The humble petition of Ah Yeu, Ung Keng Sin, Soh Ah Pang, Su Ah Fooed, and others

The humble petition of Ah Yeu, Ung Keng Sin, Soh Ah Pang, Su Ah Fooed, and others  (1873) 

This petition is part of the documentation referring to the Larut Wars in Perak, British Malaya and is linked to The Petition of Chung Keng Quee & 44 Others and the story of . (Researched by Jefferyseow 08:37, 16 August 2008 (UTC), great grandson of Kapitan Chung Keng Quee.)

The humble petition of Ah Yeu, Ung Keng Sin, Soh Ah Pang, Su Ah Fooed, and others to Major General Sir Harry St. George Ord, Governor of The Straits Settlements

"That your Petitioners, the Headmen of a Kongsee named See Yip Long, engaged in tin-mining at Larut, and others connected with that Kongsee, beg to be permitted to lay before Your Excellency some matters relating to the country called Larut, and to ask for them Your Excellency's kind attention and consideration.

" 1. That about seven years ago, namely, on the fifth moon of the fourth year Hong Chee, a mining Kongsee at Larut named Tan Siang had a quarrel and commenced fighting with another mining Kongsee at the same place, named Fee Chew, which was defeated.

" 2. The Governor, or Mantri, of Larut did not attempt to arrange this quarrel, and instead of doing so, joined the victorious Kongsee, Tan Siang. This having been effected, they both attacked the beaten Kongsee, and after killing 700 of their number, drove that Kongsee from their houses and mines,' and ultimately from the country.

" 3. That about seven years afterwards, or in the first moon of the eleventh year Hong Chee, corresponding to the year 1866, the Headmen of the Tan Siang Kongsee entered into an agreement with their own people, 15,000 in number, to destroy your Petitioners' Kongsee, See Yip, which did not number more than 8000 men. They fought, and your Petitioners' Kongsee beat the other, who took refuge in the Mantri's fort, and captured this agreement.

"4. The Mantri ordered the Tan Siang, the beaten Kongsee, to continue the fight, but they were again unsuccessful, and, with the exception of eight of their headmen, who took refuge with and were protected by the Mantri, they all ran away.

" 5. After the fight was over, your Petitioners, the headmen of the See Yip Kongsee, carried the agreement they had taken to the Mantri, but he refused to listen to them, and sent the eight Tan Siang Headmen off to a place called Teong.

" 6. The See Yip Kongsee were the first to open mines at Larut, and unless set upon by others have always lived peaceably and quietly, while the Tan Siang people are robbers, and have become so in consequence of the counsel of, and their subsequent connection with, the Mantri.

" 7. For nine months after the said first moon of the i ith year Hong Chee there was no fighting. After that, the Mantri entered into an agreement with a Kongsee named Ong Tye You. On the 13th of the same moon and year he called the Headmen of the Kongsee See Yip to come to his house. They went, and as soon as they had entered, he ordered the Ong Tye You people to make a sudden attack on the See Yip, who, being unprepared and without their Headmen, suffered severely, and out of their 8000 men, had about 2000 killed in and about their houses and mines. As the remaining 6000, who were compelled to run for it, must necessarily go by the overland (Krean) route to Penang, the Mantri had ordered the Datus along that route to kill these poor men, and of these 6000 men, about, 3000 were killed, either by these Datus, by hunger, by fatigue, or by wild heasts. Their women, who accompanied them, were sold as slaves, and not more than 3000 succeeded in reaching Penang.

" 8. Of these 3000 men, about 600 or 800, unable to obtain work or food at Penang, returned to Larut. On their arrival, the Ong Tye You Kongsee again attacked them, but the See Yip people, being on their guard, they, the Ong Tye You men, though 4000 in number, were driven back to the Mantri's house, and many of them killed.

" 9. Fifteen days after this occurred, the Mantri brought from different places about 2500 Malays, whom he ordered to fight along with the Ong Tye You people, and destroy the See Yip men. They fought for ten days, with doubtful success, until at length the See Yip men beat and drove them into the fort.

" l0. The Mantri being now in great fear and difficulty, left all and went to Penang, where he met His Highness the Raja Muda, and requested an order from him to settle the disputes at Larut, which he was ordered to do in two days.

" II. Instead of following this order, he hired four junks from China, which happened to be here at the time, also nine tongkongs and some small boats. He loaded the junks with men, ammunition and arms, and the tongkongs and boats with provisions, for the purpose of attacking your Petitioners' Kongsee. These vessels left this, and had got so far as the other side of Pulo Rimau, when they were met by, as they believed, a British war-steamer, and as the vessel sailed round about them, evidently for the purpose of counting their number, they made off with great speed for Penang ; they were so frightened that they dispersed, and did not reach Larut.

" 12. At present the Mantri lives in a boat in the Krean river, where, as is said, he has been enlisting men at Ulu Kurau, Krean and Patani, to the number of 4000, to carry on war at Larut ; but whether these men have been sent or not, is unknown to your Petitioners.

" 13. About fifteen days ago the Mantri agreed with us, before the [Lieutenant-Governor], to settle this matter within five days, but up to this time nothing has been done.

" 14. On the 26th day of the last month His Highness the Raja Muda left the Krean for Kurou, where he found two large tongkongs belonging to the Mantri, in which were found 150 muskets, 400 bags of rice, 40 bags of gunpowder, 8 large guns, and about 150 men.

" 15. Having made this statement, which is true and correct, your Petitioners now beg to submit for the consideration of Your Excellency their own opinion, and, as they believe, that of the community here, that this Mantri has been the cause of nearly all the fighting that has taken place at Larut lately, and, therefore, indirectly, of the death and ruin of so many people at Larut, and of the ruin of many at this place. Your Petitioners believe, moreover, that, after what has happened, and judging from his conduct lately, and from his connection with some men here, there can be little hope of peace at that place, if he is allowed to be the Governor, or even to stay there, and your Petitioners respectfully pray, therefore, that your Excellency, in the consideration of this matter generally, will likewise be pleased to consider, whether or not it might be advisable to request His Highness the Rajah Muda to have him appointed to some situation at some place other than Larut, and as distant from it as possible.

" And your Petitioners will ever pray, etc.

"Penang, 3rd May 1873