Sunday, December 11, 2011

Memorial for murder of Sg Siput planters, Perak

The Malayan Emergency started on June 16, 1948, when three British planters were brutally murdered by communists in Sungai Siput, Perak.

The planters J.M. Allison and L.D. Christian were killed at Phin Soon Estate and A.E. Walker was killed in Elphil Estate.

The Malayan Communist Party guerillas shot Walker in cold blood at his office desk. About 1.6km away, manager Allison and his assistant Christian of the Phin Soon Estate were tied and killed by 12 terrorists about 30 minutes later.

They were buried at the Cemetery at Batu Gajah, called God's Little Acre.

More than 60 years later, a monument has been constructed in the Phin Soon Estate - now called Ladang Sungai Siput - in memory of three British planters killed there.

The monument was put up in 2011 by Malaysian Palm Oil Association (Perak branch) to commemorate the planters, members of security forces, staff and their family members and civilians killed during the Malayan Emergency.

At the entrance to the estate is a notice board, in very bad condition, with information about the historical site.
It says :

On 16 June 1948 at 8 A.M. after the murder of Elphil Estates manager at Sungai Siput (north) Perak, Sungai Siput Estate manager Mr John Allen (sic) and his assistant Mr Ian Christian. 21 [years] were tied and killed by 12 terrorists.

Unfortunately there is nothing to see, as the site is all fenced off. The memorial plaque is inside the compound so I had to take the photo with a zoom lens through the fence.

See more on the MPOA site.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

cicaks mating

I have lots of cicaks or house geckos sharing my apartment. They seem to be quite territorial. One large one is totally unconcerned by my presence, others are very shy and hide behind pictures whenever I move.

The other night I heard a lot of cicak noise and went to look as I assumed that one was eating another - which I have seen before. However when I looked more closely I realised they were mating.

Over the course of a few hours they mated 3 times and in between they went back to their respective territories. I managed to get some photos although was reluctant to use the flash or to get too close.

I wonder where the eggs will be laid.
Having a rest

Next day I was amused to see a very small (young) cicak near one of the adults - I hope the baby didn't become a meal for the big one!

See also cicak eating a moth.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Jalan Sultan mural, KL China Town

There was a lot in the press in Oct 2011 about the mural on the wall of a row of old shophouses on Jalan Sultan in China Town in Kuala Lumpur.

The Star 15 Oct "The badly weathered wall exposed following the demolition of six pre-war shophouses in Jalan Sultan 15 years ago will be the canvas of 60 artists at work today.
The original wall
The wall used to be peppered with peeling paint, broken bricks and even shrubs growing out of the gaps, so was primed up for the mural that will spread a loud message — Preserve Our Heritage.

It is deemed the most ideal location for the cause as the wall has been a sombre reminder of the loss of the six invaluable shophouses — including the iconic Chik Sin Thong funeral parlour and Hong Tou Guesthouse.
The artists, among them award-winning veterans and energetic young talents, will be painting the mural together from 9am on a voluntary basis to express their views and emotions about heritage preservation."

Dulux sponsored the paint as well as the cleaning and priming of the wall that took about three days due to the rainy weather.

The event is the highlight of The Star’s Preserve Our Heritage campaign that was started when 30 century-old buildings in Jalan Sultan were acquired to make way for the MRT project.

On the 18th Oct I went to have a look. The idea is great but it is a pity the paintings are so small - each artist is given only a space of 25" x 25".
Even a couple of large stones have been painted -
This 'graffiti' is on a nearby building -

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hospital Bahagia murder

Having visited Hospital Bahagia mental hospital in Tanjung Rambutan just a week ago, I was shocked to read there had been a murder just one week later. The Star 19 Sept 11 reports that a 33 year old female patient was attacked and strangled to death by another female patient. This suspect is Cambodian and had only been at the hospital for a day.

Coal fire at Batu Arang

I've posted albums and a blog on Batu Arang in Selangor, see Batu Arang (Star) and Batu Arang chimneys and Batu Arang community hall.

It was interesting to read a piece in The Star on 19 Sept 2011 about an underground coal fire. A house owner had to leave his home because of fumes. They had noticed a burning smell and smoke 2 weeks earlier, and the underground fire worsened.

"The fire – known as mine fire – is the underground smouldering of a coal deposit, probably located under Batu Arang, which is a former coal mining town. The last time such a similar incident took place was in 1992, in Kg Melayu, when part of a school building had to be demolished during excavation works to put out the fire."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tanjung Rambutan, Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta

Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta (HBUK) at Tanjung Rambutan in Perak is a well known mental health hospital and the biggest in Malaysia.

It is located on 544 acre at Tanjung Rambutan, north of Ipoh, and is often known as the Tanjung Rambutan Hospital or Happy Hospital.

The hospital was founded in 1910 and was originally called Federal Lunatic Asylum. In those days it had 3 male wards and 1 for females.

In 1928 it was renamed as the Central Mental Hospital. In the early 1970s the name was again changed, to Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta. This was to give a more positive name by removing the image of a mental asylum, and to promote its role as the centre for psychiatric treatment.

The road system around the complex covers 2 km.
Being taken away!
Entrance to kitchen
The kitchen (above)
The old store -
Toilet with a house number
Main area

Store area
One of many ambulances

There are 54 male wards and 25 female, housing over 2000 inmates. These include the less secure farm wards, and 28 more secure wards inside the main complex. The current patient numbers are 1914 male, 500 female. There is a large canteen to feed them.

The Forensic ward is isolated and very secure, inmates are there by court order. Once they are charged they are moved to another forensic ward. Opposite this is an old green building, dating to the 1950s.
secure forensic area (above)
high security
and a guard
Considering the hospital is 100 years old, very few of the old buildings remain. The store and kitchen are amongst the oldest, as well as the green building and the red doctor's house.
Doctor's house
forensic ward

The patients who are relatively stable are allowed to move around, work on the farm and nurseries etc. Some run 'sugar cane corner' where fresh drinks are served, others operate a car wash. We met some of those in Wad Kebun. Others live in individual apartment blocks -

There is a cemetery. Also the Life Science College (Kolej Sains Kesihatan Bersekutu) occupies part of the grounds. This is a nursing college -
Back of the ashrama -

The hospital offers psychiatric training to staff and medical students. The main objective of the hospital is to provide psychiatric treatment rather than simply to house those with mental disorders.

Today Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta is the biggest of 4 pyschiatric institutions in Malaysia. It is located across the railway line from the town of Tanjung Rambutan.

I was surprised at the large number of ambulances and vehicles belonging to the hospital.

Hospital Bahagia is celebrating its 100 years in Nov 2011.

Just one week after our visit, a patient was murdered by another.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission