A Travellerspoint blog

A Dawn in Mount Heng Shan

Trekking in mount Heng Shan of Hunan province

rain 24 °C

Heng_Shan_1.jpg

I have not been waking up in the deep of pre-dawn ever since I resigned from my former job in Muhibbah Engineering. All these while, I need no alarm clock to trigger my soul away from sweet dream. Of course, I do not need a cock to crow before the dawn either. The dawn was chilling and I was still in the deep sleep. My body was covered with a large thermal blanket made of layers of silk. The silk blanket was huge enough to burrow my neck to the toes and thick enough to retain the warmth of my body.

Occasionally strong breeze swayed in through the pore of the windows. The ancient wooden windows in the room were dilapilated as the joint pieces of woods have dilated apart. The rectangular glass panes situated at the upper structure of the windows were draping to fall. Some pieces of the window glass had been breaking apart. In the silence of the total darkness, the condensed little drops of moist swayed into the room through every open end of the windows. The room had been obscured with wispy fog, bringing the chilling room to cold. At times, the chilling wind punched the windows forcing the panes beside the bed to tremble. I would be far more comfortable if I could wish for a warmer layer of blanket.

Heng_Shan_2.jpgHeng_Shan_3.jpg

At 4.30 am sharp, a loud noise aroused from the narrow passage of the corridor in ground floor. I heard some wood clapping sound. The wood clapping sound was loud enough to break the silence of dawn. The clapping sound lasted for around 5 minutes. I was groggy and disturbed by the clapping noise. With eyes half opened, I searched for my slippers beneath the bed. I was not the only person jumped off from the bed. I opened the door to find out what had happened. The pilgrims in all other rooms too were awaken. In less than five minutes, I did not see anymore pilgrims leaving themselves behind in the room. I was puzzled.

This is a dawn scene in a monastery named Sang Fong Si (Sang Fong monastery) located in Heng Shan (Mount Heng). Heng Shan is elevated at 1,290 m, situated in Nan Yue district in the central of Hunan province. It is amongst one of the sacred mountains in China, a popular destination to pay homage to the "Sen Wang Yeh", a deity of the temple located in the mountain summit.

There are many Buddhist monasteries and Taoist temples dotted along the terrain across the ridge of the mountain. It is an unique pilgrimage mountain as both the Buddhists and Taoists commonly share the mountain since long past. Each of the monasteries and temples possesses its own unique record of history. For example, the Sang Fong monastery was built around the 6th century, it is an 1,500 year old monastery.

At the foot of the mountain, situated a huge temple known as Nan Yue temple, recognised as the entrance temple to the sacred mountain. Heng Shan is categorised by the Chinese authority as a five As (AAAAA) national heritage, promoted for its pilgrimage and national tourist attraction.

The life in monastery is simple yet compact. At 4.30 am, all the resident monks will rise from bed when the wooden clappers are hit for the first time. After having done with their personal hygiene, they will start the day with a dawn prayer at 5.00 am. The dawn prayer is performed at the main prayer hall located in the southern wing lasting for an hour.

At 6.00 am, the time-keeper monk will hit the wooden clappers again to assemble everyone to the dining hall. By then, the long oblong tables and bench stools would have been neatly arranged and a simple basic vegetarian breakfast is served. After the breakfast at around 6.30 am, all the resident monks will leave the dining hall to attend to their daily duty.

At 11.00 am, lunch will be served. Late comers will not be served by the kitchen attendants and will strictly leave them with no food. At 4.00 pm, the resident monks will assemble for dusk prayer. The dinner will be served as early as 5.00 pm. At this time, the mountain fog would have been heavy enough to obscure the monastery. After the dinner, everyone will prepare themself to call it a day, ending their duty of the long day since early dawn. A night prayer is held at 8.00 pm. At 9.00 pm, all the lights are off.

In the ancient China, people used a set of two pieces of wooden blocks to create sound. The wooden units were shaped into a set of solid oblong blocks with a hollow cavity bored into the centre of each block. These wooden blocks were usually less than one foot in length and handy to carry for clapping.

When the set of wooden blocks are hit, it created a series of clapping sound. The Chinese society used the clapping sound to signify various meaning. In ancient China, clapping sound was created by the street watcher at night as an alarm device to tell time. A specific rhythm was clapped to signify specific hour. One would understand the time telling by listening the rhythm. In another usage, the clapping was used as a bell to assemble a crowd before the electronic alarm system was invented.

