Friday, December 12, 2008

History - Sarikei Colonial Steamer Phlegethon

Ship ahoy! What other type of vessels traversed the Rejang River via Sarikei in the days of yore?

On 30 April 1845 James Brooke visits Saikei in the steamer H.E.I.C.S. Phlegethon (source: 3)

On 28 June 1846, the steamer Phlegethon sailed through Rejang River and up the narrow Sarikei River to Datuk Patinggi Abdul Rahman's house. The Phlegethon was owned by Sir Henry Keppel. Pasted below is the story in quotes.

The Steamer Phlegethon and boats
of Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane's squadron
Repelling an attack from the forts at Borneo Proper.
Click to enlarge. Click back arrow to come back.
8 July 1846
Submitted by: STLau

"Whilst the Phlegethon was on its way from Sarawak, to join the British squadron off Borneo, Sir Thomas Cochrane, who was on board, determined to pay a visit of warning to piratical communities of Siriki and Kanowit, the latter of which it maybe remembered, committed the atrocious outrage at Palo. In pursuance of this resolution, the Phlegethon at once steamed steadily up the Rejang river, and in about twelve hours came upon Siriki, a village owning the sway of Patingi Abdul Rahman, a notorious pirate. The dwelling of this chief himself was an extraordinary building, erected on a lofty mound a hundred yards distant from the landing place. Its main support consisted of the trunk of a large straight tree, sawed off about twenty feet from the roots. The people of this place were thrown into state of the utmost consternation by the appearance of the British steamer, evidently expecting it would lead to the destruction of their dwellings and property. However, this was not the case. Sir Thomas Cochrane contented himself with recommending the chief to abstain for the future from his buccaneering expeditions, and then pushed his progress up the river." (Source: 1)

James Brooke sailed to Sarikei in 1846 in the British steamer, Phlegethon and wanted Datuk Patinggi Abdul Rahman to control the Dyaks of Kanowit so that they didn't make boats for the Ibans' raiding expeditions down the Rejang River. (Source: 2)

Can you imagine sailing 12 hours from the Rejang River mouth to the Sarikei River in the old days?

1. The Eclectic Review. By William Hendry Stowell, Jonathan Edwards Ryland, Samuel Greatheed, Daniel Parken, Theophilus Williams, Josiah Conder, Thomas Price, Edwin Paxton Hood. p586

2. Power and Prowess, JH Walker, 2002. p146-155. Submitted by Ikan Sembilang.

3. Yong Paul (1991) A Dream of Freedom: The early Sarawak Chinese, Selangor: Pelanduk Publications

1 comment:

Daniel Yiek said...

Desmond email me this news mean news flash:

Sarikei's floral toilet won the best 2008 public toilet managed by a District Council in Malaysia.

I found the nomination at (with pics):

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