Tag Archives: perak tourism news volume 12

Kota Ngah Ibrahim Historical Complex

Perak’s Contributions To Nationhood


Perak’s contributions to nationhood are multifold. One contribution that will be forever shared nationally is its state anthem which was adopted as the national anthem. Perak’s state anthem was composed by a Frenchman named Be’ranger (1780-1857) and was known as O Rosaline. It was played for Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah (1887-1916), the 28th Sultan of Perak during his visit to England. From that day on the song O Rosaline became the state song for Perak. In 1939 the song was renamed Terang Bulan.

A special committee, headed by the first Prime Minister Tengku Abdul Rahman, selected the Perak State Anthem as the National Anthem in 1957 and in 1963 it was adopted as the National Anthem of Malaysia.

Perak’s other contributions can be traced to the time when Che Long Ja’afar, the first Malay to mine for tin in Perak, created an influx of Chinese from South China who helped operate his mines in the mid-19th Century.

Clashes amongst the two Chinese clans, Ghee Hin and Hai San, led to the outbreak of the three Larut Wars (1861-1874). The upheavals paved the way for the introduction of the British Residential system, following the signing of the Treaty of Pangkor in 1874. British intervention significantly reduced the privileges and administrative powers of the Sultan and Malay chieftains.

The discontentment with the British led to the Pasir Salak incident where the first British Resident, J.W.W. Birch was assassinated on November 2, 1875.

Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah, who convened the initial Conference of Rulers (Durbar) at Kuala Kangsar in 1897, was instrumental in promoting education in the state. This led to the establishment of the Malay College, Kuala Kangsar and Sultan Idris Training College, Tanjong Malim (now Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris – UPSI).

The wealth derived from tin and natural rubber contributed to the richness of the state, which up till the Second World War was the most advanced in the country with the best infrastructure, largest population disposition and sizeable towns such as Taiping, Ipoh and Kuala Kangsar.

Emergency regulations were proclaimed on June 18, 1948, two days after Communist agents killed three European planters in Ephill Estate, Sungai Siput. A memorial dedicated to the murdered planters has just been erected at the location where the killings took place.

The beginning and, to a small extent, the ending of the Malayan Emergency (1948 to 1960) had its origins in Perak. Chin Peng signed the Armistice on December  2, 1989 in Hadyai, Thailand which is close to the Perak border.

Incidentally, it was in Tanjung Malim, Perak that Lt-Gen Gerald Templer applied his counter-insurgency techniques to subdue a ruthless communist group and an inhospitable civilian population into submission in 1952.

To trace Perak’s march towards Independence, visit the Matang Museum at Taiping then onwards to Pasir Salak at Kampung Gajah or just stand at the grounds of the Birch Memorial Clock Tower at Old Town Ipoh and savour its history.

The first rubber tree in the country can still be found at Kuala Kangsar Police Station while one can view the world’s only so-called ‘functional’ tin dredge at Batu Gajah.

Matang Museum

Matang Museum (formerly Kota Ngah Ibrahim Historical Complex) is located on the Taiping – Kuala Sepetang Road. The building was built by Ngah Ibrahim, son of Che Long Jaafar, the first Malay who mined for tin in the Larut-Matang-Selama complex in the early 1900s. Ngah Ibrahim too discovered tin in Bukit Gantang, Taiping. His mines made him richer than the Sultan of Perak, who conferred upon him the title of Minister of Larut.

The building, besides being his home, was used as a fort and administrative centre and later as a school before being turned into a museum.

Kota Ngah Ibrahim Historical ComplexKota Ngah Ibrahim Historical Complex

The exhibits cover the discovery of tin, interestingly, by Long Jaafar’s pet elephant, Si Larut. The animal turned up with its legs covered in hard muddy lumps which turned out to be tin.

Long Jaafar, subsequently, enlisted the help of 20 Chinese miners from Penang to start his mining operation. The mine was so lucrative it created an influx of Chinese migrants, which resulted in the creation of two feuding clans, Ghee Hin and Hai San. The two clashed and triggered the three Larut Wars from 1861 to 1874, causing the British to intervene.

