Monday, October 10, 2011

- a hundred years hence - once a ROCer

This passport was issued by the Republic of China consulate in Ipoh dated 20Oct 1948. It was the 37th year of the Republic of China. The in-country consul was Ibrahim TY Ma.

As could be known from his name, the consul was a Muslim from China. Perhaps it was along this practice of sending emissary that was familiar with the Islamic faith, that Ibrahmin Ma was chosen to Malaya. The best know of which was Admiral Zheng He of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644CE) – a Muslim from Yunnan province.

The fact that there was a ROC consulate in town was perhaps another testimony of the importance of Ipoh in the then British Malaya. With the opening of tin mining industry and there came huge migrant Chinese population.

It was well-known fact that Sun Yat-sen, had his revolutionary base in in Penang, while planning the Canton uprising. As to Ipoh, I was curious -

Googling thro the web –I was surprised to learn that Sun Yat-sen, while on a visit in 1906 to the Kinta Valley was hurled stones and cow dung in Menglembu, by supporters of a different political affiliation.

From citizens of ROC – or hua qiao – 華僑 - the folks have moved on to become - hai wai huaren – 海外華人- ethnic Chinese residing overseas.

From being a citizen of the ROC of China, when Malaya became Independent – dad being born in Malaya, got his citizenship as a citizen of Malaya. And when Malaysia was established – he naturally became a citizen of Malaysia.

At one time – in the early 1960/s – citizenship was a sensitive and hot topic. I recall being told by dad that cos he was a citizen, and being an offspring of a citizen, - by operation of law I was naturally a citizen of the land.

The Xinhai Revolution -辛亥革命 – or the Double-ten celebration to the ROC-er then, used to be celebrated with pomp in Ipoh, and I remember seeing an old photograph of a arch being built for the occasion in Hugh Low Street near the bridge.

To our ancestors – who left Qing China - 清朝 代 -( 1644-1911) - there was ever the yearning to make it rich in Nanyang ( 南洋) to return to their poor beloved Tangshan (唐山)that they came from, to us there was the cultural China we hope to see prosperous & strong, and to our young ones China is an awakened dragon - counting in superlatives.

Postscript -

1. Xinhai Revolution - 辛亥革命
Today 10Oct marks the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. 辛亥革命
It brought to an end a centralized dynastic system that lasted for 2,133 year, (from 221BC to 1911CE).

Measured in the time frame of the Chinese world view – with a continuous civilization of 5,000years, a century is perhaps, just a bleep in their historical clock.
Unlike the End of History by Fukuyama – to the Chinese history is an unending cycle – measured in cycles of ‘glorious ages’.

I wonder if they still call it the Double-ten Festival - 雙十節 - Shuangshi Jie - in Taiwan .

2. In 1948, dad returned to China with her mum – to attend to the burial, and family and matters of his late father who died in summer that year. This was perhaps his second visit back to the ancestral home since he was a child of 4-5years old.

3. The Star –

‘ Perak's former tin mining towns linked to Sun Yat-sen ‘

depot rd