Wesak amidst a malay village in Sarawak

Muara Tebas, located at the mouth of the Sarawak River is a small Malay fishing village.  Due to its strategic location, it is a haven for ships plying the South China Sea to seek shelter and over the past 200 years this village has attracted traders from all over Asia especially from China.

Chinese traders established a trading post here two centuries ago during the reign of the White Rajah Brooke.

They built a Buddhist temple on a small hill in Muara Tebas fishing village to give thanks to the Gods and deities who  protected them from the perilous journey to and from China.

Fung shui and the natural landscape of the river mouth must have played a part in their choice of location for the temple.

The temple was named as Chingsan Yan meaning “Green Mountain Temple”.

The temple had been renovated several times over the past two centuries.

Sitting at the foot of this hill is the Malay fishing kampung, which probably have been there even before the Chinese arrival.

The Chinese communities have since moved out to other parts of Sarawak and the kampong is now predominantly occupied by Malay fishermen.

Visitors to the temple used to come by boat from various parts of Sarawak to pay homage in this temple. However, today there is a 30 km road linking the village to Kuching.

Over the centuries, Muara Tebas has been a place of peaceful and harmonious co-existence between the two races and their religious beliefs. The level of religious understanding and tolerance is unparalleled and Muara Tebas in Sarawak represents the true Malaysia for all races in peninsular Malaysia to emulate.

Come Wesak Day, Lunar New Year and other auspicious ocassions Chinese from all over Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia converge on to Muara Tebas to pray and seek reverence from Lord Buddha.

Video by KSTan, Citizen Journalist