Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    I think this camera was used mostly for passport and other identification photos. On each sheet it could record up to four shots (1 per lens), and I think it could actually create re-useable negatives.

    —-

    Unrelated question for the ipohWorld crew …

    In item 2267 of the database, one finds:

    These regulations were issued by the Foo See Hotel on the 20.7.1911. The premises became the Rex Hotel in 1952. […] This notice is also written in Chinese chaacters and was printed by Kuang Ming Press, Panglima Street, Ipoh. The notice was framed and hung in the lobby of the Rex Hotel, (formerly known as the Foo See Hotel) Ipoh, off Hugh Low Street from 1911 until the hotel closed in 2008, having been covered up by the new set of regulations issued in 1952.

    Can you say why you think the notice was printed in 1911?

    I ask because the printer you mention — Kuang Ming — was not around in 1911: the Chan family started that business in the mid-1920s.

    (The shop-house was on Panglima Street near Belfield Street, and not too far from Han Chin Pet Soo, as a matter of fact.)

    • IKA says:

      Yes Ipoh Remembered, you are 100% correct about the Polaroid Camera, it was for identity photographs and was given to us by Chan Sam Lock just before they finally closed their doors on the wedding and printing business on 31 August this year. All that is now left of what was once the most popular printers and photographers in Ipoh is the old shop on the other side of the road named SL . I am told that they will continue a printing business from there.

      Regarding your question about the Foo See document, we were given the date of 1911 by a local “expert” as being the equivalent of 2602. However in response to your question I have just spent the whole of Sunday morning trying to track down the conversion. There are so many calendars (KMT, Huang Di, traditional Taiwan, Julian and Gregorian and more) that this is not easy and I cannot find a direct conversion. Consequently I have managed to establish that 2602 was ta Black Water Horse year in the Chinese Zodiac and that the horse years were 1914 and 1926 in the Gregorian Calendar. Consequently, if Kuang Ming Press (Ipoh) were founded in mid 1920′s then the document is probably 1926.

      To me as a Scotsman, dabbling in things I do not have experience of I may have got this wrong and would welcome a review of what year 2602 was in Ipoh from some knowledgeable person like yourself.

      Thanks for posting and I look forward to your replt.

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika

    in response to your question I have just spent the whole of Sunday morning trying to track down the conversion.

    Thank you for taking the trouble.

    Consequently I have managed to establish that 2602 was ta Black Water Horse year in the Chinese Zodiac and that the horse years were 1914 and 1926 in the Gregorian Calendar. Consequently, if Kuang Ming Press (Ipoh) were founded in mid 1920′s then the document is probably 1926.

    Yes, and for what it’s worth, I’m certain that Kuang Ming was founded in 1924 — in a shop-house at 11 Panglima Street. (The building is still there, I imagine, but I don’t know what it houses today.)

    After the owner, Chan Yew Wong, died in the mid ’30s, his wife and then his sons, took over. The boys attended ACS Ipoh and did well.

    One of them, born the year their father founded Kuang Ming, became involved in sports and eventually, in the early ’50s, succeeded Tan Cheng Phor as president of the Perak Badminton Association; led the Malayan Chinese Football Association with Koe Ewe Teik[*1]; served in the Perak Football Association with the Datoh Panglima Bukit Gantang, Henry Jansz, and Kok Yoon Sang[*2]; helped re-open the Kinta Swimming Club in 1956[*3]; led the movement to build Ipoh’s stadium; owned a string of race-horses; was active in the Paloh Club; was for years president of the Chinese Amateur Dramatic Association; and with all that he still managed to die young (at 44). His brother died a year afterwards.

    Some years later, Yew Wong’s grand-daughter was involved in a car crash; and his grand-son was in the car, too, along with towkay Foong Seong’s son. All three were still in their teens. She died, they survived. The driver was charged and convicted.

    NOTES

    #1: Many remember, I’m sure, the World Cup final in 1966 when England beat West Germany. As you may know, Koe Ewe Teik was a FIFA official at the time, and it was he who appointed the Soviet lines-man who argued successfully that Geoff Hurst’s second goal was legitimate. (A terrible digression, this, but I couldn’t resist.)

    #2: The latter two were were neighbours on Station Road, Yoon Sang at Federal Rubber Stamp and Jansz at Grenier’s.

    #3: About the Kinta Swimming Club I will comment elsewhere.

