Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Batu Kawan & Perai

From : www.spk5447.blogspot.com

Born in Perai and living here since the last 32 years, I'v seen, heard, learn lots and lots of Perai history. The Perai where i see and live now have undergone massive changes. No more villages, large fields, wooden houses, seafood restaurant by the Perai River, trunk roads and many more. I decided to conduct the research of my birth place, eager to know and learn more about it. I still can recall some of the places during my childhood days. The railway track behind Supreme Garden where Iv seen the platform build in red bricks, where i believe crops from the estate were station before being transported. The huge land in front of current BORR Toll Office in Perai. The field where the Customs quarters is now. The row of shops as we enter Perai where i use to cut my hair. The Perai roundabout. The two lane road all the way from Perai to Bukit Tengah. The square shape steel bus stop and many more. Perai, Prai, Pyre, Prye, Pry - here are some info and photos that I manage to collect. 

I once came across a write up from a journal that stated Perai, initially was known as Praya which is a Portugese word, meaning ‘ahead above is sea’ which i found logic. Ahead of Perai - is our sea front. I couldn’t locate the specific location of the journal, so let’s leave a side the story of it. Before Perai, this pre – planned town during the Straits Settlement had the same pronunciation but different in spelling.  Intially it was penned down as Pry, Pyre, Prye, Prai and now Perai. Prye was such an important location for the British because the Federated Malay State Railway Station which was stationed here. Im sure many of us are not aware on how the Perai port, railway station, jetty and wharf  looked like. I found a photo of the area’s and it is proven that Prye those days have been a very busy transportation & import-export hub. Elephants, herbs, sugar cane and many crops was shipped out from here. 

The above photo shows how the port / hub for import export looked like. After coming across the above photo, my wife and I visited the area.  We found the steel that use to hold the fence. We also found a large steel where I believe it was the crane holder as could be seen on the above folder. Prye for sure was a busy hub which was managed by the British. Developments in the area such as market, schools, police station and post office speak for it self on the development of Prye on those days.

Perai Wharf 
Perai Market
Perai Post office
Perai Railway Hub

The Journal states a school was started in Prye as early ay 1880+
There were 3 schools in Prye on those days and it shows that  education was given priority and quite a number of people have been living over here. Ladang Prye Tamil School, Prai Tamil School & St Marks School was believe to have started around 1936. But recently I found a journal that stated a school was started in Prye as early 1880+.

The Malaysian Journal : 1st school in Prye was in 1879
The Railway Office
Penang was the only station in the world where its Railway office was situated separately from the railway station during the Straits Settlement. For one who would like to travel on train, they need to purchase ticket from the Island ( Currently Customs Office ) and hop into the ferry. Passengers wiere brought to the  Prye Pier before they board the train to either Bangkok or Singapore bound. It was a well planned stratergy for export of goods . The tracks were built by going through or passing estates so that crops could be easily transported. Example from the current situation is, the MSM Factory in Perai. The tracks are base up to the central part of the company to ease the transportation and supply of sugar which is done daily.

The Old Railway Station

Perai Railway Station Hub that would be demolished soon
JMB Vermont Monument in Esplanade surrounded with Indian Labors.
It was similar to those days. Tracks were built passing through the estates. The well known estates during the Straits Settlement are Prye Estate, Alma Estate & Batu Kawan Estate. There were several methods of transportation that were widely used. Other than train, boats were also used.

