Saturday, December 06, 2008

People - Sarikei Sherip Masahor. Part 3

The third plot had 3 prongs of attack:

1) Gapur would sail secretly from Singapore to Pontianak and lead people there to rebel against the Dutch colonial power. If he succeeded, he would march into Sarawak to help Masahor.

2) A Brunei man, Tanjang, would pretend to be the Crown Prince of Brunei and arrive in Sadong to be met by Gapur's brother, Bandar Kassim. He would send a rallying cry to the Ibans and Malays at Lundu, Landak, Sangon and Pontianak to rebel against the colonial goverment.

3) Masahor would arrive in the Sarawak River at the peak of the rebellion and pretend to bring money into town. Then at the right time, he would attack Kuching and kill the colonial folks. He would use his special kris to execute Charles Brooke.

Sarikei River, downtown side, 2007

In Jan 1860, Gapur and Tanjang began the attack prongs (1) and (2) but were captured by the Dutch. When Masahor arrive in Sarawak River in the attack prong (3) , he was ordered to return to Sarikei. Instead he followed Charles Brooke's boats to Simunjan and was fired upon. He escaped death because the Malay forces in Brooke's army were reluctant to fire upon a descendant of the Prophet.

He arrived in Sarikei but was forced to leave by Abang Ali who was loyal to the Brookes. Charles Brooke followed Masahor to Igan and destroyed his property. Masahor fled to the protection of Pengiran Nipal at Mukah. (Pengiran Nipal later married Masahor's sister). Traders from old Sarawak were forbidden to trade sago with Mukah.

In honour of Sherip Masahor?
In front of ex-Kuching High Court, 2007
Now it's theTourist Information Centre

Masahor went to the Brunei Sultan to deny the charges brought against him by the Brookes. His timing coincided with the appointment of ex-Labuan British governor, G. W. Edwardes, as Brunei's British consul-general. Edwardes replaced James Brooke's ex-secretary, Spenser St. John. Edwardes believed that the Brooke government would be bad for British interests in Borneo in the long run. Masahor was able to convince Edwardes that the Brookes were out to eat more into Brunei's territory for their own gain.

In July 1860, Edwardes arrived in Mukah in the Victoria steamer to prevent the Captain Brooke and his cousin, Charles Brooke, from capturing Mukah. This upset the Brookes and their supporters in England and they managed to get Edwardes transferred to somewhere else.

Sarikei Jalan Sharif Manshor, 2007
In front of the mosque.

The Brookes and Spenser St. John (who came back as Brunei's British consul-general) put pressure on the Sultan of Brunei to cede Mukah to James Brooke. The Sultan ordered Pengiran Nipal not to fight the Brookes and Masahor was put on exile to Singapore. James sent a big force to Mukah and stayed there until a new government had been set up. In Aug 1861, Mukah and the coast up to Kidurong were officially handed over to James Brooke by Sultan Abdul Mumin.

Masahor lived on a small pension from Sarawak and he supplemented it by building boats for sale. He stayed in Singapore till his death in Feb 1890. Sarikei honoured him with a road (next to the mosque) named after him.

1. Men of Sarawak, A.M. Cooper, 1968.


Daniel Yiek said...

Check out this Sibu blogger's visit to the Sarikei Festival (formerly Pesta Nanas)

Bengbeng said...

thanks for the links. great blog u have here. u r working in Singapore otherwise it would b great meeting up for some prawn noodles sometime

armorphism said...

thanks bro.. so very much

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