Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Penang Malaysia - Dr Sun Yet Sen's base

I am Chinese, so I'm glad I did not miss visiting Dr Sun Yat-Sen's (founding father of the new China) Penang base.  This is the house where Dr Sun planned a historic uprising of the China Revolution of 1911.

Built around 1880 as a residential townhouse, the building is a very fine example of a Straits Settlements merchant’s home. Unusually long at over 130 feet (40 metres) it retains many of its original features – an intimate courtyard garden, a handsome timber staircase, geometric floor tiles, and large beams spanning lime plaster walls. The interior displays original blackwood Straits Chinese furniture and ornately carved wooden screens. The old-fashioned Nyonya kitchen preserves the original firewood stove and kitchen utensils.  Movie "Road to Dawn" was shot in this house.

In 1910 Sun Yat Sen (1866–1925) moved the Southeast Asian headquarters of the Tongmenghui party to Penang because he found renewed support among the Overseas Chinese here for the overthrow of China’s Qing dynasty. In the same year, when Sun Yat Sen lived in Penang with his family for over four months, the house at 120 Armenian Street was where:
  • The Penang Philomatic Union – a reading club – was based, providing a cover for Sun’s political party.
  • The world’s oldest Chinese newspaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh was founded by Sun Yat Sen in 1910.
  • Sun Yat Sen convened the celebrated Penang Conference and delivered his famous speech to plan the Huanghuagang Uprising, an important milestone leading to the Chinese revolution of 1911.

Front door

Living room

Book shelf

Secret conference room - oh boy, I already forgot the furniture details that the staff was explaining.

Chinese chair

Safety box - Dr Sun put all the important documents and funds that he raised for revolution there

Patio - this reminds me of my grandma's old house's patio.

100 year old kitchen

Toilet - which is connected to the kitchen, it is kind of weird. This reminds me of our old public toilet in Shanghai.

Kitchen cabinet

All kinds of baskets - I guess they used these for grocery shopping at the market

Chinese words 存心济世, which means "save the world." Dr Sun was trained as a medical doctor, but later he found the whole country was sick, so he decided to become a politician to save China.

Dr Sun planned uprisings 10 times, failed 9 times, and succeeded the last time.

The 10th uprising plan statement - they would fight until death

China's leader Mr Hu Jintao was here

Poker cards - the story of Dr Sun's uprising planning

Books about Dr Sun 

My thoughts:

I was pretty moved after I visited this museum.  If not for Dr Sun and his leadership, determination to save China, and perseverance, our country would not have stepped out of the opium world of the Qing dynasty.  We would not have our current new China, not to mention Taiwan.  From the historic facts, Dr Sun was not someone who just wanted to become another emperor of China.  He introduced old Chinese thoughts about democracy.  His philosophy "Three Principles of the People" injected strong medicine to old China.  The Xinhai revolution, which was led by Dr Sun, became the turning point of new China.

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