Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia

    Here’s a fun fact: This building was opened by the British Resident of Perak, Mr R W Thomson, in 1928.

    That would be H. W. Thomson.

    And the “fun fact” is that the “W” stands for “Wagstaffe.”

    This building was also the 3rd Ipoh Court House (read about the others here).

    On this subject there is some confusion in the database. Let me know if you want clarification.

    • NCK says:

      This is a free world. If you want to babble, no one can stop you. But you should know that your bases, if there is any, or rather your interpretation therefrom, may not be entirely correct. So please be reminded to substantiate your points and allow them to scrutiny.

  2. SY says:

    I don’t remember when its name was changed into the Ipoh High Court. I know it was called Ipoh Supreme Court. Maybe it was before I started practising in 1969. I remember then that it was not air-conditioned. Air condition came much later. However, the ceiling was high and with the fans, it was not that warm. There are actually two High Courts in the building. The front (facing the road) is a smaller one in area. There is another one at the back. The registry was downstairs where the court staff were.

    I remember, that while we were having a murder case and the clothing of the deceased were exhibited, the pungent smell was enough for the Judge to order that all the doors and windows be opened. The two judges in the two courts (both being Ipoh High Court) alternated between hearing civil and criminal cases every month. It may be of interest to all that at the stair case there is a roll of judges who have sat in Ipoh. Those days, to be a judge sitting in Ipoh means that you will have a good chance of being promoted to the Supreme Court. Ipoh was then next to Kuala Lumpur in importance. Now we seemed to have been overtaken by Penang, Selangor (Shah Alam), Johore.

    There was an old building (unfortunately I do not have a photo) of the Magistrate’s Court in where the Post Office now is. It was an old brick building with wooden walls. No air-cond. In between cases, we gather under the trees where some Magistrates even meet up with us for a chat.

  3. NCK says:

    Wikipedia has the list of all the British Residents who had presided over Perak, and Henry Wagstaffe Thomson appears in the list as the 17th Resident. Googling the name returned a few websites that match.

    The one of Winchester College, UK, gives a brief biography of the man including his tenure in Perak. The National Archives of the UK has the name as the British Resident of Perak in the Colonial Office Honours List.

    So this name seems to be correct. Accordingly, R W Thomson seems to be an error first made by someone who mistook H for R, and the error went on to appear in a few Malaysian websites.

    FamilySearch, another website that came along with the search, says that the man was born in Bombay, India. There are some other websites. Just google the name if you are interested to read.

  4. sk says:

    I only knew this as Ipoh High Court. When did it become a Supreme Court ?
    I have a Indian neighbour who stayed in New Pasir Puteh in 60′s who worked there at the High Court. His name is Nathan. His brother’s name is Wuchi & sister, Mary.
    If anyone knows them, please do let me know. They are catholics.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear sk, it was a “Supreme Court” before it was a “High Court” — which may seem strange, but the trick is that its jurisdiction varied over time.

  5. sk says:

    Thanks Ipoh Remembered – Mind boggling.
    I was looking at Malaysia Court Hierarchy – magistrate court, sessions court, High Court, Court of Appeal, Federal Court.
    Supreme courts comes into play in India, USA, UK.
    Nowadays I seldom heard of Privy Council as in early 7o’s, Malaysian cases can still be heard in Privy Council but has since been abolished.
    Am I missing something here ?

  6. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear sk

    The court in Ipoh has been the home of many good people.

    In 1916, for example, S. Seenivasagam was appointed Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court. (Neither of his sons had yet been born, though the older one was quite obviously on his way.) By 1925, he had risen as high as Acting Registrar — before he decided to become a lawyer in his own right; an ambition he achieved in great style.

    Another well-known Deputy Registar in Ipoh, appointed in 1993, was Anthony Kevin Morais — and as for what became of him, well, as you said, some things are mind-boggling.

    Am I missing something here ?

    Pardon my impertinence in saying so but I doubt you miss much.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear sk … Thanks for the heads-up but the “S. Seenivasagam” I mentioned was the father of S. P. and D. R. As a court official he was prominent in Ipoh legal circles even before his sons were born.

  7. sk says:

    OIC – Ipoh Remembered – Didnt find any Wiki on the father S.Seenivasagam. 1st time hearing it. You are a walking encyclopaedia Where did you get all this info ?

  8. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear sk … There is some information about S. Seenivasagam in the ipohWorld database, including a photograph (item 1962) and some documents from his law firm (items 167, 5094, and 5536). The photograph was taken in 1928 at the opening of the court building shown above.

    By 1928, Seenivasagam was already a practicing lawyer, having opened his office in Ipoh in 1926. Before that, for nearly twenty years he was a court official in Ipoh (and briefly in Seremban). In those early days, he was usually the only non-Britisher on any list of Malayan court officials; and as of 1926 he was one of only two people who had qualified locally to be a lawyer (without having to qualify first in the UK).

    He served on the FMS Bar Committee with Joseph Dunford-Wood, Harry Jones, and Errol David Shearn; sparred and socialized with Herbert Rix, Radhakrishna Ramani, Ashworth Hope, Leong Yew Koh, and Subbiah Veerasamy; was friends with Jack Jennings, the Cecil Raes and the Khong family; and many of his Ipoh clients would likely be familiar to you as well, including William Rogers, Leong Sin Nam, the Times of Malaya Press, the estate of Lam Looking, and a poor unfortunate coolie who tried to force architect Berthel Iversen to pay him his wages because his own employer hadn’t.

    He served on the Perak State Council; and on the Kinta Sanitary Board with Major Cockman, Raja Hussein, Chong Tak Nam, and Claude Henry La Brooy; and was an inveterate philatelist. His wife, Puranam, was, in addition to being a mother, active on the governing board of the Hospital, and, along with Mrs. Cecil Rae, helped to revive the Ipoh Girl Guides Association.

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