Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tze Yin Khor, Lubok Antu – The Japanese Occupation 1941

The Japanese Occupation started in 1941 in Sarawak and ended in 1945. Tze Yin Khor in Lubok Antu was partly founded due to the war.

Lubok Antu is a small town of the Sri Aman division, about 4 hours from Kuching by road; from the Trans Borneo highway junction alone, it take more than 30 minutes to reach this small border town, one of the very few townships in Sarawak sits next to Kalimantan of Indonesia.

In 1941, after Kuching was controlled by the Japanese force, small inland towns were like a domino, one by one fallen to the Japanese as their soldiers moved along the Batang Lupar to the interior.

Lubok Antu was no exception. As the Japanese landed in Engkilili which was the nearest town to Lubok Antu, and about a day journey by river, the soldiers faced fierce resistance from the Iban warriors at the Batang Lupar upstream.

As the Ibans slowly lost ground to modern gun power, anxiety permeated the Lubok Antu township residents where many of them were Chinese. The Chinese feared that the Japanese might take revenge when they landed in Lubok Antu, as happened in many parts of Asia earlier when resistance was encountered.

It was at this moment that the last resort as for many people was to pray for God’s help. The residents were led by few seniors to pray for peace & a simple hut was thus put up for the Gods; this was in fact the earlier Tze Yin Khor of Lubok Antu. The main host housed in this small hut was just a few simple Chinese wordings ‘Group of Gods’.

Gods might have moved, Lubok Antu did not face a massacre, and the war ended quite peacefully in 1945. Even during the 1961 Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, this blessed town did not face much disaster.

After the war, the simple temple was thus reconstructed, and the Host Deities were formally transmitted from Tze Yin Khor of Sri Aman to Lubok Antu to continue the kind of protection, worship & devotion.

Today, Lubok Antu is associated with the Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort & the Batang Ai Hydro-Electric Power Plant. The Japanese Occupation in 1941 looks vague to many local Chinese residents.

Batang Ai Hydro-Electric Complex

Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort

The new lake created from the Hydro-Electric Dam Project

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like you are an expert in this field, you really got some great points there, thanks.

- Robson