23 July 2008

The 'Firsts' In Taiping...

Salam and Greetings.

Everybody knew that in Taiping there are lots of ‘First’ institutions that start to operate and exist in Perak, the Federated Malay States or even Malaysia. We mentioned them as institution because these ‘First’ are not only buildings and structures but vary from newspapers, schools, associations and agencies.

All of these ‘First’ are available in Taiping due to that Taiping has once on Malaysia’s history line became the administrative center for the Perak state (through out the years), the British (during the colonial era), Federated Malay States (pre-independence of Malaysia) and Japan (during the Japanese Occupation WWII).

Some of these ‘First’ are still available but many has ruined due to time. Well, whatever it is, these are the ‘First’ that were established here in Taiping…
  1. Magistrate Court [1874]It was set up by Capt. T.C.S. Speedy, who was also the magistrate. Initially was built from timber with attap roof and situated at the same place where the present court stands.

  2. Prison (Gaol) [1879]
    It was set up by Capt. T.C.S. Speedy. Initially was a timber building with fencing all around. The location was the same as then and today.

  3. Police Force Team and Police Station [1879]
    It was built initially from timber with attap roof. By the year 1886 it has been replaced with a good looking wooden building.

  4. Railways line and railway station [1885]
    The first railway line was between Taiping and Kuala Sepetang (Port Weld). The construction of the first railway line began from the grounds of the present King Edward School which became the first railway station in the country. It was later shifted to the present site in 1900. The old starting line has been closed since 1950s.

  5. Private and Government Hospital [1880]
    The first private hospital was called Yeng Wah Hospital, which was set up by the Chinese Mining Community. The location of this hospital is at the Hua Lian Kindergarten (behind Indian Mosque). The first government hospital was called the Prison and Police Hospitals that was opened and run by Thomas Prendergast, a qualified 'Apothecary'.

  6. European Club (Taiping New Club) [1885]
    Initially was built as an attap hut. The club is then being renamed as the New Club in 1894. It is situated at the entrance of Lake Garden.

  7. Museum [1883]
    It was established in 1883 in the former government office. Its building was developed then in stages from 1885 till 1903. When it was opened, the first curator was Leonard Wray, who had put up the much admired natural history and ethnological collections. Today, the museum has vast collections of exhibit to be seen.

  8. The Esplanade (An open ground) [1890]
    It was first initiated by Colonel Robert S.F. Walker, as he was the Commandant of the Police and Military Force. It was used for functions like marching and processions.

  9. British Residency [1874]
    The first British residency was a huge kampung house at Matang. It was occupied by the first Assistant Resident was Captain T.C.S. Speedy that was employed by Menteri Ngah Ibrahim the then Menteri of Larut. He then moved to the new residence in Bukit Jelutung where the housed the District’s Officer’s house. The other house available was located at Casuarina Inn near the Lake Gardens where only the stilts remain.

  10. Hill Resort [1880]
    Formerly known as Maxwell Hills, it was established by William E. Maxwell when he was the British Resident. The hills resort is at 1250 meters above sea level where its temperature varies from 15 Celsius to 25 Celsius during the day. In the early years, British officers and wives were carried up to the hills using sedan chairs or rattan baskets by Indian workers. The hill resort was renamed in 1978 to Bukit Larut which means Larut Hill.

  11. Rest House [1870]
    It was built as a stopover places for visitors who came to Taiping in its early years. The Rest House is located in front of the King Edward School at Station Road. It still maintains its original wooden building.

  12. Lake Garden [1880]
    Since Taiping was filled with lots of abandoned tin mine ponds, one man had the idea make used of them. That man was again Colonel E.S.F Walker. He restored them to becoming such wonderful landscapes that remains till today and enjoyed by all.

  13. Clock Tower [1890]
    Located at Kota Road, it was the first clock tower in the Malay States which built in 1890. There was a bell before but was said to bring bad luck to the Chinese business community. The tower has been a police and fire station before. Now it housed the Taiping Information Centre.

  14. Central Market [1884]
    The Taiping Market Building consists of two buildings, the Old Market (at the Main Road) built in 1884 and the New Market (at Kota Road) built in 1885. It is possibly the largest non-indigenous historic timber structure in the country and also a best preserved example of a major 19th century market building.

  15. Government Offices Building [1892]
    The building was opened in 1892 to accommodate Council Chamber, Offices for the Secretariat, Treasury, Audit, Education and Forest Departments. Today it is the premise of the Larut Matang District Office.

  16. Post and Telegraph Office [1884]
    This office was built in 1884 at the far end of the Barrack Road. It was built from timber. In the early years, the post from Taiping was carried by a relay of runners and ponies. Later it has become the telegraph office.

  17. Golf Course [1894]
    Opened in 1894, the first 9 holes golf course was in the Lake Gardens. Exclusively for the high ranking British Officers, and later only the Europeans were allowed to play the game. The Asians played golf only after the Japanese War period.

