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FORT DINGDINGH

Ben van Wijnen

In earlier times this island was the center for piracy. The pirates had their home ports at the Pulau Gedung Hills, Gua Lanun (Pirates 'Cave) and Batu Perompak (Pirates' Rock) on the island of Pangkor. Many ships / boats were boarded and deprived of their goods and products.
The Dutch became active here during the time of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The people of the VOC were engaged in the tin industry, until the British took over. In 1670, the Dutch built a fort (also for protection against the local population and the higher powers of the time) in Tiger Rock: Fort Dingdingh.

The fort Dingdingh (Kota Belanda)

The fort is located in the town of Teluk Gedung (to the south) and is called on the island of Kota Belanda.
In old Dutch reports it is always referred to as fort "Dingdingh ", named after the river Dingdings, which flows into the sea in front of the island, ie on the mainland.
Tin was transported from Perak to the sea over this river. The Dutch wanted the exclusive right to this trade in tin. So they built a square fort in 1670 in order to control and monopolize the trade. Governor Balthasar Bort reported in 1678 that 59 people were charged with the blockade of Perak and that the VOC had a wooden fort on the island with 9 guns. Among these people were, among others, an inspector, accountant, captain, surgeons, soldiers and sailors. The fleet present consisted of the yacht the "Laren", the sloop "Cacap" and the boat "Dingdingh".

The fort is a hundred meters from the beach and is made up of three stone walls with round windows, which are placed at regular distances from each other. A small park has been laid out at the fort and there are some shops for visitors. The former fortress is currently a tourist attraction.


Het fort Dingdingh'

The fort seems to have been fortified years later, as the English explorer William Dampier writes in 1689:

"The fort is solidly built, without side pieces and bastions, like a house. Each side about ten meters. The walls are of a good thickness and made of stone. They have a height of about 30 feet.
There are 12 to 14 guns that are directed to each side. The guns are placed on a strong platform within the high walls at a height of 16 feet.
In this fort the governor sleeps with about 30 soldiers, who sleep under the guns' platform.
The fort is about 100 meters away from the sea. Near the bay is another low, wooden house, where the governor spends his time".

In 1690 the Dutch garrison was attacked by the warrior Panglima Kulup and the fort was destroyed. He did not agree with the policy pursued by the VOC. The Dutch were back soon, but it was not until November 20, 1745, that Baron van Imhoff was ordered to rebuild the fort at Pulau Dingdingh.

  Merchant Ary Verbrugge reached an agreement with the king of Perak to sell all tin to the VOC and the right to build a fort elsewhere. The Dutch built a brick factory and the fort was located in Tanjong Putus. This place must be located on the Perak River (near Teluk Intan).
The fort was ready on 18 October 1748 and Baron Van Imhoff ordered the relocation of Pulau Dindingh to the new fort.

When Malacca was occupied by Great Britain, we were forced to give Tanjong Putus as well!

Since 1978, Dindingh has been declared a monument and according to the law someone who commits vandalism to an old monument or a historic place can the prison will be sent for a maximum period of three months.


Batu Bersurat of
Rock of the tiger

A short distance from the fortress Dindings is Batu Bersurat (Holy Written Rock).
It is a large, massive granite boulder, which has the inscription "743 I.F.CRALO" and the initials VOC (Dutch East India Company).
The DUTCH LION is also depicted, standing with a shield and a raised sword - and it belongs to the VOC and the army unit of the Fort. The warring lion and the VOC-sign are also presented with broad surrounding lines as if they were on a COAT OF ARMS.
Below are the letters W.P.O. Are these the initials of the draftsman, soldier or someone higher in rank?
 
The story goes that a Dutch boy was playing at this rock. A little later the child suddenly disappeared without a trace. They searched and searched, but they did not find the child anymore.
It was supposed that the lion represented a tiger and that the tiger took the boy with him.
The local population says, however, that it is more likely that an angry Malaysian has taken the child with him.
 

Rots met leeuw en VOC-teken

In 1690 the Dutch left because local leaders often attacked the fort. In 1743 the fort was rebuilt, but the Dutch did not stay long. Soon after, early 19th century, the British came. With their arrival the island was renamed Pulau Kera which means Monkey Island. There are still many monkeys on the Pangkor. Later Pulau Kera was renamed Pulau Aman (peaceful island) and then Pulau Pangkor (beautiful island). Pangkor Island is located at the mouth of the Sungai Dinding. From Lumut you have to take a ferry to get to the island. It took about 30 minutes and the trips are available every 30 minutes.

 


For buses and ferry tickets to Pangkor 

 

 

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