I was astonished to encounter the usage of this ancient clappers in the monastery. Though electric alarm is a common use elsewhere, the wooden clappers still serve fit for daily use in this monastery. That reminds me of a proverb - the existence of an aging entity has its own reasons to be in existence, the older it gets through, it deserves more to be in existence.

Heng_Shan_5.bmpHeng_Shan_6.jpg

The huge monastery is built in several wings, the north, south, west and east wings. Each wing serves its own specific purpose. Certain blocks of the wings are opened to pilgrims for overnight stay. Visitors and trekkers are also allowed to lodge by paying a small charge. After a 5 1/2 hours hike, I arrived at the summit. Fortunately, the day was not a busy pilgrimage day. Unoccupied beds were available. I was allocated a bed in a shared room.

In the afternoon of the following day, there were a sudden swamp of pilgrims thronged to the monastery. The monastery was crowded. "Today all the visitor beds are occupied, many visitors will need to share beds. Perhaps some will need to sleep on the floor", uttered the lady administrator. I asked, "Why sudden swamp of people?". She replied, "Tomorrow is the holy day, the 19th day of the sixth month in the lunar calendar, a day dedicated to the Boddhisatva Avalokestivara - Goddess of Mercy. The devotees hail to devote their prayers for blessings from the Boddhisatva". In the dawn of the following day, many visitors participated in the spiritual prayer. I was awaken but falling to the indulgence of the bed again.

The Japanese invaded China in 1931 taking advantage of the confusion in China during the nationalist uprising and the civil war between Kuomintang and communist in the 1930s. With the communist took over, People's Republic of China began its day as a bankrupt nation. Since the inception of the communist era, China was then totally shut off from contact with outside world. The communist brought a draconian ideology to the society, ruling by iron fist and forcing a principle of social equality. The communist believed in no god and the Chinese nation became atheists under the rule.

With the rampage of religion practices, temples were ransacked and monasteries were disbanded. The communism ideology brought an unwavering belief in the existence of no god. With this ideology, the vast majority of populous Chinese society were transformed into an atheist community for more than 50 years.

Until 1979 post cultural revolution, the communism gradually liberalised its principle to restore the damages took cause in the upholding of freedom of religion. China was then gradually worked towards restoring its acceptance and the formation of religion belief again. Today, the choice of acceptance of religion underlies with freedom in the hands of the people but however, there remain a vast majority of Chinese stay steadfast with their atheist belief.

Heng_Shan_4.jpg

Heavy chilling fog has been covering the summit. The mountain fog obscures the ground. Vision is blurred by the heavy fog. I could not see anything beyond 5 feet. The wide blue sky seems disappeared. During the 2 day stay in the summit of Heng Shan, the morning seemed to arrive too early yet the night approached too quickly. I shall pack my belonging and get ready for the next destination. But, I have no plan yet. Where’s next? I’ll only decide tomorrow morning.

Posted by Quah Khian Hu 14:10 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Root Search in Fujian, China (III)

Searching of the ancestral root in summer 2009

sunny 40 °C

57_ii.jpg57_i.jpg

"I am so glad to have seen you here. So glad that you know the root of your forefathers", said my cousin aunt. She is the grand cousin daughter of my great grandfather. The relationship may depict complex to diagnose but every part of the knot is an interconnected relationship. She is "Qe Chui Nge" and she is 80 years old now. She lives with his son and daughter-in-law in the newer village of Peng Lai. She has a younger brother who is no longer residing in the village. He is "Qe Mu Xing" and he is 75 years old. Presently, he resides with his son in An Xi of Fujian Province.

In accordance to the Jia Pu, of all the distance relatives, both Chui Nge and Mu Xing are the closest families connected to the smaller family rooting in Malaysia. "Come, please follow me to the upper level. Let me show you the home of your great grandfather", said aunt Chui Nge. We sighted the exuberant Peng Lai hill from far. She pointed to the tiny spot of the hill, about some distance down from the Chin Swee temple. I could not see the tiny spot clearly but I know it is the sight between the temple and the base of the hill.

"We used to live in the house on that terrain hill. Your great grandfather and the family cultivated paddy for living", said aunt Chui Nge again. The ancestral home of my great grandfather was located on the hill situated in the middle of the mountain, estimated at 450m above the sea level. Unfortunately, in 1940s, due to the Japnese invasion in China, many cities were heavily bombarded by the invasion. Towns and villages were destroyed, crops were set to fire and the level of social unrest was badly in intolerable stake. The Peng Lai village was not spared from the destroy. The civil war between the nationalist and the communist raging further to the sufffer.

