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  • Writer's pictureAmmar, R. & Izzaty, N.

Heritage Series - The Mysterious Monuments of Pengkalan Kempas


Menhirs, Megaliths and Tomb of Pengkalan Kempas.

Among the historical traditions of Peninsular Malaysia, few can evoke the same aura of mystery as the veneration of 'living stones' and sacred burial grounds. While mainstream Malay beliefs and practices have left most of these customs behind, remnants of the mystical stone subjects can still be found scattered around the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, particularly in the states of Negeri Sembilan and Malacca.


Out of the thousands recorded, the most outstanding of the stones is undoubtedly the collection of ancient monuments located just above the Sungai Linggi estuary, Negeri Sembilan. Puzzling historians and anthropologists since the early 1900s, this is the sole site in West Malaysia where large menhirs (upright stones) were carved so elaborately and yet so alien in style and cultural origins. Perhaps even more strange, these stones stand in the vicinity of an equally mysterious tomb - marked with one of the oldest inscriptions ever discovered in the country.


This is our visit to the enigmatic historical complex of Pengkalan Kempas.

The tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun in Pengkalan Kempas

The ancient tomb complex in Pengkalan Kempas.


The trip brought us to the far edge of Port Dickson, a place quite isolated from the packed tourist traps usually associated with the coastal district. After driving for about 40 kilometers from Seremban, we reached a tiny island of a town around 10 kilometers from Kuala Linggi - a hamlet of old shophouses and village buildings surrounded nearly on all sides by huge swaths of plantation estates. On its east, Sungai Linggi forms its muddy riverfront, separating the town from a thick nipah swamp across. The river would meet Sungai Rembau a few kilometers downstream, with this stretch serving as the natural state border between Negeri Sembilan and Malacca.

Map of Pengkalan Kempas from Seremban

Map: Seremban to Pengkalan Kempas.

Pekan Rantau

Old shoplots in Pekan Rantau, on the way to Pengkalan Kempas.

Malacca-style house

Traditional Malacca-style house on the roadside.

Map of Pengkalan Kempas

Map: Pengkalan Kempas.


Pengkalan Kempas and Sungai Linggi

Pengkalan Kempas (trans; Kempas Port) owes its name to its role as an inland port for Sungai Linggi. Since the 1700s, the river was already functioning as the sole 'highway' of the region as it connected the deeper territories of Sungai Ujong (now Seremban) and Rembau to the coastal trading center in Malacca. As Sungai Ujong entered its mining boom in the 1800s, ports along Sungai Linggi became important stations to accommodate the movement of miners, tin exports, and collection of taxes.

Sungai Linggi in Pengkalan Kempas

Pengkalan Kempas riverfront facing Sungai Linggi. The river section here is known for its Udang Galah freshwater prawns - and crocodiles.


Heavy mining, unfortunately, led to silt and mud flowing down and choking the river. In the 1870s, the upstream riverports - Pengkalan Kundang, Pengkalan Durian, and Pengkalan Manggis - started to become unusable due to the increasingly obstructed waterway. Due to this, larger boats were only able to pass from the river mouth in Kuala Linggi up until Pengkalan Kempas - transforming the small trading port into the new 'gate' of Sungai Ujong.

Old map of Sungai Linggi, Pengkalan Kempas and Kuala Linggi

Map of Sungai Linggi riverports in the 19th century.

(Ref: Adapted from Abd. Aziz Salleh's description in Warisan: Jurnal Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Cawangan Negeri Sembilan, Keluaran 8)


The prosperity of Sungai Ujong made the area the most valuable region in Negeri Sembilan during the British colonial involvement in the state. In fact, it was the first area that fell under direct British control in Negeri Sembilan in 1974. Once directly involved with the state's administration, the British colonial government immediately got to work and expanded port facilities in Pengkalan Kempas to include new landing piers, government quarters, customs offices, warehouses, and the like. Adding to this, a new paved road was constructed in the 1880s to link Pengkalan Kempas to Pekan Linggi and ultimately to Sungai Ujong.

Old shophouses in Pengkalan Kempas

Old shophouses besides the only main road in Pengkalan Kempas.

Chinese opera Phang Kai Hooi in Pengkalan Kempas

Phang Kai Hooi Chinese opera house.


However, by the time the road was fully completed in 1893, the riverbed in Pengkalan Kempas also started to become too shallow for large boats to dock, and the port eventually suffered the same fate as the others before it. In response, the British finally decided to stop depending so heavily on Sungai Linggi and proceeded to construct railway tracks connecting the inner districts to the rapidly developing seaside trading center of Port Dickson. As transportation shifted elsewhere, the town gradually lost its vital role in the tin trade.


In the years ahead, Pengkalan Kempas turned its attention to the profitable cultivation of rubber plantations. This went on fairly well until the fall of rubber prices in the late 1900s, causing much of the economic activities left in the town to shrink. More recently, the completion of the North-South Expressway and Jambatan Kuala Linggi largely cut off Pengkalan Kempas from general traffic, pushing the small port town further away from commercial activity. Visiting Pengkalan Kempas today, only two rows of aging shop houses occupy the center of the town, a quaint reminder of the town's more lively past.

Jetty and riverbank in Pengkalan Kempas

Small fishing boats parked on the muddy banks near the jetty. The river here was said to be much deeper and wider in the past.


In retrospect, the rise and fall of Pengkalan Kempas during the tin mining heydays is a short stint compared to the age of a particular site just a few hundred meters away from the jetty. Known by many as Keramat Sungai Udang, the megalith-tomb complex is thought to be hundreds of years old, with parts of it possibly predating the ancient Sultanate of Malacca.


Before delving deeper, a brief look into a couple of essential concepts;


Of Keramat Sites and Megaliths

The Arabic term keramat generally means 'sacred'. In the context of Malay culture, the term is commonly associated with the spiritual and supernatural. A keramat site can include or contain a range of objects perceived to have unusual paranormal properties. This can include certain graves, large rocks, trees, caves, or even a whole hill. Some of these are believed to be the resting place of important individuals or ancestors, and others are thought to be the dwelling places of jin - benevolent or otherwise. According to believers, keramat sites are able to bestow benefits to those who attend to them. Likewise, they are also thought to be able to cause the opposite; bringing harm or disaster to those who commit certain pantang-larang (taboos) before it. Because of this, sites designated as keramat are often treated with nervous respect and in some cases - fear.


