Made Vibrant by the Cantonese

by Anne Das
Photos by Andrew Chen

The launching of ‘Paloh’ at The Haven Resort today, comes at an opportune time as it coincides with the ‘Visit Ipoh Year 2023’ and subsequently ‘Visit Perak Year 2024’. This 166-page book took almost 2.5 years to complete and it is finally here as a Tourism product that will make us proud.

The book entails the migration of Chinese Migrants from Guangdong Province to Malaya during the 18th century which was triggered by the Tin Ore rush initially, within the Larut District and then Kinta District.

The British brought in the Hakka people to help in the tin mining industry as they were known to have the expertise in mining. As water was the main transport system back then, these migrants were brought in to Penang and then they would travel by sea and arrive at Teluk Anson ( now known as Teluk Intan). They would then make their way through the Perak River, branch off to Kinta River and stop in Gopeng where large deposits of tin were later discovered. Later in 1880, more tin was discovered in Kinta Valley; this was a catalyst in transforming a small village known as Kampong Paloh into Paloh Town ~ now known as Ipoh.

The coolies had started saving until they had enough to start their own tin mining business and then proceeded to become prominent towkays. Among then were Leong Fee, Yau Tet Shin, Leong Sin Nam and Foo Choo Choon. There was also a need for entertainment, craftsmen, culinary skills so more Cantonese people emerged at this time to offer supplementary services.

“Thirty-two interesting spots were unveiled in this book.” said Author, Dr. Richard Ng

“The city of Ipoh will now have a new Heritage Tourism Trail known as the Ipoh Cantonese Heritage Trail. The brainchild of Dr. Richard Ng with support from Mr Wong Kian Hing ( Sin Chew Daily Perak Assistant Chief Editor) and members of the Perak Nam Hoi, Perak Pun Yee and Perak Shun Tak Cantonese Associations”.

“Ipoh was developed by the Hakka and eventually more prominent Cantonese Towkays came and these included Eu Tong Seng, Foong Seong, Ho Kai Cheong and Dr. Wu Lien Tee, to name a few”.

“Their contributions have turned Paloh into a city today. Ipoh was made the Capital City of Perak in 1937 taking over from Taiping. Ipoh was also the first town in Malaya to have motor vehicles, traffic light systems and a multi-storey car park.” explained Dr Ng.

CNN Travel Portal has ranked Ipoh as the first destination on a list of 18 of Asia’s Most Underrated Places. The capital of Perak has been named one of the best destinations in Asia in 2006 by the largest travel guide-book publisher, The Lonely Planet. Ipoh is the only city in Malaysia to make it into the book’s first-ever list of Asia’s top 10 best destinations. Ipoh is also home to the best white coffee in the world apart from its Gastronomy and Geoparks.

2023 is Visit Ipoh Year and 2024 is Visit Perak Year, this book will help to promote the Ipoh Cantonese Trail as the new Cultural and Heritage Tourism. It offers a unique selling proposition to Tourism players as Ipoh is a natural Cantonese speaking city with the Chinese comprising about 60percent, Cantonese and 30percent, Hakka.

The Ipoh Cantonese Heritage has the potential to attract 70million Cantonese speaking nations from places like Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore.

Ipoh Echo congratulates Dr. Richard Ng, Ex Ipoh City Councillor and Book Author as well as Mr. Wong Kian Hing, Assistant Chief Editor of Perak Sin Chew Daily and Co-author of the book “Paloh: Founded by Hakka, Made Vibrant by the Cantonese” on their successful book launch.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button