Monday, March 17, 2014

Beratok (21st Mile) Chinese Temple on Rock Mountain, Kuching Serian

Beratok situated at the 21st mile of the Kuching-Serian road, that village are one of the three villages which form in the era of the British colonial government .

"On the night of 27 June 1965," recalled Dato Sri Yao, "a group of Indonesian soldiers came across the border from West Kalimantan and collaborated with members of the local Clandestine Communist Organisation (CCO). 

They attacked the Police Station at Mile 18 Kuching-Serian Road. During the two-hour long battle, two policemen including the younger brother of the then Chief Minister, Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan were killed and two wounded. That night the intruders also killed 6 civilians and wounded 2, all of them Chinese Kheh."

When reinforcement came from Kuching to repulse the attack, the infiltrators beat a hasty retreat back to the border through Padawan Road. That night, another group of them caused slight damage to the bridge at the 24th mile Kuching-Serian Road.

"As a result of the above incident, the State Government launched an exercise called 'Operation Hammer' on 28th June which involved the establishment of three new residential areas to resettle the Chinese families residing in the 15th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 21st and 24th Miles which were declared as Controlled Area." The objective was twofold: to provide protection for residents in the areas concerned; and to eliminate communist influence.

"Immediate actions were taken by the Public Works Department, SESCO and other agencies to build new houses, wire fences around the new villages and install electricity supply. All the necessary works were completed by 6th July 1965 and on that date, more than 8,000 people from 1285 families were regrouped in the three centres under curfew, namely Siburan Village at 17th Mile, Beratok Village, 19th Mile and Tapah Village, 21st Mile."

So I visited the Beratok Village on 21st Mile, and its was a small village compare to Siburan (17th mile), and Tapah (22nd Mile). One very interesting about the Beratok village, its has a Chinese Temple on the foot hill, and on top of the mount, there was an abundance shrine.

This is the Chinese Temple on the bottom of the mount
There is an old stairways up to the mount, and upon reaching there, we saw an abundance shrine. There are no statue, no information about the place. Not sure what is it use for...
From the looks of the shrine, the structure is like the typical Chinese Temple. But its hard to confirm, cause there are no signboard, or any Chinese carving on the pillar or wall.
The view from top of the mount, the 21st Mile, Beratok Village.

* article in yellow taken from Rakan Sarawak "Operation Hammer" read more here

Wilson Chin


Adeline Ong said...

Thanks for the explanation. We managed to find the place.

Wilson Chin said...

+Adeline Ong,ur welcome. Thank u for visiting my blog.