The 19th century graves of a pioneer family in Penang, Malaysia were found to have been dug up and the contents plundered. Modern Penang was founded in the late 18th century and the it’s capital Georgetown was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2008.
Grave discovery for heritage advocates
The Sun, 10 January 2011
Penang’s heritage advocates are distressed to learn that more than 70 graves related to a pioneer family from the 1800s in Batu Lanchang have been dug up.
The graves include the century-old tomb of Koh Seang Tatt, a philanthropist who died in 1899. Koh’s family helped develop the island during its early years under colonial rule.
The tomb at the Batu Lanchang Hokkien cemetery, which held the remains of Koh and his wife, was broken into, and the bones and other ceremonial possessions within removed.
Heritage activist Tan Yeow Wooi decried the incident and said the tombs bore much of the island’s precious heritage. He expressed deep concern especially about the fate of the main tomb, belonging to Seang Tatt’s grandfather, the pioneer kapitan, Koh Lay Huan, who died in 1826, and his wife which lies on a hillock in the cemetery.