My great grandfather's home and the farm were totally destroyed to vanish. At a later stage in 1940s, they abandoned the horror experience at the high land, thus moved to the lower land of the village for a new beginning. They built their home at the upper stream and living to the present. However, the upper stream home has gone through various phases of change since 1940s till what it is today.

62.jpg

My great grandfather was born in 1870s in China during the extremity of Qing dynasty, a descendant of 18th generation. He is "Qe Da Dan" and has 5 sons and 2 daughters. His wife is "Yang Ling", born in China. During the late 19th century, my great grandfather and few of his sons sailed south to Nanyang, leaving their home in China for good. During the period between 19th and 20th century, he made some returned trips between China and Nanyang together with his sons.

At a later stage, he forth arrived in complete family again in Nanyang with his wife, his four sons and two of his daughters. His second son had not followed them. Unfortunately later, his second son died in China. Before the world war I, my great grand father returned to his home village in China and thereafter did not forth arrive in Nanyang anymore. He died in China. His entire family was then settled in Nanyang, in a small town name Teluk Anson. (Teluk Anson was the former name of Teluk Intan). Teluk Anson was the root of the beginning for the family of Quah - "Qe Da Dan". The history root of settlement reasoning in Teluk Anson has not been revealed and not able to be made aware till now.

62_i.jpg

My grandfather was born in China in 1914, a desendant of the 19th generation. He is "Qe Ping Ching" and he has 2 sons and 2 daughters. His wife is "Tan Soh", born in 1915 in Malaya, hailed from the Ulu Sungai in a kampung Melayu of Teluk Anson. My grandfather was the youngest of the five brothers. During his younger days, my grandfather with his family together with his 3 brothers in large families lived in the ancestral homes in Jalan Denison along the bank of Sungai Perak (Jalan Denison was the former name of Jalan Wah Kheng Jooi). They earned a living by trading fruits in small scale, located along Jalan Denison close to the ancestral home in Teluk Anson.

In the ancient day, the culture of feminist inferiority was strong. The daughters borned in the peasant family were perceived inferior as the society preferred male dominance to work in the farm, which was considered harsh and tough. Both of my grandfather's sisters were released by their parents. They were sold for child marriage at their very young age. During that time, it was not uncommon for child trade and the draconian child marriage was not unlawful under the British rules before the independence day. In the mid of 1990s, my grand father's elder sister whom was released from her family for child marriage died. She lived to old age with large crowd of children, grand children and great grand children. The other sister of the same fate is presently living happily in Singapore with her children and grand children.

62_ii.jpg

I was born in 1974, a descendant of the 21st generation. The lives of the fore 3 generations were challenging, each of them faced different life challenges from their young to the older days.

My great grand father of the 18th generation belonged to a critically poor peasant family. He waded through the extremity of Qing dynasty and suffered the civil war in China. He too suffered the widespread of famine, draught and natural disaster.

My grand father of the 19th generation did not experience less pain and agony. He waded across an arduous journey through the China Sea to seek for a more stable life if not for a better life in Malaya. During the world war I and world war II when Japanese invaded Malaya, life has been threatening. The upheaval sentiment of communist terrorism posed insecurity as one may loose life under the insurgency for no reason.

My father of the 20th generation is a local born child, the Malaya child before its independence in 1957. Many senior nationals of Malaysia born before its independence would had suffered the haunt and restlessnesss of World War II and the critical widespread of illness and famine endured by them.

As a present young generation of Malaysian, I am lucky enough to be borned in a country of abundance, no war, no famine and full of prosperity. Having searched and found the root of ancestor aross the deep blue sea and abroad the lands of fertile soil, I am greatly more than glad to express my full gratitude to the beloved country for what had gone through in the history to be learned from the past - Malaysia Tanah Air Ku.

Posted by Quah Khian Hu 12:29 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

The Root Search in Fujian, China (II)

Searching of the ancestral root in summer 2009

sunny 40 °C

One day, I met a fortune teller hailed from Peng Lai village of An Xi province. He tellls fortune by using a little bird picking fortune card for anyone who seeks to be told. This little bird is a breed of "Bai Ling Niao" (Bai Ling bird), a less than 3-inch black and shining tiny bird, measured from the beak to its tail. It chirps lively in soft high sound. This intelligent bird is kept in a small rattan cage with a small opening. The bird hops out from the cage to tell fortune by picking some cards and return to the cage when fortune telling is satisfied. The tiny bird feeds on crickets and chirps for feeding. Why is this tiny bird so special?

