Saturday, January 12, 2008

Marup Gold Mine, Engkilili

Around 1856, a group of Chinese miners from Sambas, Kalimantan landed in Marup to exploit the gold mine opportunity. With the approval from the Brooke Administration, these pioneers formed the Fifteen Kongsi (believed to be 15 shareholders) to manage the mining activities in Marup, Engkilili.

As gold deposits diminished after 1887, some started to move to nearby Engkilili & settled down; they were the pioneers of the early Engkilili Chinese immigrants.

The office of the Fifteen Kongsi was left behind and later on, transformed to the present day Fifteen Kongsi Chinese Temple.

In the early 20th Century, as more miners settled down in Engkilili, some Teochew Chinese from nearby Sri Aman started to move to the area, and Engkilili started to transform to township.

The Tua Pek Kong Temple here is said to be found around that time, as no exact record of the history is available. The temple was shifted to the present location in late 1950s to make way for new roads etc.

By early 1960s, with the completion of Sri Aman / Betong highway; Engkilili started to experience higher growth and development. The Marup gold mines and the Fifteen Kongsi remain a vague memory to most of the younger Engkilili Chinese. The temples may help to reflect the life of the earlier settlers.

Places of Worship & Devotion In Sarawak

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