Before the modern rise of Islamic orthodoxy in Malaysia, keramat reverence was quite common among Malays. These beliefs were reflected through occult rituals, such as puja (worship) and upacara (ceremonies) - which were often mixed with Islamic mysticism. The animistic reverence of these sacral places is also prevalent among Orang Asli, possibly for far longer before the Malays did. Interestingly, the shrine-like treatment of keramat sites also spread among many Chinese and Indians migrating to Malaya during the British colonial era, adapting existing indigenous practices with their own beliefs and religions.

Perkuburan Sultan Abdul Samad in Bukit Jugra

Signages prohibiting ritualistic activities can be seen on many sensitive sites today - especially royal mausoleums and gravesites of prominent religious figures.


In the case of Negeri Sembilan and Malacca, the veneration of keramat sites is especially linked to a megalithic culture that predates the arrival of Islam in the Malay archipelago. Believed to be brought over by the Minangkabau people from Sumatra, this folk tradition treats certain large natural rocks as possessing paranormal and spiritual properties. The Ancient Greek portmanteau 'megalith' is often used to describe these stones, and 'menhir' - meaning 'upright stone' - denotes its specific category amongst the various types of megalithic cultures.

Menhirs in Megalith Park in Putrajaya - Taman Megalit

A group of menhirs in Taman Megalit Putrajaya, originally discovered by Petronas during a gas piping project in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan.


Among locals, these stones are called batu hidup (living stones), as they are thought to be alive and able to grow larger in time. Other beliefs vary, with some seeing them merely as land or grave markers, to more elaborate functions such as being intermediary mediums for spirits passing on to the afterlife. Naturally, this led to many megalithic sites being also treated as sacral keramat grounds. Some of the remarkable ones were given specific names and honorable titles (commonly "Datuk") denoting the individual believed to be buried there. In Luak Tanah Mengandung alone, more than four thousand menhirs have been found and recorded so far, mostly in the mukims of Ulu Muar, Terachi and Jempol.

Megalith in Putrajaya

Menhirs in Negeri Sembilan and Malacca are usually made of granite. According to some, these 'living stones' can sometimes be seen shining under moonlight.


Keramat Sungai Udang

Despite the rich cultural background surrounding keramat sites and megaliths in Negeri Sembilan, this particular gravesite in Pengkalan Kempas still stands out in curious isolation. Located on a corner near the riverbank of Sungai Linggi, the shrine is home to a group of ancient stone monuments with characteristics that do not fit any cultural identities elsewhere in classical Malaya. At the center of the small valley lies the grave of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun, a majestic tomb marked by a carved inscription pillar - both believed to be more than five hundred years old. Despite the grand display of status, the identity of the occupant is surprisingly still shrouded in mystery.


Besides the makam (tomb), Keramat Sungai Udang is also home to another group of ancient anomalies. Looming on one side of the large tomb, three remarkable menhirs stand erected facing the gravestones of Sheikh Majnun. Out of the three, two menhirs bear elaborate symbols and shapes in relief, prominently accompanied by a lone word - "Allah". Unlike other menhirs associated with keramat sites, these three are not referred to as "Datuk" or any other specific individuals. Instead, they're known as the Kemudi (rudder), Sudu (spoon), and Keris (sword).

Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun and inscription stone in Pengkalan Kempas

Makam Sheikh Majnun (right) with inscription pillar (left). The tomb is estimated to have been built between 1463 - 1467 AD.

Kemudi Sudu and Keris menhirs in Pengkalan Kempas

The three mysterious menhirs of Pengkalan Kempas; Kemudi, Sudu, and Keris (left to right).


Records of the site was first published in the early 1900s when the state was under British colonial administration. Based on interviews with villagers, European researchers assume that the 'Mohammedan tomb' was originally discovered in the jungle a few generations before the British arrived. Legend grew among them that the grave is the burial site of an ancient figure named Sheikh Ahmad Majnun, a Muslim missionary who perished during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (1459 - 1477). Additionally, the mysterious granite monoliths surrounding the tomb were thought to be the petrified tools of this obscure figure.


Venerated as a keramat, the tomb became a sacred ground for making and paying vows for the many Malays, Chinese, and even Indians living in the surrounding district. According to early accounts, Malays held ceremonial kenduri (feast) with pulut kuning (turmeric glutinous rice) offerings accompanied by the burning of kemenyan (benzoin incense), while Chinese pilgrims lighted candles and burnt joss sticks along with offerings such as poultry and spirits.

Site plan of Pengkalan Kempas menhirs megaliths and tomb

Tomb and megaliths in Keramat Sungai Udang.

(Source: Site diagram by Casparis, 1980 & modified by Author to fit latest site visit in 2023)


The first major study on Keramat Sungai Udang was completed in 1919 by Ivor H. N. Evans - a British curator-ethnologist working under the Federated Malay States (FMS) Perak Museum. By then, the jungle surrounding the site was already being cleared to make way for rubber estates. Evans described the site condition to be derelict and badly weathered. Even though the tomb was somewhat protected under a nipah roof, much of the site was overgrown and taken over by tree roots. A number of the bigger stones were found broken due to fallen trees and the smaller boulders were scattered around the site. As the area was shaped like a natural amphitheater, about half of the valley was submerged in swampy grounds, with only the makam being raised on a slightly higher elevation.

Old photo of menhirs megaliths Kemudi Sudu and Keris in Pengkalan Kempas

Menhirs before restoration by Evans. The Sudu (lower middle right) can be seen broken into two pieces due to a fallen tree.

(Source: C. Boden Kloss, 1921 - Edited by Author for clarity)

Old photo of Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun in Pengkalan Kempas

Condition of the tomb in 1919 with its upright laterite blocks (left & right) leaning inwards due to subsidence. In its original form, the tomb was built without the use of cement.

A nipah shelter can also be seen covering the tomb (top).

(Source: C. Boden Kloss, 1921 - Edited by Author for clarity.)


