A Journey Through Time...
By: M Jeffri Razali

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Wednesday, 2-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Colours Of Malaysia V - A Tin Mining Empire

A Chinese Temple At The Foot A Hill
Built Into The Hill
Old Building In The Middle Of Town
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The city of Ipoh, which is the capital of Perak, is located in the rich tin bearing valley of the Kinta river, where it grew as a mining town. The arrival of Chinese immigrants from mainland China in the 19th and early 20th century had, one way or the other, helped shape Ipoh into what it is today.

You just need to walk around the city to see the legacy of its bygone era...from the time Ipoh made a name for itself as a tin mining capital, to the legacy of colonial rule. The existence of many colonial buildings and old Chinese houses, even in the middle of the busy city, is a clear testimony that Ipoh is indeed an old city steeped in history.

As for the State of Perak, it is said to has been in existence since prehistoric age. Kota Tampan in Lenggong is a proof that the Palaeolithic Age existed in Malaya. The Perak State went through numerous evolutions between 400 000 BC and 8000 BC.

Perak's documented history began with the installation of Sultan Muzaffar Shah I, who was a descendent of Sultan Mahmud Shah of Melaka, in the year 1528. Perak became more prominent with the discovery of tin in Larut, Taiping in 1848 by Long Jaafar. With this discovery, Perak's economy boomed and more mining areas were brought into existence.

On the darker side, Perak was also the place where numerous clashes had taken place. It was in Larut that two Chinese clans had clashed for mining rights, and it was this clash which resulted in the intervention of British Government in Perak. It was in Pasir Salak that the first British Resident, J.W.W Birch, was assassinated in 1875. And it was also in Perak that the Communist insurgencies were at their worst during the Emergency period.

But today, Perak, especially Ipoh, is a peaceful place, and a suitable place to take a trip back in time to discover the country's glorious past.

Me...? Well, Perak will always remain in memory as I almost ended up marrying an Ipoh girl...

Tuesday, 1-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Colours Of Malaysia IV - Grand Old Station

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Located at the western edge of town, the majestic Ipoh railway station provides a beautiful backdrop to the colonial quarter of the Perak capital. Built in 1917, the Ipoh station ranks second in terms of railway architectural grandeur, after Kuala Lumpur’s landmark railway station.

Both stations share the same architect, A.R. Hubback, which explains their similar Moorish designs featuring domes and arches. The most imposing part of the Ipoh station is the concrete three-storey building which houses the railway administrative offices, as well as the Majestic Station Hotel, which occupies the mezzanine and upper floors.

The grand old Ipoh railway station is a testimony that Perak will forever hold a special place in the country's history...especially where rail travel is concerned. It is here in the State of Perak that the country's first railway line linking Taiping and Port Weld was built in 1885. Although the Port Weld station no longer exist, the legacy of Perak's railway history can still be seen today.

The interior of the station is now undergoing extensive renovation work, in line with the double tracking and electric train project to link Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh. How this renovation will look like or will it change the facade of the old station remains to be seen. However, it is hoped that such renovation, although in the name of development, will not destroy the station's historical values.

On a more personal note, the Ipoh Station will always hold a special place in my heart. Standing on the platform and looking around certainly brought back my childhood memories, when travelling by train was one of the more prefered modes of transportation. That was a long...long time ago...

Saturday, 29-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Men At Work

Will be out of town for a couple of days...see ya in a few days...

Friday, 28-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Scenes Of Malaysian Life V - Return Of The King

Stall Like This Can Be Found Virtually Everywhere
It Ain't Heavy, Its My Fruit
As Good As It Gets
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Its that time of the year again when the King of Fruits, the Durian (Durio Zibethinus) makes its return.

Known in Malaysia as Durian, Duren (Indonesia) and Thurian (Thailand), this spiky fruit is considered a delicacy by those in the region, although to others, they may deem durian as having an overpowering and offensive odour. One thing is certain, leave any durian in an enclosed space, like the trunk of a car or a room, and you will definately have a tough time trying to remove the smell.

The durian's roots can be traced to Borneo and Sumatra, and even Peninsular Malaysia, before it was cultivated in other countries. The durian tree is originally a jungle plant but was subsequently cultivated on commercial basis, hence the emergence of orchards as we know today.

Durians are noted for their subtle flavour and smooth texture. However, it is a great task trying to get to the creamy golden flesh, hidden within the spiny exterior. But it is worth the trouble, sweat and sometimes, pain, just trying to break open the fruit.

Oh...and one more thing...they say that eating too much durian will increase your body heat. So it is always advisable to drink lots of plain water after consuming the fruit. I guess that explains why I am walking around shirtless tonight...

Thursday, 27-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Happy Birthday My Boy

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It was only yesterday,
When you were small,
I used to hold you in my arms.
But now you're older,
Yes...it was only yesterday,
When I clothed you and fed you.
It was a joy watching you play.
I hope yesterday I was a good Father,
So when yesterday passes and in the future you'll be a good Father.
May yesterday have good memories of how we played and did things together.
And the little talks that made things brighter.
Of course yesterday was hard and enduring.
The pains of growing up and the joys of our love we gave yesterday.
Happy Birthday my son.
It was only yesterday.

How time flies...and how you have grown before my very eyes...

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