Friday, October 01, 2004


Chinese junk found off Kudat coast


The Star Online News:
By Raslan Baharom

TAIPING: A Chinese junk containing ceramics from the Sung Dynasty that sank off the coast of Kudat, Sabah, about 1,000 years ago has been located recently, said Museum and Antiquity Department deputy director-general Md Redzuan Tumin.

He said local fishermen discovered the wreck about two months ago.

“It’s about 20m deep and located between Kudat and Pulau Bangi.

“We have retrieved some ceramics from the wreck, which appeared to have been tampered with,” he told reporters after witnessing a soft launch to mark the opening of Kota Ngah Ibrahim.

The fortified house was built in 1860 by Ngah Ibrahim, who discovered tin deposits in Larut here.

The house had once been used as an administrative centre by the British and by the Japanese who had turned it into an army camp.

Md Redzuan said the Sabah museum, local universities and the Museum and Antiquity Department would work together to excavate the Chinese junk early next year.

The Museum and Antiquity Department has its own Archaeology Maritime Unit, manned by five divers.

On another matter, he said more funds would be sought under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to develop Kota Ngah Ibrahim, one of the main attractions of the Matang Historical Complex.

To date, the department has spent about RM1.4mil, mainly to restore the fort, put up exhibits to highlight the goings-on from the 1860s onwards and the restoration of the 1873 home of Captain T.C.S. Speedy, the Governor of Larut.

“The fort and Captain Speedy’s home are among the physical evidence of what went on here that led to the subsequent birth of Taiping.

“We must protect such buildings because they are part of our roots.”

To a question, Md Redzuan said Kota Ngah Ibrahim and Captain Speedy’s house have yet to be gazetted under the Monument and Antiquity Act, 1976.

“We submitted the application to the state in 1985 but have yet to get approval,” he said, adding that there were about 20 historical sites in Perak that were facing the same predicament.

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