A lone oil well sits atop Bukit Telaga Minyak in Miri, Sarawak, an icon of the city’s present-day tourist attraction and an important landmark that sparked Malaysia’s entire history in oil and gas. Ironically, it almost never got built if not for the perseverance of a young college dropout from England.
Choosing cadetship over completing his studies at Jesus College, Cambridge, had brought Charles Hose to Borneo in 1886, where he subsequently played an instrumental role in shaping the geographical landscape and history of Miri.
Apparently, it took some 20 years – with many obstacles in between – for Hose to convince various parties of the treasures that lay beneath their feet. Hose, who became Resident of Baram (a district near Miri) in 1890, when he was only 27, had even put up a proposal for oil explorations in Miri; it was, however, rejected by a British consultant geologist on the grounds of rural Miri’s poor logistics at the time.
It is pitch black, cold… and eerily scary.
Brrr…gives me the goosebumps. No wonder bats like to live here.
What was that?!
I was trying my best to walk as slowly as possible on the slippery plank walk, with trusty headlamps lighting the way. It was a torture, especially with guano– bat dung ‘perfume' on the ground everywhere, its smell hanging heavily in the air.
The silence around me was eerily spooky.