The old building on Datoh Street holds the long history of Ipoh

By Zaki Salleh

IPOH: The old building next to Masjid Paloh here may be an eyesore, but many are unaware that it holds a part of Ipoh’s developmental history.

The city of Ipoh at that time was not as it is today

The row of shophouses on Jalan Datoh here, constructed in 1912, once housed the Warta Kinta newspaper office when it was published in 1937.

Warta Kinta was the first Malay-language daily newspaper published in the Federated Malay States.

Moreover, at that time, Ipoh was a renowned journalistic city, akin to Singapore, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur.

Unfortunately, most of these buildings have deteriorated, and their neglected condition may lead to their demise without intervention

The shophouse building was constructed on land owned by Toh Puan Sharipah Duakap, a significant figure in the history of Ipoh, and it was dedicated to the Paloh Mosque.

Shop-house number 5 was rented by the Warta Kinta newspaper, published in Jawi script, and it was an influential newspaper in Perak, particularly in the Kinta district at that time.

Political figure and nationalist fighter, Ahmad Boestamam, once served as a journalist in that newspaper and was a prolific writer.

The General Manager of Malaya Mining, Syed Abdullah Syed Salim, who was a wealthy tin miner, was the patron of the Warta Kinta newspaper at that time

This building was later rented by organizations such as the Perak Malay Association, Perak Malay Badminton Association, and Bawean Association.

This shophouse was subsequently rented as a business premise until 2019 and was left abandoned and derelict after a fire occurred.

With the interest of the community, especially history enthusiasts, it would be delightful if the authorities placed a signboard informing about the history of this building for public knowledge.

This is also an effort to strengthen the written history of Ipoh.

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