  3. NCK says:

    Sorry to intrude. I have no interest in the babbling about Kuang Ming Press and whatsoever, but I fail to see any link between the figure 2206 and year 1911, 1924, or 1926 according to the calendars mentioned. Both KMT and Taiwan calendars are ROC calendar (Gregorian year minus 1911). Huangdi calendar came to pass during the dying moment of Qing Dynasty, purportedly out of Chinese nationalism at that time, and was discarded by ROC. A year in this calendar is obtained by adding 2697 to the Gregorian year – so 2206 would be 91 B.C.. Neither does Julian calendar add up to those years, whether or not we refer it to the original Roman years. There are water horse years according to Chinese zodiac but no black water horse year, and the water horse years about that time were 1942 and 1882 (recurring every 60 years).

    • NCK says:

      My bad for the bad maths. The first year of Huangdi calendar was Gregorian year 2697 B.C.. So the year 2206 of this calendar should be Gregorian 491 B.C.. I just realised IKA actually said 2602, which is Gregorian year 95 B.C., instead of 2206. But 2602 still doesn’t convert to year 1911, 1924, or 1926 by any of the calendars mentioned.

  4. IKA says:

    Thank you NCK and please understand that putting your views on this blog can never be seen as intruding. We welcome all inputs.

    Clearly you are far more expert than me with regard to Calendars and I shall be delighted if ignoring mt earlier post, you could give me a simple conversion of 20.7.2602 too the Gregorian Calendar. I was using the Hing Kong site on Chinese Calendars and the Zodiac which I had hoped would not lead me astray.

    I look forward to your reply.

    • NCK says:

      Dear IKA, if I could figure out what year 2602 means, I would have done so. Best you ask the person who told you it was 1911 how he worked this out. I’m certainly not an expert in calendars, for I found everything by googling. Chinese zodiac is common sense to all Chinese. Most Chinese including me know the 12 zodiac signs and the five elements but not the entire zodiac system.

      • ika says:

        Hi NCK, I am disappointed that you could not help, but I have been over the whole thing again and discovered that my thesis which gave me 1926 is wrong , but so far I have not got any further. Should I strike gold I will let you all know. I do not give up easily!

        Maybe someone out there can help?

  5. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika … In the pertinent database entry, it is said that the document in question is dated “20.7.2602.” Is there a scanned version in which this date is clearly visible?

  6. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Thank you, felicia. If that is the case, then I have a thought for you and Christopher and ika to consider: namely, that the “2602″ is not a Chinese date at all.

    During the Japanese Occupation, Malayans were forced to use the Kōki calendar. In this system, with a zero in the reign of the legendary Emperor Jimmu, the year 2601 corresponds to Anno Domini 1941 (and so on); in which case your “2602″ refers to 1942. In that year, Kuang Ming Press was eighteen years old. It was still operating at 11 Panglima Street. (Much later, the owners opened a second shop on Leech Street, where they sold records.)

    I think this Japanese explanation is quite probable — especially because it seems to me unlikely that the “2602″ can be made to fit any known Chinese system.

    • NCK says:

      You seem to have a romantic notion about Japanese occupation, as if it was lives as usual during the period. However, how would a printing shop have any business when the population sustained on piddling amounts of tapioca, and when someone ventured out to town might not be coming home? Why would Japanese allow a shop that could print anti-Japanese materials to operate? Besides, Japanese at that time used Showa calendar, in line with the reign of their Showa Emperor.

    • NCK says:

      You are talking about a piece of notice belonging to a hotel. Do you think a hotel could survive that time, and that the people were free to travel about and had the money for hotel stay?

  7. IKA says:

    Yes Ipoh Remembered, I did wonder about that myself as we have come across Japanese WW2 dates many times in the pursuit of information and perhaps we were misled by the “expert”. Unfortunately, the girl that wrote this item moved on several tears ago and so we are unable to get back to her and so we must reconsider the whole entry. In the meantime do you happen to know when the Foo See was founded?

    I do hope so!

  8. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear NCK … It’s a very simple matter. I suggest you do a search in the ipohWorld database for each of the following items: 2602, 2603, and 2604.

    Please let me know what you find. Thanks.

      • NCK says:

        If you haven’t got it, I mean the numbers 2602, 2603 and 2604 that, according to you apparently, are some numbers associated with some items which I guess are some articles in the database. Perhaps you have better imagination to be able to see the numbers in the database.

        • NCK says:

          Would appreciate your advice how to find “the following items: 2602, 2603, and 2604″ in your database. These are not years. Look like some kind of serial numbers.

