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Larut War

The 1st Larut War 1861 ~ 1862

A dispute cropped up in July 1861 when Hai San clan tried to sabotage Ghee Hin’s waterway which ended with a fatality of a Ghee Hin man. The Hai San then sent a quick attack to the Ghee Hin in Klian Baru and confiscated their belongings. This forced some 1,000 Ghee Hin men fled to Penang to their leader. Lee Ah Kun had to ask for help from the British Resident. A squadron of police was sent to Larut to investigate and found out that the Hai San was the culprit.

Lee Ah Kun lodged complaint to the British Government for a total of $17,447.04 compensation from the Hai San. The complaint was settled Che Ngah Ibrahim for the war transpired in his territory. The Ghee Hin then returned to their mines in Klian Baru. As a token of appreciation, Sultan Jaafar granted the title of Orang Kaya Menteri to Che Ngah Ibrahim.

The 2nd Larut War 1865

The 2nd Larut War exploded in June 1865 after a tiff between a Hai San man and a Ghee Hin man at a gambling parlour. In the incident, the Hai San stabbed the Ghee Hin which provoked a much bigger squabble. The Hai San men then destroyed the Ghee Hin’s houses and managed to capture 14 of them.

The Ghee Hin decided to return fire but failed when they were arrested by Chee Ngah Ibrahim’s followers in Klian Pauh. Ghee Hin headman in Penang Chan Ah Yam negotiated with Che Ngah Ibrahim to spare his men’s life who were arrested while on their way to attack the Hai San. Not only did he refuse the request. Che Ngah Ibrahim took a drastic action to kick the Ghee Hin out of Larut.

The 3rd Larut War 1871 ~ 1874

Ghee Hin clan leader Lee Ah Kun caught having an affair with a Hai San girl. Both were tortured to death by the Hai San. The issue of an unsettled $2,800 compensation to Lee’s widow which was promised by the Hai San forced the Ghee Hin to go on rampage and burnt the Hai San’s mines. The Hai San then resorted to flee to Penang before sneaking in to Larut to see Che Ngah Ibrahim. They exhorted the minister to hold a gathering in Matang to appoint a Chinese Capitan.

It was when the Hai San attacked and managed to retrieve their mines in Klian Pauh. In 1872 the Ghee Hin fought back and closed the gateways to Simpang Empat which cut the Hai San’s food spply. When both clans refused to cease fire and make peace. Lt. Governor Anson agreed to let Che Ngar Ibrahim to form his own army troupe led by Captain Speedy. The conflicts between the Kings and the clashes between the Ghee Hin and Hai San reached an end when the Pangkor Treaty was sealed on 20 January 1874.

Source: Matang Museum

Matang Museum

Kota Ngah Ibrahim was built in 1858 also known as The Matang Historical Complex, it was originally Ngah Ibrahim’s house. Located in Pematang, where today’s Matang is, in Northern Perak. It was then officially named Matang Museum in 1985 after taken over by the Department of Museums and Antiquities Malaysia.

Matang Museum’s permanent exhibitions displays artifacts related to the chronology of the building’s construction and the building’s usage beginning from Ngah Ibrahim, then English Rule during Straits Settlements era, Malay Teaching College, Japanese Occupation during the Second World War and Sekolah Kebangsaan Matang until 1985, when taken over by the Department of Museums and Antiquities Malaysia.

Kota Ngah Ibrahim was gazetted as a Heritage Building under the National Heritage Act 2005, in 2009.

source: JMM

Che Ngah Ibrahim