The Japanese Imperial Army used the fort as its headquarters during the War years.

The Matang Museum is open from 9am till 5pm daily. Tel: 605-847 7970.


Justice, Fortitude, Loyalty and PatienceBirch Memorial Clock Tower

The Birch Memorial Clock Tower at Old Town Ipoh was built in 1905 by the 8th British Resident to Malaya, Sir Ernest Woodford Birch in memory of his slain father, James Wheeler Woodford Birch, the first British Resident to Perak, J.W.W. Birch, who was assassinated on November 2, 1875 at the riverine settlement of Pasir Salak.

The memorial has four clock faces surrounding a belfry holding a 500 kg mother bell while the corners of the clock tower are perched the four virtues of the British Administration, Justice, Fortitude, Loyalty and Patience.

Annual Memorial Services

The significance of the Kamunting Christian Cemetery is again related to the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960). The cemetery is the final resting place for some 40 members of the Commonwealth Forces comprising troops from United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Malaya. Most lost their lives while fighting the communist insurgents and were interred here.

Another burial ground of equal importance is the Gurkha Cemetery in Kem Syed Putra, Tambun. Over here, some 100 Gurkha soldiers and their dependents lay buried. They were from the much-feared Gurkha regiments which occupied the camp (known then as Sulva Line) during the Emergency years.

Memorial services, held annually in the month of June, are well attended by relatives and friends of the bereaved who come for near and far. Servicemen association members from United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Malaysia make a beeline to the sites to remember the dearly departed.

Kamunting cemetery is accessible to the public. It is located adjacent to the Taiping Tesco Supermarket. The Gurkha Cemetery, however, is located within a security area. Visits can be arranged with prior permission from the camp’s occupant, 2nd Battalion Royal Ranger Regiment. Call the battalion’s adjutant for an appointment. Tel: 605‑547 8772.

The Pasir Salak Historical Complex

The Pasir Salak Historical Complex is located 70 km from Ipoh, alongside the Perak River amongst a  quaint  collection  of traditional Malay buildings which, together with the museum, make up the Historical Complex.

Perak RiverPerak River

The exhibits on display here cover the Larut Wars and the subsequent signing of the Treaty of Pangkor which established Perak as a British Protectorate and provided for a British Resident who assumed complete control of matters of state except those involving customs and religion.

The location of the complex is also where the assassination of the first British Resident, J.W.W. Birch, took place while he was having his bath on the river. The assassination triggered the Perak Wars which was an attempt to remove foreign influence. The perpetrators of the assassination were subsequently captured and hanged.

The Complex is open every day, including public holidays, (except Friday) from 9.00am to 4.30pm. Admission for an adult is RM5.00 and a child (6-12 years old) is RM3.00. Tel: 605-6318997.

Royal Ipoh Club

Ipoh’s premier social club has been in existence for over 150 years. Built in the mid-1850s as a meeting place for European plan-ters, miners and administers, it was once a white-only club meant for the Genteel. Natives, and those considered ‘undignified’, were not allowed into the club. The only native permitted to use the club’s facilities was the sultan. The Royal Ipoh Club has been gazetted a heri-tage site and is open to visitors. The club’s receptionist can be contacted for details. Tel: 605-254 2212.

Ipoh Padang, another iconic feature of the city, was once an integral part of the club. Cricket and rugby were among the popular games of the elite class – the “mat salleh”.

Monument and Gallery

Taman Cempaka Ipoh - planters - Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) PerakTaman Cempaka Ipoh - planters - Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) Perak

A monument dedicated to the gallant planters (Europeans and Malayans), members of the security forces, staff, workers and civilians who lost their lives during the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) and its resurgence (1973-1989) is located at the very site where three European planters were murdered on June 16, 1948. The killings led to the declaration of Emergency on June 18, 1948.

Taman Cempaka Ipoh - planters - Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) PerakThe monument is managed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) – Perak. For details call its office at No. 69A, Jalan Sri Cempaka, Taman Cempaka, Ipoh. Tel: 605-545 3560.  

