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The old cemetery of Kpg Pulo-Pulo Berendam
Tarikh : 03 Jun 2018  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online
 


oleh Conny Banji.

The two angsana trees provide shade at the cemetery compound.

THE Sibu Town Square Phase Two was once home to early Malay-Melanau settlers.

In the early years, the settlers formed two villages, which later merged and became known as Kampung Pulo-Pulo Berendam before or around the 1770s.

The Lebai Sangku Muslim cemetery.

Malay nationalist Rosli Dhoby was born on March 18, 1932 in No. 94 Kampung Pulo.

Rosli was hanged for assassinating Sarawak’s second colonial governor Sir Duncan Stewart during the latter’s official visit to Sibu in December 1949.

Near the town square is an old cemetery known as Kampung Pulo Muslim Cemetery.

The cemetery was used by early Malay settlers, who arrived in Sibu during the administration era of the Brunei Sultanate in 1599.

A uniquely designed monument was erected at the cemetery compound to commemorate this.

Over 70 Muslims were buried there and among them were Datuk Bandar Abang Ali Bolhassan Ali and Datuk Temenggong Abang Ali Yusuf Abang Ali Bolhassan.

An old grave at the Lebai Sangku cemetery.

According to the information board at the monument, burials at the cemetery stopped during the Japanese occupation in 1941.

Moreover, the site of the cemetery was also affected by serious soil erosion at the riverbank.

The Kampung Pulo Cemetery is also said to be the second Muslim burial ground in Sibu town.

The two angsana (Pterocarpus indicus) trees in the cemetery compound share an interesting story. Based on the information board, there is a grave beneath the two trees.

The Sibu Heritage Trail information board at the entrance of the Kampung Pulo Cemetery monument.

The person buried at the grave died after he or she was bitten by a venomous snake. Relatives used angsana branches, with root sprouts, to mark the grave.

That happened more than 150 years ago and now the branches have turned into two big trees inside the cemetery compound.

This old cemetery was among nine heritage sites included in the Sibu Heritage Trail launched in 2012 by the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC).

The first Muslim cemetery is said to have existed around 400 years ago and was located at Kampung Datu Lama. It was named Lebai Sangku after a convert living there.

Around the 1830s, work to build the Al-Qadim Mosque started and was led by Salam Minangkabau from Minangkabau in Indonesia. The Al-Qadim Mosque is also one of the oldest in Sarawak.

Behind the mosque is the third Muslim cemetery in Sibu, which has been used for almost 200 years.

Kampung Pulo-Pulo Berendam started disappearing from the map of Sibu with the completion of Lau King Howe Hospital in 1936. The site of the hospital was originally part of the kampung.

According to the Sarawak Gazette, Kampung Pulo-Pulo Berendam had existed way before the White Rajah era.