Journey to Sg. Lembing take me breath away. The view of the place is really amazing surrounded with the Kenau and Kuantan River, Panorama Hill and a very greenly and clean town. It is really enjoying for the first timer came here like me to see the serenity of the town. Sometime I wonder if I could buy a piece of land here and built a house after I retired. I really had a great time here with my three bachelor students who are doing their final year research project at Kuantan town, unfortunately we cannot cover this area as our study area.
To go to Sg. Lembing if you are from Kuala Lumpur you can use East Coast Expressway/ Lebuhraya Pantai Timur within the 4-hour journey. Immediately after the Kuantan exit, you will reach a T-junction traffic light, turn right to Sungai Lembing which takes another 45 minutes to reach there. You won’t miss the place because there is the two-lane trunk road with a proper signage to guide you until you reach Sg. Lembing.
Along the road, a way to Sg. Lembing, you can see other villages that was surrounded with palm tree and rubber tree plantations. You may encounter some local drivers with laid-back driving. When you are approaching the town you will see a facade showed “Welcome Sg. Lembing”.The entrance of Sg. Lembing and on the right side of the facade there is a budget hotel located at the entrance of the town and another 300 meters there is another accommodation name Tiara Guest House just to cater the guest who wants to have overnight stay and see a panoramic view of the town.
The landscape at the entrance of Sg. Lembing shows a big ball. This ball design is to show on the previous tin mining activity at Sg. Lembing where it's call chopping ball which was once use to reduce the size of the rock.
Sg. Lembing is a small town which was once a famous place of tin mining activities. A tin miner leader, Lim Ming signed an agreement with Sultan of Pahang on November 8, 1883 for a land of 2500 square miles for 75 years. The land included Sungai Kuantan, Sungai Triang Sungai Rompin. He and two partners who were staying at Singapore formed the company called “Pahang Company”. The PCCL took over the concession and rights of mining tin ore from The Pahang Corporation Limited and began its operation in 1888. Among the directors of the PCCL were J.E Champney, J.A Bell, A. Currie and Henry Frisby Jr.
After WWII, a new mining company called Pahang Consolidated Public Company Limited (PCPCL) took over the management of the mine in 1946. The local thought they could have a peaceful life after the surrender of the Japanese, but in 1948, outbreak of communist insurrections started, the Malayan Communist Party began sporadic attacks. In order to bring order and stability to the Peninsular, the British administration declared “State of Emergency”.
One of the mining activities Source: Zulkifli (Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan)
During the early 19th century, Sungai Lembing has three big mines namely Willinks Mine, Gagak Mine and Mayah Mine. The depth of the mine is 700 meter and the length is 250 meter which is one of the deepest mine in the world during that time. Willinks Mine was closest to town and was spared from guerilla attack; Gagak Mine was unfortunate to have a British engineer and an administrator badly injured which caused the mine to be closed. Until now you can still see the previous part of the mine area even though the mine has been closed to the public. With a guide by En. Zulkifli (MPK) we had a chance to visit one of the mining area.
This is the entrance to the mining area which had been closed since 1986
The view inside the tunnel, it is quite chilled but we only manage to go about 50 meters walk.
This is a previous base of PCCL big engine
During our journey to Sg. Lembing, we manage to meet one of previous PCCL hospital attendant. According to En. Samsudin, the Sungai Lembing residents were given a special pass to exchange and for those who got a pass will get a special rate for any facilities and material sell at Sg. Lembing. Even if you want to buy any product from England such as Clark shoes, chinaware, glassware, branded cloths and others you may get here. The facilities such as post office, hospital, cinema, garden, wet market, school, quarters for miners and officers and recreation club are provided at this town. This PCCL company are very concern on cleanliness of the place where if any of their staff housing area that is not clean, they will get a panelty buy cutting off their salary.
Interview with En. Samsudin a former of PCCL hospital attendant
One of the previous residence of PCCL officers
If you come here you will see 4 same wooden bridges along the Sg. Lembing town use to attach the other side of the settlement
One of the facilities provided to the local during early 1930 at Sg. Lembing is PCCL Cinema.
Sungai Lembing will be continued to Part 2: Kembara to Panorama Hill