The cultural character and identity of our Perak state are moulded and represented by its cultural heritage. Nevertheless, our heritage is the DNA of our cultural make-up and expression. Thus, it’s originality must be maintained and be told.
The heritage plaques at the heritage sites at the Ipoh Old Town are supposed to provide information and descriptions of past happenings. Unfortunately, some of the plaques have limited facts.
Firstly, there is no heritage plaque at the Ipoh Police Station. The heritage plaque at the Ipoh Railway Station hasn’t mentioned the Majestic Station Hotel. At the Ipoh Padang heritage plaque, the following facts are missing: in 1897, C.G. Ogilvie and G.J. Perry raised the funds for a private recreational ground in Ipoh to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The Chinese community supported the fund and contributed $43,000 Straits dollars, and the list goes on.
I also wish to suggest to the Ipoh City Council to investigate a “lost” underground tunnel said to connect the High Court, Ipoh Railway Station and the Police Station. I was told that the entrance of the pre-war tunnel, which is closed off to the public, is located at the Ipoh Town Hall. This is a historical legacy that we must show to our tourists. The tunnel was built to facilitate the movement of terrorists and high-profile criminal suspects between the Police Station and Ipoh Railway Station to the Ipoh High Court. I strongly suggest that we should promote a “historical trail” covering the hidden tunnel. I had visited the tunnels of Cu Chi at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was a mesmerising experience. Thus, we should investigate it soon.
Next year is Visit Malaysia Year 2020. Hopefully, Tourism Malaysia and Ipoh City Council will update the heritage plaques and open the hidden tunnel for visitors and tourists.
We must not forget that these buildings are part of the fabric of our society, hence, information about our past would enrich our history.