12 September 2007

Singapore Short Stories - Bt Merah Naming

Legend has it that Bt Merah (or Redhill, or Ang Sua...depending on which dialect, formal or informal name of the place) was named because the hill was stained with the blood of boy who was wrongly murdered for saving the villagers from garfish attacks.
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Actually, the legend is true according to The Kin Jio Leaf. Also, because many banana trees were transplanted, that also caused a shortages of banana leaves for us to write our sacred texts...

Many years passed and the people in olden Singapore lived in tranquility until a shoal of garfish came here and kah jiao the villagers. Many villagers were attacked and they complain to the King. The King then ordered his soldiers to get rid of the garfish but the soldiers were equally helpless because the garfish are foreign talents and can do better than the locals. "We need a scholar to solve this problem!" declared the King.

"But Sir, we have no scholars yet...we don't even have schools yet"

At this point, a young boy piped from the back,"I have a solution! Plant rows of banana trees along the coast. When the garfish leap out of the waters, they'll get stuck on the banana tree...the soldiers can move in then and kill the fish"

"But banana trees got pontianaks leh," the King's aide said.

"Well, you and all your ministers can volunteer to stand there instead...so how? you wanna get satayed or you want garfish fin soup? "challenged the boy.

And so, everyone went into the forest and start transporting the banana trees to the coast. The Khirsah then decided to let them have the trees since it was for a good cause and withdraw the guards.

The boy's plan went through and the garfish problem was resolved. But then hor, the King buay song liao. "How can we allow a peasant to offer a solution? Only scholars can have good solutions mah...must get rid of him..." and so he ordered the soldiers to kill the boy. When the boy was stabbed, his blood kept flowing and stained the hill where he lived...and thus, that hill was named Bukit Merah (Red Hill).

9 comments:

ras said...

Got hill in S'pore. Must be an ant hill :P

khirsah said...

Not only do we have many hills, we even have Mountains! That reminded me of an encounter many many years ago.

Met this ang moh tourist who was asking for directions to Mt Faber..I was young then with lots of free time so I took him there instead of merely giving him directions (how I enjoyed the unlimited bus rides with my student bus pass). When we arrived he exclaimed, "You call that a mount?!?! That's a hill!"

Anyway, everything turned out better (at least for me) cos he offered to pay for all my expenses if I agree to be his tour guide for the rest of the day...:)

ras said...

He pays for your bus pass? :P

khirsah said...

no la...I already have bus pass mah. he paid for my meals, entrance fees to Sentosa, Zoo, Bird Park, Science Centre etc I didn't tell him I work in the zoo though...so I can get more peanuts mah :p

ras said...

Actually you can get a job as an exhibit in the Science Centre also. :P

khirsah said...

Be an exhibitionist? Dun wan la...i shy shy one leh, especially when i got no asset to show...

ras said...

Got your hairy chest. How many strands of white hair there? :P

khirsah said...

How you know? I better scan my house for pinhole camera :p

ras said...

You are on display at the zoo!!! :P