After some preliminary clearing, the site was mapped by W. A. Wallace from the FMS Surveys Department. More than one hundred pieces of stones were recorded; some found in their natural form, and others cut or dressed to a certain extent. After the surveying work was done, Evans proceeded to conduct restoration works on the keramat. The swamp was drained through ditches and excavation commenced around the site. The archeological dig brought up numerous items up to two feet beneath the ground; button-shaped objects, pieces of a cup and teapot, stone etching tool, sharpened post, pottery, a silver coin, and pieces of a Chinese green celadon bowl - probably from the Ming period. Another solitary menhir and accompanying laterite blocks were further recorded about 30 meters from the tomb complex.


Evans did the main work on the tomb and menhirs by utilizing local workers - headed by an 'imam'. The laterite blocks were lifted and put on a six-inch-thick concrete slab foundation. The nearby menhirs were re-erected with some estimates of their original position and similarly placed on concrete platforms. Cement was then used by Evans to join the broken stones (such as the Sudu), and to secure the other stone blocks with each other. During the work, Evans followed the advice of said imam to minimally disturb the central compartment of the grave, leaving it largely untouched. Earth was then refilled onto the outer tomb compartment.

Old photos of menhir megaliths Kemudi Sudu and Keris and Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun after restoration.

Keramat Sungai Udang after restoration by Evans in 1919. Cement was utilized to bind the stones together - including the previously broken Sudu menhir (left).

(Source: Both Photos - Ivor H. N. Evans, 1921 - Edited by Author for clarity)


Pusara Sheikh Ahmad Majnun & Inscription Pillar

The tomb that enthrones the keramat is quite the sight. The structure is multi-tiered, with its highest platform containing the central burial chamber. This section is framed on its top and bottom by two inscribed capstones - both containing wordings weathered away after centuries of exposure. On its sides are two groups of upright laterite blocks arranged to resemble benches or platforms. Beyond the central compartment are three layers of heavy cut stones made of the same material, forming enclosures around the tomb. At the far end, a single stone pillar bears inscriptions on its four sides - allowing some vague descriptions of the occupant in the tomb.

Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun.

Central portion of the tomb with rounded and squared laterite blocks - believed to be sourced from a rock outcropping close by.


Dubbed as nisan acheh by Evans, this square pillar is the only monument here that was made with sandstone, which was commonly sourced from Acheh. While the material is indeed similar with other historical batu nisan (grave headstone) of the Malay ruling class, the design of the pillar is devoid of the stylings of the typical nisan aceh - namely the 'earrings' and 'crown' ornaments, nor any impressions of the widely used pipih and tiang shapes.


Intriguing nevertheless, the pillar is characterized by inscriptions on all four sides of its top part - and one peculiar hole that pierces straight through the stone. The function of this feature, too, is a mystery. According to local myth, the hole possesses the supernatural ability to wrap around the arm of anyone uttering falsehood - turning the pillar into a venue of traditional trials or 'ordeal by oath'. Another version extends this ability to include anyone who was borne out of wedlock. A more practical (mundane?) explanation offered on its function assumes that it was made so that the pillar could be transported from somewhere else by pikul (carried using a pole).

Inscription stone containing Jawi and Kawi in Pengkalan Kempas

Inscription pillar. The top part bears ancient carvings in Jawi and Kawi text.

A prominent hole can be seen just below the inscription.


Based on the characteristics so far, the pillar might have not been a gravestone in function but served closer to a memorial monument and a prasasti (inscription stone) for the makam.


With a grand tomb fit for a king, the exact identity of the figure occupying the grave is still largely a mystery. What was his ancient role in the district? Was he a religious figure, a military hero, or revolution leader? Was he a local man or did he come from the Middle East, Indonesia, or India? Aside from the nearby old inscription stone, no other historical records were ever found about this shadowy yet obviously highly-respected Sheikh Ahmad Majnun. As such, the inscription is the lone physical pointer to his existence - offering his name, some vague details of his life, and the date(s?) of his death. These bits of information, however, lead to more questions later on.


In terms of historical value, the pillar is an immensely important artifact that represents the transition period between Hinduism and Islamic influence in Tanah Melayu. Dated between 1463 and 1467AD, the stone pillar is the only stone inscription discovered in Malaysia where both Jawi and Kawi scripts share the same physical space - with its closest regional comparison being the six-hundred-year-old Minye Tujuh inscription stone of Aceh.

Minye Tujuh inscription stone containing Kawi

One of the tombstone in Aceh's Minye Tujuh featuring the same type of Kawi inscription.

(Source: Stutterheim, 1936 - Edited by Author for clarity)


Kawi (also known as Jawa Kuno) is an old Javanese-Pallava script that was prevalent during a time when the Malay Archipelago was under Majapahit's Hindu-Buddha hegemony. If the date of the pillar is accurate, the use of Kawi was already on the decline at the time. On the other hand, the accompanying Jawi script was comparatively young, which is further reflected by the low stylization of the Arabic characters used in the inscription. Even so, the usage of Islamic loan phrases and words in the inscription is an important indicator of the growing influence of Islam at the time. In comparison, the only older Islamic-influenced prasasti discovered in Malaysia is the Inscription Stone of Terengganu - dated around 1303 AD.

Inscription stone in Pengkalan Kempas

Kawi script on the North side (left) continuing to the South side of the pillar (right).

(Source: C. Boden Kloss, 1921 - Edited by Author for clarity)


Kawi North Side (Reading and translation by J.G. de Casparis, 1980)

(Liberal line-by-line arrangement by Author)


1. bismi'llahi'l-rahmani'l-rahimi (In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate!)

2. dara buta buka ata- (This tomb)

3. tada milikna Ah- (belongs to Ah-)

4. mat Majanu berbawat (-mat Majanu, who carried out)

5. daya/seda ahmat (a strategem. Ahmat)

6. Pwan balat anak sadang (wife Balat and his son while)

7. Ahmat Majanu ma malaga (Ahmat Majanu was fighting)

8. pada alah (they all fell)


Kawi South Side (Reading and translation by J.G. de Casparis, 1980)

(Liberal line-by-line arrangement by Author)


1. bismi'llahi'l-rahmani'l-rahimi (In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate!)