Prye Estate

All these estates were owned by Brown, Scott & Vermont who planted sugar and they were one of the main supplier. JMB Vermont who was also the manager was regarded as the ‘Grand Old Man’   for his contribution on sugar supply during 1880 – 1890’s. A monument in recognition  of him was once built in Esplanade. In 1906 the estate was sold to Pinang Syndicate Ltd and the new owners opted to plant rubbers. Prye Estate compromises a large area where it was up to Batu Kawan and Permatang Pauh. Prye Estate was believe to be the main place of the owners to run and manage the industry back those days than. Those who had lived in Prye Estate would be aware on the existence of 3 Bungalows. I believe it was to accommodate the 3 owners of these large estate ( Brown, Scott & Vermont ). 
The adv on Singapore NST for the sale of Prye Estate
Air view of Kampung Teluk before it was developed in 1990's
The basement of the sugar cane crusher
The proof of the sugar plantation remains. Evan now, the basement that had placed the sugar cane crushing stone / crusher can been seen in Batu Kawan. The crusher has been taken away and I was told by a friend that it is now being kept by a local. When I received the photo of the crusher, what amused and shocked me was the design of the crusher. It immediately reminded me of the same type and design of stone which was found in Lembah Bujang. Somewhere in 2006 I had visited Lembah Bujang and came across that stone.   Lembah Bujang civilization started hundred of years before the plantation here begun. So how did the crusher had the same design and what does it got to do between the two places. I knew there was something internally related to Batu Kawan & Lembah Bujang.  (Click here for brief history on Batu Kawan)
Left ( Batu Kawan ) , Right ( Lembah Bujang ) 
Batu Kawan & Bukit Mertajam was part of the Lembah Bujang territory. How true can this be? Well, years before during school days, Iv heard that a relic was once found in BM. But not many locals were aware about this. This relic was found by Col James Low in 1845 when he was exploring to find a ruined Buddhist Temple. It is engraved with pre ‘Pallava’ sript which transcripts about a King ‘Thus vanquish, the enemies of King Ramaunnibha'.
Cherok To Kun Relics at the compound of St Anne's Church
J. Low journal on the Relic
Perai Map in 1890+  ( Pyre River )
J. Low Journal on the attack by pirates through Prai River in 1791
Other Part of J.Low journal on Prye & Batu Kawan

As i began the research i realize that every new story i found it links to another. There are many more hidden stories & secrets. I came across an info that Perai had the best soil and it was used to make bricks. The Railway hub which was build by the Brits also caught my attention. Some of the roof piece has Tamil wordings inscriptions on it. A friend were suppose to help me find the roof but i had delayed it. He now has retired and if i do start this research on Perai again, a long journey awaits me.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Penangites Backstabbed by DAP!

When DAP won in 2008, Penangites expected that the newly appointed government will act and manage by upholding ts two major slogans ' CAT = Competency, Accountability and Transparency ' and ' Cleaner, Greener Penang '. Did DAP uphold to this two slogans?

In 2008, Major Huan Cheng Guan together with his team had opposed on the reaping of the Tambun hill for red soil ( Click Here ). Since than DAP had undertaken projects that had hurt and cause dissatisfaction among Penangites. 

One of the 1st damage caused by the DAP Gov was the field of Esplanade. We Penangites know how much Esplanade mean to us. The purpose of  the 'King of Tennis' tournament which didnt take place ended up damaging the field. Evantough the field was re-surfaced, damaged have been done.

There are many incidents where we Penangites tend to forget. In 2009 the State Government who had announced on low cost houses, didnt take place. In 2011,DAP's Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi had claim that black market activity was denying eligible applicants affordable housing in his constituency ( Click here for news ). Huan Cheng Guan had lodge a report to MACC regarding the low cost house issue. Only than, that the DAP government had announce on low cost housing in the Mainland of Penang - Batu Kawan.

One of the major issues now concerning the people of Penang are the reaping of hills and selling of lands and sea to developers. There are a few major land deals where the state government have acted with their own interest. The Bayan Mutiara land deal remains a question mark. Few days back, a state land which were meant for low cost houses have been approved for a construction of a private medical center. 

Leave a side Buah Pala and the Malay settlement land in Tanjung Bunga. There are many land issues where the Goverment choose to remain silent whenever it is raised. Huan Cheng Guan had also raised up regarding the Temporary Occupant Land ( TOL ) which was obtained by a DAP State leader. The so called leader was given a deduction of premium and a lease  of the TOL land. One who now travels back from Island to Mainland will notice on the development taking place at the sea front. It is heartening to see massive development by destroying the nature and beauty of Penang. 

With the GE12 manifesto not materialized, all issues are being politicized by DAP. Example the Sungai Nyior toll issue. DAP are PHD holders when it comes to spinning. It is them who promise to remove the tol if they were to win the State. But once winning they are eagerly manipulating the issue and have been going on demonstrating. 