According to the fortune teller, his Bai Ling bird is bred in the Taoist spiritual way. In an autumn some time ago, he searched and hand picked the Bai Ling eggs from the nest in the woods. He picked a set of two eggs from the nest. The eggs were incubated with care until the chicks were hatched. The little chicks were fed physically and spiritually by the fortune teller. He placed the chicks at the altar for prayer as he chanted mantra in the Chin Swee temple. The chicks grew by listening to the holy scriptures everyday and the entire process went on for 49 days.

The graciousness of spiritual purification of a being may take place by listening to the scriptures of holy mantra for a repetition long period. This happened to the tiny Bai Ling birds too. On the 49th day, the fortune teller placed the birds after the Chin Swee deity for final ritual authentication. The final ritual determined only one bird which would be chosen as the spiritual bird. The other not selected bird was then released to the large. It is unbelievable that the ancient ritual does remain co-exist in our lives in the present modern sophisticated society.

As I continued to walk, I noted some villagers notably plying some cards. When I walked closer, in fact they were placing some bets on the little stool board. Gambling has been treated as a game of easy passing time for many people in China. Of the many casinos in Asia, the gambling business is dominated by a specific race of ethnic origin, that is Chinese. I wonder whether the deep enthusiasm in gambling of by the Chinese is influenced by the long historical background. I really wonder!

44.jpg46.jpg

The present Peng Lai village is located at a confluence of low land and hill terrain, facing the hills at the south east of the village. The centre of the village is separated by a small stream, divided Peng Lai into the tea terrain farms on the southern part and the newer village on the northern side of the village. The oriental Chinese cottages are sparsely erected alongside with the tea farms on the southern part of the village. Most of the villagers in this region are tea farmers. The villagers over the northern side are predominantly doing small home business catering for the demand of local villagers. In the early 1990s, the rustic Chinese oriental cottages were demolished and replaced by the new concrete buildings.

These new buildings are basic, non-refurbished three storey concrete house. The upper level of many buildings in the village are not completely constructed, letting it abandoned or semi occupied by the land lord. In Cairo Egypt, you would notice many half-built apartments elsewhere in the city. Though half built, those apartments are occupied. The construction of the upper level of their apartment would usually resume only when it is required for use, or most importantly when bucks are enough and the pocket of the land lord is not empty but filled. You can find many of the same half-built structures in Peng Lai village for same reason.

34.jpg35.jpg37.jpg

During summer, the temperature in the region of the village grievously sores as high as 40 - 42 degree celcius. It is scorching hot, making anyone searching for shade to hide beneath it. As the day gets hotter, the villagers tend to rest at home, avoiding to be exposed under the hot sun. However, there is a group of women braving themselves at the tea farm nearby. These women put on a sun hat with two strings pulling down tightly to their cheeks and their arms are covered to the wrists to protect from the radiation. As they work under the hot sun for long, no doubt their skin texture is non-ordinarily darker.

The tea plants in Peng Lai are low Erythroxylon Cuneatum species. Each of the tea tree grows not higher than a foot. The tea plants growing on low land are comparably lower quality than the mountain terrain tea due to the weather influence. "Tie Kwan Yin" is the brand of tea produced in the Peng Lai village. This village is popularly known as the "Tea Farm Village" by the Chinese in China.

45.jpg42.jpg

I went passed an ancient village home at the tea farm. Without a clear direction, I turned my head and looking back. I stopped my pace for a while and walked back to the same home. I stood wander at the yard of the home aimlessly. In just a while, a middle age lady appeared at the main door. She asked "What are you doing here? What are you doing at my yard?" She looked at me again and her gesture expressed that she knew I am not a Chinese national. I asked "I understand that there is an ancestral home belongs to the family clan of Quah. Do you know where is the home?"

In a swift manner, she responded "This is the family of Quah, we are one of the descendants of the clan. The ancestral home is just farms away from our home, not far." She quickly called her husband. A thin retiring age man put down his tea set in the guest hall moved approach the gateway of the wooden door. I introduced myself to them. With plenty of coincidence, we greeted each other of the same descendant. I was then invited to their home. According to her husband, there are around 4,000 to 4,500 people in Peng Lai village carrying the family name of Quah, of which all of them belong to the same forefathers once upon a time. The entire population of the village is estimated around 75,000 to 80,000 people.