  9. IKA says:

    Dear NCK, I think you misunderstand the hotel history of Ipoh if you think people did not travel in the old days. Apart from the Government Rest House (1886), and the well-known hotels like FMS (1906) the Grand Hotel (1909) and Station Hotel (1917), Ipoh had many Rumah Tumpangan in Old Town mostly centred on Hale Street which became known as Hotel Street.

    There is still a hotel sign above the door of 24 Hale Street, The Kam Kong Hotel, (you may see the 1988 licence plate at http://db.ipohworld.org/view.php?type=id&id=6481#search_form_wrapper) but many of them were demolished when Maybank was built.

    There was another one at 18 Hale Street but I cannot locate the photograph today.

    Some of these local hotels were very innovative to attract their customers and it is recorded that in 1898 one Ceylonese-owned hostelry actually had Japanese barmaids.

    No doubt someone out there cam tell us more.

  10. IKA says:

    Hi NCK, first of all I do not understand why you cannot find the Japanese dates on the database. Just enter 2604 in the search box and you will get a wealth of information about Ipoh/Perak in 1944.

    Regarding hotels and life in Ipoh in 1942, for many, particularly the Malays and to some extent the Indians, life went on much as normal. It was the Chinese that suffered the most with Sook Ching and other purges. Yes hotels did continue, as did Jubilee Park, Story tellers Street, the Market, Train Services etc. People still traveled for business but one had to carry the correct documents. If you read the book “Singha” you will find that he traveled regularly on his anti-Japanese activities.

    There is not time nor space to write the history of Japanese Occupation here but in 2602 (1942) there is no doubt several Ipoh hotels were still in operation.

    • NCK says:

      Hi IKA, our friend said ‘items: 2602, 2603, and 2604′. I’m sure those were not years that he/she meant. I suppose it is true that Malays and to some extent Indians were harassed by Japanese less than Chinese were, but with diminutive food and grocery supplies, lives couldn’t be the same regardless of race. Of course I didn’t live in that period, if you say some hotels survived, miserably I suppose, at that time, so be it. It is kind of new to hear that Japanese used their imperial year system (or koki) in their daily business during WWII. In fact, they used their Showa calendar (Gregorian year minus 1925) in their important documents, such as the declaration of war to both the US and the British Empire dated 8/12/1941 (the 16th year of Showa).

  11. Ipoh Remembered says:

    You seem to have a romantic notion about Japanese occupation, as if it was lives as usual during the period. However, how would a printing shop have any business when the population sustained on piddling amounts of tapioca, and when someone ventured out to town might not be coming home? Why would Japanese allow a shop that could print anti-Japanese materials to operate? Besides, Japanese at that time used Showa calendar, in line with the reign of their Showa Emperor.

    Dear NCK, from the above, it seems you doubt the following propositions about the Japanese Occupation of Malaya: (1) 1942 was called 2602; (2) in the year 2602, people tried to go about their daily business; (3) in the year 2602, even Chinese people in Ipoh went about their daily business; (4) in the year 2602, even a populace subsisting on tapioca still found the means to order things from printing shops; and therefore (5) in the year 2602, even Chinese printers in Ipoh could go about their daily business.

    Here is an order sent through the postal system in 2602 that supports all the above propositions. It’s an order sent to Peter Chong & Co., a printing shop in Ipoh (on Belfield Street). As you may know, Peter Chong & Co. was a Chinese firm. It was in Ipoh before the war; it remained in business through the Occupation; it survived; and it continued operating in Ipoh into the late sixties and beyond. What do you make of that?

    • NCK says:

      That’s long-winded but lacking in substance as typical of you. I have to regard unjustified statements as babbling. What does an image of a post card, on a German website, with the name Peter Chong & Co., Ipoh prove, if you’d elaborate?

  12. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear NCK … You wrote this:

    Would appreciate your advice how to find “the following items: 2602, 2603, and 2604″ in your database. These are not years. Look like some kind of serial numbers.

    By insisting that those numbers are not years, despite ika and me having explained otherwise, you’re begging the question. It’s a sure way to miss the point — perhaps the best way there is.

    As for advice about how to find those numbers in the database, here’s what ika wrote to you ten hours before you asked:

    Hi NCK, first of all I do not understand why you cannot find the Japanese dates on the database. Just enter 2604 in the search box and you will get a wealth of information about Ipoh/Perak in 1944.

    These instructions are as clear as can be. Follow them.

    • NCK says:

      Here is what you said: “I suggest you do a search in the ipohWorld database for each of the following items: 2602, 2603, and 2604.”

      I hope you realise that your sentence, if it is interpreted by the normal ways of English, doesn’t suggest the numbers are meant to be years. Perhaps you wrote in your own pidgin English?

