The Great Epidemic
According to local legends, in the early 1900s, as Miri was seeing a boom in population as the result of the discovery of oil, a mysterious epidemic spread, wiping out a large number of the population in what was then a very small fishing village. The local chinese residing in Miri at the time believed the diseased was caused by "evil spirits", and turned to a wise man, known as "Chan Chak", who suggested that a monk be commissioned to appease these "spirits".
A "spirit-pacifying ritual" was carried out near Miri River, and an altar wsa placed at the location. The epidemic did indeed stop! In gratitude, a temple was erected near the river by the people to revere "Tua Pek Kong", a god commonly worshipped by chinese immigrants who had left China in search for better livelihood in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The temple still stands today at the exact location, having survived the devastation of World War II.