  18. Horse Racing Turf Club [1885]
    Established in 1885, the old race course is situated near Klian Pauh. It is now being taken over by school buildings.

  19. Masjid Tengku Menteri [1870]
    Located near Ngah Ibrahim’s Fort, the mosque was built in 1870 by him to cater the communities who stayed in the vicinity of the fort area. Ngah Ibrahim also built the Kota Mosque in 1897 which is situated in the middle of Taiping town.

  20. Anglican Church [1886]
    The church is located at the Main Road was established in 1886. It was designed by George Lefroy. This church is also known as the All Saints Church.

  21. Open tin mining [1844]
    The tin residue was discovered accidentally by Long Jaafar. He started a small mining area which was later being commercialized by his son Ngah Ibrahim throughout Taiping.

  22. Public Swimming Pool [1870]
    The first public swimming pool started to operate in 1870. It is called Coronation Pool or Kolam Kemahkotaan. It is located at the foothill of Bukit Larut and the only swimming pool in Malaysia which is filled with cool stream water.

  23. Artillery warehouse [1870]
    The warehouse is called Fort Carnavon was established in 1870. It is located just beside the Taiping Prison complex. It used to store ammunition supply used by the army.

  24. Girl’s School [1889]
    The Lady Treacher Girl’s School was the first all girl’s school in the Malay States. It was established by the Perak Government in 1889. The Methodists later took over the school and renamed it after the then British Resident’s wife. During the Japanese Occupation, the school building was used as the Japanese army barracks.

  25. The Central School [1883]
    Established in 1883, it was the first English school in the Federated Malay States. In 1905, the school was renamed to King Edward VII School when the new building was opened. It was also use as the base for garrison commander during the Japanese Occupation.

  26. Malay Newspaper [1893]
    The first issue of the Seri Perak was published in June 1893. The publisher was Syed Abdul Hassan Ibnay, who was from India.

  27. English Newspaper [1890]
    The first English newspaper was published in 1890. It was named Perak Pioneer. It was a British Residents controlled media.

  28. Tamil Newspaper [1890]
    The name of the first Tamil newspaper was Perak Vethamani, firstly published in 1890. The publisher was By Syed Adbul Ibnay Burhan, who was from India.

  29. The Malay States Guides [1896]
    The first Malay States Guides were established in 1896 under the commandant Colonel R.S.F. Walker. The force was about 500 men, mostly the Sikhs, the Pathans, and north Indians. The military Barracks were at the main road where the present Malay Regiment is stationed.

  30. Ceylon Association [1901]
    The association was established in 1901 by members who were Ceylonese that worked in the railways and government departments. Initially it was situated at Barrack Road, but later moved to the present site at Station Road.

  31. Chinese Associations [1858]
    History has it the associations were formed according to their clan’s base from China. The first known was The Khoo Kongsi, established in 1858 in the Tupai-Coronation roads junction. The Tseng Lung Association was then established in 1887. The Hokkien Association was established in 1918.

  32. Indian Association [1894]
    The association was established in 1894 by founder member Shaik Nunammer Shah. The members were from India irrespective of their religion.

  33. Khalsa Diwan (Punjabi Association) [1903]
    The Khalsa Diwan was established in 1903 by members which were Sikhs that were in the Malay States Guides. Its objective is to improve the social position of Sikhs in Malaya.

  34. Teachers College [1898]
    This college was opened in 1898 as a training centre for teachers from Perak and Selangor. One of its early training places was at Matang.

  35. Recreation Park (Coronation Park) [1920]
    Located at the Theatre Road, the park was opened in 1920. The Run Run Shaw of the Shaw Brothers came and ran movie reels to entertain the miners back then. It was renamed to Coronation Park to commemorate King George V coronation.

  36. Taiping Airfield [1930]
    Established in 1930, the airfield was there to cater air trips from and to Taiping. During the Japanese War, it was fully developed and being used fully. Among those who had landed here before was President Sukarno and his Vice-President Dr. Mohamad Hatta in 1945. Other than that was 'The Freedom Fighter of India, Subash Chandra Bose in 1944.

  37. Public Library [1882]
    In its earlier construction in 1882, it was referred as “an excellent Reading and Recreation Room for Officers of Government”. The where it is now was one the premise of Charted Bank of India, Australia and China.

Our list is up to here. However, we believe there are more to it. If you have more, feel free to comment in. Thanks.


to ang said...

very interesting...Interested to know if any of the landmarks still around...maybe another write up to compare the olds and the news?