    • NCK says:

      Just to be clear, you didn’t explain anything, as usual. IKA were just talking about the year 2604 – apparently he thought it was years you were talking about, while you kept mum, and I had to correct him.

  13. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear NCK … You do realize you began this conversation with your remark that you failed “to see any link between the figure [2602] and year 1911, 1924, or 1926 according to the calendars mentioned,” right?

    And you do remember that ika and I both observed that the (Japanese imperial) year 2602 corresponded to Anno Domini 1942, right?

    So when you saw the short list of things I suggested you do a search for in the database, namely “2602, 2603, and 2604,” are you saying now that you did not immediately recognize in that list the year 2602 that we were all talking about?

    In any event, if you missed the connection before, you plainly see it now, so I suggest once again that you look for those numbers in the database — unless, of course, you simply don’t want to.

    • NCK says:

      2602 being a koki year is your guesswork, on which I have no comment without seeing a clear copy of the notice. You might have presumed your comment on 16 September 2017, at 2:41 pm, in which you listed the three numbers, was understood by everyone. I queried two times in reply to that particular comment – I got a flippant remark from you for the first time, and IKA replied on your behalf for the second time. I hope you will learn that, when someone queries you, the person is ready to hear your argument. In my case, I wanted to read the articles implied by you with the three ‘item numbers’. As you never bother to prove your statements, a flippant response to a query will not further encourage others to take you seriously.

  14. IKA says:

    I think that I have reached the end of this discussion and will change the database entry to 1942 with appropriate text.

    It has been an interesting canter around different calendars but I am now convinced.

  15. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika

    Dear NCK, I think you misunderstand the hotel history of Ipoh if you think people did not travel in the old days. Apart from the Government Rest House (1886), and the well-known hotels like FMS (1906) the Grand Hotel (1909) and Station Hotel (1917), Ipoh had many Rumah Tumpangan in Old Town mostly centred on Hale Street which became known as Hotel Street.

    Below I offer a few general comments about the Occupation years and then some specific comments about the Rest House and the Grand Hotel. If you think further discussion is warranted and belongs in a separate thread, feel free to shift; else feel free to ignore.

    —-

    I think NCK is probably aware that Malayans have been traveling for decades but is for some reason skeptical that hotels could have operated during the Japanese Occupation. I suppose some might even imagine that, in those years, all of Ipoh was a Nazi-style death camp — which, thank goodness, it was not. As you said, “hotels did continue, as did Jubilee Park, Story tellers Street, the Market, Train Services etc.,” and “People still traveled for business.”

    To be sure, many local Japanese officials were ruthless and brutal, especially when opposed; and no doubt the Sook Ching in Singapore was a terrible atrocity; but, as the entire point of the Japanese imperialist project — the so-called “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” — was, as with all imperialist projects, to enrich the home country, the policy of the Occupation was not only to allow but actually to encourage commerce. British-owned industry – “enemy property” — was dismantled but other businesses, including many Chinese-owned ones, carried on. (For example, I mentioned an order sent by mail in 2602 (1942) to Peter Chong’s printing shop in Ipoh; NCK claims above to have missed its import but perhaps will understand it now.) In fact, some Malayan businessmen, including Chinese ones, became wealthy during those years. (Kwek Hong Png, the founder of Hong Leong, is an obvious example.)

    So much for my general comments.

    —-

    The Ipoh Rest House that you mention (1886) preceded the railways and so, of course, it included stables. Only three travelers could be accommodated — as long as none of them was a woman, of course. When the railway came to Ipoh, the Rest House was renovated (circa 1894) — but, of course, still no provision was made for women. Some years later, around the turn of the century, when fewer people traveled on horse-back, the stables were converted into additional guest-rooms — but, again, not ideal for women! Frankly, few women I’ve ever known would have stayed there, anyway, because the place was habitually filthy. In 1912 (yes, 1912, not 1915!), the whole mess was torn down to make way for the construction of the new railway station and its hotel — with a promise from the Railways that a new rest house would be built to replace it. Which leads to a question: does ipohWorld have any information about a subsequent rest house? (A small one was eventually built on Sungei Pari Road.)

    As for the Station Hotel (1917), I assume ipohWorld is aware that Ipoh’s first “Station Hotel” was on Station Road and had nothing to do with the FMS Railways. The woman who owned it  — her name escapes me just at the moment — left Ipoh after selling the building to Messrs. Whiteaway & Laidlaw.

