By: Aida Aziz
KUALA KANGSAR: Many may have overlooked or do not know of the existence of Kilometers (KM) 0 stones in several locations in this state.
Before delving into the function of the KM 0 stone, it is understood that these distance markers are only present in specific locations in Malaysia, usually found near the post office of a town.
According to Nor Hisham Zulkiflee, the Secretary of the Perak Heritage Association, the KM 0 stone is symbolic of the starting point of a city or a highway.
He further explained that it encompasses three main meanings, namely, KM 0 of the city, KM 0 of the road, and KM 0 of the country.
“Not all cities in the country have these stones, and the reason for this is uncertain, but the Public Works Department (Jabatan Kerja Raya or JKR) created these stones a long time ago.
“In Malaysia, there are not many of them either. There are only about 20 to 30 KM 0 stones.
“In Perak, we have KM 0 stones in Tapah, Tanjung Malim, Pulau Pangkor, and most recently in Kuala Kangsar.
“The significance of these stones also refers to the centre of the city, indicating that the heart of the town is located there,” he said during a recent interview.
When asked why these stones are placed near post offices, he explained that in the past, the Post Office served as the primary communication and transportation hub of the country.
“The Post Office used to be the main communication hub, handling the delivery of letters and other communications, so the location of the Post Office was naturally near major routes.
“Usually, the post office is chosen as the point for the zero kilometre marker for a town.
“In Perak, as far as I know, we only have four of these markers, or there might be more that have not been explored yet. Recently, the Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council (MPKK) took the initiative to establish the KM 0 stone here,” he added.
According to research, KM 0 markers in Peninsular Malaysia include locations such as Kangar, Klang, Puchong, Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth, Johor Bahru, Tapah, Kuala Lipis, Pulau Pangkor, Tanjung Balau, Pengkalan Kubor, Rantau Panjang, Seremban, Tanjung Malim, and Kuala Kangsar.