June 19, 2015
Sibu Tales : Foochow Men and Guns before 1963
This photo must have been taken during one of the visits to my Grand Aunt's lovely home, Chong Villa.
Two guns are obviously seen here in the photo.
My father was a keen shooter and so were his friends in those days.
The guns were "hoong chiin" or air gun. Rifles and semi automatic guns were a bit rare but probably owned too as guns were easy to buy and licences easy to obtain.
Farmers especially needed the guns. Surveyors mapped and surveyed with guns at their side throughout Sarawak. Thus any one who could afford a gun, carried a gun , even in public.
My grandfather also owned a gun and so did my father.
With the Indonesian Confrontation against Malaysia (1962 onwords) and the Communist Insurgency in Sarawak, the Chinese were asked to "surrender their guns" to the police as soon as possible.
Thus my grandfather and my father being obedient Sarawak citizens had a discussion and promptly surrendered their guns. Not long after that. my Grandfather passed away.
Thus ended an era of gun ownership and freedom to carry a gun amongst the Chinese.
Wild boars, snakes, crocodiles and bats had to be killed by inviting Malays or Ibans to come to the Chinese farms. But anyway, farming was disrupted by the political unrest and thousands of Chinese moved to Sibu and Kuching, resulting in an upsurge for property buying and also housing construction.