November 23, 2015

Sibu Tales : Unhappy "Nail in the Eye" Ghost

There was once a very poor family in which a duaghter in law would do all the work like a slave, planting vegetables, reared ducks and chickens for both meat and eggs.

The mother in law ill treated her because she had four daughters and one son and the only one living with her. The other two sons and their wives were overseas being better educated.

This son worked in timber in Indonesia and was known to have another wife in Indonesia, as was a common practice in those days by most Foochow men. Some good Foochow men did not keep a secondary wife when they worked in the timber camps.


While the son was working away in Indonesia and coming home only for Chinese New Year, the mother in law Ill treated the daughter in law and her ill treatments were well known through out the town and villages.

Finally the health of this daughter in law suffered as she did not go to hospitals fo checkups after her five children were in their teenage. She kept working and selling duck and chicken eggs until one day she fainted in the market.


She was diagnosed with kidney failure and that actually would cost the family a lot of money. And indeed within a year, she died because she just gave up and did not wish for treatment. By then her eldest daughter was already working and life was slightly better, but she could not have good medical treatment, which was also not so readily available in Sibu in those days.

When her husband sent back money, it was to his mother's account and she any way did not get a single cent.

She then just died a slow death.

However after her death, her mother in law started seeing visions of her in the house, by the river side and especially in the chicken coops. She chose to move in with her richer sons in another city.

Perhaps the mother in law then felt that she had come back to haunt her. It was said by many people that the mother in law went to many temples to burn some joss sticks in her memory but the ghostly visits did not abate.

By then the children were already studying in boarding schools, as arranged by the local headmen and had government scholarships. Somehow their father also did not come back to Malaysia.

One day the ghost "travelled" to Indonesia and her unfaithful husband died while working in his office. The doctors found many bruises on his neck which looked like two hands which stranged him. The man was certified dead by the camp medical team.

The mother in law was put into a nursing home by her smarter sons and no one heard about her ranting and raving any more.

The local people had this to say about the mother-in-law : "She was never able to accept another woman in her life. This good daughter in law was like a nail in her eye."

The Chinese word Peace and Tranquility is denoted by ANG, which is made up at the top, Roof and at the bottom, Woman. So Ang is represented by One Woman under One Roof.

Sequel to the story:

My cousin moved to Miri about ten years ago and she told me the end of the story.

Fast forward to 1970's . My cousin was already an aging lady when she passed by a small little house which had a shrine somewhere in the kampong. Apparently, the villagers claimed that a lady ghost came to the dream of one of the "good women" of the village and told her to burn joss sticks under a certain tree in the village.

When this lady woke up, she was speaking in tongues and the local medium was called. The whole incident was interpreted as a gift from an unhappy ghost. The villagers must build a shrine to the ghost. The medium also said that the shrine should be dedicated to this Sieng Goo because she wanted more people to burn joss sticks for her to redeem all the agonies she suffered while alive.

As a result the shrine was built for this Sieng Goo and later, many women who burned joss sticks for her received the correct and winning 4D numbers.

Her fame spread.

(Note : But how true are all these stories, only that particular village people would know. My cousin is a believer of mediums, sieng goo and Kwang Ing.)




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