Times of Malaya when Pioneers, Planters, Miners, Civil Servants, Merchants, Police and the Military - both regulars and volunteers, during British Colonisation period, lived in the Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang and the Federated Malay States of Perak, Selangor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan including Unfederated States of Johore, Terengganu, Kelantan & Perlis. From 1786, the arrival of Francis Light; 1819, landing of Stamford Raffles with the Honourable East India Company & the administration of the Straits Settlements by British India through to being The Crown Colony in 1867 leading to WW1 and WW2 in Malaya. The Times of Malayan Emergency to the independence of Malaya in 1957 and the Republic of Singapore in 1965.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Straits Settlements Post Box 2 (King George V) Penang

Another Straits Settlements Post Box located along Dato Kramat Road in Penang

A "squarish" Post Box with the Royal Cypher GR - King George V ( from 1910 - 1936)

Straits Settlements Post Box ( Regina Victoria) Penang

An old Post Box ( left) next to present one ( right). The old Post Box has the Royal Cypher, Regina Victoria ( VR) - from 1837 - 1901. Considered as one of the oldest British era Post Box existing in the Straits Settlements of Penang.

The location of the post boxes is along Beach Street. Posing next to the post boxes was the man who paints the post boxes ( unfortunately did not had the chance to ask his name)

Straits Settlements Post Box ( King Edward VII ) Penang

A Post box located outside the old Federated Malaya States Railway Station, Penang ( Now Customs House). The Royal Cypher is King Edward VII (ERvii) from 1901 - 1910.

Straits Settlements Post Box (King George V) Penang

A Post Box opposite the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang with a King George V Royal Cypher.

The GR Royal Cypher is used during King George V reign from 1910 - 1936

British Malaya Post Box Kuala Lumpur

A British Malaya Post Box during the King George V ( GR) - 1910 - 1936 - The GR could have been covered by the sticker

The Post Box stands outside the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur

Friday, 26 November 2010

Eat, Talk, Coffee.. etc in Kedai Kopi, Kopi Tiam Malaysia/Singapore – No 5

Oops, a wine shop in Ipoh...but its next to the famous Ipoh White coffe, Kopi Tiam in Old Town

A gathering in a Kopi Tiam in Balik Papan

The service station of a Kopi Tiam in a prewar shop house in Taiping

Rolling dough in Hoong Toh, Ipoh for their famous Chinese pastries

Eat, Talk, Coffee.. etc in Kedai Kopi, Kopi Tiam Malaysia/Singapore – No 4

Penang food stall serving food( Economy Rice) "ala" Squatting style

Penang Kopi Tiam serving Dim Sum or Yam Char during the night

Penang food stall serving porridge within a shop house

Penang food stalls serving food amongst the trees ( for better shade I suppose!)

Eat, Talk, Coffee.. etc in Kedai Kopi, Kopi Tiam Malaysia/Singapore – No.3

A Kopi Tiam stall at the junction ofKimberley Street, Penang

A water boiler in a Kopi Tiam along China Street

The sitting area of a Kopi Tiam in Penang

The service station of a Kopi Tiam in China Street( above) & in an alley along Campbell Street
( below)

Eat, Talk, Coffee.. etc in Kedai Kopi, Kopi Tiam Malaysia/Singapore – No.2

The old "Switch & Meter Board" of a Kopi Tiam in Batu Pahat

A charcal toaster for bread and to keep the tea & coffee warm

The service station

The water boiler - water to thin down the liquid coffee and to "sanitised" the serving cups

Eat, Talk, Coffee...etc in Kedai Kopi, Kopi Tiam Malaysia/Singapore – No.1

The water boiler in Kluang Rail Coffee, Kluang Johore

The original Kluang Rail Coffee, located in the prenises of Kluang Railway Station

Taking time off for a cuppa...

The service station for the cuppa...

Coffee shops( English) kedai kopi (malay), kopi tiam (hokkien) are “watering holes” for Singaporeans and Malaysians to get away from the hectic schedules of daily life. They are usually located in an old prewar shop house which were non- air-conditioned and ventilated by twirling overhead electric fans ( no more the punkas of colonial days!)

