Save Bukit Cina Fund of RM97,447.42 handed to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple after 40 years

DAP has handed over the Save Bukit Cina Fund raised in 1984 to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple yesterday (Jan 15). Having been kept in a special account by DAP over the past 40 years, the initial sum of RM24,162 has since snowballed to RM97,447.42 (with interests).

At a brief ceremony, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook handed over a mock cheque of RM97,447.42 to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple standing committee chairman Lee Eng Cheow.

Also present at the handover ceremony were DAP central executive committee member Lim Hui Ying, party veteran Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang, chairman Lim Guan Eng, deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo and Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong.

Recall that DAP started the Save Bukit Cina campaign in 1984 to oppose a plan to demolish Bukit Cina for a modern commercial complex.

The move is intended to defend the historic and cultural monument that represent not only the roots of early Chinese migrants in Malaysia but also the 500-year-old Sino-Malay cooperation.

The plan was later suspended in January 1985 after three weeks with RM24,162 collected. Since then, DAP had wanted to hand over the fund raised from a one-person-one-dollar campaign to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple.

However, the temple did not accept the fund which was then kept in a special account for 40 years until recently.

As Cheng Hoon Teng has embarked on a Bukit Cina beautification plan, it is timely that the fund is now handed over to the temple authorities. In this regard, Loke also allocated RM50,000 for the Bukit Cina beautification plan to be undertaken by the temple.

“By handing over the donation to the temple, this shows that DAP is transparent and prudent in managing public funds,” noted Loke who is also the Transport Minister.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple has been maintaining the Bukit Cina cemetery with over 12,500 graves, according to the temple’s website. Bukit Cina is believed to be the oldest and largest traditional Chinese cemetery outside China.

According to historical account, the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple or the “Temple of Clear Clouds” was founded by the Chinese Kapitan Tay Kie Ki @ Tay Hong Yong in 1645 after which other structures were then built in 1673 under Kapitan Li Wei King @ Koon Chang.

It is believed that the materials used to build the gable roof, the timber beams and carved woodwork were from China.

Kapitans and early Chinese migrants were buried on the hill long before the hill was purchased from the Dutch government in 1685. The land was subsequently donated to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple as a burial ground for the local Chinese community in Melaka. – Jan 16, 2024

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