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

Hi to ang,

Some of the structures and institution mentioned are still available to see here in Taiping.
I will put a comparison write if possible in the future.
Thanks for that.

vincent said...

hei, i am vincent..currently doing some research on the taiping old market.. can you pls give me more information on the market or where do you find those super old pictures? thank you


Anonymous said...

hi.. thx for your full infomation of taiping.. i m frm taiping oso.. haha.. now doing an assignment about my hometown... haha... thx for ur uploaded pic n info.. is usefull to me..

Anonymous said...

thanks, those pics posted is a reminder why I kept coming back to Taiping.

Anonymous said...

hi..do you know there is also the first petrol station in malaysia..
my friends said it was the first but i have no proof about it..
the location is just behind the Taiping Lorenzo furniture shop in taiping..

Anonymous said...

The 1st petrol station in Taiping was the (HUP HENG)Shell petrol station ,located behind to the Loenzo furniture, and the Lorenzo Furniture shop formerly was belong to HUP HENG CO' too, they sell agricultural item. Today, the petrol pump no more and become a car workshop, i have an original photo of that petrol station.i think circa 1950s.

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

Dear Anonymous 14/5/2011,
Thanks for dropping by at Taiping Heritage Cult.
And many thanks for sharing the information regarding the Hup Heng (Shell) Petrol Station.
The building is still there but its condition is not the well off. However the workshop is still operating.
Appreciate if you could send the photos and I'll share to everybody who may have interest.
Appreciate it and many thanks.

Anonymous said...

It seems you've made a faux pas--intentionally or otherwise-- when comes to the supposedly archaic B&W image of the Taiping library. The same picture with the exact same composition can be found here:


The picture was in full colour, yet somehow here it time-traveled itself back to B&W.

Anyway, in the image, the abundance of motorcycles would certainly put the picture at around year 2000. Most definitely not before the age of the internet (that of the 56K kind). For any picture before this time would have been horribly discoloured and require some Photoshop work. The colour of the roof would further suggest recent renovation. The latest renovation that gave it the look of the second photo, if memory serves, is scarcely over 10 years old.

Pegawai_Daerah said...

This horror tale begins when Rahid (not her real name) was assigned to work in Taiping, Perak, Malaysia since 1980 as an officer in a government sector. At first he arrived in Taiping, Rahid quite happy when he was given a lease by the government. Right now these bungalows are not awake and somewhat obsolete by a meter tall grass and bushes around the house a bit. However Rahid indifferent because it thinks house prices are adequate to relieve him to move there. 2 storey bungalow with four rooms is located about 10 meters from the main road to enter the home page.
At first the family lived there, no problems occur, but relatively quiet since the distance between the houses with their neighbors somewhat remote. But in the second week he was a family living there, strange things began to disturb them family. At first it was just small annoyances such as the time when the kitchen light goes on by itself at midnight. This is because the kitchen is somewhat hidden behind the shrubbery surrounded the house. Their family and just let it happen just because the flow of electricity in the house think that that is not stable, after all dilapidated houses that are unoccupied for more than 10 years. But the longer the interference received by the sound of pots creepy. Start compete among themselves in the kitchen in the early morning until the sound of women laughing scream very scary at the top of the roof. Not far from the bungalow there a mosque next to a Christian church. But what happened was when the sound azan maghrib woman crying in the back of the house and the sound of dogs barking non-stop around the house. Though there is a dog would be in the vicinity when checked by a family when the youngest child Rahid. One day, sir rahid children 5 years old crying in the middle of the night until late morning. This incident occurred during a month when his wife called to assist a teacher, the teacher has admitted that there are scary creatures on the roof of the house which caused disruption to they children. Rahid wife, Ramlah also scary experience when going to the toilet at 3 in the morning when he was suddenly startled sound like someone is running on his home page. Ramlah jerks and try to observe the sound. It is true that it was the sound of people playing on the home page. Then, Ramlah also heard the voice sounds like the boy was laughing with scream.

Strangely ... its one of those playing in the yard at 3 am? Ramlah a bit puzzled trying to embolden himself to scout out. Slowly, Ramlah reach the torch and open the little window just enough for her visit to the gaps outside. From window, Ramlah see two boys are running, rushing hither and thither while throwing objects like balls. Ramlah watching to see clearly and really surprise him when the two sides found that the boy has a tail at the back and two horns on their heads. What is more surprising is the object of thought the ball was the baby's head is filled with blood and wounds on the face and eyes staring. Suddenly, two boys stopped playing and communicating with each other. One boy is looking toward Ramlah and show off to Ramlah. Another friend also turned and looked to Ramlah. Fearing Ramlah tried to call her husband, Rahid who was sleeping upstairs. But his tongue felt dumb but also his legs feel heavy. Ramlah then can not do anything but just stand on the edge of a hard. With explained, both the boy and suddenly in front of Ramlah. Although the situation around a bit dark, Ramlah to see clearly the way to a both of the boy because their faces right now in front of Ramlah. Their face is full of pus and smells real bad. Ramlah who was unable to do anything suddenly heard a scream from her as possible ‘Allahuakbar’ from her husband, who might recognize her awake because nothing on the side. Simultaneous with the outcry ‘Allahuakbar’, the two boys who are in front of Ramlah was lost overnight. But until the next day Rahid and the teacher who discovered his wife had their first encounter and the teacher advised them to move quickly to find another home.

