Almost a dozen Chinese tombstones dating back to the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China that lasted between 1644 and 1912, were discovered just outside the old house belonging to the eighth Pahang Menteri Besar (first Minister of Pahang) late Muhammad Jusoh in Malaysia's Pekan Lama.
As reported, one of the recently discovered tombstones is over 200 years old, possibly belonging to one of the founders of a nearby Tua Pek Kong temple.
All these tombstones, measuring 60cm x 30cm, were found by two gardeners when they were cutting the grass on Saturday, November 14. These were laid down flat in a straight line and buried under a layer of soil. The open field used to be the headquarters of the British army and the Japanese troops during World War II.
An Unusual Discovery
As per the chief of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in Pekan, Datuk Tan Yang Meng, when Chinse arrived in South-east Asia, many of them settled down in Pekan and there was a jetty along the Pahang River at Jalan Sultan Ahmad now. According to Tan, this finding is proof that the Chinese had set up roots in Malaysia more than 250 years ago.
He also said that officers from the Pahang state department of history and the Pekan Lama museum would visit the location of the discovery to examine the tombstones and decide what to do with them.
"We want to first ascertain if there are more tombstones underneath, then obtain the funds to get them sorted out, ideally to be moved to a Chinese cemetery, so as to offer our ancestors a proper final resting place," he added.
Tan also said that he believed there could be more tombstones surrounding the wooden house. However, more research would be required to be carried out to know whether the tombstones were relocated from another place.