By Mei Kuan
To add on to the city’s heritage trails, the first-of-its-kind marker trail of Dr Sun Yat Sen and his comrades in Ipoh kicked off its first phase of installation last December.
Produced and managed by Sue Meng Heritage Sdn Bhd, the trail is based on a book published in 2013 that links Kinta Valley to Dr Sun Yat Sen titled, “Dr Sun Yat Sen and His Comrades in Ipoh” by Chan Sue Meng.
“Not long after I started this journey eight years ago, I realised there was a lot that was not known about Ipoh’s role. Then, I saw there is a Sun Yat Sen trail in Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong and of course, all over China,” shared Chan Sue Meng, founder of Sue Meng Heritage and fifth-generation descendant of Lee Guan Swee, friend and supporter of Dr Sun.
“This book eventually should be a trail that would be a shared platform for businesses and society to develop new products to serve society,” the Ipoh-born Sue Meng added.
For the first phase, 11 signages would be installed at the entrances of the sites or buildings to mark their former functions as places that were occupied by supporters and who ran activities in support of Dr Sun.
For instance, The Happy 8 is an Instagram-worthy establishment that occupies the former home and clinic of Dr Sun’s supporter and classmate in Hong Kong Medical College, Dr Wong I Ek. Dr Wong was also one of the first two western-trained doctors in Malaya from Ipoh.
Fabricated in aluminium, these signages each feature a unique image, site title corresponding to that in the book and QR code that would lead visitors to learn more. Over time, ten more signages would be added to the trail.
Around the turn of the 19th century, Mainland Chinese were indentured into Malaya by the thousands to labour in tin mines of Perak, historically the most productive tin-producing district in the world. Along with them, many more Chinese arrived to establish businesses to serve these communities. Many of them shared and contributed hard-earned income to realise Dr Sun’s vision of a better China.
This marker trail was enabled with the main sponsorship of Jensom Ng Productions and support of Tourism Perak, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall Singapore, Sun Yat Sen Cultural Foundation Hong Kong and Perak Chinese Assembly Hall.
Sue Meng Heritage is a responsible tourism development company that aims to support the community in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For more info, visit www.suemengheritage.com or its Facebook page by the same name.