Che Yang Kalsom, the grand mansion and heritage of Kampung Kuchai that has been marginalized in Ipoh’s history

By Zaki Salleh
Photo: Nor Hisham Zulkiflee

IPOH: Every main street name in the city of Ipoh has its own history.

This is because these names were immortalized by the government or Town Board or now the local authorities at that time to honor the service of the namers.

However, due to the lack of effort in presenting the history of street names in Ipoh, their stories are forgotten by today’s generation.

For example, the name Jalan Yang Kalsom is often mentioned.

It is located in the neighborhood of Taman Jubli in the south of the new city of Ipoh and is situated in the middle of Ipoh’s commercial area.

The road connects Jalan Raja Ekram in the north, the intersection of Jalan Sultan Iskandar with Jalan Pasir Puteh.

Secretary of the Perak Heritage Association, Nor Hisham Zulkiflee, said Che Yang Kalsom was the wealthiest Malay woman in the late 19th century.

She inherited her father’s wealth, Dato Panglima Kinta Mohamad Yusof Ngah Abdul Lassam, the founder of modern Ipoh City.

The name Jalan Lassam is also immortalized in honor of this prominent Malay figure in Ipoh.

“Che Yang Kalsom was also the original owner of a grand mansion in Kampung Kuchai, which in the 19th and early 20th centuries was an elite Malay settlement area.

“However, today, the mansion, built in 1903, is now just a ruin.

“The two-story mansion, with traditional and western architecture, was specially built for Che Yang Kalsom by her husband, Toh Sedewa Diraja Abdul Wahab,” he said.

Toh Sedewa Diraja Abdul Wahab was also the Village Head of Sungai Raia and a Malay millionaire.

Unfortunately, this luxurious mansion was sold to several parties and eventually suffered severe damage, now being used as a car workshop.

Che Yang Kalsom passed away in 1942.

Today, Jalan Yang Kalsom is only known as the location of two very famous nasi kandar shops in Ipoh, namely Nasi Ganja Kedai Kopi Yong Suan and Restaurant M Salim.

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