DAP are just so good in blowing the trumpet. Wifi for the whole state was announced. But it was only now being implemented in mainland. Furthermore, the connection is so bad where we rather get a paid connection. The list goes on. Mat Sabu was allowed to claim for his injury during the bersih rally and again Major Huan had to report it to MACC. 

Whenever there is ia issue raised, Guan Eng chooses to remain quiet for Penangites to forget the issue. So far it have been working for him.  This include the spat between Guan Eng and Tunku who had raised his opinion on Bersih. His Senatorship was not renewed and this caused Tunku to resign and leave DAP. This shows DAP does not practice what it says on freedom of speech. Freedom of speech takes place in DAP only if it favors them. Huan Cheng Guan had lodge to MACC again on the Tunku-Guan Eng issue where Guan Eng had tried to bribe Tunku to return to DAP.

Lets touch on the latest issues of reaping the hills in Sungai Ara and Batu Ferringhi. It was sickening when Guan Eng replied to the residents that he is not aware on the hill slope project. What a childish comment from the state CM. Pennag which is well known for its nature and green is now loosing its nature and beauty. Penangites need to put a full stop to this. The Government is more eager in making profit by destroying the beauty of Penang. 

With new fees such as for rezoning, land conversion, development charges and hill land excision charges, the State Government is making out millions. This charges amount up to RM100k which now have caused the housing prices in Island to shoot up. 

The Goverment is now making millions from development and land sales but there are no returns for Penangite. Guan Eng have promised for low cost houses to be build in Batu Kawan, Penang. But at the same time hazardous companies such as solar panel manufactures companies are to be build there putting not only the people, but its nature and agro-agricultural industry into danger. 

 Another latest issue now in Penang is the increase of water tariff. Guan Eng & DAP have again broken their promise. In June last year Guan Eng have given his word that water tariff would not take place anymore. Its GM had announce the water tariff will take place. But after the con-damming from public, PBA took a u-turn saying the press has misquoted him. 

Its time for us Penangite to decide the best to rule our state. Judge from the performance and internal related issus and problems among DAP. the Penangite should wake up and stand as one voice to state our dissatisfaction!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

RTM Kawasan Saya

Huan Cheng Guan who was elected as the MP for Batu Kawan in 2004 with a majority of 8998 votes, had served the Rakyat in his constituent with full heart. In 2007 he brought in the RTM Kawasan Saya crew to highlight on certain issues and to promote Batu Kawan. Check out the the 3 part videos.  




Sunday, 15 April 2012

Batu Kawan ( P046 ) - The Next MP?

Batu Kawan Parliament ( P 046 ) seat, is now a hot topic among the locals on who the candidate will be. It is simple for me. Of course from the Rakyat's perspective, the person that the majority Rakyat will vote for and campaign will be Huan Cheng Guan. Why? As a new Parliament gazetted in 2004, comprising Dun Perai, Dun Bukti Tengah & Dun Bukit Tambun, all these three Dun was under the Parliament of opposition. Perai ( Bagan / DAP ), Bukit Tengah ( BM / DAP ) & Bukit Tambun ( N. Tebal / DAP ). In 2004, Huan won with a majority vote of 8998. Since than many issues have been look into and solved. He has a good track record and well known for his humble way of approaching. As far the locals are concern, Huan is the best person to be elected for Batu Kawan. Huan who might contest under the PCM ticket, left Gerakan in 2009. In 2008 General Election, it was Huan who paved way for Koh Tsu koon to contest in Batu Kawan. KTK who lost to DAP, went missing from Batu Kawan since than.

With Gerakan having 2-3 candidates to be chosen from, I believe from the very beginning its Koh Tsu Koon who had caused the situation as it is today. Now there are 2 candidates where Gerakan need to crack head with and  an additional another - Teng Hock Nan who now dreaming to contest in Batu Kawan. Ng Siew Lai who is the Division head and National Women number two is of course eligible to be nominated base from her seniority. In 2009 Koh Tsu Koon shortlisted Mohan Apparoo as the Parliament coordinator. Since Mohan is working on ground for the last few years, now Gerakan have an headache shortlisting the candidate. Anyone chosen from the 3 will definitively backfire, it will end up simply  'you kill me, i kill you'.

