Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. Ngai C O says:

    Hi,

    I think I do and if indeed this was the building. It was at one time used for NRIC (National Registration of Identity Card at 12 years old), Citizenship Registration and Pass Port Application.

    I remember getting my ID Card at this building. I also lost my citizenship despite being born in Malaya when Article 30 of the Constitution was declared void.

    I had to reapply by sitting a simple Bahasa Malaysia oral test.

    However, many older red ID card holders are the result of this action. Either they did not sit for the test or failed.

    Thousand of Indians were affected and had to return to India, despite toiling for the country for umpteen years.

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia

    My usual first question: Is there a date associated with the photograph? (Thanks.)

    We believe that this was the Ipoh Federal Building on Club Road

    Yes, and it’s still there, and it’s still the Federal Building — but it was always on Douglas Road, not on Club Road.

    It was built in the early ’60s — 1962, I believe.

    Later in the ’60s, there was an earthquake in the region and tremors were felt as far apart as Penang and KL. In Ipoh a number of tall buildings were affected, including this one. There was no permanent damage but people at work were frightened when the walls around them started to sway.

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered,

      It was a new building when I went there at 12 to obtain my Identity Card. Most likely completed in 1958,1959.

      The picture could have been taken anytime after that.

      Notice the ground floor was about five to six feet below the grass verge. I was quite fascinated by the layout.

      The building was very modernist with lots of steel, panels and glass as partitions and walls both on the exterior and interior. Hence the amplified rattling from the earth tremor that you described.

      As far as I can recall, this was the one and only type of design that I have encountered in Ipoh.

      I have seen a very similar design structure in the UK but it never caught on partly because it was useless at heat retention in winter.

      It was cheap and fast to bolt together.

      As for the use of the dept, it moved many times over the years. From there, it moved to somewhere near Ruby Theatre, then City Hall in Greentown, somewhere in Kampong Tawas and now at the Urban Transformation Centre in the old Super Kinta. I have been to all these five places.

      • felicia says:

        Hello Ngai. Yes, I agree with you…a very modern design back in the day.
        I wonder if there were other similar designed buildings around the town. Or perhaps, this was just a unique creation from one of our local architects?

        • Ngai C O says:

          Hi felicia,

          I have not come across another such design in Ipoh.

          Much of the fabric apart from the steel and concrete structures was prefabricated in a factory. It was definitely a very modernistic approach that did not catch on. It was functional but lacked any character of the past.

          It might have been commissioned by a local architect but the concept was most likely copied from overseas because no local elements of design were visible.

          In actual fact, most buildings in Ipoh owed their characteristics from external influences like he French inspired art deco, Roman moorish, Chinese temples from China etc.

          Even the dying local on stilts has louvered windows that were inspired by the French or the Moors.

    • IKA says:

      Ipoh Remembered, Nigel Jennings gave us the photo and said:

      Cedric Jennings, the son of Jack and Freda Jennings, who was born in Ipoh and returned there in 1961-62 to write and publish Ipoh : “Ipoh, The Town That Tin Built”.

      Thus we dated it 1961, but it could have been 1962.

  3. S.Y. says:

    I also remember going for my I.C. there. Passports were also applied for there before moving to the building in Brewster Road. Then passports have to be applied for in the building somewhere in the Meru area. Now we just have to go to the UTC. I wonder what they are doing to Immigration complex cum NRIC offices in Meru. Same with the Registry of Titles. While some of the transactions can be at the Pejabat Tanah (PTG) in Douglas Road, for certain things we have to go to Manjoi. Why cant’t we centralise everything in the Federal Building in Greentown? Same goes for the Bandaraya Ipoh. There is a building in Jalan Dato Maharajalela where you can pay your assessment, get your dog licence, apply for advertising permit, etc. There is another building in Greentown. I went to the DBI building in Jalan Dato Maharajalela the other day to pay my assessment. They do not accept credit cards (the year before they accepted). They told me to go to the UTC where credit card payments were accepted.

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi S. Y. and Ipoh Remembered,

      The frequent moves of this dept. were like a merry go round. When it moved to City Hall, I thought it was the final move. When I learnt that it had moved to Meru, I could not believe it and hoped it was the last move. How wrong was I.

