Some call it Perak’s version of “The Leaning Tower of Pisa”. I’ve never been there, but from recent pictures it does seem like it’s leaning a little to one side. However, here is an early 1900 picture of the same water tower in Teluk Intan (see below) – and it seems rather STRAIGHT to me 😉
So, WHEN did this tower start to lean? We’d like to know MORE about this tower – especially from the Teluk Intan folks!
Picture taken from the book 20th Century Impressions of British Malaya.
Some time ago, the Perak Heritage Society visited Teluk Intan (formerly known as Telok Anson). Among the highlights of the trip was visiting the famous ‘Leaning Tower’. Yes, Perak has her own ‘leaning tower’ – just like Pisa. We have here some pictures of the inside of the tower…(see below)
On the left is a picture taken from one of the levels, looking upwards. On the right is the view of the highest level of the tower.
The tower was built in 1885 by Leong Choon Chong (a contractor) and was originally used as a covered water tank – this was to store potable water to the (then) 800 residents in the town. There is also records which state that the water was used for firefighting purposes too. The tower leans towards to west by about 1.8 metres; this was due to the sinking of the foundation during the great floods in 1889 and 1895.
Made of bricks and wood, this ‘Pagoda-style’ tower stands at 25.5 metres tall. The tower has 3 storeys, and above the 3rd storey is the 16 feet deep water tank.
The photographsd were kindly donated to us by Charlie Choong.
This is an aerial view of the ‘Bangunan Pasar’ (the Market). It almost looks like the market in Ipoh New Town, which was built by Yau Tet Shin ;notice the shape of the roof, at the top left corner of the picture.
This market however is in Teluk Anson (now known as Teluk Intan). Was it also built by a famous Towkay? Anyone with more information, do let us know.
Above each of the windows inside the Old Teluk Anson Courthouse there are plaster mouldings which alternate around the building. One like this and ……….
………one like this. Please excuse the cobwebs, spiders have no respect for the law!
Another interesting feature is the rainwater system, installed in 1949 which runs INSIDE the building!
The remainder of the inside of the building was not worth a photograph and so to finish this tour as, all too often, we have all seen rubbish on a floor before, here is a full-face shot of the front portion above that awful sign.
This old photograph shows the first courthouse in Teluk Anson (Teluk Intan), built in the late 1870’s or very early 1880’s. It also doubled up on a Sunday as the Anglican Church for there was not one available in the district. However, the hard wooden benches suitable for a court house were just too uncomfortable as church pews and that certainly did not encourage the God-fearing parishioners to attend the Sunday service, for they were more used to the comfortable and relaxing pews of Old England.
Consequently the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel set about raising funds for a proper church and in 1910 the first Anglican church of Teluk Anson was completed – we are sure with comfortable pews!
The courthouse then continued solely in its primary role until the new courthouse was built in 1983. The Sultan of Perak opened the new building in April 1986, some 100 years after the original one was built.
This second photograph shows the building recently. Despite the offensive looking sign, it is not actually in use and apart from the odd cheap sale that takes place there it is effectively abandoned and fast deteriorating. Now we are well aware that this and the Old Police Station carry the stigma of being “British built”, but how can the council and residents of Teluk Intan let buildings like them just rot away, rather than turn them into something useful for the people, education, or even a museum. Have they no pride in their heritage?
This photo was taken in 2006 on a visit Teluk Intan originally called Teluk Mak Intan, after a well-to-do Mandailing woman who is believed to have been in trading across the Straits of Malacca, although some will say she was actually a pirate. It shows the old Balai Polis or Police Station which being unused was in a state of serious disrepair. What we don’t know is whether it is still there as we have not been that way lately. Please let us know.
Teluk Intan was of course renamed by the British under the administration of the third British Resident Hugh Low (1877 to 1889), as Teluk Anson, in honour of General Anson who drew the first plans of the town and secondly, as he said, Telok Ma’ Hitam (as the British called Teluk Mak Intan ) was too long! It was the Sultan of Perak in 1982 that changed the name back, but dropped the ‘Mak’.
Hugh Low was also responsible for the Police Staion when he proposed “The Customs House, the Court House, landing jetty and Chief Police Station should be put there at once. I will send the plan and write on the subject to Singapore as soon as I can…”. Consequently the area around the Polce Station would have been the original town, rather than where most of it is today.
What a shame no one has found a use for this old building, or have they?
This grand old picture dates from 1894 when a bull elephant gallantly refused to move off the rail tracks, close to Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intan) in defence of his herd against what he saw as an intruder into his domain. Unfortunately the train, which had previously killed a calf elephant in the same place, was doing some 80 kilometres per hour and the driver could not stop in time. The two therefore met head on.
The net result was one dead elephant, three coaches derailed and two dead railway workers who died from their injuries sometime later. A number of businesspeople and other passengers were also injured.
This event is marked by a signboard at the spot of the collision, erected by the British Government.