Miniature fountain marks ghostly spot

WHERE A GHOST APPEARED: Wayang Park fountain has a spooky tale to tell. It was here that the first White Rajah of Sarawak, Sir James Brooke saw a boy playing with water. The boy was believed to be the manifestation of Deity Kong Teck Choo Ong. — Photo by Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING: A miniature fountain near a grand stage opposite Hong San Si temple along Wayang Street in the city has a spooky tale to tell.

Those living nearby who know about it might experience a hair-raising moment when passing the place in the wee hours of dawn.

But many pedestrians passing by can’t help but fall in love with the miniature fountain and garden which they see as another landmark in the vicinity of China Town.

According to legend, during the reign of the first White Rajah in Sarawak in the 1830s, Rajah James Brooke saw a boy about seven years old playing with water next to the Hong San Si grand stage when he passed the area.

The Rajah asked the people about the boy, only to be told that they could not see a boy of his description there.

The followers of the temple believed the boy was the manifestation of Kong Teck Choo Ong – a boy deity.

According to a source, the Rajah marked the spot by erecting a water hydrant there to bring prosperity to Kuching, but it was later torn down to make way for development.

In 2005, former Padungan Assemblywoman Datuk Lily Yong who heard of the legend reinstalled a fire hydrant and garden to perpetuate the ghostly legend for the people of Kuching.

The area in the vicinity of Carpenter Street with a predominantly Chinese community is now known for holding the Mooncake Festival every year.

So if you are in that area, do visit the spooky water fountain to be part of the legend.

Meanwhile, food and drink hawker trader Simon Kueh who sells local dishes urged the authority to maintain the garden and take care of the place.

He said the Hong San Si grand stage is a popular place to hang out for tourists stopping for a meal.

“This place is a golden triangle for visitors and we should maintain it. The legend gives the area a creepy feel which can be a tourist draw,” he said.

“I have been trading here for some time now and we try to make the place pleasant. As for the legend, I have yet to get an experience of the spine-tingling kind,” he said, chuckling with laughter.

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