2. pertama Ahmad Maja- (Ahmat Maja-)

3. nu masuk ke jalan tat- (-nu was the first* to emerge on the road at the time)

4. kala raja-raja danan ba- (when the princes, together with)

5. tun barah talang ketangkap (Tun Barah Talang were taken captives)

6. lalagi phana wassalam (Subsequently he vanished. Salute!)

7.1385 (1385)


Inscription stone in Pengkalan Kempas

Jawi script with identical text on both the East (left) and West (right) sides.

(Source: C. Boden Kloss, 1921 - Edited by Author for clarity)


First version of the Jawi East & West Side (Reading and translation by C. Boden Kloss, 1921)


1. Bismi'llahi'r-Rahmani'r-Rahimi (In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate!)

2. Hadza dar-u'l aman bog'at (This mansion of peace is a place)

3. u'l-khairi maqam Shaikh Ahmad Majnun (of goodness, the grave of Shaikh Ahmad)

4. Mallaray bin ... ( ... )

5. ... pada hijrah salla' (... in the AH. -may prayer)

6. Allahu'alaihi wa sallam, delapan (and the peace of God be upon him, ... eight)

7. ratus tujoh puloh. (hundred and seventy)

8. dua tahun pada zaman-nya Sultan (two years, in the time of Sultan)

9. Shah Mansur ... nasarah ... (Shah Mansur ... may God aid him)

10. u'llahu. Amin! Amin. (Amen! Amen!)


Second version of the Jawi East & West Side (Jawi rewrite by Tuan Haji Jaluli, 1990 - transliteration by Syahrul Sazli Shaharir, 2020 - liberally translated to English by Author) (*Arabic translation comments received by the Author from Dr. Muhammad Saiful Anuar Yusoff, 2023)


1. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate)

2. Haza darul ijaar binikmati- (This abode with the pleasure*)

3. llah makam Syeikh Ahmad Majnun (of Allah*, the grave of Syeikh Amad Majnun)

4. malam raya pergi mulai (in the night of Eid passed)

5. sanah pada Hijrah salla (away in the AH, may prayer)

6. -Allahu alaihi wasallam dari lapan (and the peace of Allah be upon him, from eight)

7. ratus Hijrah nabi lebih (hundred AH, and)

8. dua malam pada ... Sultan (two nights, at the time of ... Sultan)

9. ... Mansur radhi- ( ... Mansur, may)

10. Allahu anhu ini (Allah be pleased with him ... )

(for references, see: notes)

Inscription capstone in Pengkalan Kempas

The two capstones on the tomb feature inscriptions on both sides - all too badly weathered to be readable. The circular outline indicates that it might have been some sort of a cop mohor (seal).

Granite slabs in Pengkalan Kempas

Two crenellated granite monoliths within the outermost tomb enclosure.


For researchers, the epigraph of the inscription pillar provides valuable yet still muddled information on the ancient figure's identity. For instance, the Jawi inscriptions refer to the occupant as "Syeikh Ahmad Majnun", whilst the Kawi version only addresses him as "Ahmat Majanu" without any mention of the religious honorary title - a small yet possibly important difference.


There is also the issue of two differing dates of death. The Kawi text states 1385 (Saka calendar) as the date of passing - corresponding with 1463 / 64 AD. On the Jawi side, his death was stated to be on 872 HA (Hijra calendar) - corresponding with 1467 / 68 AD. These discrepancies, among others, suggest that the carvings were probably done by separate individuals at different points in time, hence two perspectives on the Sheikh's life and death.

Old well in Pengkalan Kempas

Three wells were recorded in the area during Wallace's survey work in 1919. The old well in the photo is the only one left in Keramat Sungai Udang today.


From the little information available, theories or stories related to the Sheikh mainly branch out from the inscription pillar and oral tradition in Negeri Sembilan. In general, beliefs about the Sheikh's identity can be traced to either one or a combination of narratives below;

  • The most widely adopted; that he was a highly-regarded early Muslim missionary and ulama (religious scholar) who settled in the district. The Sheikh grew to become a rival to the Malacca Sultanate and perished as a martyr during a subsequent battle against warriors sent by Sultan Mansur Shah. Based on this narrative, the reason for the conflict was either due to differences in mazhab (Islamic sect) teachings, or pure political rivalry between an established Islamic regional power and a growing one on the other side.

  • An extension of the narrative above; some circles consider him a progenitor disciple of Sufism in the region. From this perspective, the Sheikh is seen as an ancient wali (saint).

  • He was an Acehnese ulama who appeared in the fables of Negeri Sembilan. In this oral tradition, Batin Sibu Jaya - a mythical princess - was trying to escape from being turned into stone by a monster called Sang Kelembai. After arriving in Pengkalan Dian (Pengkalan Durian), she met the Sheikh who then used a charm in the form of a candle to chase off the malevolent creature.

  • He was a foreign trader or immigrant (an Arab or Indian Muslim).

  • He was a leader of a Minangkabau group of gold miners or settlers migrating from Sumatra. This theory holds some water as the nearby menhirs echo the megalithic culture of the ethnic group both from their homeland and their diaspora in Negeri Sembilan.

  • He was a 'traitor' of the Malaccan Sultanate - and he was summarily executed after a failed attempt at rebellion. This theory was formulated mainly based on an interpretation of the 'berbawat daya' (berbuat daya - carry out a stratagem) phrase on the inscription pillar. This thought may have been enforced by the name 'Majnun' - which translates to 'insane' in Arabic. Critics of this theory point out that this treasonous story is highly improbable, as such an honorable funerary monument for a man guilty of derhaka (rebellion) would not have been allowed by the reigning Malacca power during its prime. On top of this, its also pointed out that the term 'berbuat daya' is neutral and does not indicate any acts of treachery.

  • He was a figure who was unjustly murdered. Said to be a Javanese or Achenese, the Sheikh was a respected Muslim leader who was called to act as the spokesman for the Orang Asli community in the district to bring forward some grievances to their local authorities. Tun Tukul, who was a penghulu (village head) under Malacca's Bendahara Tun Perak, treated the Sheikh as a rebel leader and had him killed. Realizing the mistreatment, Sultan Mansur Shah ordered the execution of Tun Tukul and permitted the (re?)erection of said tomb for the Sheikh as a sign of conciliation. This postulation mainly hangs on to the idea that the individual named Tun Barah Kalang mentioned in the inscription refers to Tun Perak (Batin Mergalang) - then associating the narrative with a passage on Sungai Ujong in the Sulalatus Salatin manuscript.

