Dutch Fort - a short history
including Tiger Rock
The Dutch Fort on Pangkor island is called Kota Belanda by the locals. It is located at Teluk Gedung, just south of Pangkor Town on the South West part of the island. However, Dutch records referred to it as the Dindings fort ('Dingding') - named after the Dinding River.
V.O.C. - logo
The Dinding had been an important river over the centuries. In very early times, there had been a Hindu kingdom in Bruas, 35 km north east of Pangkor/Lumut, who used the river for trading. Since those days, the river had retreated and all that was left now was just a few river arms with mangrove forest.
In the time the Dutch Fort was build it was still a river used by the tin miners and locals for trading albeit no longer all the way to Bruas.
The fort was build by the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C. - Vereenigde Oostindische Companie). With the fort the Dutch could contro, the river activities and control the trading of Perak.
Since long Perak and Aceh in Sumatra, Indonesia had close ties, actually in these days, Perak was under control of the Aceh and the Dtch were at war with that state.
But it was complicated, although the Dutch controled the Dinding river, the British controled both Penang and Singapore with the Dutch also controling Malacca. Eventually the Dutch gave Pangkor and Malacca up for Batavia, modern day Jakarta.
The Fort before the renovation
When the fort was in use, there were no more than 59 men stationed, a small garrsion but it was enough to push the British to negotiate to hand over Pangkor in favor of other places the British controled. It was as usual all politics and money that ruled.
Apart of some local Malay fishermen, the island was basically abandoned. That said, it was frequently visited by local pirates. There are nowadays traces left with names as Pirate Cave and Pirate Rock. Obviously these places are difficult to access, even nowadays no different than in the past.
Apart of the walls, there's not a lot left of the fort
The fort wasn't big with 59 men. There were probably no more than 14 or so cannons, one of them still stands in front of the remains of the fort.
View from the Fort towards the Malaysian mainland
The governor had its own house in front of the fort. Further on the island, they had a guard ship and a sloop to control the waterways.
The beach in front of the Dutch Fort
Because the Dutch controled Malacce, supplies came from there. It was all very incovenient as they were effectively switched in between the British in Penang and Singapore who controled the Straits and the state of Aceh in the west, at Sumatra. In the end, the Dutch had little choice than to leave Pangkor.
When in 1795, Malacca was taken over by the British. Lord Camelford and Lieutenant Macalister went to Perak and made the Dutch to surrende the forst. It was the end of the Dutch at Pangkor island.
The fort was reconstructed by the National Museum in 1973 and became a historical monument 3 years later.
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