Posted: 23 Jan 2012 03:33 AM PST
After walking around the town [photos of which will be posted after this one], I took a cab and asked the taxi driver if he can be my personal tour guide for the day. You see, though Kuala Lipis is a small town in comparison to other towns in Malaysia, it will take me hours and hours or possibly at least a couple of days to fully cover it on foot. Moreover, it is a very hilly town. God forbid I'd collapsed from all the climbings.. hehe.
I became instantly fascinated by the old buildings. My mind wonders what it was like during their hey days. About the people who stayed there, the families that came all the way from England by ships which could have taken them months to reach Malaya. Of the sort of constructions involved in building the houses and residencies which still seemed to stand the test of times. Of the British officials, high ranking personnels and socialites partying at the Pahang Club. Of what would a day in the life of Sir Hugh Clifford's be like.
Anyways, here are the images I managed to capture during the 5 hours of being driven around by Uncle Raju the taxi driver cum personal tour guide. As it turned out, much much to my delight, uncle Raju is one of those old folks that has lots and lots of fabulous anecdotes about Kuala Lipis :).
I must admit that I had fallen in love with this sleepy and picturesque town :)
Lipis District Administration's Building
This building was completed in year 1919 and the management center for Pahang Darul Makmur state. On the second floor of this building was where the British Residen and Administrative Officers of Pahang State resided. While on the ground floor was the revenue collection and treasury office of British Government. Lipis at that time was the largest district in Pahang State. Its area included all the present Jerantut District and was one the richiest district with gold, ore, forest products and rubber.
Lipis Heritage Museum
This historic house was completed in year 1920. This house is situated on top of Bius hill, one of the historic hills in Kuala Lipis. This was a prominent housing area for high rangking government officials and Daerah Lipis's notable individuals. This house is said to be historic because the former Menteri Besar of Pahang and the current Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak was born and brought up here. His father, the late Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak bin Dato' Hussien once had resided in this house when he was the Secretary for the government of Pahang.
After Dato' Sri Najib resided in this house, it is still being maintained by the Government of Pahang to be occupied by Group 'A' Government Officer.
It was the earliest building built by the British in 1907. This building site was the first base where the English first administer Pahang. The purpose in building this house was for Sir Hugh Clifford's who was at that time the Ulu Pahang's Superintendent.
Sir Hugh Clifford then planned to build a more suitable residence to monitor Kuala Lipis area and found Bukit Resident as a more suitable site. While waiting for the new house to be completed, he resided in the Pahang Club House till 1922.
When the Sir Hugh Clifford moved out to Resident House in 1922, this club house then became the official home of Inspector of Police till 1926. This police inspector headed the British Police Force where his team members constituted of people of Sibu, Dayak and Malay amounting to 100 people.
In 1926, the house was vacated and became the club for British Official and High Ranking Personals. Its membership was opened to British and Royal family. That time, the Pahang Club as at its peak, became the meeting place of the rich and famous. It was told that not any one can enter the club house. Patrons must be fully dressed in shirt and tie which symbolizing status at that time. Patrons' shoes must be mirror shine as the floor of this club which was polished daily.
After Malayan independent in 1957, the state capital was shifted to Kuantan. With the dwindling membership, it was opened to the public, irrespective of their origin or social standings.
This Residency building was built in year 1922, at the highest hilltop in Kuala Lipis, home for the English Resident. The first resident to reside in this building was Hugh Clifford, 'Superintendent of Ulu Pahang'. Then all the Residents after him followed suit to stay in this building until the launched of second world war in year 1942 to 1945. In year 1958 to year 1965 this building was made Hostel for Male Student of Clifford School. This Bukit Residens's hostel then being closed in 31 December 1965. This house was left empty until 1983 before being made Government Rest House. In 1 December 1985, Lipis Muzium Corner has been created to display artifact and Kuala Lipis District culture. It is also the first Muzium Corner established in the Pahang State.
Thean Hou Gong temple
This temple was constructed by Buddha followers devoted to the Goddess Thean Hou in Lipis in 1898 presided by Kapitan from Ong generation. This temple was located facing the Sungai Jelai believed to look after the fishermen safety. Statue in this temple was brought in from China. In this temple there is a carved stone describing Thean Hou temple history. In 1926, massive flood had badly damaged part of this temple and had been to be rebuilt by using concrete structure and monitored by local superintendent at that time.
The Clifford School
The Clifford School (formerly the Anglo-Chinese School) was built in 1913 and named after Sir Hugh Clifford, the second British Resident to Pahang. Many of the States leaders and royalty were educated there. SMK Clifford is one of the premier school in Malaysia, the buildings and set up was a heritage left by the British. The original school was damaged by the big flood on 1926, thus a replacement had to be built. During the Japanese occupation in 1940, Kuala Lipis became the center of administration for Japanese in Pahang. Then the school was turned into a military head quarters and the classrooms became a place or torture and execution.
Clifford Secondary School at first was known as Goverment English School and commenced in 1913. When it first started it was only a little cottage at Sungai Jelai bank (now Jelai road) and had 12 pupils, all of them male. In 1918, total pupils increased to 200 then the school was forced to shift to to the present location.
The State Mosque was constructed in 1888 by a Yemeni Arab merchant by the name of Habib Hassan. He also donated his land for the mosque. Originally, this mosque's roof was made of wood.
This mosque was proclaimed as the Pahang State Mosque because Kuala Lipis was the capital of Pahang before Kuantan. The first imam of the mosque was Imam Awang who originally came from Indonesia. The first local to be the imam of the mosque was Imam Kawi, the second imam. At that time, the imam's salary was paid by using the zakat (alms) money. The first imam who received his salary from the government was Imam Salih bin Hussin.
According to the old folks' story, the uniqueness about the mosque was that it never gotten submerged in flood water even though the town of Lipis had several times experience massive floods. The location of the mosque, near the bank of the River Jelai also does not compromise it when floods hit.
This building was constructed in 1918 during English ruling. It was built by Sikh community who worked as English Police, train station workers and English army.
With this Gurdwara Sahib, Sikh society expanded in Kuala Lipis. Although the Sikh population had deteriorated in numbers in recent years, this building is an historical evidence of the society's first settlement in the town.
Kuala Lipis Train Station
This train service started operating in 1926, where in its beginning only linking Kuala Lipis to Johore Bharu in the South, Chegar Perah in North and to Tumpat, Kelantan.
It was also the first land route introduced in Kuala Lipis. During the Japanese occupancy, the railway line was used as route to transport Japanese army to the south to attack Singapore. Apart from that it was the main transportation for the local as most Kuala Lipis District economic products are being channelled through this service for gold and ore.
Jelai bridge was built after world war 2 at Bukit Betong designed by the British. It had to be rebuilt after the Japanese surrendered in 1945 as earlier the bridge was bombed by the retreating British army. The British planes were bombing the bridge in 1941 in an effort to slow the Japanese movement to Singapore.
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