Who’s in the Club Today? – Ah Kao (Episode 17)

Supervisor Sam always keeps a close eye on what is happening with the monitor men. One of them in particular, Ah Kao, is a thorn in Sam’s flesh as he is a slacker. When Sam’s back is turned, Kao will most likely be nonchalantly leaning on the monitor tray and enjoying a cigarette; not caring where the powerful jet of water is going. Ah Kao is into opium, something he discovered when he came to Malaya and now passes his day thinking about his next smoke, rather than the job in hand.

Like most of the other coolies, he likes to hit Ipoh Town whenever he can. The routine is the same for them all. Downstairs in Concubine for 10 minutes with a girl and then upstairs for the opium and the perfection it brings to their world – at least for a few hours. With all his miserable earnings wasted this way, Ah Kao will never get back to his village in China.


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Ian Anderson

A retired Royal Naval Commander and Permanent Resident of Malaysia, has lived in-country since 1989. A heritage enthusiast, born in 1939, he is the man behind ipohWorld, (http://www.ipohworld.org) Ipoh’s not-for-profit heritage company sponsored by Kinta Properties. A world-wide traveller who has visited more than 70 countries and who owned his own museum for more than 20 years, has a wealth of experience in heritage and history. An accomplished author and speaker, he edited, compiled and sponsored the popular book, ‘Ipoh, My Home Town’.

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