    About the Grand Hotel (1909): It went out of business in 1939, of course, but is ipohWorld aware that it was soon renovated and run as a hotel by the Japanese? It was known as the Heitan Ryokan Ipoh Hotel, or, simply, the Ipoh Hotel. The (Japanese) Governor of Perak officiated at the opening ceremony in late 1942; also present were the Sultan and a visiting Japanese parliamentarian. Over the course of its three-year run, Chinese, specifically, were hired as receptionists and waitresses, as you might infer from this advertisement:

    WANTED

    Waitresses and girls for office work between the ages of 15 and 20 of Chinese nationality only. Must have slight knowledge of Nippon-go. Wages will be decided on interview. Apply personally during office hours at The Heitan Ryokan Ipoh Hotel, Silibin Road, Ipoh.

    The advertisement ran on the back page of the Perak Shimbun (for example, on May 26, 2605).

    —-

    Miscellania:

    About the FMS Hotel I do have questions re certain entries in the database, but I will raise them elsewhere.

    The rest house I mentioned on Sungei Pari Road was not far from the Japanese Cemetery, which is still there today. Does ipohWorld possess any information about this cemetery? (I can write a few lines if needed.)

    Similarly, I wonder if ipohWorld possesses any information about the Sinhalese Bar, located not far from Han Chin Pet Soo. If not, perhaps the owner can be interviewed before it is too late.

    • NCK says:

      I thought Japanese rule kept people slim, if one really had to find good in it and ignore all the bad. You obviously have a very different perspective, in a good way, about Japanese rule. Please feel free to tell more about what you imagine a utopia of Japanese rule was.

  16. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Yes Ipoh Remembered, you are 100% correct about the Polaroid Camera, it was for identity photographs and was given to us by Chan Sam Lock just before they finally closed their doors on the wedding and printing business on 31 August this year. All that is now left of what was once the most popular printers and photographers in Ipoh is the old shop on the other side of the road named SL . I am told that they will continue a printing business from there.

    I meant to ask about this but forgot.

    What happened to Chan Sam Lock’s bridal-wear business? I imagine Ipoh people, including women, are still getting married, and not in the nude, either.

    Or am I incorrect to think there ever was a bridal-ware part of the business?

    Also, I’m not sure if there’s a note to this effect somewhere in the database but … just in case … that entire block on Brewster Road was built in 1952 by Ong Ee Lim, the movie-theatre and car magnate (he ran the Ruby in Ipoh, for example, as well as theatres in other towns).

    • ika says:

      Ipoh has an over supply of wedding shops and although weddings still carry on, supply greatly exceeds demand. A fiend of mine who, last year, had 5 shops has downsized to 3. Add to that the specialist Malay shop in the old fire station (with its own banquet area behind) which takes away the Malays and everything becomes very competitive. CSL shop was a huge area and no doubt very costly to run.

      They have withdrawn to their old premises across the road (SL) and I understand will continue the printing business there.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Dear ika … Thanks for the explanation.

        An “over-supply of wedding shops” reminds me of what someone said about (second) marriages: that they are the triumph of hope over experience.

  17. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear ika … You asked:

    In the meantime do you happen to know when the Foo See was founded?

    No, I don’t, but there was an earlier hotel in that same location (on the river end of Kenion Street, facing Hugh Low Street). That hotel was quite nice and popular with the upper-middle classes, including Europeans, but I think the owner sold the business shortly before (or very early in) the Occupation. (In other words, the 1942 rules printed for Foo See might well have been their inaugural rules, shaped, of course, by Japanese requirements.)

    The Rex Hotel, which replaced the Foo See in the early ’50s, was crime-ridden and, frankly, little more than a brothel.

    The building is still there, as far as I know, a ghost of its former selves.

    • ika says:

      Yes the old hotel building is still there but to the best of my knowledge remains empty. That is a sad pat of Ipoh these fays with cranes and lorries parked adjacent to the river and a ramshackle wooden shelter almost at the top of Market Street. O do not understand how the Council can allow this in the city.

      You may be right about the Foo See and 1842 because the regulations were found under those of the Rex and were obviously the first one in the frame.

      I wonder if we will ever find out the name of the original hotel om the site.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        Dear ika … As I recall, those lorries have been parking there for decades. When the Rex Hotel was operating, the drivers were there for the reason I gave above. Why they park there today I do not know, but perhaps it’s for a similar reason.

        As for actions not taken by the Town Council, or City Council, or whatever it is called these days — well, on the one hand, perhaps there are only so many battles they can fight; but on the other hand, I did see a study recently in which Ipoh was relegated to the ranks of Malaysian cities with a “low quality of life.” It made me sad.

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