Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

Here’s a rare picture of the former Post Office (behind the Ipoh Town Hall). Notice the stalls beneath the shady tree – and the crowd of patrons too!

We thank Ruth Rollitt for this gem :)

Charlie reminds us (#13 below) about Savings Stamps and immediately Hasbi sent us these scans. Thank you both so much.

I never cease to be amazed and fascinated by how well our readers support us. We are so glad to have you all with us. Thank you.

  1. rosebud says:

    This photo could be from the early 60s. Those stalls with desks under waxed paper type umbrellas pictured on the right do not sell anything. They belonged to petition writers. They helped those uneducated folks like that crowd of patrons to fill up forms,write letters to Govt depts etc for a fee. The entire place was ringed by many petition writers working under very shady big trees & on the extreme right of the photo, behind the petition writers were many Indian Muslim stalls that served imho the best nasi kandar, rojak & mee goreng in God’s green Earth. Among them were a few Chinese drink stall holders. I remembered as a child in the mid 60s, I used to buy packet nasi lemak wrapped in green banana leaves for only 20 cents (not sen) a packet displayed on top of the Chinese drink sellers tables. It was very basic stuff containing rice, anchovies with sambal & a pc of cucumber. The fragance & taste were so good that I still salivate describing it now.

  2. AARON ONG says:

    Rosebud is right. Long before the advent of computers and word processors, petition writers make a brisk business catering to the not so well educated. They wield portable typewriters as their main tools. The noise of probably dozens of typewriters in action simultaneously must have been considerable.

    For a few ringgit (& dollars before ringgit), the petition writers fill up forms and advise customers on official and legal matters. Rarely do the fees reach tens of ringgit, unless documentation were very very complicated. A typical form requiring the signature of a Commissioners for Oaths would cost probably a ringgit or two.

    The petition writers were generally retired civil servants or ex-employees of legal firms. Their knowledge in matters official and legal were invaluable to the general populace.

  3. Brewster63 says:

    Looking at the photo one would realize how Clean was Ipoh then in the 50/early 60s . Even with the amount of people traffic around the post office and other government offices the area is kept clean. Streets were swept every morning. Since the Pendatangs were taken over by the current powers that be managing Ipoh it was only one way ….South in term of cleaniness . The post office building itself looked well maintained. I miss the mamak nasi kandar stores within this quadrangle. The food was good and cheap. It was a treat for me as a child to visit my fathers office in the vicinity and have lunch with him here. Why can’t the current government keep up the Clean image of Ipoh? How did we loose the maintenance mentality?

  4. ika says:

    I think that when looking at the problems of Ipoh, we should be fair to all in our criticism. It seems to me that the people are just as much to blame as the authgorities for it is the people who throw the rubbish and then the authorities fail to clear it.

    Last year the Datuk Bandar made it clear that he was winning the battle of rubbish as he only had 600 illegal dumps left. Yes 600! Now surely those who left the garbage there in the first place should take some blame.

    Then there is the deteriorating buildings. Most are in private hands and for many reasons (some historical) the owners don’t wish to maintain them, but prefer to let them rot. However, as I understand it, there are laws that allow the Council to force owners to paint their buildings and maintain them in a safe state, but these powers are rarely used.

    So it seems to me that the people here are just as much at fault as the government. Of course this is a sweeping statement that will draw the ire of many people who do have civic pride, but I fear they are the minority.

    When you read this please do not respond as others have – by telling me to get out if I don’t like it here. That won’t solve the problem will it?

  5. NCK says:

    Well said, Ian. Our civic-mindedness needs much to be improved. Our selfishness and irresponsibility need to be kept in check. (“Our” means Malaysians in general, not just Ipoh people.)

  6. Brewster63 says:

    Ika,you are Right, the people are as much to blame. But are the authorities spending enough money from the assessment rates and other revenue to keep Ipof clean? Currently the authorities are not accountable to the Ipohites, they are appointed by the Perak State Govt. previously our Local govt councillors were Elected by the citizens of Ipoh ,thus they were held Accountable . Now they won’t care they have their own agenda. Durning those good old days when the Seenivasagam brothers were elected as councillors they really looked after Ipoh not their own pockets and their own agenda. Really it takes 2 hands to clap. The Electorate and those Elected have to play their Respective Roles. Here there is one hand missing. The Appointed do as they please as they are not held Accountable. This has contributed to the Messy state of affair in most local govt.

  7. AHLAI says:

    Yes, there are many Ipohites who are not civic-minded. Garbage are discarded indiscriminately by locals as well as foreign workers. The council can only do so much. If people continue to have this bad habit of throwing rubbish into drains, roads, bushes on a daily basis, how much can the council do.

  8. NCK says:

    We should be fair to all, including the council. Firstly, the residents should be civic-minded. Secondly, the council is duty-bound to maintain effective solid waste management. Given that not all people are angels, when illegal dumpings are witnessed, it will be helpful if the residents are pro-active by reporting to the council of such cases with useful information, such as vehicle numbers, so that the culprits may be nabbed. The worst-case scenario is the city turning into police-state style of governance that government officers prowl the streets to catch anybody littering anything, even a piece of paper.

  9. Charlie says:

    I do not think this photo is from the 60s or even 50s, as there were already quite a lot of cars on Ipoh Streets then. I would guess that this looks more like the twenties or thirties!

  10. Lam Lai Meng says:

    Yes, a big proportion of Malaysians think that just because they pay assessment rates, it’s City Hall’s duty to pick up the mess. They have the attitude that it’s ok to dispose rubbish anywhere outside their compound and leave it to city Hall to do the dirty job.

    It does not help either that department stores insist on putting our purchases in more than one plastic bag. Also, in order to close a sale (and therefore get commission), sales personnel are prepared to dish out plastic bags although the customer is supposed to pay a token for them on ‘no plastic bags’ days. So we end up with more plastic bags than we can recycle! The public is encouraged to use recyclable cloth bags when shopping. But have people realised that MANY plastic bags go inside only ONE cloth bag? In effect, this reduction in plastic bags is minimal, unless we also start bringing used plastic bags together with the cloth bags.

  11. Allan says:

    Towards the right of the pic (not in the photo) towards the clock tower were some excellent nasi kandar stalls in the late 50s/60s

  12. Charlie says:

    In front of all the windows (counters) of the Post Office were railings constructed of 2 inch pipes, as a control for queing customers. I remember them to be also useful for climbing on, as the counters were well above my height, when I was in primary school! I used to visit the Post Office about once a month, to update my PO Savings Book, with the stamps I had collected or earned as a Cub doing chores around the house.

  13. Ruth Iversen Rollitt says:

    Looking at the stamps – does anyone collect them still? I have a fairly good collection – going back to the 40s. Is anyone interested in them?

  14. Brewster63 says:

    In 1953 when I was in Primary 1 at ACS Primary, the Post Office van came to the School and we children were encouraged by the teachers to open a saving account with the Post Office. This was to teach us how to save. Now the govt is teaching people how to Spend their future earnings (if any) . Ha ha what a change? For those of us who didn’t have a dollar we can buy those stamps .when the card was filled then the full amount on the card was credited in our saving account . That was thrift that was taught, to save for a rainy day.Fast forward so many spend their future income today,some and even the govt spend the children’s future income.

  15. val says:

    I will not forget the food served by the Indian Muslims at the old post office under those magnificent trees. Absolutely yummy!!

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