53.jpg55.jpg

I found you! I found the “Jia Pu”! Finally I found the traces of the ancestral trail. I have long wanted to know more about the life, livinghood and the migration of my ancestors. The alleviation of turbulence, anxiety and restlessness for settlement in Malaya are a history of real fact. I love to explore my ancestors' past. It is a process to undo the knots of a jigsaw puzzle before the history is surfaced and revealed.
The history as if printed as a picture on a piece of wood that was cut up into a lot of small pieces of different shapes that need to be fitted again. It is a mysterious situation in which it is not easy to diagnose of all the causes of what happened in a complicated piece of history.

Before I depart for this trip, I tried to comprehend as much as possible the descendant trail of my ancestors - the family clan of the Quah.
The rooting of the descents is still traceable via the ancestral family trail. Each of the family clan, for example Quah clan, Lim clan, Lau clan or Chua clan has their own ancestor family trail in Peng Lai village. These family trails are well kept at their respective ancestral home. I was told that in the Peng Lai village, the villagers of same clan still live in congregation. Of the family clan - Quah, they live conggegratedly at the upper stream of the village. Most of them work on tea farms along the terrain of the hill.

49.jpg50.jpg

"Jia Pu" in translated words mean ancestral family trail or rooting. Jia Pu retains a detail record of generation that traces its line of descent all the way to the forefathers of settlers of a family clan. With a book of Jia Pu in hand, one may trace their children, their children's children and all the people who live after them who are related to them. "Qe Wan San" was the first generation settler in accordance to the "Jia Pu" (ancestral family trail). He had settled in the village of Peng Lai since the Yuan Dynasty in 1330. The cemetary aged 879 years. The book is resourceful enough to retain a mega large database of a family rooting, capable to trace as early as the fore past 30 to 40 generations that may cover even a thousand years of a family history.

Until todate, some of these database records have been restored in the sophisticated electronic devices but still a large number of them are kept in the written manual in order to retain its oriental origin that have been passed on from generation to generations. The hand manuals are written word by word in Chinese ink (brush ink) by the senior clan, being the leader of the family clan. On a regular period, the Jia Pu is updated with the new born generation and it also serves to record the detail of the passed-on senior clans.

56.jpg

"According to this Jia Pu, we are able to trace your relatives who belong to the children of your forefathers. One of the closest families of your forefather is presently still residing in this settller village", said one of the granduncles. I should address him as granduncle not only because of his wisdom age but the identification of his status in the descendant list. He was born in the 1920s of the 19th generation to the large family of Quah. I was born in 1974 of the 21st generation, two generations junior than the granduncle whom I met at the ancestral home.

As I wander further in the upper stream, I met more families of Quah descendants, whom are the tea farmers living in the low land. Apart from low land, there are many of them living sparsely in the terrain of the hill. They are the peasant settlers, dependant on the cultivation of tea farms to earn a living. I have not met and greeted so many relatives of "Quah" descendants at one same moment. To my astonishment, there is an estimation of around 4,000 to 4,500 descendants of Quah living congregatedly in the upstream of Peng Lai village. Despite we address each other as relatives, but we are all distance in family rooting and we have not known each other. It is a meeting of the children of common ancestors but of two nations, the nations of Chinese national and the Malaysians.

Over 879 years since the settlement of the first generation of Quah family in the Peng Lai village, the desendant children have grown world wide in China and outside China. Till todate, there have been a latest 25 generation children residing in China whilst 23 generation children in Malaysia. This could be translated to explain that the Quah family in China is two generations younger than those in Malaysia. I am a child born of the 21st generation.

Posted by Quah Khian Hu 12:33 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

The Root Search in Fujian, China (I)

Searching of the ancestral root in summer 2009

sunny 40 °C

5.jpg

Since young, my father told me many stories about the childhood of my grandfather while he was in China. My grandfather was born in China in 1914, in the secluded Peng Lai peasant village of An Xi district, located in the Fujian Province of China. My grandfather had passed away long before I was born. Although I do not have the opportunity to listen to him about his life and experiences but, I do remember many interesting stories through my father. I wish I could listen to more of the stories, a real biography of my grandfather during his era of south migration to Malaya in the late19 century.

25.jpg

This is a real story took place in the Peng Lai village in the late 19th century. The villagers of Peng Lai were poor peasants, they made living by cultivtating paddy field. During that time, many of the provinces in China were hit by draught and the Peng Lai village was not spared from famine. The uprising of the nationalist revolution particularly in the southern China and the weakening of the Qing dynasty, an almost fall of the Emperor PuYi's monarchy brought further insurrection, civil war and social unrest to the large China. My great grandfather and his family were living in that village under immense threat, exposed to the widespread of critical famine with no relief from the staggered suffers.

