Gone and Can Never Be Rebuilt
It has been a while that this Sulaimanian blog was not updated (two weeks now). The pain was too much after knowing that the historic row of shop-houses at Keda Payang (Jalan Bandar) being demolished. As Awang Goneng said it well in Earth-Trembling Barbarism and Mabuk Kepayang, I was rather speechless or actually “hilang habis mood nak menaip”.
The final row of historic 100-years old concrete (not the shabby wooden one eh) shoplot at Keda Payang is now gone FOREVER!!! One cannot rebuilt it with whatever technology they have today. Even if they do – it will be a new one – a value void. What more when the new one is alien to the cultural and historical values of the town.
Six months ago, the traders along the row of Jalan Bandar and Jalan Banggol were issued a notice to evacuate the premise – just when they were preparing for the Raya sales. Together with the traders, we set-up the Action Committee (Badan Bertindak Peniaga Jalan Bandar dan Jalan Banggol) [Read our protest]. We only managed to voice out our protest and to delay the evacuation notice – well and good for the traders (I am happy to be able to do that little things for them). (Read – the justification why a 30-days notice was such hooligan idea)
But we were unable to stop the ultimate demolition by the hooligans who things development must destroy strongly built structure and replace with sans historical values. Never had they learn the many “monetary motivated” projects that had collapsed or poorly built (especially in Terengganu). All their justifications to demolish the area does not stand at all. (read more: here)
I would be ashamed if those involved in the hooligan decision to destroy whatever heritage under the name of Heritage Board (Lembaga Tabung Warisan Amanah Negeri Terengganu) are Sulaimanians (shame shame on you!!!). (Read how a 14th year old girl values heritage) As that should not be the way we value culture, heritage and history. (also read Pokku’s article here)
But then our school had also faced similar destruction. An old building which was part of Sultan Sulaiman’s palace area given for the school that were later used as the scout den where we had our gatherings and meetings.
I was shocked after visiting the school many years ago to see the historical building is gone FOREVER !!! Replaced with a sans value water tower.We do not oppose the need to build such a water reservoir but is that the only location they can build it? With such a large 44.4 acres of land area the school have – why must it be there?
The building has its historical value. Picture below shows His Highness Almarhum Sultan Sulaiman photo session after greeting the group of business entourage from China and some local Chinese traders (including the three Al-Yunani’s) with the “scout den” as the background. The fact that the building was used as the backdrop to treatised the end of their meeting shows the significant of the building. Also seen in the picture were Almarhum Sultan Ali (then as a boy sitting next to his father) and Almarhum Sultan Ismail (then Tengku Paduka).
One has to see the building to appreciate. The flooring was with such a beautiful floral “mosaic/tile” that one can never find anymore. The carving in the interior, the unique carving on the roof top, and amazingly not a single piece of the wood used for the building show its age. The only damage one can see then (when the scout took over for its den) were the broken roof tiles which we then collected some money in the early 70s and had it repaired.
Why must our sans value development be made in the expense of our heritage and historical memorials?