Bukit China Burial Ground
Bukit China is situated southeast of Malacca Town, about 148 metres
above sea level and covers an area of 42 hectares.
There are more than 12,500 graves on Bukit China including approximately
20 Muslim tombs. The existence of these Muslim tombs has made this
Chinese cemetery all the more special and unique. Bukit China is
also believed to be the oldest and largest traditional Chinese cemetery
outside China. According to our records, there were also graves
of Kapitans and early Chinese immigrants on the hill long before
the hill was purchased from the Dutch Government in 1685 by Kapitan
Lee Wei King and donated to the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple as a burial
ground for the Chinese community in Malacca.
The oldest tomb, more than three centuries old, is a double burial.
The tomb of Mr. & Mrs. Huang Wei-Hung (situated near the basketball
court of SRJK Pay Fong III) was built in the second year of Tian
Hee of Ming Dynasty (1622). The weather had taken a heavy toll on
the tomb, and in 1933 Cheng Hoon Teng Temple had undertaken to repair
it. A stone inscription was erected to mark it. The tomb was again
restored in 2001.
Since the British rule until today, there had been several attempts
to acquire Bukit China for road widening, land reclamation and development
purposes. However, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, which is responsible
for the management of the hill, had strongly opposed these attempts.
With the support of the general public, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple managed
to preserve Bukit China.
Bukit China is the place where early traders from China were buried.
It was stated on the stone steles that many of the Chinese traders
came to this country with high expectations for success in trade.
Sadly, some died before fulfilling their ambitions. Since their
families did not travel with them, there was no one to pray for
their souls. As such, prayers were initiated by the Chinese Kapitans
for them. However, these were always hampered by strong winds and
heavy rainfalls because there was no proper shelter.
Poh San Teng, 1795
In 1795, after Chua Su Cheong had been appointed as the Chinese
Kapitan, he looked into this problem faced by the community and
initiated the building of a temple at the foot of Bukit China, to
ensure that the prayers for those buried in Bukit China would not
be interrupted. The name of the temple, Poh San Teng is inscribed
in the 1795 tablet of its founding and also above the front door
of the temple.
The main deity is "Fu De Zheng Shen" or "Tua Pek
Kong" as is the tradition of the Chinese, be it in China or
Malaysia for all graveyard temples.