Malaysia Book of Records

Century Ride 2012


Malaysia Book of RecordsThe recent Century Ride 2012 event has got to be the best event that happened in Ipoh this year. One thousand eight hundred and eight (1,808) riders participated in the event which earned the organiser Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh (KRI) the award in the Malaysia Book of Records for the “Most Number of Bicycles Used In A Road Event”.

(l) 1808 riders.(r) extreme right Chong (KRI Chairman) with Zambry displaying the Award from Malaysia Book of Records

The 160-km cycling event flagged off from the Kinta Riverfront Hotel and proceeded through scenic countryside routes such as Senggang, Lasah and Kuala Kuang before returning to Ipoh. Even Dato’ Hamidah Osman, the State Exco for Tourism, had praise for KRI saying “this is a good event.

“a good event”, attracts amateurs, foreigners and tourists “, covers scenic countryside.

It has managed to attract a lot of foreigners.” Noting that Ipoh was jammed that weekend she added that, “the presence of the participants was significant. Other than eco-tourism this type of sporting event should be encouraged as it brings activity to the city.”

According to KRI Organising Chairman, Chong Him Shoong, of the 1,800 participants, only 20% were local with the rest from outstation while overseas participants were registered from 20 different countries.

..”event brings activity to the city”

A letter from Louis Ong, the COO of Kinta Riverfront Hotel, to Chong stated that his hotel was “Fully Booked” (a statement rarely used by Ipoh Hoteliers) for the weekend. Chong also stated that other hotels nearby were similarly full and said that some had stayed at homestays.

“Almost one third of the participants were from Singapore, who stayed for more than two nights and enjoyed the local food although they had one complaint: there were not enough foot reflexology outlets after the event,” he laughed jokingly.

(left) Gabriel Tan men’s open champion (r) cooling off.

This is the 6th Century Ride event. It covers 160km and is an amateur event open to public and tourists. This year’s men’s open winner Gabriel Tan (Singapore) won the event in 4:03:13 while Christina Liew (Australia) won in the women’s open in 4:20:08. This year’s event had 550 service support volunteers, example, Bomba, Police and the like. The most common remarks by the participants was “great ride, great scenery”.


Mobile Tourism Application



Ho Hsieh Hsiung, Discover Perak mobile tourism applicationA presentation on mobile tourism application, referred to as Discover Perak was held at the Perak Secretariat Building recently. The presentation was done by Ho Hsieh Hsiung, K-Perak Incorporated Head of IT services. Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman was in attendance.

Discover Perak is a software designed for tourists to discover events, foods, historical and cultural places. It uses an application known as “augmented reality” where information is displayed in real time with the integration of Google maps to enable tourists be guided to their destinations.

Discover Perak, said Dato’ Hamidah, is set to be an effective marketing and promotional tool for tourism in Perak. The software is available for free and can be downloaded into Android phones. The official launch is expected to be held on September 16, in conjunction with Malaysia Day.

Hamidah urged hoteliers, restaurateurs and all those in the hospitality industry to send their details via email to: www.perak_tourism@yahoo.com or tourismperak@kperak.com.my for compilation. Tourism Perak will be the first to use the application.

Upgrading Memory Lane


ipoh flea marketA plan to upgrade the popular Sunday morning flea market known as Memory Lane called for an on-site working visit by Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Tourism recently. Memory Lane, the largest flea market in Perak, occupies the whole stretch of Jalan Horley and Jalan Lim Bo Seng. Over four hundred traders operate on the site every Sunday from 5am to noon. It is an up-and-coming tourism product, as visitors are attracted to the many varieties of goods, both new and used, sold here. It attracts an estimated ten thousand visitors every Sunday. According to Hamidah, Memory Lane is not well-presented. The authorities plan to sponsor each legal trader with a canopy and rearrange them according to the goods they sell. This could be done systematically with colour-coded canopies, measuring ten feet by ten feet. Besides enhancing the visual appeal of Memory Lane, enforcement by the city council would also be easier to carry out. This transformation would take two months to implement at a cost of RM200,000.