(for references, see: notes)

Menhir megaliths Kemudi Sudu and Keris in Pengkalan Kempas

The three menhirs stand in alignment above a variety of smaller stones with notable features of their own.


Megaliths and other Peripheral Stones

Besides the makam, the tomb complex is populated by a number of other stone relics, which include several large megaliths, slabs, tabular blocks, and many small chunks or fragments of laterite or granite pieces. Chief among these is the cluster of menhirs made up of the Kemudi, Sudu (or Payung), and Keris (or Pedang). Out of the three, the Kemudi and Keris bear the most carvings, depicting grotesques that resemble flora, fauna, sun/moon, and other ambiguous symbols. Around these markings are various crenulations, ribbings, and notchings, both on the surfaces and edges of these two stones. The slender Keris also prominently depicts the word "Allah" (God) in Arabic script - the only word carved on the menhirs. The Sudu stone in the middle was obviously smoothened and rounded, yet remains bare from any adornment.

Kemudi and Keris menhir megalith in Pengkalan Kempas

The two heavily carved stones - Kemudi (left) and Keris (right).

Before going into the theories of their roles, a certain level of speculation is necessary to decipher the images depicted on these marked stones, both the clear and the ambiguous. With these, one might be able to guess the cultural sources that influenced the builders at the time the carvings were made.

Megalith Menhir diagram in Pengkalan Kempas

Islamic interpretation of symbols on the Keris.


The first obvious perspective stems from the presence of the word "Allah" (God), prominently carved on the Keris menhir. Out of all the images carved in relief, this single word stands out as the clearest sign of religious influence. From this vantage point, some scholars interpret the presence of the other images - such as the various animals, sun/moon, and plants - as a part of a larger representation of the Islamic philosophy; the relationship between Man-and-God, Man-and-Man, and finally Man-and-Nature. As the name implies, the shape of the Keris stone also extends the interpretation together with Malay symbolism, tying a cultural subtext into the Islamic background of the stone and adat (customs) in Negeri Sembilan.

Megalith Menhir diagram in Pengkalan Kempas

Hindu interpretation of symbols on the Keris.

(Middle right, Source: Claire Holt, 1760) (Bottom right, Source: Wereld Museum, 1931)


The second perspective comes from the interpretation that many of the shapes bear close resemblance to Hindu-Buddha symbolism. On the Keris, a group of carvings is said to be a crude depiction of a Kirtimukha, a common 'guardian' element present in Hindu buildings. Regional versions can be found in the form of the Javanese god Betara Kala, or the Balinese Bhoma; supernatural beings believed to protect buildings (mainly temples) from malevolence. Directly above these shapes are several discoidal carvings believed to be the sun or moon - symbols that are deeply intertwined with such deities as Kala. Adding to this, the bottom part of the Keris appear to bear a familiar snake-like image, which can be interpreted as a typical representation of a Naga, a mythical serpent commonly found in Hindu-Buddha iconography.

Megalith Menhir diagram in Pengkalan Kempas

Hindu interpretation of symbols on the Kemudi.

(Right: Author's personal addition)


One could also recognize the shape of an elephant on both the Kemudi and Keris stones - a common Hindu motif usually associated with the god Ganesha. The silhouette of this animal can be seen on the Kemudi through a composite of the many smaller patterns that populate the right side of the menhir, forming a frame and image at the same time - complete with its signature tusk, trunk and ear. On the Keris, one can also make out the front-profile of an elephant's head and its stylized tusks. The shape begins on the very top of the menhir, with its trunk going down to the whole left side.


Probably an outreach, Evans suggested in 1921 that the Keris stone alludes to a sort of phallic image - Lingam (Lingga), and the Sudu could represent its counterpart Yoni (Yani). The Linggam-Yoni emblem was quite prevalent in the region when it was under the Hindu hegemony of the Majapahit empire.


Author's personal addition:

The Kemudi possibly displays the Makara - a mythical Hindu sea creature - on its bottom left side. Across it appears to be a worn-out figure of a mermaid-like figure, its face at the bottom and its fish body and tail curving up until ending at the top of the menhir. If this is the correct interpretation, the patterns on the side of the fish section would clearly be water splashes. The bottom part appears to be the profile of a head, displaying an eye and an open mouth. On top of the head, a stem-like shape rises upwards and ending with a bulbous top. Based on these clues, the Author believes that the figure is depicting Makaradhwaja - the son of Makara and the Hindu god Hanuman. The deity is worshipped today in some parts of the Gujarat region of India. Historically, this region had a long history of trade with ancient Malacca and its believed that the traders started to arrive in Malayan peninsular around the 14th century, and settlement began mainly in the 18th century onwards. The fact that Makara depictions are usually placed on the bottom part of buildings, and the presence of two closely associated figures (Makara and Makaradhwaja) could also be grounds for this proposition. It's also worth noting that the Kala-Makara-Naga combination is quite common for Hindu-Buddha temples in the Malay Archipelago.

Megalith Menhir diagram in Pengkalan Kempas

Animism interpretation of symbols on the Kemudi and Keris.


Lastly, the perspective of animism is also put forward by observers, with the basis that the menhirs are heavily decorated by images related to animals and nature. The stones display a rich variety of zoomorphic images, such as birds (including a peacock/watercock/crested fireback), a horse, and a snake. This perspective applies to some of the vague shapes as well; elephants (mentioned above), buffaloes and the tail of a fish. The many smaller patterns present on the stones can be further interpreted as stylized leaves (phyllomorph), flowers, or feathers. These iconographies have been used by some scholars as proof that the builders belonged to an animistic culture (or sun/moon worshipers) before the arrival of Hindu and Islam - or alternatively, a sign that some sort amalgamation being done as a compromise during the religious transition.

(for references on symbol diagrams and interpretations, see: notes)

Megalith Menhir in Pengkalan Kempas

Rough granite stones surrounding the menhirs. A few are believed to have some sort of ceremonial significance, and others thought to be leftover carving waste.


