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Monday, February 06, 2012

Tanjong Malim, Perak ~ Mahaguru58's Travelogue 23rd January 2012

I had never before stepped foot at this old town in my life. So, when I had the opportunity to just go cruising out of KL with my wife, I did just that. 

Went on an unplanned 'carpe diem' ~ 'Seize the day' road trip. Tanjong Malim is located 75kms north of Kuala Lumpur. I traveled to the town using the PLUS highway.  

According to Wikipedia, this historic old town was established in the early 1700s by a group of Bugis settlers who were part of Raja Kecil's group to set up a fort there to ward off threat from the Northern Perak Sultanate there.

As usual, most of these old towns came to be when the Chinese started to build their shophouses in the early 1900s when they came to take advantage of trading opportunities which the British Colonials opened up to them.

The Indians were brought in by the British to work as labourers in their rubber estates back then.

The Malays used to trade just as they do today at the impromptu street markets that are just temporary. No permanent structures. 

Hence, we owe it to the Chinese of yesteryears who took the initiative in building their shophouses out of bricks and mortars and not the flimsy attap huts in the form of stalls and warungs that we still see nowadays in every part of rural Malaysia and even in the cities.

All that is historical facts and it is up to the honest people of this country to acknowledge our forefathers part in building up this country to be what it is today? It all started way back in the 1700s. Before that most of the buildings were mostly made of wood and not many have been preserved to this day.

This blog has a few old photos and a simple write up of what the blogger claims to be the history of Tanjong Malim? There seems to be a serious lack of interest by the ones in power to do a good job of preserving the past. 

I don't dare to even hope that there might be some bright sparks out there working to preserve anything of the past glories of this country for it seems to be futile! It'll be a rare find to discover someone who really cares or gives a damn? Anybody out there??? Hello!!!


I have always wanted to explore my country's numerous old towns and cities because they hold many secrets to our historical past. 

Its sad to see many beautiful buildings which were built during the colonial days and before that go into neglect and rot away before our very eyes due to serious apathy of all those who are supposed to be in power and authority over our nation's heritage and relics!

The current population of Malaysia seems not to be too concerned over the gradual destruction and vanishing of our historical buildings and old treasures that are in the form of all these classical pre-war buildings.

The National Archives Department are very lethargic and don't really do a decent job in taking care of all these decaying buildings. To see these beautiful structures that hold a thousand and one secrets and stories to our past slowly crumble to dust and rot away eats at my heart.

Thus I intend to capture them in the form of digital photos so as to preserve them here in my blog as a historical archive of what we once had in this 'Bolehland'. Boleh hilang! 

The Malays aren't that good in preserving momentos of their past. They lack the wisdom and the interest to preserve their history. They do not know what treasures they have until its all taken away by those who know better?

The Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese squirreled away untold relics and treasures that this land once had and held.

So many historical artifacts are now overseas. Displayed in foreign museums or private collections. I can only try to capture and preserve the remaining sights we still have here today before they too disappear in the bowels of history and are forgotten by the current day Malaisiens who can't really be bothered with whatever was or existed in the past?

So, here goes. Enjoy these sights while you still can?

Tanjong Malim was kind of deserted when we arrived. Must be due to the Chinese New Year public holiday. 
These column of dividers seemed pretty. At least the streets were relatively clean and free from trash. That was something good to see.
A perspective shot of the dividers. Something new in an old town. :)
I wonder how this old building used to be when it was first built? You don't get to see those wooden balconies anymore in modern buildings. Must have been quite a sight back then to be able to stand there and watch the going on's down below?
One thing I noticed about the old town of Tanjong Malim is the wide roads there. I for one like it very much! The streets are clean too. Plus point!
Good thing for me that the sun was all shiny and the skies were a picturesque blue with white fluffy clouds. Made my day trip there much more meaningful.
Like a colossal ship out on the seas. This old building hints of so many delicious stories of old of things that once took place there. I wonder how many wheeling and dealings that took place there under its roof?
Another old building in Tanjong Malim across the street and opposite of the new bus terminal.
The ever present Bangladeshis who are to be found all over Peninsular Malaysia. These guys are just so enterprising. They are slowly but surely easing in and taking up jobs and small businesses that were once only carried out by the local Malaysian citizens. 

I'm afraid one of these days, all small businesses and petty trade here in Malaysia will be run by these fellows. Just as they have done over there in Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia! I was shocked to see that during my Haj!

A building dated 1919. Just 7 more years to go before it turns to be a century old! Will it still be there in 2019 or be smashed to smithereens by the weirdos we have running the local authority and National Archives Department?
Another view of the facade that has stood the test of time since 1919!
Look at the security door! Fuyoo! Out of the time tunnel brader! You don't see these nowadays, do you? Keeps the enemies out but lets the breeze in!
A shot upwards capturing the blue sky and the majestic facade looms in detail.
When will I see you again? Hope you'll still be there for me next time I visit?
Towkay's daughters! I think that if these girls lived way back in the early 1900s, there'll be a slim chance of ever seeing them dressed so modern like this and be seen out in the general public view? The Chinese were much more conservative back then! Their ladies were kept out of sight all the time! Hmm..
Nowadays? They scare the hell out of us with their boldness....

I'll write more info about these photos when I come back. Going out now! 

See ya!


Maarof said...

Tuan Haji, I stayed in this town for 6 years. See my post here:

Izham said...


Nice pictures. Since you are from Penang, I suggest that you drop by at Batu Kawan, the small town before Juru toll. I was there recently and found that it is a place where time literally stands still. All the shops are pre-war type and have a rustic feeling about the town and people.

Salam Maulidur Rasul, Sallalahu Ala Muhammad.


yat said...

can the owner at least repaint the old building so that it's more pleasant to watch? can local council force them to repair all the wooden structures before it becomes decayed?