a small channel of the Rejang River (We stayed near the riverbank). Suddenly I heard my brother screaming and realised that he has fallen into the water Fortunately I have the sense to hold my brother hand while I held on the edge of the boat. I remember the water was swirling and it's like in a movie. My brother was saved. Really wonder how many people have drowned in the mighty rejang!

Ensurai said...

She is Hii Mee Ping. Much younger than you. I think she went to MSS 1985

Ensurai said...

Yes indeed. Today when I look at the wide Rajang River, I still shiver..how many have actually be sucked into the depths of the water? How many were eaten by the crocodiles? How many just disappeared in the swift currents? One most famous drowning case was that of Ling Beng Siew's uncle, the brother of Ling Chu Ming. He was bathing at the back of a motor launch and then he disappeared for ever.

Anonymous said...

If you have told us as one of your true English stories in the 1973 time, it would not only brighten our listenings, this is a story far than any books written. Today, down the journey I share your uncle's wonderful strength and wits at that instance nurtured from nature. Blessing to your cousin sister and the water was my worst fear which I also fell into the pond a few times some 50 years ago! I really read with fear and with tears. TQ for sharing.

Ensurai said...

Thank you for reading and enjoying the stories. I understand your fear of water. I am afraid of slippery floor because I had a very bad fall and fractured one of my spinal bones. To this day I shiver whenever I have to walk on wet floor. I need to hold on to something. Water is also feared by me but I try not to swim because of my skin allergies.

Hope you continue to read and make comments. God bless.

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