Aside from the menhirs, another granite stone is also found on site with patterns carved on its surface. Dubbed as Perisai Wali (Saint's Shield), this large upright slab was shaped into a near-circular form with a small stem-like protrusion on its top. Comparatively simple geometric patterns (including what appears to be a hexagram) is incised in low relief on one side of the slab. Originally halfway buried in the ground, Evans raised and rotated the flat stone to its 'correct' position during his restoration work in 1919.

Megalith Menhir Shield Perisai Wali diagram in Pengkalan Kempas

Perisai Wali (Shield of the Saint) at the foot of the tomb. One side of its surface is decorated by geometric patterns in low relief. The top of the stone is marked by a small stalk-like protrusion.

(Right, Ref: Adapted and rotated from W. A. Wallace's sketch in 1919 survey work)


A bit further beyond the grave, a menhir can be found standing alone as if unrelated to the others on site. During the 1919 survey work, the granite splinter was discovered in ruins and lying flat on the ground. The area was then part of a rubber estate on the corner of the tomb. Its upper end was broken and the piece was used as a base of a boiling cauldron by a washerman. Evans erected the stones on top of several sunken laterite blocks around it and joined the broken piece using cement. Despite being in the same compound with the other monuments, this particular stone looks more like the typical batu hidup in Negeri Sembilan; bare and mostly unworked (aside from very light and weathered markings). Perhaps by design, its morphology appear to be as if hunched towards the direction of the qibla.

Megalith Menhir in Pengkalan Kempas

Solitary menhir a few meters away from the central tomb complex. The broken top of the stone was reattached by Evans in 1919.

(Left, Source: Ivor H. N. Evans, 1921 - Edited by Author for clarity.)


The age and function of these monuments are still being debated by scholars today. The obvious contrast of the stonework observed on the Kemudi and Keris menhirs compared to stylings found on the Sheikh's laterite grave and pillar (or anything from the surrounding region) suggests that these monoliths might have been placed here earlier than the mortuary structure. Eager speculations even go so far as to place the age of the stones going back to the Dong Song culture - or the closing of the Bronze Age. From this perspective, they are thought by some to have been erected between the 2nd to the 7th century AD; around one thousand years from the erection of the nearby tomb. If seriously entertained, one might conclude that the site was considered to be sacred well before the lifetime of the Sheikh - and may have been the very reason that it was chosen as his resting place in the very first place.


To explain the presence of animistic or Hindu-Buddha symbols together with Islamic iconography, there have been suggestions that the stones were converted ('sanctified') after the arrival of Islam. However, the thought was shot down by the same scholars as being near impossible - as both the word "Allah" and the surrounding carvings are in the same depth of relief. Instead, a more probable theory would be that the monuments were carved during the transition phase between animism or Hindu-Buddha beliefs and the introduction of Islam.

Granite rocks Megalith Menhir diagram in Pengkalan Kempas

(Top) Round boulders believed by locals to be rock cannonballs, resting on top of a tabular laterite stone direcly in front of the Keris. (Right) A smaller standing granite flake.

(Bottom) What seems to be a broken section of a dressed granite frame (?).


It's unclear what roles the stones played in ancient times, or how their function evolved throughout the many centuries. When rediscovered in the early 1900s, the granite monoliths were already treated by locals as a part of the keramat, thus receiving the same reverence together with the ancient tomb. Legends likely morphed them into the avatars of the tools once used by the Sheikh - and at the same time acting as pengusir (expeller) or 'guardians' for the sacred site. For some, the menhirs are simply thought to have naturally formed on the site and have been there since time immemorial.

Granite rocks Megalith Menhir in Pengkalan Kempas

The short granite slab (bottom left) is said to be the shorter pair to the Sudu - a pattern said to resemble some megalith sites in Negeri Sembilan. 


Considering the similarites between the special treatment of the stones here with the Mingangkabau beliefs on batu hidup, researchers have theorized that the stones were indeed carved and erected by the same people migrating from Sumatra. From the local side, the menhirs are similar in shape to the ones in Kuala Pilah, Alor Gajah and Taboh Naning. Further accross the Strait of Malacca, the menhirs are associated with the ones found in Batusangkar, Pagaruyung and Batubatikam, while the shape of the inscription pillar share the same design with the 15th century gravemarkers in Indomo Saruaso. Unsurprisingly, these locations are all in West Sumatra, the homeland of the Minangkabau people. Parallels pointed out include the morphology, alignment style, the significance of number three, and placement of megaliths with graves. In terms of function, the menhirs might have had the same ceremonial roles of being markers for medan nan bapane (open council gatherings) or backrests for chieftains. If the cultural link is true, they may very well be the earliest physical remnants of Minangkabau settlement in Peninsular Malaya way before the waves of migration in the 1700s and 1800s.


On the other hand, there are still differences that might point to another direction, such as the glaring presence of intricate carvings, eclectic mix of religious symbolism, the absence of mounds, and varying stone orientation. From this angle, it might be possible that the makers of the megaliths might have originated from a common tradition with the Mingangkabau people, but moved on to a different cultural path in the course of history.

With so many theories and yet so few clues, many of the deductions on both the Sheikh and the megaliths can be considered to be speculative in nature - and educated guesses, at best. Until more discoveries are made, the 'real' history of Keramat Sungai Udang continues to be an archeological mystery.

Pengkalan Kempas Keramat Sungai Udang megalithic complex historical museum

Kompleks Sejarah Pengkalan Kempas, currently under the care of Lembaga Muzium Negeri Sembilan (LMNS).


Current Development

Nearly 100 years after undergoing its first survey, the keramat was gazetted by Jabatan Warisan Negara in 11th August 2015 as a Warisan Kebangsaan. Two years later, the historical site underwent major refurbishment work, its roof and surau (prayer hall) repaired. There is also a recent proposal on bringing over some of the menhirs found in Kuala Pilah, forming a more comprehensive "Megalithic Conservation Center" within the current historical complex. As of 2023, the site is known officially as "Kompleks Sejarah Pengkalan Kempas" and features a dedicated information gallery.

Warisan Kebangsaan plaque for megalith complex historical museum in Pengkalan Kempas

Warisan Kebangsaan plaque by Jabatan Warisan Negara - referring to the site as Tapak Megalitik Pengkalan Kempas.