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

Dear Anonymous 17/5/2011,
Thanks for dropping by at Taiping Heritage Cult.
You got us there. We have tried our best looking for the original picture, but unfortunately there aren't any to be found. So to maintained the mood, we have modified the said photos accordingly.
But we do believe that somewhere out there there are these old photos of Taiping. And we appreciate it if our blog visitors are willing to share their collections of old Taiping photos from their own collection to be appreciate by all. :)

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

Dear Pegawai Daerah,
Thanks for dropping by at Taiping Heritage Cult.
Quite a story you got there. But one point you haven't mentioned clearly, which building are you referring to?
We believe that every heritage buildings have its own share of stories to be told. This is one of the other reason why heritage sites and buildings are to be appreciated. :)

Anonymous said...

There is a closed group on Facebook called 'Taiping Mari!' which appreciatively mentions your blog site. Please feel free to join the group if you wish. Thank you for this wonderful and valuable blog.

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

Dear Anonymous 9/9/2011,
Thanks for dropping by at Taiping Heritage Cult.
Appreciate if you could share the facebook link since we have found there are two similar group bearing the 'Taiping Mari' name.

Anjuli said...

I'm researching when the first "King" family came to Taiping- Any information you can give regarding this would be helpful- were they originally estate owners? Did they come over with the British army? I know there is a Family with the surname of King who resides in Taiping even now- just curious as to the origin of this family- any information you can provide would be very helpful.

lijing khoo said...

How about the zoo? http://www.zootaiping.gov.my/

Anonymous said...


zarina said...

assalam . Menarik catatan yang disediakan,walau pun banyak yang saya tahu menegenai bangunan di Taiping tapi sudah pasti tidak selengkap yang Tuan sediakan. Tidak pernah jemu untu "pusing" sekeliling bandar Taiping. T kasih atas usaha tuan.

Phasu Yew Loi said...

Hi. I'm wondering what had happened to the Casuarina Inn Taiping? It's seems have been abandon for 5 years. Recently me and my group of friends have went there but the building is all in a bad condition and we felt there must be a story about the Inn. Do you know what had happened to the Inn? We try to gather some information about the inn but not so much that we get through the webs. Plus we are very curious what had actually happen to the a nice inn in Taiping.

Thank you.. ^^

Danielyongsp said...

hi there, i will be going back soon to take all the photograph again, will be nice i can see all the old photos and will be taking at the same spot to do the comparison. where can i refer back to the old photos?

Anonymous said...

The first x ray machine in Malaysia was in the Taiping hospital.

seijiseimura84 said...

Good blog , do u have any information on taiping leper ward? For leprosy disease

Anonymous said...

Not only in Malaysia but also first in the world.

Anonymous said...

The clock tower of Teluk Intan was built in 1885. Aren't it supposed to be first in Perak?

Art of Living... said...

Unfortunately our leaders dont believe in preservations.

Art of Living... said...

Unfortunately our leaders dont believe in preservations.

Marcelle Anthony Pillai said...

Why isn't the Catholic Church in Klian Pau not listed in the heritage list?

Unknown said...

The Saint Louis church,Convent War memorial? But please get a proof reader. The English is really bad and the information sometimes vague. Like the Coronation pool was in conjuction with queen's elizabeth's coronation

Simmy Simmy said...

I'm so proud of my hometown Taiping ��

Simmy Simmy said...

I'm so proud of my hometown Taiping ��

Devendran K. Shanmuganathan said...

My grandfather, Sellar Sabaratnam, was a Taiping Town Council member in the 1950's or 1960's. Can anyone find any information and photos of him, and email them to pkpgtesol@yahoo.com or WhatsApp to 0165387862. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I just wantto know when the tennis court was build near Esplanade field.can anyone ans

sundar mann said...

Taiping is not what it used to be. The government of the past had a very bad in preserving these historical heritages. There is nothing much u can do if u r corrupted. The ruins of most of these buildings says it all.

Old Money Savoir Faire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Money Savoir Faire said...

I lived in Taiping. I grew up there from age 1 to around 8.

My sister was born there although I was born in KL. A different time, a different world, different people. ...The blood in my veins runs blue-ish green. And anyone from 'old' Taiping knows what that means.

John E. N. Ward

Unknown said...

Uncle Sellar was our next door neighbour at Jalan Timor, Assam Kumbang.

Unknown said...

The Perak govt denies selling the famous Tekah airfield to a developer.
The irony is, the developer himself said that he has bought part of the Lapangan Terbang Tekah (40 acres)