By: Aida Aziz
IPOH: The nostalgic bus station at Medan Kidd has become an icon with the local population of Ipoh. It is safe to say that the atmosphere there remains largely unchanged, reminiscent of the 80s, with little alteration.
Ipoh Echo discovered a hidden secret recently behind the row of buses in the parking area. There lies a pedestrian tunnel, which seems to have been ‘buried’ without a trace.
If you observe closely, there is a staircase across the road, which used to lead to the express bus station. There, you can descend and witness the condition of the tunnel passage.
Unfortunately, the current state of the tunnel is disheartening, as it is extremely dirty, neglected, and filled with garbage. Furthermore, it is no longer in use and has been closed for safety reasons.
An examination of the Medan Kidd bus station revealed another section of the tunnel, which serves as a connection to the opposite side of the road.
As expected, it too has been overgrown with vegetation and sealed shut. There are numerous stories surrounding this tunnel, which used to serve as a primary passage for students and the general public to cross the road and reach nearby schools.
According to a resident of Ipoh, Rajan, 63, the passage was indeed bustling with people in the 80s and 90s, who opted to use it rather than cross the road due to the inherent danger, especially for students of ACS School.
“At that time, it was a busy route for crossing to the other side. It was considered safer than crossing the road. Especially for ACS school students. The conditions back then were not very clean, and there were also homeless individuals and people loitering at night,” said Rajan, who sells roasted peanuts at the bus station.
Meanwhile, Redzuan Ooi Abdullah, 50, a well-known trader of “Mi Tikus” (a local dish) at the same bus station, mentioned that the tunnel was popular with school students in the past.
Having conducted his business there for almost 15 years, he explained that the passage used to be relatively quiet and was eventually closed.
“In the year 2000, the tunnel was closed. Back when I was in primary school, it became a spot where students would hang out or skip class,” he said.
On the other hand, Nur Aqilah Mohd Rizar, 19, a bus service user, stated that she often takes the bus from that station to Kuala Kangsar. As a student of Sultan Azlan Shah University (USAS), she said that despite the “old” atmosphere, the bus service is still functioning well.
“I live in Seri Kinta, and it’s closer for me to take the bus from here than from Meru Raya. I frequently commute from here to USAS, and so far, I’m grateful that the service runs smoothly,” she said.
In the meantime, according to sources, the location was once vibrant with daily activities, particularly busking.
It is understood that the tunnel facilitated pedestrian movement from Medan Kidd to the bus terminal, which was established in the early 90s near the current food court.
Meanwhile, the bus station here was formerly an intercity bus terminal. If appropriate, the passage should be revitalized and transformed into an attractive location for the public, given the abundance of nostalgia in the area.
Perhaps the relevant authorities can take the initiative to clean up or reopen the area, which is considered unique and still relevant for use.