Besides the tomb, Pengkalan Kempas has also received some attention for its historical significance, particularly among the local Hokkien population. The riverport is now celebrated as being among the earliest landing points for the ancestors of the townsfolk, many of whom travelled from faraway Fujian Province. Due to this, the jetty is especially noted as 華族先賢登陸遺址; a historical site where predecessors first arrived in the region. Efforts have been put by residents and their associations to uplift the town through cultural and historical tourism. Among the eyecatching projects that can be seen today is "The Mural", an art corner integrated among the old shophouses that line the town's roadside.

Memorial stone in Pengkalan Kempas

The newly installed memorial stone bearing the words 船頭 - the Chinese name for Pengkalan Kempas. Residents believe that the town was the landing spot for Yap Ah Loy, among others.

Mural on shophouses and heritage cultural tourism in Pengkalan Kempas

Old shophouses given a colorful makeover.

Chinese Methodist Church in Pengkalan Kempas

Chinese Methodist Church, just accross the road from the tomb complex. The building also houses a gallery on the history of Pengkalan Kempas.


The tomb and monoliths in Keramat Sungai Udang offers a physical glimpse into the culture of the ancient past. Both the grave and inscription stone has been acknowledged as among the oldest of its kind discovered in Malaysia, and the cultural marks left on these monuments places the stones as among the very few remnants of the transition period between Hindu-Buddha hegemony and Islamic influence in classical Malay history. The menhirs, on the other hand, represent the only rock-carving culture found in West Malaya - as compared to the richer findings in Sabah and Sarawak; such as the Lumuyu and Long Pasia petroglyphs, and the carved boulders of the Kelabit Highlands.


With decades of examination and study imposed on the mysterious site, many of the burning questions are still unanswered, and will probably remain so. As of today, these ornate stones have been replicated and placed in numerous locations in the country; finding their way into the prestigious galleries of Muzium Negara, to being erected together with the most celebrated national monuments in Putrajaya. While their ancient roles and functions have long been forgotten, they have now grown to become distinct icons of Malaysian history; enigmatic symbols that echoes our distant past - however vague and elusive.


***


Jetty in Pengkalan Kempas

Pengkalan Kempas jetty.


Special thanks:

  • Lembaga Muzium Negeri Sembilan (LMNS) - for permitting attendance of historical site walkabout with LMNS and Jabatan Warisan Negara (JWN) on 28/11/2023

  • Pn. Rosrita Mohamad Nordin (Curator, LMNS) - for assisting with information search

  • En. Jafihaizat Jantan (LMNS) - for attendance during early site visit

  • Dr. Muhammad Saiful Anuar Yusoff (Pensyarah Kanan Bahasa Arab, UiTM Cawangan Kelantan) - for revieweing the transliteration of the Jawi text by Haji Jaluli and translation of Arabic terms.

  • Institut Alam dan Tamadun Melayu (ATMA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia - for assistance and access to archived journals.


Notes:

*Sheikh Ahmad Majnun

-Sometimes spelled Syeikh / Shaikh

-Sometimes spelled Ahmad Majanun / Ahmat Majnun / Majanu / Majnu

-For unknown reasons, also referred as Shaikh Ahmad Makhtum

-R.O. Winstedt published the name Shaikh Ahmad Makhtar Ramali ibni Marfu Talani in 1917. Subsequent studies by other scholars did not find the name to be based on any credible sources

-As pointed by Boden Kloss in 1921, some readings interprate the name to be Mahbub

*Other Kawi script transcription

P.V. Van Stein Callenfels (1924) - not included in article

*Similar presence and function of hole

The grave of Malacca's Sultan Mansur Shah, who reigned during Sheikh Ahmad Majnun's lifetime, also features a pierced stone. It was believed that the perforation had the same paranormal ability.

*Keramat Sungai Udang

Also known as Keramat Ujung Pasir - probably due its location being at the outskirt of Permatang Pasir

*Betara Kala and Eclipses

In pre-Islamic Javanese belief, solar and lunar eclipses are thought to be caused by Betara Kala swallowing the sun or moon.

*Old river names

Sungai Linggi (above Simpang section): Sungai Batang Penar

Sungai Rembau: Sungai Batang Penajis

*Other missing carved stones

Evans recorded in 1921 that there were numerous other small shield-like granite stones found on site. These stones are nowhere to be seen today in Pengkalan Kempas.


Notes: The identity of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun

Religious missionary: https://www.ukm.my/megalitiknegerisembilan

Mythological figure in oral tradition: Sejarah Negeri Sembilan (Buyong Adil, 1981) - Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka

Mythological figure in oral tradition: Papers on Malay Subjects: History: Legendary or Sakai Period (R. J. Wilkinson, 1923) - FMS Government Press

Foreign trader from Aceh or India: Sungei Ujong (J. M. Gullick, 1949) - Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society Vol. 22, No. 2

Muslim Indian or Indianized Arab: Notes on the Pengkalan Kempas Tombstone (C. Boden Kloss, 1921) - Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, Vol. IX, Part 3

Minangkabau leader or Arab trader: Secebit mengenai: Adat perpatih nilai dan falsafahnya (A. Samad Idris, 1996) - Seminar Adat Kerapatan Negeri Sembilan

Minangkabau leader in Negri Sembilan: The History, Polity and Beliefs of the Nine States (R. O. Winstedt, 1934) - Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol 12, No. 3

Spokesperson of the Orang Asli: The Pengkalan Kempas "Saint" (R. J. Wilkinson, 1931) - Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol IX

Spokesperson of the Orang Asli: A Short History of Negri Sembilan (Mubin Sheppard, 1965) - Eastern University Press Ltd.