Why did Koh Tsu Koon opted to choose Mohan as Coordinator? Logically it should be given to the former MP of Batu Kawan, Huan Cheng Guan who had just won the National Gerakan Vice President pose in a 10 corner fight. Simple, Koh Tsu Koon & Gerakan were aware on the rising of Huan and felt threaten. Furthermore, Huan after winning the VP post suggested to the CWC that the Secretary General & Treasure post to be given to an Indian and also a Sabahah or Sarawakian. 

Koh Tsu Koon saw an opportunity to jeopardize the political career of Huan, elected Mohan as the the Coordinator. Initially during that time, grass root Gerakan members had whacked Teng Hock Nan & Koh Tsu Koon for failing to appoint any Indian into the Penang State Liaison Committee. They also had wrote to Star and Malaysiakini urging Mohan to be given opportunity ( Click for Malaysiakini Letter ) . Koh Tsu Koon together with those who felt threathen saw the oppurtunity coming to kill off Huan's political career permanently, when Huan stood firm to defend the voice of the grass root from Machang Bubok, thats when CWC game show started resulting Huan announcing to leave Gerakan. 

So with Huan out from Gerakan list, Ng Siew Lai & Mohan have been working on ground. Now all of a sudden Teng Hock Nan is also interested. Whatever, its Gerakan leadership who has the headache to finalise on the list. While we, lets hope for the best & may the best, eligible, hardworking & humble one wins.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Malaysiakini : PCM fumes as another solar panel plant discovered

PCM fumes as another solar panel plant discovered
Susan Loone
12:07PM Mar 26, 2012

Even before Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng could answer questions related to the Robert Bosch solar panel plant in Batu Kawan, Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) has discovered a similar enterprise which is expected to operate on the mainland.

The China-based company, according to PCM vice-chief Huan Cheng Guan (left), has started recruiting workers but Penangites are yet to be informed that another solar panel plant is sprouting within their midst.

Huan said he sent two of his men to the plant for interviews, but they were merely told that the plant would be build “somewhere” on the mainland.

“It’s a China-based company, and after what has happened to China, how can we allow it to operate here?” Huan asked during a press conference in Prai.

Huan was referring to a similar plant in China which was closed down due to health risks to the local community.

‘State gov’t operating like Gestapo’

Huan is not happy that the state has not mentioned about the existence of the plant, which allegedly poses a danger to health and the environment.

He smells a rat and said that there appears to be a cover-up in the matter as nobody knows much about the company, not even its location.

He even went as far as saying that the state government is operating like the “Gestapo”, the Nazi secret political police.

“We are very suspicious and question why are they doing this,” he added, comparing it to Pakatan’s vigorous opposition of the Australian-based company Lynas’ plant in Gebeng for its potential health risks.

“But what about these two plants in Penang. Why so quiet about them? Why so secretive? What is there to hide?” he questioned.

Recently, Huan said despite its CAT - competency, accountability and transparency - principles, the Penang government continues its lack of public consultation in approving the project.

He added that no one has given a proper assurance that the RM2.05 billion plant by German industrial giant Robert Bosch GmbH will be safe.

‘No AELB licence yet’

Huan also question why the solar photovoltaics plant in Batu Kawan is allowed to operate when the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) has yet to issue any licence or approval for the proposed business.

News portal The Mole quoted AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan as having confirmed that the board has not received any application for the controversial plant.

Raja Abdul Aziz said, “So far we have not received any application for the Batu Kawan solar panel project.”

He added that the project has to be evaluated by AELB despite the initial International Energy Agency approval.

“Why the double standards when Lynas is being opposed to strongly? Where is the CAT in these projects?” asked the former Penang Gerakan vice-chief.

When asked about the federal government’s promotion of investment in solar panels, the world’s fastest growing energy industry, which has placed Malaysia as the world’s third-largest solar module manufacturer, Huan said: “The International Trade and Industry Ministry’s role is to attract and promote investment,” he said.

“Their role is not to approve it. It is the state government’s role to approve an investment or sell state land to the companies after making sure the company complies with all the necessary requirement, especially in the area of safety in health and environment, because this directly affects the people.”

Huan warned that if PCM receives no answer to his questions, the party will organise a similar round of protests.