We are grateful to Ramesh who has lent us this photograph so that we may share it with you.
The photograph shows Chamberlain Road, Ipoh with Jalan Bendahara at the bottom left, joining Chamberlain at the roundabout. Apart from the Sri Maju Bus Company replacing the Palm Trees, bottom left, with their vehicles in 1978 not too much else has changed. The Majestic Cinema is hidden among the trees on the right.
On the reverse of the card is a message in traditional Chinese characters which reads:
“Ipoh Town. Given to my friend Siong Ling wishing her Happy Living from Pei Yuan.”
Chamberlain Road (As described by S Durai Raja Singam in 1939)
(From Junction of Jalan Masjid and Anderson Road to Chung Thye Pin Road).
This road made in 1907/08; is named after the late Right Hon Joseph Chamberlain M P, father of the present Prime Minister of England, Mr Neville Chamberlain. A Radical politician, Mayor of Birmingham (1873-1876) Secretary of State for Colonies in the Coalition Government. In 1906, he withdrew from public life on account of ill health. First Chancellor of Birmingham University. He died on July 2nd 1914.
Sir Frank Swettenham in his “British Malaya” says “I am responsible for the Malay States lines, with the exception of the eight miles branch in Larut, from Taiping to Port Weld, and the twenty-four miles branch in Sungei Ujong, from Seremban to Port Dickson (which was built by and belongs to a private Company) and I may recall the fact that when I first recommended the construction of the Province Wellesley line, it was disapproved. But when I again repeated all the arguments in favour of the work and pressed to be allowed to undertake it, Mr Chamberlain, then Secretary of State for Colonies, gave his sanction on the ground that, if the value of a great work could be satisfactorily demonstrated, the sooner it was taken in hand the better. Mr Chamberlain is one of the few public men who realize this principle.
Nothing is as common as to express great interest in a new proposal, great sympathy and even high approval: but when it involves the expenditure of money, the running of risk, the acceptance of responsibility, enthusiasm for the scheme is not only tempered, but often entirely counteracted, by the decision to put off its accomplishment to the Greek Kalends.” Before the departure of Sir Cecil C Smith, Sir Frank Sweetenham had drawn up a scheme for the Federation of the Malay States and submitted it to him. This proposal was forwarded to the Secretary of State and Sir Charles Mitchell recommended that is the Malay rulers favoured the proposal, the Federation should be adopted. Mr Chamberlain, the Secretary of State for the Colonies approved of this.
Sir Frank visited the several States explained the scheme very fully to the Malay Rulers and British Residents and secured the written consent of the Rulers. That the Institute for Medical Research owes its being to Mr Joseph Chamberlain, was stated by Dr A Neave Kingsbury, Director of the Institute, at the opening of the sixth international course in malariology.
Mr Chamberlain, as Secretary of State for the Colonies, was instrumental in sending to Kuala Lumpur a research worker to investigate the cause of beri-beri, which was then a most serious disease among the Chinese, said Dr Kingsbury. “Our foundation,” he continued, “antidates all other institutes in British Colonies and Protectorates. Today, the senior staff numbers no less than 16, and we like to think that we have not altogether lost our original start.”