Before ‘Water Guns’ (Monitors) were introduced into the tin mines, all the work of digging for tin ore was done with a Cangkul. Life was tough for these Cangkul coolies who worked from dawn to dusk for 7 cents a day.
In the HCPS mine is Ah Keong, stationed close to the Tin Shed where his ore will be washed and dried. This is a prime position as he does not have to carry his bucketful of his diggings too far.
Ah Keong is a simple man. He arrived from China illegally in a small junk. It was a terrible journey that he will never forget. The Captain landed him in a Mangrove swamp with ten others and they walked for three days before they found a village. It was the villagers who brought them to the mine.
He will probably never leave this place, as addicted to gambling, money burns a hole in his pocket until he loses it, which he always does.