Sunday, July 16, 2006

History - Sarikei 19th century

Sarikei's early years (no, it didn't start when you learned how to crawl) could be traced as far back as the early 19th century as indicated by several historical events. In 1841, Sarikei was ruled by Sherip Masahor who controlled the Batang Rajang area. He was a warrior that had a lot of followers from different ethnic groups, comprising of Malays, Ibans and Melanaus (source: Sarikei District Council). An VIP house in 1840 would look like this.

1st White Rajah (James Brooke)

2nd White Rajah (Sir Charles Brooke)

Rajah James Brooke first visited Sarikei on 30th Apr 1845. There was resistance from the local people towards Brooke's occupancy. Historical events include:
  • 4th Jan 1856 - The Burning of Sarikei.
  • 19th June 1856 - The Julau Expedition led by Sir Charles Brooke to fight the native resistance in Julau.
  • 1861 - The defeat of brave Iban warrior, Rentap, by James Brooke at Bukit Sadok, a hill located 44 km from Bukit Sibau, Pakan.

Rentap's Memorial, Bukit Sibau, Wak, Pakan

Brooke's Fort (kubu), Ng. Meluan, Julau

How many of you knew Sarikei's history? There's a test after reading this. Are you ready?

Sarikei's fabulous lass, Fabiola Kong, won 3rd place at Miss Sarawak 2006 contest.


Sim Y said...

Daniel, thanks for the forgotten history.

I am sure many people don't know this, mainly due to lack of promotion of tourism to these areas.

There must be many such treasures that are not yet discovered, or may be already lost.

The schools should have programmes to bring the students around for awareness of the existing Sarikei Heritage, especially town centre areas (before they are gone).

JW said...

hmmm ... i remember seeing a book on history of ... origin of Foo Chow which leads to history of Sibu ... and Sarikei. Got plenty of black and white pictures in there. Will be interesting, if those info is published in your blog.

Daniel Yiek said...

JW, Sarikei minds think alike. ;-). I have been doing research for the last few days on Chinese migrants. FooChow migration is very well documented because there was a formal negotiation with the Brooke administration. Before that, Hokkien & Cantonese came to search for a better life. If you see that book again, snap some pictures with your digital camera.

JW said...

Great post on history of Sarikei and FooChow. The portrait of Wong Nai Siong is great!! Classic!!! Keep it up!!!!

sarawakiana said...

Can I use your photo of Fort Brooke?

I would like to check with you the date of the initial construction of Fort Brooke in Julau. Fort Brooke in Sibu was demolished in 1936. Is the Julau Fort its replacement? Why? Have you dug out some more information?

I am now in touch with the last Kenyah who guarded the fort at Lio Mato!! It seems that there is another fort at Long Akar!!

Daniel Yiek said...


I propose you use the picture but quote the source as'Kubu+Brooke%2C+Ng%2E+Meluan'

Sorry, I dont know the answers to your questions as I have not researched this fort yet. My research and some readers' research is focused on the Sarikei's fort.

Kuching Library at Petra jaya has digitised some very old Sarawak books. I'm not sure whether their website can access it as I'm not a member.

sarawakiana said...

Thank you. I will.

Hope I am not being too intrusive. My apologies.

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