Kali Angke: The Killing Field


The Chinese people who seek their fortune in Batavia already reached 80 thousand people, and in general they work in many sugar factory. Sugar at that time was one of the largest oil fields in Jakarta. But the price of sugar in the international market is decline since there were many sugar available from Malabar, India. Sugar factories in Batavia in bankruptcy, so many Chinese people suddenly become unemployed and homeless, and this situation led to the increasing crime rate in Batavia.

With the increasing number of unemployment amongs the Chinese, VOC issued a regulation to restrict the Chinese. Chinese people who live in Batavia should have a residence permit, attempted or trade. VOC also issued anoter regulation which also makes the Chinese people who do not have jobs, though it has a residence permit, should be arrested. Such regulations indeed would invite and open a bribery and extortion to the VOC official.

The Chinese people were forced to stay at home and shut down their shops, and hundreds of Chinese who caught forcibly dispatched to Sri Lanka. Among the Chinese in Batavia, there were some issue came, that the Chinese people who were arrested are dumped into the sea in the middle of their way to Srilanka. This issue certainly makes the Chinese people restless; they formed groups and began to arm themselves. On October 8, 1740, The Chinese began the revolution by attacking Batavia.

The resistance was respond brutally by VOC. On January 10, 1740, the Governor General of VOC, Adrian Volckanier, issued an order to kill the Chinese people. VOC soldiers, sailors and even-sailor whose boat rests in the port of Sunda Kalapa, asked to loot, pillage, rape and slaughter – the Chinese. Even the Chinese babies who were still in hospital in front of the Jakarta Kota Station were also killed. 500 Chinese prisoners who were in the Dentention Center under the Batavia City Hall were also slaughtered. Kali Angke, a river adjacent to Glodok became the history mark for many Chinese, thier dead body was dumped into the river from Jl. Toko Tiga through Jl Perniagaan Barat to Jl Pangeran Tubagus Angke and the river color then turn to red because of many bloods.

At that time, the Chinese captain was Nie Hoe Kong. He was accused of being the mastermind and was considered responsible for the revolt. He was sent to prison on October 18, 1740. After going through a grueling, protracted, and politicized trial, Nie Hoen Kong was sentenced to 25 years in prison and exiled to Sri Lanka. Upon objection, Chinese captain was eventually discharged to the Moluccas. His home, now become the location of Toko Merah, fired with the cannon, and he was jailed for 5 years in the Robijn castle.

On 12 February 1745 he was taken as a prisoner to the Moluccas. He died on December 25, 1746 at a very young age: 36 years.

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