      As regards the building, Ipoh Remembered, if you look closely, there were curtains hanging halfway down the tinted glass panels. I would presume either laminated or reinforced shatterproof glass was used.

      The colour scheme was black and white at the time. Pink only gained prominence in later years during the flower girl era.

      I personally had experienced many tremors through earth quake activity in the Sumatra Region over the years. One could feel a sudden shake and the building could vibrate for a split second. But I have not heard of any damage to built up structures.

  4. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O:

    Notice the ground floor was about five to six feet below the grass verge. I was quite fascinated by the layout. The building was very modernist with lots of steel, panels and glass as partitions and walls both on the exterior and interior. As far as I can recall, this was the one and only type of design that I have encountered in Ipoh.

    Thanks for this note. It brings back memories.

    I agree that the design was interesting. Apart from the elements you mention, I remember also that the exterior was unusually colourful. Did the scheme involve a certain amount of pink, maybe?

    Unique in Ipoh at the time, certainly, but the same architectural methods were used for the same purpose elsewhere in Malaysia: the country was new and federal facilities were needed urgently around the country. In particular, Telok Anson and Taiping each had a very similar “Federal Building” constructed at around the same time.

    About the date of construction:

    It was a new building when I went there at 12 to obtain my Identity Card. Most likely completed in 1958,1959.

    And IKA adds:

    we dated [the photograph] 1961, but it could have been 1962.

    I feel pretty sure the building was part of a surge in construction that occurred in Ipoh in ’62, but I could be mistaken. I will check and make a note here if I find anything definite.

    I also wrote:

    Later in the ’60s, there was an earthquake in the region and tremors were felt as far apart as Penang and KL.

    I checked, and it turns out this earthquake occurred in April, 1967:

    https://tinyurl.com/quake1967

    The reference mentions Penang (“residents ran from their homes”) but it does not mention Ipoh, which is perhaps understandable because no structures collapsed in Ipoh.

  5. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O

    The colour scheme was black and white at the time. Pink only gained prominence in later years during the flower girl era.

    Yes, I could be “remembering” something else, but if you look at the photograph, there does appear to be a colour other than white (you can see it in contrast to the doors, which are adjacent and white).

    The frequent moves of this dept. were like a merry go round.

    Poor planning, I suppose — although it could be something worse.

    IKA:

    Cedric Jennings, the son of Jack and Freda Jennings, who was born in Ipoh and returned there in 1961-62 to write and publish Ipoh : “Ipoh, The Town That Tin Built”.

    Yes, after leaving Ipoh at age eight (or thereabouts), he came back (from Canada) for a business trip — not only to write about Ipoh but ostensibly to promote trade with Canada.

    I have an obituary of his that was published in Toronto. Let me know if you’d like a copy.

    S.Y.:

    Why cant’t we centralise everything in the Federal Building in Greentown?

    Until you mentioned it, I did not even know there was a “new” Federal Building in Greentown. Thanks.

  6. Ipoh Remembered says:

    I wrote:

    I feel pretty sure the building was part of a surge in construction that occurred in Ipoh in ’62, but I could be mistaken. I will check and make a note here if I find anything definite.

    I checked and found that it was, indeed, built in 1962:

    http://www.kkr.gov.my/en/node/31328

    The page presents an official “List of Federal Buildings” in Malaysia. Re the old building in Ipoh, Item 18 on the list gives the date of construction as 1962, so the photograph must be from that year or later.

    Meanwhile, Item 19 on the list tells me that the Federal Building in Greentown was constructed in 1996 — so it’s “new” to me but probably not to anyone else!

    • felicia says:

      Ipoh Remembered, thank you for the link. I was hoping the website had a little history (or perhaps some old photos) about the Ipoh Federal Building. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find more information.
      But thank you all the same for confirming the date of the building.

      • Ipoh Remembered says:

        There are a number of government (and related) sites that mention the building but not one of them provides more information than you already have. And alas, the photographs they present are all relatively new.

  7. sk says:

    Yes. Had my IC done at the age of 12 there. I think it was also an Education Dept in early 70’s. There were 2 Education Officers I knew. Mr Yeoh Seng Choon & Mr. Ying. Mr Yeoh is still in Ipoh & I have no idea where Mr Ying is. Anyone know Mr Ying whereabout ?

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