Others could be a makeshift stall along a busy road, with just plastic sheets "roofs" as a shade, or along the beach and public parks – these are usually “Mamak Stalls” run by Indians ( Muslim Tamils) mainly found in Malaysia.
The coffee made by Indians are usually sweeter and not too thick on the coffee essence. Their tea are usually “tarik(malay) or pulled to cool the heat of the beverage. As such, should you want your coffee/tea hot, just say “Panas” (malay) or hot.

Chinese Coffee shops serves their coffee/tea in porcelain cups with saucers and they are not “tarik”. The Chinese think that having air bubbles in the beverage is not good for internal health.
To cool the beverage, you can pour the coffee/tea onto the saucer and sip your drink from there, with a long and satisfying slurpy noise ( that’s what my Grandfather used to do and that’s where I get my beverage – from the saucer when I was very young)

In order to get a thicker coffee essence, you have to order “Kopi Kau” – Coffee Thicker or “Kopi Poh” – Thinner Coffee. What the Kopi “barista”would do is to add more or lesser hot water to the coffee essence ( concentrated liquid coffee) to get the texture.

When you order “Kopi” ,it is hot coffee, with sugar, and condensed milk .”Kopi-O” is black coffee with sugar.”Kopi Kosong” is just black coffee. Black “English Tea” would be ordered the same way i.e. “Teh” is hot tea, with sugar, and condensed milk.”Teh-O” is black tea with sugar and .”Teh Kosong” is just black tea.

Other beverages available includes the following, with a certain terms only used in Singapore –e.g.
Tuck kew ( Kick ball in Hokkien) – Milo ; a chocolate and malt powder drink which is mixed with hot milk; The brand labels of the product usually has a boy or girl doing sports; and for some reasons, the label of the boy playing football stuck with the coffee shop waiters!
Tiau her ( Catch fish in Hokkien) – Chinese tea ;coffee shops in Singapore serve Chinese tea in tea bags ; as such dunking the bag up and down the hot water to infuse the tea is just like tugging the fishing line!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Old Chartered Bank, Klang Town Selangor

The covered footbridge connecting the annex, with Carriage type doorways into the building compound

Dutch styled gables for the roofing structure for both the main and annex buildings

The old Chartered Bank branch ( Annex building) of Klang Town located at the junction of Jalan Istana & Jalan Dato Hamzah

The old Chartered Bank of India, Australia & China began financial business in Singapore in 1859 and Penang 1875. As such, the Dutch styled building could have been built about the late 1800’s as it housed the Chartered Bank branch in Klang Town.

European Style had influenced the architecture of Malaya especially the styles that were modified according to the tropical climate and combined with architecture influence of Malay, Classical Portuguese, Dutch and English. This building certainly has Dutch influences with unique Dutch Gables. The main building could have been used for the banking business, with covered footbridges connected to an annex which could have housed the living quarters of the employees and stables for horses and carriages – as observed from its carriage house type of doorways.

1909 Sultan Suleiman Building, Klang Town, Selangor

The Sultan Suleiman Building of Klang Town - caught my eye whilst we drove through town along Jalan Stesen

The view from the building just across the road

Built in 1909 to house the Klang District Office during British Malaya, it was designed in a Western Classical Style by PWD (Public Works Department) architect Arthur B. Hubback. The building also accommodated the Land Office, Town Board and PWD then.

Called by the locals as the "White House" of Klang, it was declared a natural heritage ( one of the first in Selangor) on 15 December 2009

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Klang Town Railway Station, Selangor

The front facade of Klang Railway Station along Jalan Raya Timur in Klang Town

The entrance into the Railway Platforms with modern ticket machines and turnstiles

The new "KTM" Klang signboard -- would have been noce to see the old Federated Malaya States Railway signage ( black & white )

An old wagon train that has been converted to a "shop" , parked in front of the station

Warehouses or "Kilang"lined up on the otherside of the Railway lines

The name for Klang Town was probably derived from the word "Kilang" , which meant "warehouse"from an old Malay word. In the old days, Klang Town would have been full of warehouses to store tin for transhipment from the mining fields in the Klang Valley further the east of the town, to the Port, 6 miles miles to the west.

In the 1890's, commodities such as coffee and rubber added to the load for export from Malaya. This led to the construction of the Klang Railway Station to accommodate the growth of traffic not only for goods, but passengers as well. The extension of the railway from Klang Town to the Port of Swettenham, was constructed between 1895 to 1901 - making Selangor Railway System then, one of the busiest in Malaya.