7.jpg15.jpg

Long ago in 1920s when my grandfather was still a boy, he loved to seek out in the woods of Chin Swee temple as his home was not far from the temple. In the olden China, peasant children embraced out in the wild while not wading in the farm. My grandfather liked to play in the wild near the temple yard. He loved to hit the giant bronze bell situated at the deity hall. As the giant bell sounded, the resonance echoed across the hill, signified someone graciously praying in the holy scriptures of the temple.

The same giant prayer bell still exist today. It is located at the second floor of the extended building, distance away from the main altar. But now, the hitting of giant bell is restricted to formal ceremony only. Whilst the giant bronze bell may have gone through the aging phase, the gracious resonance of the bell remains an eternal history in the hearts of many people. It brought plenty of significance from the root of the humble beginning.

8.jpg 10.jpg

In our Malaysian society today, of many Malaysian Chinese, a hand full of them belong to the descendant migrants from Peng Lai village of An Xi district in Fujian province whom had migrated south to Nanyang a century ago. These descendants are known as Hokkien of An Xi clan, of which many still speak Hokkien as the mother tongue apart from speaking various common Malaysian languages.

During the era of south migration, the migrants seeked blessings from the Chin Swee deity for safe sailing. The sail from south China to Nanyang on the Chinese junk took 2 months or more, highly exposed to rough waves and danger of possible submerge. Some migrants carried along the prayer urn of the Chin Swee deity with them as a form of spiritual blessing. The urn of the deity was then placed at home in Nanyang when arrived. At my ancestral home in Teluk Intan, we do pay respect to the Chin Swee deity at the prayer altar.

Chin Swee temple is the prime temple of the Peng Lai village in the AnXi district of Fujian province. The temple is located at the upper terrain of 520m (around 1,700 feet) above the sea level, a 40m lower from the peak of Peng Lai hill. It was constructed during the Northern Song dynasty in 1083. It is an old temple carried with a history of almost a thousand year, located in the upper terrain of the tea farm village of Peng Lai hill, a 15 km distance from An Xi District of Fujian Province. A gradual ascend by foot from the village to the temple takes 2.5 hours. There is mini bus ferrying services between the village to the temple. However, motorcycle potter is effective as it offers an instant fetch without incur unnecessary waiting time. The Chin Swee temple is categorised as 4As (AAAA) status, a protected heritage awarded by the authority of China which is popular for its pilgrimage within China and outside China.

The temple is dedicated after the name of Chin Swee, a buddhist monk who attained enlightenment in the cave which a temple was built on the enlightenment foundation under his holiness ordain. There are around 100 heritage relics well kept within the compound of the temple, of which the stone graffiti is one of the invaluable relics of Song Dynasty. The temple has been rebuilt many times throughout the centuries. In 1930s, the temple was badly damaged caused by the ground movement. In the consecutive 1940s, 1967 and 1975, the temple was refurbished to the present condition through many donations. These donations came mainly from the villagers whom had emigrated to other countries, particularly in the region of Malaya and Singapore during the 19th century.

28.jpg 30.jpg

One of the villagers in Peng Lai asked "Do you kow who is Lim Goh Tong?" I replied "Yes, he owns the casino in Genting." The villager told, "Are you aware that in your country, on the way to Genting casino, there is a temple. The temple was built by Lim Goh Tong in resembling the Chin Swee temple in Peng Lai. He placed and honoured the Chin Swee deity in the temple, with an overall design mimic to the ancestral temple here." Lim Goh Tong was a multi millionaire who held the title of third wealthiest man in Malaysia. During his life time, Lim Goh Tong was not only a prominent figure in Malaysia but he was well known in Peng Lai village too. He was born in the village of Peng Lai in An Xi district in the early 20th century.

The villager further uttered, "He had passed away in October 2007, the villagers held a commemorative ceremony for him at the ancestral home in the village here." Lim Goh Tong belonged to the Lim clan of Peng Lai village. Lim (Lin) clan is one of the larger family clans residing in Peng Lai village of a total population of 70,000 to 75,000 people. Other larger family clans co-residing in the village are Lau (Liu), Chua (Chai) and Quah (Qe). Goh Tong is dearly in the hearts of many villagers. He contributed many charitable donations to rebuild the village and he made a contribution for the construction of a school in the village of Peng Lai in the 1990s.

Posted by Quah Khian Hu 21:18 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

(Entries 61 - 64 of 64) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5]