Rebel leader: The Pengkalan Kempas Inscription (P.V. Van Stein Callenfels, 1924) - Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, Volume 12


Notes: Inscription stone transcription

Inscription pillar Kawi analysis: Ahmat Majanu's Tombstone at Pengkalan Kempas and Its Kawi Inscription (J. G. de Casparis, 1980) - Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society,Vol. 53, No. 1

Initial Kawi analysis on inscription pillar: The Pengkalan Kempas Inscription (P.V. Van Stein Callenfels, 1924) - Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, Volume 12

Inscription pillar Jawi analysis: Notes on the Pengkalan Kempas Tombstone (C. Boden Kloss, 1921) - Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, Vol 9, Part 3

Inscription pillar Jawi transcription by Haji Jaluli: Epigrafi Islam Terawal di Nusantara (Dr. Othman Mohd Yatim & Abdul Halim Nasir, 1990) - Dewan Bahasan dan Pustaka

Transliteration from Jawi to Bahasa Melayu by Syahrul Sazli Shaharir: Batu Bersurat Pengkalan Kempas: Petikan Epigrafi Islam Terawal di Nusantara (2020) - TMK Pulasan


Notes: Symbols and images on the principal menhirs

Menhir diagrams: Author adapted from after-dark photography of menhirs by Filem Negara Malaysia in 1973.

Islamic philosophical interpretation: Falsafah Cerita dan Maknanya Yang Tersirat Pada Batu Megalitik di Luak Tanah Mengandung (Mohd Rosli Saludin & Farah Damayanty Ahmad, 2021) - Jurnal Arkeologi Malaysia, Vol.34, No.2

Hindu interpretation and nature worshippers: A Grave and Megaliths in Negeri Sembilan with an Account of some Excavations (Ivor Hugh Norman Evans, 1921) - Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, Vol. IX, Part 3

Animism, Hindu symbols and Minangkabau influence: The Cultural Significance of the Pengkalan Kempas Megaliths (J. Chandran, 1973) - Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol.46, No.1


Other References / Further Reading:

Keramat Sungai Udang restoration, description and theories: A Grave and Megaliths in Negeri Sembilan with an Account of Some Excavations (Ivor Hugh Norman Evans, 1921) - Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, Vol. IX, Part 3

Survey plan for Keramat Sungai Udang: Plans of the Negri Sembilan Grave and Megaliths with Notes (Plans 1 - 5) (W. A. Wallace, 1921) - Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, Vol. IX, Part 3

Megalith info and statistics: https://www.ukm.my/megalitiknegerisembilan

Early description of Keramat Sungai Udang: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries and Resources (Arnold Wright, 1908) - Lloyd's Greater Britain Publishing Company

Keramat reverance in Negeri Sembilan: Pusara Keramat Negeri Sembilan (Mohamad Sharif bin Abbas, 1958)(Trans: Hafiz Zainuddin, 2021) - Pustaka Buku Warisan

Keramat reverance in Malay culture: Malay Magic: An Introduction to the Folklore and Popular Religion of the Malay Peninsula (Walter William Skeat, 1900) - MacMillan and Co., Limited

Relationship between Chinese reverence of keramat and Na Tuk Kong / Dato' Kong: The Sinicization of Malay Keramats in Malaysia (Cheu Hock Tong, 1998) - Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol.71, No. 2

Batu aceh typology: Batu Aceh: Warisan Sejarah Johor (Daniel Perret, 1998) - Yayasan Warisan Johor

Jawi script evolution in Malaysian history: Peranan Tulisan Jawi Dalam Perkembangan Islam di Malaysia (Hashim Musa, 2005) - Jurnal Pengajian Melayu, No.16

Islamic influence on inscription: The Word ‘Lebai’ and Its Ethnic Origins: Reassessing an Early Designation for Muslim Religious Officials in the Malay World (Alexander Wain) 2021 Studia Islamika, Vol 28, No. 2

Comparison between Malay inscription stones in Malaysia and Indonesia: Penilaian Semula Ciri Bahasa Melayu Klasik Berdasarkan Perbandingan Inskripsi (Zurina Abdullah & Adi Yasran Abdul Aziz, 2020) - e-Journal Bahasa dan Linguistik, Vol.2, No.2

Sultan Mansor Shah gravestone: The Grave-Stone of Sultan Mansur Shah of Malacca (1458 - 1477 A.D.) (J. P. Moquette & R. O. Winstedt, 1922) - Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, No. 85

Pengkalan Kempas and connections to Minangkabau culture: Negri Sembilan: The History, Polity and Beliefs of the Nine States (R. O. Winstedt, 1934) - Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol 12 No. 3

Comparison between Pengkalan Kempas and Megaliths in Sumatra: Parallels between upright stones of West Sumatera (John N. Miksic, 1985) - Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol.58, No.1

Negeri Sembilan customs: Secebit mengenai: Adat perpatih nilai dan falsafahnya (A. Samad Idris, 1996) - Seminar Adat Kerapatan Negeri Sembilan

Relationship between Megalithic cultures in Indonesia and Malaysia: From Seri Vijaya to Melaka: Batu Tagak in Historical and Cultural Context (John N. Miksic, 1987) - Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol.60, No.2

Early description, incorrect 'Ahmad Makhtar' name, and Indian stone theory: The Advent of Muhammadanism in the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago (R. O. Winstedt, 1917) - Journal of the Straits Branch Asiatic Society, No.77

Menhir age speculation 7th century or earlier, Dong Son cultural era: A Short History of Negri Sembilan (Mubin Sheppard, 1965) - Eastern University Press Ltd.

History of Pengkalan Kempas riverport: Pelabuhan Pengkalan Kempas (Abd Aziz Salleh, 1992) - Warisan: Jurnal Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Cawangan Negeri Sembilan, Keluaran 16

History of Sungai Ujong: Sungei Ujong (J.M. Gullick, 1949) - Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 22, No. 2

History of Sungai Ujong and its riverports: Peranan Sungai Linggi Dalam Pergolakan Politik Sungai Ujong Abad ke 19 (Abd Aziz Salleh, 1983) - Warisan: Jurnal Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Cawangan Negeri Sembilan, Keluaran 8

Gazette and functions of menhirs: Warisan Kebangsaan 2015 (2015) - Jabatan Warisan Negara

Coservation Center plan: Batu Megalit Ribuan Tahun Dipindahkan (Ifwan Tun Tuah, 21/11/2017) - Berita Harian Online

Repair and refurbishment: Kompleks Sejarah Pengkalan Kempas dibaik pulih (2/8/2017) - Negeri Sembilan Online

Community in current day Pengkalan Kempas: The Story of Pengkalan Kempas, Sungai Linggi (2021) - UNINESS

Pengkalan Kempas cultural tourism: 提升美化 迎來壁畫 船頭小鎮成打卡點 (29/6/2023) - Sin Chew

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